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y o u r fav o u r i t e s e v e n o a k s m a g a z i n e w w w . v i n e d i g i ta l . c o . u k


f e b r u a ry 2013


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Vine visits Sevenoaks' hottest new historical exhibition

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• Y OU R




What’s inside? February 2013


Welcome to Vine





18 VALENTINE's day gift guide Stuck for original ideas to buy your loved ones? We round up this year's best gift ideas in our exclusive Valentine's Day Gift Guide

21 legal matters In the first instalment of this month's Legal Matters, the team at Withers Worldwide give advice on Stamp Duty 23 The experts at Warners Solicitors talk about the administration of estates

EVERY MONTH 08 Headlines 12 Monthly musts 14 YOUR VINE 28 family and kids 58 What’s on? 60 SEVENOAKS SHOWCASE 62 mumblings

HOME & GARDEN 51 GREAT VINE GADGETS This month Vine looks at a range of Valentine's Day-themed gadgets ranging from headphones to coffee machines. For him, for her and for you 54 INTERIOR TRENDS This month, we bring you a selection of earthy and sustainable products for a truly rustic feel

24 SMOG & BIRDSONG Vine visits the new exhibition at Sevenoaks Museum which looks at the town's commuting history dating back to Roman times 30 EDUCATION SPECIAL Vine brings you a 17-page comprehensive guide to the top, local independent schools as they look to the year ahead and plan for those all-important exams

Cover shot: Snowy woods in Sevenoaks, January 2013 by Robin Hunnam

WELLNESS 47 WALK OF THE MONTH This month we feature a walk through the Darent Valley Path, offering spectacular views, history and gorgeous lavender fields 48 VINE STYLE Vine searches high and low to bring you the best pampering and beauty products for men and for women. All with a Valentine's Day theme

Hello and welcome to the February edition of Vine. We hope you’ve enjoyed the beautiful Sevenoaks scenery. Thanks to the recent snowfall, it was lovely to see so many people out enjoying our local countryside, with the young and old flocking to Knole Park in their droves. The snow may now be melting but the chill certainly remains so what better excuse to cosy up to your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Don’t panic if you haven’t bought those all-important gifts yet – we’ve got you covered with Vine’s comprehensive Valentine’s Gift Guide on page 18. As our children prepare for a host of upcoming exams, we take a look at the best independent schools in the area in our 17-page education special. We get an insider’s view of what the schools have planned for the year ahead and how they are preparing their pupils for this crucial time in their academic careers. Being a commuter town is part of our heritage in Sevenoaks, a theme which is explored in the fascinating new exhibition Smog And Birdsong at the Sevenoaks Museum which we cover on page 24. In our regular pages this month, we bring you the best beauty buys for Valentine’s Day in Vine Style (page 48) as well as the upcoming trends for your home (page 54). We also catch up with newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent, Ann Barnes on page 15 to talk about her recent campaign experience and her plans for the future of Kent policing. Enjoy the issue! February 2013 vine 7


£265k box office success for Stag panto

Marie Curie seek volunteers

This year’s pantomime at The Stag has proven to be a roaring success with record takings of £265,000 at the box office. The cast of ‘Aladdin’ include former Boyzone singer Shane Lynch, veteran actor Tony Haygarth and celebrity vocal coach, Jasette Amos. The show proved such a hit that its monthlong run, which began December 8, had to be extended by an extra week. With an amazing 19,000 tickets sold, it is the first show in The Stag’s history to break the quarter of a million mark.

Marie Curie Cancer Care are seeking local volunteers for a variety of roles in its Sevenoaks fundraising group. The charity urgently needs a chairperson, secretary and treasurer; all are voluntary positions which will provide an opportunity to support Marie Curie’s nurses. Joining the group will enable volunteers to gain an understanding of Marie Curie’s contribution within the community and be involved in high profile campaigns, such as the Great Daffodil Appeal and Blooming Great Tea Party. They will also attend meetings and gain valuable experience in working for one of the UK’s leading cancer charities.

Taste of Kent Awards finalists unveiled The three top names in each of the Taste of Kent Awards categories have been announced ahead of the awards dinner on the evening of Friday 8 March. The awards attracted almost 14,500 votes from the general public in the first round of voting, which amounted to an impressive 26 per cent increase as consumers were keen to nominate their favourite food and drink heroes throughout Kent. There is a diverse range of finalists from all ends of Kent including competitors from Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. n Contact Produced in Kent for more details on 01732 853170 or

n For further information, call Community Fundraiser Charlotte Jones on 01622 688656 or email


we’d love to hear from you EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES

01732 760823 Vine Publishing Ltd 3A Lakeview Stables, St Clere, Heaverham, Sevenoaks Kent TN15 6NL


Matt Handley Yuri Tamburrini Tasia Lofitou Emma Corkill MARKETING EXECUTIVES

Grammar school expansion plans The former Wildernesse School site on Seal Hollow Road has been selected as the site for the first grammar school expansion in England for over 50 years. As the law forbids the opening of any new grammar schools, two annexes to existing grammar schools in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells will be set up on this site, to be open by September 2015. These “satellite schools” will provide young people in the town with access to a local grammar school meaning local pupils who passed the 11-plus will no longer have to travel outside of the district to go to school.

Nic Lapham Chris de Rusett Web developerS

Matthew Bull Mark Bailey Patrick Martins-Yedenu EDITORIAL

Nicol Banin t: 01732 764508 Nicole Cook t: 01732 764508 SUB EDITOR

Ladies' power walking group

Garden tours at Hadlow

ChYps hold Chilli Dip

Cheese-maker wins gold

Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers have launched a new power walking group aimed at local women of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels. Led by a coach, the group meet weekly for a power walk of 3-4 miles around Knole Park and you can enjoy your first session for free. Contact sam@ sevenoaksladiesjoggers. or call 07788 974655 to find out more.

Hadlow College’s head gardener will be leading tours of the spectacular Broadview Gardens throughout February and early March. Visitors will be able to view the magnificent colours of the garden during winter on 17, 21, 23, 24 February and 2 and 3 March. Tickets cost £3 and must be purchased in advance; for more information go to www.

The charity are holding an event on Saturday 16 February inviting locals to brave the icy waters of St Julian’s outdoor swimming pool in a bid to raise money to provide care for youngsters. Registration costs £10 and includes a warming bowl of chilli and a certificate; spectators can watch free of charge. To register your place, call 01322 221315 or email

Competing against 30 countries and nearly 3,000 varieties of cheese, a local cheese-maker has won silver and gold at the World Cheese Awards. Robin Betts won gold for his Winterdale Shaw in the hard cheese and Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association categories and won silver for his Winterdale’s Oak Smoked and his Shaw Aged cheese.

Amanda Hayden


Owen Hunnam t: 01732 764509 CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Charlie de Rusett t: 01732 764501 Find us on Facebook and Twitter Vine is published monthly in the UK by Vine Publishing Ltd. (Company reg no: 7195338) with a total circulation of 15,000. 8,500 land on the doormats of selected Sevenoaks households. An additional 6,500 are available through our extensive distribution network of over 150 pick-up points across the district. Printed in the UK. Please recycle Vine. © 2013. All rights reserved.

8 vine February 2013

Protection through planning Make your journey through life easier with the right legal team beside you


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Success on your journey through life requires the right legal team beside you all the way. Warners are delighted to provide just that for our private and commercial clients. If you would like to find out more call us on 01732 747900 and we will help you get started.

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It’s all about... modern thinking traditional values February 2013 vine 9


Oscar and BAFTA nod for Sevenoaks star Former Sevenoaks School pupil Daniel Day-Lewis has been nominated for the leading actor award at both the BAFTA and Academy Award ceremonies for his brilliant portrayal of the 16th US president, Abraham Lincoln, in Steven Spielberg’s biopic, Lincoln. The 55 year old, who boarded at Sevenoaks School from 1968 to 1970, has already won two Best Actor Academy Awards for portraying Christy Brown in My Left Foot and Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood, and a Best Actor BAFTA for his role as Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting in Gangs of New York. The BAFTAs take place on Sunday February 10 and the Oscars on Sunday February 24.

Increased cycling amenities for Sevenoaks An increased number of cycle stands will be installed across the District after Sevenoaks district Council secured £15,000 of funding to improve its cycle facilities. The council is looking to install cycle parking at: Bligh’s Car Park, Sevenoaks Hospital, Sevenoaks Library, Edenbridge Station as well as other locations still to be announced. After being a Host Council for the Paralympic games, it is hoped that the scheme will encourage more people to cycle, as well as making it safer to do so. Cllr Pat Bosley, the council’s member for Healthy Living says, “This is brilliant news for all cyclists as these funds will boost our provision for riders across the District.”

Sevenoaks salon awarded fellowship The Square based in Riverhead has been granted one of hairdressing's most prestigious recognitions by being accepted for the Fellowship for British Hairdressing, meaning that it is on par with some of the top London salons. The Square prides itself on using the highest standards, techniques and products available in order to deliver a professional service to its ever-increasing clientele. In addition to this, its spa offers a range of pampering treatments. This news is not only a great acknowledgement for the talented team, it also means they are ranked among the top 10 per cent of best salons & spas in the industry, as well as in the area. Salon owner Ben Hards says, “It’s amazing to be asked to join the Fellowship after only being open for eleven months. It’s the best Christmas present we could have asked for!” n For more information call 01732 456212 or visit

Comedian named president Comedian Bob ‘The Cat’ Bevan MBE has been named Kent County Cricket Club’s president for 2013. The Tunbridge Wells resident, who is a well-known after-dinner speaker, author and television and radio personality, has been a great supporter of the county club for many years and is a regular speaker at club events and benefits. It is believed that Bevan is only the second ever ‘celebrity’ to have been president of a county cricket club (the other being Sir Richard Stilgoe at Surrey in 2005). “I still can’t quite believe it,” Bevan remarked, “it was not something I had ever considered I could be eligible for.”

15k Raised For Air Ambulance Over £15,000 has been raised for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance by friends and family of Garry Jarrett, 24, who sadly passed away in September after a horrific car crash. The young father and former Wildernesse School Pupil was a passenger in the sports car which hit a tree in Kemsing. He was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital but died after a week in intensive care. A keen mountain biker, his friend Danny Foskett held a sponsored bike ride at Bedgebury to raise funds in his honour and customers and suppliers of the family business, Automatic Machine Services, also did their bit to contribute funds. Added to the donations made at his funeral, the total amount came to £15,118.12. This money will go towards helping the emergency service, which relies almost entirely on donations.

Sevenoaks sisters publish novel

Youth club gains funding

Chartwell under new management

A dragon in Riverhead woods

Paloma Faith comes to Tunbridge Wells

Two Sevenoaks sisters have joined forces to publish their first book, a romantic novel with a paranormal twist. Alison Kent and her sister Helen self-published their novel, Twinned, which follows journalist Beth Britten under the name of their great-grandmother, Alison Ann Galloway. The novel is now available to e-reader users; readers without an e-reader can download the free Kindle app.

Westerham Youth Club’s new year is off to a great start after it was revealed they have received more than £9,000 in crucial funding. The money will help to build a new facility for the young people of the town, though it is not yet decided where the shelter will be located (it is likely to be close to the pavilion). Money was provided by the Kent County Council Youth Opportunity Fund which contributed £4,400.

The general manager of Winston Churchill’s former home, Philippa Rawlingson, will be moving on this month after six years of managing Chartwell. Mrs Rawlingson will be taking up a new post working with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. “We’re very sad to be leaving Westerham,” she said,“it’s a great community.” Mrs Rawlingson will be replaced by new manager Zoe Colbek.

Riverhead park has a new resident – a Chinese dragon, carved from a fallen oak by Romanian artist Szilard Jakab. The wooden sculpture was commissioned by Riverhead Parish Council and took ten days to complete, using a car jack to prop up the wood, which weighs approximately 500kg. The 35-year-old artist, who resides in Westerham, says he hopes the dragon will inspire local children.

Quirky songstress Paloma Faith has announced that she will be performing at ‘Forest Live’– a mini festival organised by the Forestry Commission. She will be performing alongside the likes of Blondie and The Lightening Seeds at Bedgebury Pinetum near Tunbridge Wells. The festival runs from 21-22 June and tickets are priced at £32. For more information visit www.

10 vine February 2013






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February 2013



A round-up of trends, what’s new and must-have buys from your local area

Make this half term an unforgettable one for all the family with the Hawking Centre’s Birds and Beasts Roadshow. Appearing at Chartwell on 21 and 22 February, the show provides an interactive, educational and fun event for guests of all ages. Experience a close encounter with the tarantula, snake and millipede and get touchy-feely with the adorable hedgehog. There are two sessions each day, from 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm. Tickets cost £3, booking isn’t required and groups are welcome. Visitors wishing to attend should meet in the Mulberry Room in the Chartwell restaurant. Call 01732 866368 or 01732 868381 for more information

MUST-VISIT In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Tunbridge Wells was home to one of the most active women’s movements outside of London. Inspiring Women, an exhibition at the Tunbridge Wells Museum, highlights the social and political campaigns organised, particularly around the struggle for votes for women. It investigates the lives of working women, the poor and their wealthier sisters who campaigned on their behalf. This exhibition showcases the results of a research partnership between the museum and the University of Kent, funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The exhibition is free and runs until 30 March 2013

MUST-READ Following up By Steamer to the Essex Coast, Andrew Gladwell takes a look at the demand for coastal daytrips from the 1840s and the pleasure steamers that once sailed through the resorts of Kent. During the 1800s, in coastal towns like Margate, Herne Bay, Ramsgate and Deal steamers such as the Crested Eagle, Royal Daffodil and Medway Queen were a frequent sight at the piers and jetties. Exploring the simple pleasure that brought so much enjoyment, Gladwell gives us a flavour of steamer day trips of a bygone era. Available from


MUST-TASTE Mrs Tea’s Vintage Pop-Up Tearoom was set up by Helen Thomson as an alternative to the numerous chains found on the high street. Mrs Tea provides vintage tearooms throughout west Kent in village halls and for events such as christenings and birthdays. Guests can enjoy homemade cakes and biscuits with a delicious cup of piping hot tea served in fine china whilst music from an ancient era fills the room. The pop-up tea room is at Leigh Small Village Hall from 1.30-4.30pm on the first Sunday of each month until June 2 2013. For enquiries call 01892 740213 or find Mrs Tea’s Pop-Up Vintage Tea Room on Facebook

For a veritable musical treat, head to the beautiful Cromwellian Church of Plaxtol on Saturday 16 March at 7.30pm for the first date of the 2013 Plaxtol Festival. The Chaconne Ensemble, one of Britain’s most versatile and respected brass ensembles, will be playing a range of music from Gershwin to Miles Davis. The combination of entertainment, creativity and excellence makes each Chaconne Brass concert great fun and appealing to audiences of all ages. All profits after artists’ costs will go to the Demelza Trust. Vine readers can receive a free glass of wine if they show a copy of the February magazine with their ticket. The Papermakers Arms in The Street Plaxtol are offering a pre-concert supper of 2 courses for £17, phone 01732 810407 to book. n Booking forms available from PMF Box Office, PO Box 308, Sevenoaks, Kent TN150ZW, or call 01732 888585

MUST-DO Love to sing? This month, Sevenoaks Sings will be holding a series of choir workshops, directed by Emma Pears, for all ages and abilities which run from Monday 18 – Thursday 21 February. Each choir will rehearse independently over the four days, culminating in a performance at the stunning Pamoja Hall where each choir will perform their own material as well as join together with the other groups to form one big, cross-generational choir for the grand finale. No experience necessary and no X-Factor-style auditions! To find out more visit or call 07561148084

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DID YOU KNOW... The page that’s all about you

Top tweets

Follow Vine on Twitter @VineMagazine

Our pick of the best local tweets this month

The trouble with staying up late is that dinner was rather a long time ago. Hungry again


My 4 year old said to me this morning ‘Mummy, why do you and Daddy never wake up first.’ If only my love, if only


The remedy helping me recover from my illness is a wonderful combination of hot water, honey, lemon and whiskey

the MP with Michael Fallon MP

our heels and the developed world has to respond or decline. That’s why we have taken tough decisions for Britain’s future head-on. Reforming welfare to make work pay, injecting ambition and rigour into our education system, regulating the banks, making public service pensions affordable and modernising our energy and transport infrastructure – these are the right long-term choices even if they are unpopular in the short-term. We are also trying to help hardworking families through difficult times by freezing the council tax and supporting childcare costs. Our mission is to get Britain living within its means and earning its way in the world again. Halfway through this Parliament we will not let up. Have a question for your MP? Email

14 vine February 2013

Every Valentine’s Day, the Italian city of Verona receives around 1,000 letters addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet


NEWS from It is now two and half years since the Coalition came together in the national interest and formed a united government at a time of real economic danger. Then the Government’s most urgent job was to restore stability to our finances and confidence in the British economy. We are making progress: in just two years we’ve reduced the amount we overspend by £51bn a year, one quarter of the deficit. Our second important task is to build a stronger, more balanced economy that delivers lasting growth and widely shared prosperity. This means backing the private sector, including support for exports and manufacturing, cutting red tape for small firms and investing in new technologies. The emerging economies of Brazil, China, Turkey and India are snapping at

Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s

Readers’ Pets Pet name: Milo Owners: Laura Lawrence Likes and dislikes: Milo likes sticks and he very often turns the kitchen floor into woodland. He also loves to chase his big sister Mia around the house and garden, which she could probably do without. There’s nothing he doesn’t like, not even the vacuum cleaner! Favourite Treat: He likes things that aren’t meant for him, including a lemon meringue Laura’s friend brought over for dinner! A word from the owner: Milo has given me such entertainment over the six months I have had him and we have developed a very special bond If you think you’ve got a print-worthy pet then email us at

COMMUNITY STARs Richard Pitcairn-Knowles

The oldest surviving valentine dates from 1415. It is a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife.

Teachers receive more valentine cards than anyone else, even children


second interview

It was watching the first ever London Marathon in 1981 that spurred Otford resident Richard Pitcairn-Knowles, a member of Sevenoaks Athletic Club, and long time osteopath at Springbank Clinic in Pembroke Road, to pick up his running shoes. The following year, he ran the same marathon – and he has been running ever since! After a 12-year hiatus from marathons, 80-year-old Richard will once again be running the London Marathon this April in order to raise money for three charities close to his heart: Hospice in the Weald, Shelter Box and The Venkatraman Memorial Trust. Training includes Saturday Park Runs as well as the recent Dartford 10 Miles and Deal Half Marathon road races. Richard says “I’m very grateful to everyone who has sponsored me. I just hope the weather will be nice and I can make it to the finish line!” To sponsor Richard and find out more about the charities, visit

Ann Barnes We catch up with the newly elected Kent Police and Crime Commissioner What made you want to take on the role of Police and Crime Commissioner?

Every month we interview a notable member of your community

I stood on the basis of keeping party politics out of policing in Kent. The introduction of commissioners nationally was dear to my heart as I’ve always been a public servant. I felt personally that if these changes were going to happen – which they have – I would be the best person for the job. What was the experience of campaigning like? It was very exhilarating and I had a great team around me – we were known as the Happy Band.

In a nutshell, what does being a PCC involve? It’s funny as I do not have a job description as such! But my responsibilities are very clear: I will hold the Chief Constable of Kent Police to account and make sure the force does its job. But most importantly I’m here to serve the people of Kent – I want to be the most visible and accessible commissioner in the land. What do you see as the most challenging part of your role? I want to understand exactly what the local problems are and to do that, I have get to the ‘nuts and bolts’ and that’s being out on the frontline with the people. As challenging as it will be, I am committed to being out of my office more than I am in it, talking to the people. I will be touring around the county finding out the views and concerns of local residents, so keep an eye out for my visits. n Get in touch with Ann through her website or follow @AnnBarnesKPCC n Alternatively contact the Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner on 01622 677055. February 2013 vine 15

IN SAFE HANDS Theodore Brown is an independent firm specialising in Residential Lettings and Property Management that offers a personal approach


nyone who has ever rented a property they own knows just how time consuming and stressful it can be. Investing in property management not only takes a weight off your shoulders, it makes smart business sense too. An experienced and specialist property manager will look after your property and the income it generates by not only managing

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and maintaining its condition but also by managing the relationship between you and the tenant. This ensures the smooth running and longevity of the tenancies, making sure your investment pays off. Vine catches up with Christopher Brown, owner of property management firm Theodore Brown, to find out more.

I absolutely love what I do. Free market appraisal I make property management personal by really listening to people, understanding their needs and then delivering on them.

Hi Chris, tell us how Theodore Brown started?

How do you ensure you provide a quality service to your clients?

Having managed property portfolios in Mozambique and South Africa, I relocated to the UK in 2007. After working for a couple of agencies, I quickly realised how impersonal the business of letting and managing properties in the UK was and I saw an opportunity to change that. I started Theodore Brown Property Management in 2008 and have been growing it in London and Kent ever since.

I develop a relationship with property owners and get to know them so that they are comfortable with me making decisions on their behalf. I develop relationships with tenants so that they feel free to approach me with any concerns – the last thing a landlord wants in their property is an unhappy tenant. My key aim is to find and keep a reliable tenant in a property for as long as possible.

And what makes Theodore Brown so unique?

What locations do you operate in? In addition to London, I’m currently managing properties in the Tunbridge

Wells Borough Council area and I’m expanding into the areas administered by Sevenoaks District Council and the Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council. n For information call 01732 897577, email chris.brown@ or visit

Rajdharbar Victoria Watson / Sevenoaks T. 01732 462 565 M. 07957 409 951

16 vine February 2013


3 Th e Pa r ade , D yne s R o ad , Ke m s ing , Se ven oaks , Kent, TN 1 5 6 R E | 01959 526880


Sevenoaks Chemist

removed 100% of Limescale for good! Hard water has always been a problem for people of Sevenoaks. Read how this local family removed it from their homes for good!



hillip Young and his wife Margret could not believe the damage limescale build up was causing their appliances and the effect it was having to a recently refurbished bathroom. The shower head, shower door and even the taps had a constant layer of scum on them from the continuous build up, which was tedious and expensive to clean. They regularly faced problems with appliances and heating pumps breaking down and despite trying numerous ways to try and stop the scale build up in their home, including regularly changing hot water pumps and even completely changing the whole heating system, there was no change to the water quality. After seeing the EWT system advertised at half-price, they decided to give them a call and found that the fantastic team at EWT could effectively answer all their questions. With this, they decided to arrange an installation date. They found that the transition to the EWT system was easy and seamless – the engineer had the unit installed in less than two hours and even cleaned up after himself. Within three days, Phillip and Margret had limescale-free water throughout their home. The water softener broke down the old limescale build up in their existing hot water tank, shower and kettle making them perform as good as new within weeks. Now their washing machine and shower are completely limefree and there is no more limescale scum on their taps or shower doors. Phillip adds, “I used to clean the wash basin every Saturday and by Monday it was dull again, now I give it a quick wipe once a week and it stays shiny! I really couldn’t believe the difference it made in such a short time!” With the new EWT system, showering is a dream; Philip and Margret both noticed how much easier products lathered and Margret even commented that her hair felt cleaner and softer. Perhaps the biggest benefit for the couple though, is the safe knowledge that their boiler is not going to clog up with limescale and that their appliances are being protected, thus saving Philip and Margret money too. As part of the offer, they also received a free drinking water system, which meant they could drink good quality drinking water straight from the tap. Philip and Margret are delighted with their switch to the EWT system and continue to reap the benefits daily. “Needless to say, we instantly referred our next door neighbours!” n For more information or to rid your home of limescale visit or call EWT 02033840204

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AFTER EWT system February 2013 vine 17


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LEGAL MATTERS The team at Withers offer regular expert advice on topics relevant to our everyday lives. This month, Henry and Stuart talk about Stamp Duty

By Christopher Groves and Henry Stuart, partners in international law firm Withers

I Francis Jones


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n his 2012 Budget, George Osborne introduced sweeping changes to the taxation of residential properties worth more than £2 million. London and the south east, where the property market has remained strong, were always set to be most affected by the changes. Property prices in Sevenoaks have continued to climb over the last quarter and the area remains attractive to prospective buyers. However, these changes mean that people now have to think much more carefully about how they purchase local property. Clarification on the measures to be implemented was finally published in December 2012 and the key changes will include: • An increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on purchase from 5% to 7%; • A higher rate of SDLT for corporate purchasers of 15%; • An annual charge of between 0.3% and 0.7%; and • A 28% charge to capital gains tax on a sale by trusts and companies on gains accruing. Historically, a number of buyers – and particularly nonUK residents – have opted to purchase their properties through a company. This is becoming less attractive now as individuals can in fact sidestep the worst effects of the latest tax changes

by holding property in their own name. There is however a downside to taking this route, in that it exposes the owner to UK inheritance tax charges on death. Buyers of £2 million+ properties now seem to face a stark choice. As an individual owner they risk an inheritance tax charge and a loss of privacy. Continue with the company option though and they will have to accept a higher rate of SDLT, an annual charge and a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) charge. However, with the right advice and careful planning much can be done to mitigate the inheritance tax exposure and to preserve the privacy of individual buyers. Simple economics will mean that many will prefer to buy properties in their own names and with some quite simple steps, the issues can be managed. For those who continue to prefer companies, a number of reliefs from the new charges were announced in December and so the scope for retaining those structures has been significantly increased. Given the complexity that these new rules imposes on property ownership, the benefits of taking advice is clear. n For further information, please visit February 2013 vine 21

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The team at Warners Solicitors offer regular expert advice on topics relevant to our everyday lives. This month, Amy Morris discusses administration of estates


he death of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time for all involved that can be further complicated by the e-press proof of your insertion into our need to deal with the deceased’s K CAREFULLY FOR THE ACCURACY OF SPELLING, TELEPHONE NUMBERS, PLEASE CHECK CAREFULLY FOR THEaffairs, the property and financial ached. Please approve for press by return. process legally referred to as the EMAIL DETAILS AND ALL OTHER ELEMENTS OF YOUR ADVERT AS WE ou with amendments ACCURACY OF SPELLING, TELEPHONE administration of their estate. Broadly speaking, NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ERRORS BEYOND THIS administering STAGE. NUMBERS, ADDRESSES, EMAIL DETAILS an estate involves dealing with all the deceased’s TH JUNE AT 5PM AND ALL OTHER ELEMENTS OF YOUR property, investments and other assets, settling their debts and ess with this artwork. ADVERT/EDITORIAL AS WE CANNOT then distributing their estate ms or technical queries, please contact between the beneficiaries ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ERRORSentitled who will be very happy to help: under their Will or if they have BEYOND THIS STAGE.not left a valid Will, under the email: rules of intestacy. A person’s estate is administrated by their personal representatives, either appointed by their Will or under the rules of intestacy. The role of a personal representative is not to be undertaken lightly and there Kemsing Motor Co. can be pitfalls involved. For example, if an estate is incorrectly Tel: 01732 761372 administered or if the money is Fax: 01732 761336 distributed before all the debts have been discovered and settled, the personal representatives may be personally liable to reimburse • MOT Tests (Cars & Diesels) beneficiaries or third party • Servicing & Repairs to all makes of Car creditors. • Full Diagnostics Unless the estate is very small, • Air Conditioning servicing it will usually be necessary for the • Servicing & Repairs to motorcycles personal representatives to obtain • Free Collection & Delivery within a 10 mile radius a Grant of Representation from • Courtesy Car available by arrangement the Probate Registry showing • Friendly Helpful Staff their entitlement to deal with • Parts & Labour Guarantee the estate and allowing for the legal transfer and encashment of • Member of RMIF Quality Control Program certain assets. • Citroen & Peugeot Diagnostics In addition, if the value of 9 West End, Kemsing, Sevenoaks, Kent the estate exceeds a certain

sum, there may be Inheritance Tax (IHT) to pay. There are various IHT reliefs available, including reliefs for certain types of business or agricultural property. The rules in this regard can be confusing and personal representatives should be aware that HM Revenue and Customs can impose strict penalties when inaccurate or misleading information has been provided. IHT may also be payable where the value of the estate is low but the deceased made lifetime gifts or settlements or was themself a beneficiary under a trust. The above is merely a broad outline of some of the aspects of the administration of an average estate. The deceased’s individual circumstances, assets and other factors will generally dictate how straightforward the process is and also the timescales involved. The burden of administering an estate and complying with all the legal requirements can be a very daunting task for anybody, particularly at a distressing time following the death of a loved one. We have considerable experience in dealing with the administration of estates including ensuring compliance with HM Revenue and Customs and advising executors in relation to protection from the liabilities attached to their role. We are happy to guide you through the process to whatever extent you require, with a professional yet supportive approach. n For more information please contact Amy Morris on 01732 747918, or

Amy Morris Solicitor Tel: 01732 747918 Email: Areas of Expertise

• Trusts • Wills • Court of Protection • Estate Administration • Inheritance Tax Planning • Probate and Estate Administration • Professional Memberships • Student Membership: Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Likes: Travelling to sunny places and eating as much chocolate as possible! Dislikes: Cold weather and snakes

Whether it's for work or for pleasure, there are many reasons why we travel back and forth from the city to the rural counties. Nicole Cook visits Sevenoaks Museum’s new exhibition, Smog and Birdsong, which takes a look at those reasons, from the Roman times through to today


itting at a convenient distance from Central London, Kent’s countryside has long had connections with The Big Smoke. For those that lived in the countryside during the 1800s, London was exciting, offering a new start and more career options. For the Londoners, the countryside provided an escape, a chance to live life at a slower pace and breathe in fresh air, away from the noise and heavy pollution. In 1837, Britain was predominantly a rural country, with 80 per cent of the population living in the countryside. Most people were farmers or spun wool and cotton, but as new inventions were made many people were left out of work, so they flocked to the city in search of new jobs. Seen as a city of wealth and opportunity, London’s population rocketed: it was one million at the time of the first census in 1801; by 1911 it was over seven million. Smog and Birdsong investigates the many reasons we have for travelling to and from the city and how they have changed, presenting

24 vine February 2013

memoirs, objects and an array of artwork and photography. Looking at the appeal of the Kent countryside, the exhibit dates back to the early 1600s. When a hungover Lord North drank from a Kentish Spring, it made him feel so much better that he told all his friends about it. Tunbridge Wells grew around this spring and it became a rather fashionable place to stay. There are also souvenirs and stories of hop-picking. For almost 300 years hops were the main crop of Kent and a huge industry for seasonal workers; many Londoners would travel to the Kent countryside in September and pick for six weeks. You can discover all about the famous people who once visited Kent, including the founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, who preached at Shoreham Church and Charlotte Despard, a leading member of the campaign for votes for women who had fireworks thrown at her when she first visited Sevenoaks in 1908. Though much of the countryside’s appeal has changed, some factors haven’t. Walking, cycling and motoring in the countryside

provided a pleasant change of scenery for those living in the capital at one time 30 trains a day brought visitors to Knole to admire the pictures, furniture and art. London’s charm however, hasn’t changed much at all. The city really started to grow in the 1800s; new buildings were constructed, new technologies developed and the first railway was built in London in 1836 – the London Bridge to Greenwich line. The Great Exhibition and the Festival of Britain were incredibly popular with tourists worldwide and locally. People would also visit to go to the theatre, visit museums, shop and see the Queen as well as sporting events such as the Olympics and Wimbledon – much the same reasons as now. Antique tickets, programmes and more are on display at the exhibition. Of course the main reason Sennockians travel to London is to commute to work and Smog and Birdsong has a captivating display of commuter memoirs. Amongst them is a tablecloth knitted on a 1950s commute, poems written by James Miller, who travelled from Sevenoaks to Charing Cross for 14 years and

n By the 1950s Kent produced the most apples, pears and cherries in England n 56,897 bombs fell on the Sevenoaks district during WW2 n Kent strawberry plants were picked to go to Mars and provide astronauts with essential nutrition for the planned 2-year trip n The earliest cricket match recorded using 3 stumps was played at the Vine cricket ground in Sevenoaks in 1734

After the bombings everything was chaotic, I waited on the platform for hours and eventually squeezed on a packed train. I got chatting to the man beside me and the rest is history sketches drawn by Stephen Chaplin, who used to draw his fellow passengers and railway stations. Locals have shared some heartfelt stories, sure to make you smile, laugh and reflect: from tales of sitting on fellow commuters’ laps for the busy journey home to stories of the resident station cat, Susie. One commuter, Anita, tells of how she met her husband on the London Bridge to Orpington train on 7 July 2007. “Everything was chaotic after the bombings and public transport was delayed. I waited on the platform for hours and eventually managed to squeeze on a packed train. Everyone was shaken and talking to one another about their experience – very unusual for a commuter train. I got chatting to the man beside me and the rest, as they say, is history.” Another witnessed a train that had been bombed by the IRA. “I worked in Kingsway as a civil servant in the Lord Chancellor’s department. I commuted between 1958 and 1988. In 1976, during the IRA bombing, I was on a Sevenoaks to Canon Street train. As the train pulled in we saw a stationary train, its

middle coaches were smashed and upended, though the front and back were undamaged. It was reported the next day that the IRA had planted a bomb on the train, it had been taken out of service and sent to the sidings for cleaning before the bomb went off.” Also on display are paintings by Vincent New, a Darent Valley-based artist renowned for his landscapes and a film, Look, Love and Preserve, commissioned by the Sevenoaks Preservation Society in 1974. It was made during a time of much planning and development and focuses on the historical areas of Sevenoaks and why they should be preserved. Significant people from Kent and their stories are noted throughout the exhibit, including women during the war. Nine women from the Women’s Land Army were given special bravery awards for their contribution

to feeding, fighting and caring for the nation. One of the women, Miss C Payne, was from Sevenoaks.There is also information about Sir Thomas Wyatt of Maidstone who famously gathered an army in Kent to rebel against Queen Mary, before being defeated and executed and William Pett from Sevenoaks, who was the first recorded cricket bat manufacturer. Bursting with compelling anecdotes and curious souvenirs, Smog and Birdsong is sure to teach you a thing or two about our county’s commuting history as well as encouraging you to think about why you make your journeys to and from the big city. n Smog and Birdsong is a joint exhibition with Bromley Museum and is showing at Sevenoaks Library from now until 30 April 2013 February 2013 vine 25

Women of Sevenoaks Churchill, Donne, Wells. Although our great Sennockian men are so globally revered, we must not forget the brilliant women at the centre of our rich history, says Nicol Banin


Jane Austen 1775-1817


lthough not from Sevenoaks, Austen, who is one of the most widely read writers in English literature, has strong connections with the area and she knew Kent well. Her father George Austen was born in Tonbridge, attended Tonbridge School, and returned for a time as a master and The Jane Austen Literary Walk of Tonbridge is a wonderful way to see first hand some of the places with an Austen connection. Meanwhile Jane’s greatgrandmother, Elizabeth Weller, was a matron and housekeeper at Sevenoaks School. Several other members of the Austen family lived in Sevenoaks too – Jane’s great uncle Francis Austen lived at The Red House and she and her sister Cassandra came to stay with their uncle in 1788. Her connections with fashionable society and country house life in Kent provided inspiration for some of her novels and it is thought that her memories of staying at Chevening are the inspiration for Rosing Park, home of Lady Catherine be Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice.

Vita Sackville-West 1892-1962


hristened Victoria Mary SackvilleWest but known as “Vita”, Sackville-West was an exuberant author, poet and gardener known for her aristocratic lifestyle and passionate affairs. Born at Knole, Vita was devastated when the Sackville family custom prevented her from inheriting the estate. Later in life, she would eventually move to Sissinghurst Castle where her famous gardens, remain the most visited in England. In 1913, Vita married writer and politician Harold George Nicolson. Although extremely close, it was well documented that the couple had an open marriage, with both parties involved in same-sex affairs. Vita’s most famous relationship was with author and member of the infamous Bloomsbury Group, Virginia Woolf. The affair, which took place in the late 1920s, inspired one of Woolf ’s most famous novels, Orlando which Vita’s son Nigel Nicolson described as, “The longest and most charming love-letter in literature”.

26 vine February 2013

Octavia Hill 1838-1912


social reformer, charity donor, artist and writer, Octavia Hill, who lived in the village of Crockham Hill, was an extraordinary woman whose visions have been a key influence on our lives today. Born into a family with a strong commitment to alleviating poverty, she worked from the age of 14 for the welfare of working people. Her main concern was poor people living in cities and she was a moving force behind the development of social housing. Another of Hill’s concerns was the availability of open spaces for poor people and her formidable achievements as an environmental and open space campaigner led to her cofounding the National Trust. She campaigned tirelessly against development on existing suburban woodlands and was the first to use the term “Green Belt” for the protected rural areas surrounding London. Mariners Hill, Toys Hill and Ide Hill here in Sevenoaks all owe their existence to Octavia as she helped protect them during the development of the belt.

Anne Seymour Damer 1892-1962


orn in Sevenoaks into an aristocratic Whig family, Anne Seymour Damer was a sculptor and author who led a fascinating life. She married John Damer, son of Lord Milton, in 1767. Controversially, they separated after only seven years together and he later went on to commit suicide in 1776. It was her husband’s death, as well as the support from her guardian and friend Horace Walpole, that led to Anne’s artistic career. During the period 1784–1818, Damer exhibited 32 works as an honorary exhibitor at the Royal Academy. Her work, primarily busts in Neoclassical style, range from early wax sculptures to works in terracotta, bronze and marble. Moving in circles of influential Whigs, aristocrats and literary figures, Anne found inspiration from these colourful characters. Her subjects include Lady Melbourne, Nelson, Joseph Banks, George III, Mary Berry, Charles James Fox and herself.


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hart Farm is long renowned for its high quality, delicious venison – so much so that top chefs source them specifically for it, often looking for other meats of equal quality too. Having always taken great pride on delivering a quality service, Chart Farm are are always happy to offer any other cuts of meat that the customer requests and if there’s something they don’t have in the farm shop, they will always go that extra mile to source it from local farmers. With a client In addition to cuts of venison, the shop at Chart Farm also sells: n Mouth-watering dry-aged ribs of beef

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base with such discerning tastes, it’s no wonder that the range at the shop is of such high quality. However, Chart Farm also believe that quality does not need to cost the earth and most of their range is more affordable than what you find at supermarkets. n For more information call 01732 761672 or visit for full details and directions. Chart Farm shop is open Tuesdays through to Friday from 9am-4pm & on Saturdays 9am-3pm


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RLSB Celebrates its 175th Birthday

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Vine Magazine Jan.indd 1

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Ways to keep in touch: February 23/01/2013 2013 vine 15:32 29

King’s Rochester A tradition of success As the second oldest school in the world, King’s Rochester has a long tradition of nurturing pupils both academically and spiritually, helping them to flourish and succeed in whatever they do. Nicol Banin catches up with the latest achievements and has a sneak peek at what lies in store for 2013

A Look Back At 2012 SCHOOL AIMS Since joining in September 2012, new Principal, Jeremy Walker, has been hard at work on numerous projects. A consultation process with staff, pupils and Governors has seen the implementation of the new ‘School Aims’ document. Available on the website, this clearly communicates King’s aims and mission to the entire school community, establishing a clear vision for education in the 21st century and laying the foundation for a community that enables individuals to flourish.


“Our Educational Aims” To challenge and support each pupil to make the most of their academic and personal potential To achieve excellent results through developing an enquiring mind and a passion for learning To develop skills, qualities and interests through activities and opportunities beyond the classroom To be a nurturing community that develops values within the setting of Christianity “As well as being the friendliest school I know, there is a great sense of purpose among our rounded and grounded pupils. Great things happen at King’s and we would be delighted to welcome you for a visit.” Jeremy Walker, Principal, King’s Rochester

To make their students stand out from the crowd in the increasingly difficult employment market, last summer King’s launched ‘The Jobs Network’ – a brand new scheme devised and launched by King’s old boy, Lord Chadlington, chief executive of Huntsworth plc, which aims to provide current and former students with careers advice, work experience, practical help and support. ‘The Jobs Network’ gives current and former pupils access to a vast fund of contacts, knowledge, work placements as well as expert advice from Old Roffensians (past

Prep production of “Honk” Last November saw the Prep School put on a fantastic production of the musical “Honk!”. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s, “The Ugly Duckling”, the play included a cast of over fifty pupils who performed in front of full houses over three consecutive nights. The performers shared the ups and downs of rehearsals, and showed real dedication giving up their spare time for rehearsals. The hard work paid off and culminated in a tremendous performance with superb staging and wonderfully exhilarating music.

Academic King’s celebrated another year of academic success across the school with the Prep School outperforming all local competitor schools and beating the 2011 national average by a remarkable 11 per cent. Their GCSE results were also another cause for celebration, with a special congratulations to Jacob Porter who netted a straight 11A* and As and all of the 22 subjects taken this year at A Level achieved a 100 per cent pass rate.

KEY STAGE 2(Prep) 93% 10 and 11 year olds achieved Level 4 in English and Mathematics (beating national average by 11%) 60% reached Level 5* or above in Mathematics 43% reaching Level 5* in English 86% reached Level 5* in the reading element (* Level 5 appropriate for 13 year olds)

GCSEs More than 40% were A* or A Nearly 70% were A*, A or B

30 vine February 2013

pupils), parents and friends of King’s to make them stand out in interviews and in the workplace. Recent mentorled events at King’s have included: CV writing clinics; workshops on interview preparation; talks about careers in various disciplines; practice job interviews, all with the aim of equipping students with skills for the near future and beyond.

A Levels Around 1/3 of all passes were in the coveted A* and A brackets 62% were top grades A* to B. More than 86% of all passes were A* to C


New for 2013 NEW SPORTS CENTRE In keeping with the numerous sporting achievements of the pupils and the Olympic successes of the summer, King’s will be unveiling a new, state-of-the art sports centre this spring. The centre, situated on Rochester’s Maidstone Road, was acquired from Medway Council and will be receiving half a million pounds' investment from the school in order to provide first class facilities to pupils and local residents. The new centre, renamed King’s Rochester Sports Centre, will include: nine external tennis/netball courts; a large gymnasium; a fitness gym, physio suite and changing rooms in addition to the indoor swimming pool and playing fields on the school’s town centre site. Olympic hockey star Julian Halls has been appointed the Director of Sports Development for the new King’s Sports Centre. Julian said, “I’m very excited to be a part of the project which will benefit not only King’s pupils but also the wider community.”

Scholarships In addition to their existing scholarships, King’s is delighted to be offering new scholarships for pupils starting in September 2013: The Chesterfield Organ Scholarships and Prep School Scholarships.

Chesterfield Organ ScholarshipS Known for its musical excellence and as the oldest Cathedral Choir school in the world, King’s Rochester will be offering places for its newly created Chesterfield Organ Scholarships. The scholarships, which will be awarded to enthusiastic and talented organists at 13+ and experienced organists joining the school in the Sixth Form, offer the chance for these bright stars to develop their musical talents under the expert tuition of a Cathedral Organist. Situated in the precincts of Rochester Cathedral, the school has daily access to the Cathedral’s excellent 4 manual organ crafted by Walker and Mander and the organ scholars will have the privilege of playing a leading role in the musical life of the school.

Dates for your diary March 1st - Open Morning March 5th - Information Evening on GCSEs March 6th - Information Evening on A Levels March 9th - 11+ Assessments March 14th, 15th and 16th - ‘Sweeney Todd’ June 25th - Year 7 Activities Day

The new centre, renamed King’s Rochester Sports Centre, will include: nine external tennis/netball courts; a large gymnasium; a fitness gym, physio suite and changing rooms in addition to the indoor swimming pool and playing fields on the school’s town centre site

Prep School ScholarshipS For 2013, King’s Rochester is offering a limited number of additional, generous Academic, Sports and Music Scholarships for talented pupils wishing to join Year 8 (12+). If you would like to apply, the closing date for applications is Monday 4 February 2013, with assessments to be held during week commencing 11 February.

n The next Open Morning will be held on Friday March 1 from 9.30am to 12 noon. Principal Jeremy Walker will speak at 9.45am.There is no need to book but please address any queries to Registrar, Lynne Davies, on 01634 888590, email or visit

Artist’s impression February 2013 vine 31


The writing’s on the wall Nestled in beautiful grounds in Otford, St Michael’s Preparatory School is a successful, over subscribed school with small classes thus giving a high level of individual attention


OPEN MORNINGS Pre-Prep: Friday 1st March 9.00am - 10.30am Prep and Pre-Prep: Tuesday 21st May 9.00am -10.30am 01959 522137

GRAFFITI AND POETRY nspired by the construction of the new Pre-Prep School, pupils at St Michael’s have enjoyed creating Mr. Edwards’s new sculpture based around the theme of graffiti. Looking at the work of Banksy and other chefs-d’oeuvres such as da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Magritte’s The Son of Man, the children were encouraged to explore ideas and meanings in the work of the artists, learning about the different functions of art in their own lives and in the wider context of times and cultures. As you can see, the results are striking, so much so that this in turn became the muse for Mrs Forgeron’s creative writing group to put pen to paper on the theme of graffiti in the form of poetry.

GRAFFITI They creep through the dark to Rows of wagons, rusty and old, Long since abandoned and empty. Then they spray in the darkness Covering the carriages so they no longer look dead, They change the rust to rainbow magic. Flashlights appear out of the black, Cans drop, voices hush, Perhaps the carriages will never be Finished.

32 vine February 2013

October 2011

A New Pre-Prep Building

The New Building: A Story in Pictures

St Michael’s Preparatory School is delighted to announce that their much anticipated new Pre-Prep building will be open from Monday 4th February. The children have enjoyed visits to the site, watching its progression with fascination whilst learning about how the builders work, stay safe and the tools they use. Especially exciting for the children was watching the dramatic show of the big cranes, diggers and cement mixers coming onto the site. Needless to say, they are all very excited about moving in! The new building will provide more space for the children to play and learn and will include a library, music rooms, an art and design room, a new dining room for family-style dining as well as a large multipurpose hall for group performances, dancing, sports and play. Parents will be able to tour this fantastic building during the week commencing 11th February. Prospective parents are invited to our Open Day on the 1st March. n If you would like to enquire about admissions or to book a tour of the school, please contact Judith Yarnold, Director of Admissions on 01959 522137 or email Alternatively visit the school website at

Over the half term period the final part of the Headmaster’s House was demolished enabling us to prepare the site for the new build

October 2012

May 2012

November 2012

The stunning build is complete and ready for the pupils to move in on 4th Feb

January 2013


A Misunderstood Art


I was holding onto it tighter than a new born baby, clenching its fist around its mother’s finger,

The voice of the people Misunderstood, misinterpreted So many meanings So many opinions.

Tired and boring or Expressive and lively,

then, it left me, the red, heart-shaped wonder, it flew away into the sky, far, far away. I watched it, Slowly float away from me, it became smaller and smaller, I could just see the tiny red dot in the far distance, then it was gone. I felt empty, Like the balloon was my soul, And it had been taken away from me, and I was dying.

They’ll lock you up Beat you numb They can’t change the truth The people have a voice. People have protested A hot topic in parliament The public has decided Give the people a voice.

Take your pick. I know where I stand Free and fruitful or Restricted and closed, Take your pick. I know where I stand. From expressive and joyful Or open and simple, Every person is A flower waiting to burst. Each one is different. Which flower are you? Take your pick. I know where I stand.

These poems were written by members of the creative writing activity

RUSSELL HOUSE It’s war! As chess comes to Russell House, the Headmaster Craig McCarthy extols the benefits of this most ancient of games


t’s a game of war. The objective is to shred an army as quickly as possible and decimate the opposing forces with little or no mercy. And no, this is not the latest ultra-violent console game but, in fact, an ancient one in which not a drop of blood is spilled, not an expletive uttered and where the combatants always shake hands at the end. This is chess. There are no laser-guided, multiplewarhead machine cannons at your disposal. All you need is the power of the human brain. For as little as £5 for a chess set and a couple of lessons to learn the basic moves, the young and old, girl and boy, novice and expert alike can disappear into a world where imagination replaces high definition. The benefits of chess in developing a child’s thinking skills are well documented. To win, children have to invoke strategic planning, problem solving and memory skills as they learn opening gambits and to recognise how to deal with recurring scenarios. They have to predict the numerous possible consequences of their moves and continually make critical analyses of their positions. Moreover, children are required to concentrate on one task for a lengthy period of time; a skill that has arguably diminished as children spend more and more time in their kaleidoscopic digital worlds. Of course, chess has embraced the digital revolution and moved with the times – I still find time to use a chess app to take on players from around the world. Indeed, at the time of writing, I am embroiled in campaigns on two fronts, one in Umbria and the other in New York.

Russell House is an independent prep school for boys and girls aged from 2 to 11 and welcomes children from across the Sevenoaks area For more information, please visit or call 01959 522352. Russell House, Station Road, Otford TN14 5QU

Chess teaches children patience and persistence and, possibly the greatest gift of all, the ability to think independently. Yet when the King finally succumbs, the lessons are not over as with the shaking of hands, each child learns either to win graciously or lose with dignity. This term sees chess arrive at Russell House. Already it has proved hugely popular and the boys and girls will be competing in the UK Chess Challenge. This is one of the largest competitions of its kind in the world, where children compete on an equal footing regardless of ability and all win prizes, from badges and mascots to cash prizes for those good enough to progress from school to the regional and national stages. Such are the skills developed through chess that soon I expect to hear reports of the benefits coming through in the classroom where our pupils will apply their finely tuned thinking skills in practical ways to maths, science, English and modern languages.

Chess teaches children patience and persistence and, possibly the greatest gift of all, the ability to think independently

A leading co-educational Independent School for children from 21/2 to 18

ONE OUTSTANDING SCHOOL FOR THE DURATION OF YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION For a copy of our prospectus or to arrange a private tour please contact The Admissions Office 01342 838153

Consistently strong academic results, small classes, over 25 sports led by former Olympian and England player, over 140 extra curricular clubs, Breakfast Club and complimentary after-school care, outstanding facilities and a strong ethos of pastoral care. School transport from Surrey, Kent and Sussex. Scholarships and Bursaries available at 11+, 13+ and Sixth Form. Entry into Nursery and Junior School. Selective entry at 11+, 13+ and Sixth Form. “Developing students with the life skills, self-awareness and compassion they will need to face the challenges of adult life. “

“Pupils exhibit very posi�ve a�tudes to their learning. Their concentra�on is excellent, they are highly conscien�ous and their behaviour is exemplary. The school succeeds in its aim to enable pupils to achieve high standards. Pupils achieve outstandingly in a wide range of extra‐curricular ac�vi�es such as sport, music and the arts.” latest ISI Inspec�on

The Case For

CO-EDUCATION Chris Greenhalgh – Deputy Head Academic at Sevenoaks School, examines the myths surrounding mixed and single-sex schooling


The point of education is to prepare students for university, work and life

evenoaks School has been fully co- educational since 1978. We firmly believe that some of our worldwide reputation for excellence is founded upon the atmosphere of mutual respect and open-mindedness generated by having boys and girls together within the school. The high levels of maturity and social confidence enjoyed by our pupils as a result help to develop the personal qualities necessary to succeed at university and the world of work. So why do we still debate the virtues of co-education in the UK, when almost every other developed nation takes them for granted? Well, two myths need to be dispelled: firstly that pupils perform better academically at single-sex schools, and secondly that cultural factors make single-sex environments more conducive for learning. Let’s have a look at the evidence.

Academic PerformancE In the UK, girls’ schools top the league tables, seeming to give legitimacy to the theory that girls at least perform better academically in a single-sex environment; statistics are regularly cited from exam results that appear to prove this. In 2006, HMC

© Zak Waters (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference) commissioned a study that looked at academic performance in single-sex and co-educational schools across the globe, including Australia, the US, Europe and the UK. The study – the most comprehensive of its kind – concluded that “half a century of research has so far revealed no striking or consistent advantages for single-sex education”. Professor Alan Smithers, who led the study, said, “The reason people think single-sex schools are better is because they do well in league tables. But [these schools] are generally independent, grammar or former grammar schools and they do well because of the ability and social background of the pupils…not because they are single-sex.” A US Department of Education study also concluded there was ‘no evidence’ to suggest pupils in single-sex schools perform better than in co-educational schools. Indeed, at Sevenoaks students manage an average of almost 40 IB Diploma points, compared with the world average of 29, and around 50 students secure offers from Oxbridge and Ivy League universities each year. While girls on average will always tend to achieve more highly than boys, they achieve just as highly in co-educational schools. Professor Smithers did find, though, that “Forty per cent of people who had a single-sex education wanted their own children to go to a co-educational school.’

Cultural Factors Aren’t single-sex schools gentler places which allow pupils to grow at their own pace and find themselves? No. In fact, the co-existence of boys and girls can help to civilise environments, and young people ‘find themselves’ in relation to

36 vine February 2013

others; how can they achieve this with any depth and maturity if half the population goes unrepresented in their daily lives? Don’t pupils get distracted by the opposite sex? Of course they do; this is called growing up, and is part of what it means to be a human being. Singlesex schooling seems based on an unspoken fear of the opposite sex – fear of otherness, of difference. In co-educational schools, girls and boys soon learn to be friends, to work and play together, and feel more comfortable with each other as a result. There’s little doubt that they are enriched and grow more emotionally mature. Don’t girls and boys become obsessed with their image in the company of the opposite sex? Adolescent boys often seem to care more about what other boys think of them, and the same for girls. Aren’t pupils in single-sex schools more likely to take risks with non-traditional male and female subjects? Are boys more likely to pursue ballet in a boys’ school? Will peer pressure lessen among girls opting for Design? With positive role models of both genders on the staff, students can be inspired to do anything. Two-thirds of the Physics staff at Sevenoaks are female, and we have no problem attracting girls to the subject. Similarly, many boys choose to study Higher Level English. And with an enlightened curriculum like the IB, where all pupils must pursue arts and sciences, this becomes a non-issue. Do girls feel inhibited in a co-educational setting? Good schools enjoy a strong framework of pastoral care, together with a culture that counters laddishness and sets clear boundaries, so there’s no reason why either girls or boys should feel inhibited in one another’s presence. Will pupils be less successful in sport at a co-educational school?

There will be a greater variety of sports at a coeducational school; at Sevenoaks, in addition to regional and national success in the usual representative sports such as rugby, hockey, cricket and netball, we have enjoyed national success at sailing, tennis, shooting and cross-country. The A-teams will most likely compete with the best, with, for example, the Sevenoaks U15A rugby team recently winning the Kent Cup and the 1st XI hockey team reaching the regional finals. In a coeducational school, some teams might not have the same strength in depth – but with limited numbers in a first team, there are limits on participation at the top level in all schools.

And Finally The point of education is to prepare students for university, work and life. In all of these, teamwork, emotional intelligence, mutual understanding and the ability to relate to others are crucial attributes. These skills are better fostered in a co-educational environment such as Sevenoaks School that mirrors the conditions of real life. Single-sex schooling enjoys a long and honourable tradition, but remains a legacy of a time when men and women enjoyed vastly different rights and expectations. Now that those expectations are similar, doesn’t it make sense to educate boys and girls together? To exclude students on the basis of gender seems archaic, even discriminatory, and a poor introduction to the world. The Armed Forces, the judiciary, and (to some degree) the Anglican Church have all seen the light. Parents should have the option, of course, and in many ways this is a lifestyle choice. But if we want our students to be leaders in an interconnected world, they need to realise that, while we might comprise two genders, we are still one species and must learn to work together. The sooner students embrace this fact, the more likely it is they will enjoy success in work, as well as emotional wellbeing and happiness in life.

With positive role models of both genders on the staff, students can be inspired to do anything February 2013 vine 37

Kent College Learning for life Kent College Pembury’s beautiful rural setting and range of extensive facilities will welcome the latest jewel in its crown with the opening of the new Susanna Wesley Library & Arts Centre in March this year


The iconic state-of-the-art facility will provide students and staff with optimum teaching facilities with an open plan library, additional IT rooms, café and art studios

ent College is an ambitious and forward-thinking day and boarding school, educating and inspiring girls from 3–18. As one of 16 schools, and the leading girls school in the Methodist Independent Schools Trust, the new centre is suitably named after the pioneering 'Mother of Methodism’ after the Methodist Church founder, John Wesley’s mother, Susanna. This latest facility represents the ambition of its pupils and staff both past and present, and echoes the lively, characterful charm of this thriving school. The iconic state-of-the-art centre will provide students and staff with optimum teaching facilities with an open plan library, additional IT rooms, café and art studios. The large, light-filled building will enable KC students to use advanced learning resources and expand capabilities within practical and contextual art studies, while the modern café will be an area to further encourage KC’s vibrant community spirit, something that lies at the heart of the school. As part of the official opening, Kent College is planning ‘Fine Lines’, a cultural fortnight of arts and literary events from 4-16 March with a substantial programme to inspire and excite. It includes special effects make up, book character workshops, visiting authors and artists, live storytelling, competitions and a World Record challenge to gather the most people dressed as storybook characters. The fortnight will finish on a high with the official opening on Saturday 16 March with guest, celebrated poet Carol Ann Duffy.


Visit the new Library & Arts Centre Friday 8 March 2013 Celebrate with Kent College at an evening of arts and performance in the Countess of Wessex Theatre, performed by KC pupils and staff. This evening offers a programme of art, film, dance and music dedicated to all things literary. Join KC for a preperformance drinks reception at 6.00pm in the Susanna Wesley Library & Arts Centre.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

What students and staff say about the latest addition to the KC school site: "Watching the Susanna Wesley Library and Arts Centre grow before our eyes over the last year has been the most amazing experience. Not only is this a wonderful new facility available to all the girls at the school, but, for me, it also represents the success and values of Kent College. The name goes back to our heritage, and the desire to invest in academic learning is also key to all we do. However, our hope is that, as an elegant, modern and colourful building, it’s a perfect representation of the Kent College community in 2013.' Sally-Anne Huang, Headmistress

During ‘Fine Lines’ Kent College will be holding its annual Spring Open Morning and warmly invites you and your daughters to visit the school at this exciting time, to take a tour of the new Arts & Library Centre and school site, and meet the Headmistress, staff and pupils. 9.30am – 1.00pm (tours until 12.00pm)

12-16 February 2013 Kent College’s arts celebrations performances start in February with the school’s highly anticipated annual whole school production. Join KC for an evening of outstanding theatre with this year’s stunning production ‘Evita’. Evening performances start from 7.00pm, Saturday matinee from 2.00pm.

"I am very excited about the much anticipated opening of the new building. From what I have seen already, the design is very modern and welcoming. I’m looking forward to the coffee shop that will be open as it will enable more social interactions between students and staff. The expansion of the library is also very important as it will enable us to access up to date resources in an exciting environment." Nicola, KC Sixth Former "As someone who spends most of their time either in the library and the art block, the new building is something I am greatly looking forward to! Not only am I eager to make use of the new and improved studio space for art but I am very excited to see the new library, which I know for many people is a crucial hub for day-to-day study and research." Guinevere, KC Art Scholar "We are looking forward to rightfully re-uniting the History of Art (Contextual and Critical) course with the practical side of our subject. We currently have five collections of Art books that are scattered across the site to be housed in our new resources area. From a practical point of view, the girls will benefit greatly from the spacious highceilinged studios that flood with natural light, and excellent screen wash facilities which will enable younger girls to access the screen printing process that we want to establish." KC’s Head of Art, Andy Dixon "Everyone at KC is very excited about the stylish new library! It will showcase our extensive range of books, as well as providing further technology for online resources. The large, flexible space will be great for all members of the KC community, to enjoy author visits and readings, book clubs and other events and our students can study comfortably in small groups or individually. We are looking forward to supporting students through the process of doing academic research and developing their information literacy skills in a fantastic 21st-Century library." KC’s Head of Learning Resources, Susan Waller

n To book or enquire further about any of the events above please contact Emma Donovan, Head of External Relations on 01892 820237 or email February 2013 vine 39

Walthamstow HalL

175 years young

Walthamstow Hall celebrates ‘Excellence and Innovation since 1838’


ounded in Walthamstow in 1838 as a ‘home and school’ for the daughters of missionaries, Walthamstow Hall moved out to Sevenoaks and its purpose-built ‘Arts and Crafts’ building in Holly Bush Lane in 1882. A pioneer in education, Walthamstow Hall, which is the oldest girls’ school in Kent, has constantly evolved to anticipate the everchanging needs of its students. Very fittingly The Good Schools Guide has published a new independent review of Walthamstow Hall in its anniversary year. We’ve had a read and gone in to school to see what life is like 175 years on.

‘When the school was set up it was serious about equipping girls...they needed to be adventurous, resourceful and brave and much of that same spirit lives on in the current school’ The Good Schools Guide Even the wettest weather conditions didn’t dampen the spirits or resolve of students undertaking their Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh expeditions

Other trips la st te travelling to Ve rm also saw students suvius, Pompe ii, Berlin and a mine in Der down byshire Painting by Nikita h

Patel, Yea r


‘Thriving Art department, wonderful art and textiles rooms’ The Good Schools Guide

Painting by Rosie Bar ker,

‘Lots of plays every year. Plenty of space for performances in The Ship Theatre…and new drama studio’ The Good Schools Guide

Sixth Form

ght to Conquer brou n of She Stoops tio r uc be od em pr ov ol N ho in The sc rformances pe e fiv er ov n the house dow

As we go to press A level Drama students are about to perform ‘James Pond in Die Another Play’, a comedy which they have written, directed, produced and will star in themselves.

‘SPORT POPULAR’ The Good Schools Guide

ns title

U15 Lacrosse team retain Kent Champio

And in a field of over 200 in November’s Knole Run Walthamstow Hall took individual silver and bronze and the team came 5th out of 46.

‘Girls…tend to be grounded with a strong sense of purpose and of community and want to make a difference’ The Good Schools Guide

l 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd Year 7, 8 & 9 swimmer s took 3 individua Relay at the Kent style and won the Medley Relay and Free s on 19th January nship mpio Cha ming Secondar y Schools Swim

Year 10 student Katherine Hill and her class mates have been raising funds in the last few weeks for her forthcoming trip to build homes for disadvantaged families in Mexico as part of the Urban Saints, ‘Rebuild Mexico’ project.

‘Music… a big part of school life under inspirational new director of music’ The Good Schools Guide

2011 leaver Flo Barker has just returned from a gap year working in an orphanage in Cambodia

‘The strong academic results are a happy by-product of all this’ The Good Schools Guide

Every single student in the school is currently busy rehear sing for the annu al House Performing Ar ts competition in Febru ary

Highlights of a year of celebration

In 2013 95.5% of IGCS E/ GCSEs, 77% of A levels and 91% of Cambridge Pre-U exams were pa ssed at grades A* - B

As we went to press university offers for Upper Sixth students were coming in thick and fast, including 5 offers from Cambridge and Oxford University

The anniversary will be celebrated throughout the year with events including an Anniversary Concert, Friends and Parents Ball, Old Girls Reunion, Junior School tea party, Service of Thanksgiving and the publication of a new school history.

n For more news from school please go to n To see Walthamstow Hall Senior School in action on a normal school day prospective parents are invited to Open Morning from 10.00 – Midday on Thursday 14th March. The Headmistress and students will speak from 11.30am. n To read the full review from The Good Schools Guide go to: February 2013 vine 41

TAILOR-MADE TUTORING Kip McGrath Sevenoaks is a thriving, progressive education centre providing maths and English tutoring in and around Sevenoaks


f you suspect that your child might need additional tuition in maths or English, Kip McGrath’s fully qualified teachers can offer you all the advice you need. Offering expert tuition to both primary and secondary school-aged students in multiple areas of their school studies, including preparation for their SATs, 11+ and GCSE exams, it’s a

Enrol now for Easter and Summer Schools which will be running during the holidays

great way to ensure your child’s academic success. The new centre, which opened August 2012, offers maths and English tutoring services to students from across the Sevenoaks area. The centre is run by Zoe Trodd – an exceptionally well-qualified, fully CRB checked, local teacher with over 15 years’ experience teaching in both primary and secondary schools. Housed in a brand new building with air-conditioning and computers linked up to high-speed fibre-optic broadband, the Centre offers tailor-made individual tuition programmes for 6-16 year olds in maths, English, reading, writing, spelling and comprehension. Exam preparation for 11+ and GCSEs is also offered. The bespoke tuition programmes are devised using

exclusive and proven Kip McGrath learning resources. For example: INSIGHT is a brand new and highlyacclaimed programme that focuses on delivering fun, stimulating and challenging tasks, whilst enabling even closer tracking of pupil progress. The tutoring Centre and education programmes are designed to enable your child to make progress fast, utilising a positive, warm and friendly learning environment to ensure previously unrealised success.

DID YOU KNOW? AT KIP McGRATH WE: Have been helping children for over 30 years across the world Believe that all children can succeed, if given the right support Have over 600 Centres providing maths and English tutoring to school aged students Help your children in a way that builds confidence and self-esteem

Contact Zoe on 01732 453657 to arrange your free assessment or visit their website for more details: www.kipmcgrath.

A love FOR languages Vine catches up with Tracey Taylor, a qualified, trained, CRB-checked licensee for La Jolie Ronde and owner of Linguaholics Tell us why you started Linguaholics I started learning languages from a young age and adored it so much that I went on to do a degree in Modern Languages. I feel passionately that learning languages offers a fantastic opportunity to experience new cultures. At first I became a licensee for La Jolie Ronde to teach children aged 3-11 years then demand grew as their siblings and parents also wanted to learn. I therefore wanted more people to Love Learning Languages so I set up Linguaholics.

Why is it so important to learn a language? Learning a second language comes easy to very young children therefore it is an ideal time to familiarise them with the sounds and patterns of a new language. The more they enjoy learning a language when they are young, the more likely they are going to find it a positive experience when they are older. But it’s not just children, adults often want to learn a language to increase their confidence and improve communication, whether it be for a business trip or family holiday abroad.

What do your lessons consist of? We teach 3 groups: 3-11 year olds following the La Jolie Ronde course (the leading provider of French & Spanish language learning); GCSE and A Level Revision; and adults.

n For more information check out our website call Tracey Taylor on 01732 457553 or email

In addition to this, we also offer 1:1 tuition for beginners or improvers or students who want to gain more confidence in speaking the language. At Linguaholics, the emphasis is on “fun” and lessons are designed to encourage a positive approach to language learning. The students are therefore much more relaxed and better at imitating sounds and pronunciation.

In an increasingly anglicised world, are foreign languages still relevant? Absolutely. Michael Gove, the Education secretary said, “Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children.”Linguaholics are looking to add new languages to their portfolio and are looking for new tutors, please contact them if you are interested in teaching.


An education for life


Headmaster Luke Harrison talks us through some of the key stages of a pupil’s life at Sevenoaks Preparatory School LIFE AT THE PREP



Life at Sevenoaks Prep begins at 2 1/2 and it is here in our Nursery that the children first become part of the wider school community. They are thrilled to don their maroon tracksuits and join the wonderful Mrs Binnie and her team as they spend each day exploring, investigating, learning and having fun! The role of the Nursery in a young child’s life should never be undervalued. For many, it is the first step on the ladder of independence, a milestone in emotional development and therefore demands a sensitive approach and close communication between home and school. Through ‘play’ we help children to explore and make sense of the world around them and develop core skills and qualities to enable them in their relationships with others. A stimulating learning environment offers experiences across the whole curriculum but above all, Nursery is great fun! Year 2 is a significant year at Sevenoaks Prep. It is a time when pupils are given increased responsibility, privilege and greater opportunity. During this, their final year in the Junior School (Pre-Prep), a strong emphasis is placed upon team work, the importance of being organised and caring for others. The role of sport, music and drama increases significantly during this year and each area of school life offers great opportunity for pupils to develop; they are given lead roles in plays and performances, take music exams and learn the importance of working together in sport. Year 2 is another milestone as pupils prepare for the transition into Year 3, when they join the Senior School, going for ‘Taster’ days where they can get to know fellow pupils, staff and the routines of their new school. In Year 6 we introduce pupils to a more secondary school environment as they move away from the form-based environment to subject-specialist teachers. Many of the staff who teach the older pupils are secondary trained and there is plenty of experience for both pupils and parents to rely on as the 11+ tests begin. I meet all parents individually when their children are in Year 5 to discuss secondary school options, ensuring that each pupil moves on to the school that best fits their character. It is a hectic time for our pupils; however, it is not all tests! Our Year 6 pupils can look forward to our Middle School drama production and our visit to our French Exchange school near Lille in March. The summer term brings wonderful long afternoons on the games fields and the end of year disco and a chance to say goodbye to those moving on.



Sevenoaks Prep – an education for life. Please pop in and see us!

Year 8 is a truly challenging and wonderful time for our pupils. They have become the leaders of our school, working their way through our prefect system and earning increased responsibility. On top of this, they are in the second year of our Oak Award, a programme we have devised to engage them in the fields of challenge, creativity and community. They also set up their own businesses and take part in The Social Entrepreneurs Project. Examwise, the year begins in October with interviews for some of our destination schools. NonCommon Entrance schools tend to hold their entrance tests in January and scholarship examinations carry on through to May with The Common Entrance in June. However, as is the case with Year 6, the students’ lives do not centre solely on tests. Highlights of the year include the Year 8 Safari Camp in September, the Senior School drama production in December, our Prep Idol rock concert in May and the many activities and trips that take place after the Common Entrance. The year is rounded off with the Years 8s directing our House Plays, being the pit crew for our Junior School Grand prix, competing for our Masterchef trophy and attending the Leavers’ Prom. Having spent my teaching career in the secondary school environment prior to my life at Sevenoaks Prep, I can honestly say that pupils who move through Years 7 and 8 here have unique opportunities that can only be experienced in a prep school. n Call 01732 762336 or visit us in Godden Green, Kent, TN15 0JU February 2013 vine 43

A New Phase at Hilden Grange

Hilden Grange is a Preparatory School for children aged 3-13. Situated in eight acres of attractive grounds in Tonbridge, the school has recently unveiled its new state of the art building


s one of the county’s leading Prep Schools, it is no surprise that Hilden Grange boasts an outstanding record of achievement across the spectrum. Every year impressive examination results lead to scholarships to prestigious schools such as Tonbridge, Woldingham and Sevenoaks, while the pupils also benefit from a rich and thriving sports and arts programme. A new £5million building unveiled in November 2012 has totally transformed the school, providing a modern learning environment that matches the first-class teaching provided by the pupils’ specialist subject teachers. Hundreds of people attended the official opening ceremony, as parents, pupils and Hilden Grange alumni turned up in their droves to see the new building and catch up on school news. Although from the road the school looks the same as before, an innovative design at the rear of the school provides a contemporary, spacious teaching space, encompassing new play areas,

new classrooms, science labs, an Art and Design area, a library and a dining hall. Headmaster John Withers commented, “We are absolutely delighted with our new buildings. They have surpassed our expectations and provide an outstanding learning environment." It is testament to the school’s reputation for excellence that Hilden Grange has always been a very popular choice with parents as well as pupils and following the recent transformation, it is expected that the school will soon be bursting at the seams. The school is holding an Open Morning on Wednesday 6 March, from 9am-12noon

The new buildings provide an outstanding learning environment

For more information please call 01732 351169 or visit


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A co-educational day and boarding school




181 T E N 11 1 20




One of the top co-educational schools in England (The Times A Level Results 2012)

We aim to provide an excellent all-round education so that every pupil can achieve his or her full potential academically and socially. We provide a caring and stimulating environment in which we strive to develop the pupil as a whole person thereby helping to prepare them for their life at university and beyond. Excellent A-level results enable all pupils to progress to university with 85% going to one in the top tier. Entrance is selective at all ages. The closing date for receipt of applications for 2014 entrants aged 11+ and 13+ is 8 November 2013.

Examinations are in January. Sixth Form applications are also welcome. Scholarships are available and are based on assessment. Families who may be eligible for financial assistance should contact the Registrar for a Bursary application form. Regular Forces Bursaries are also available. Situated on a beautiful 80-acre campus, the school is just 5 minutes from the M25 (J6) and 20 minutes from Gatwick airport. We run coach services from Sevenoaks, East Grinstead, Crawley Down, Reigate, Edenbridge, Westerham, Oxted, Tadworth and Purley.

OPEN MORNING Saturday 21 September 9.30 am to 12.00 pm. The Headmaster’s talk will be at 10.30 am To request further details or to arrange a visit please contact the Registrar, Miss Rosemary Fisher. Tel: 01883 335058 Email: Caterham School, Harestone Valley Road, Caterham Surrey CR3 6YA February 2013 vine 45

Sackville School Stars in Their Eyes

Drama is an intrinsic part of the educational experience offered at Sackville School, promoting creativity and confidence in its students and encouraging them to flourish in all aspects of life


aving recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary, Sackville School in Hildenborough continues to go from strength to strength. In its 2012 ISI inspection, the school was awarded the top rating of “Excellent”, recognising that students are making the maximum progress in academic subjects, but also noting that students enjoy expressing themselves creatively with particular expertise in Drama. Over the years, the students and staff at Sackville School have put on many fantastic and inventive performances, displaying the talent and flair reflected in their examination results. A New Drama and Music Building With over twenty years' experience in the industry, Head of Drama Siobhan Fogarty brings a wealth of experience to the role, making the drama department

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the glowing success that it is today. With a new dedicated Drama and Music building planned for later this year, the school will be able to boast the facilities to match their excellent record in teaching. It will also give students the opportunity to become more involved in technical theatre; two Year 13 students are already planning to go down this route and have been made unconditional offers to study at the prestigious Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. This year’s annual Drama and Arts Festival, celebrating drama, music and dance, will take place at the impressive Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks on Friday 15th March 2012 at 7.30pm and looks set to be another spectacular hit. Tickets are priced at £7.50 or £25 for a family and are available at LAMDA Exams Sackville School is delighted to offer its budding actors and actresses the chance to achieve formal recognition of their talent with its recent introduction of the LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) exams. LAMDA is the largest Examination board of Speech and Drama and offers pupils a chance to develop and enhance their skills in their chosen field and fully realise their potential. LAMDA examinations are internationally

renowned and are recognised by UCAS, counting towards University applications. The first group of Sackville students to take the exams all achieved Distinctions. Teenstagers “Teenstagers” is the highly innovative, fun drama club run every Friday evening during term time at Sackville by Head of Drama Siobhan Fogarty. The club is open to pupils of other schools and is great for students wanting to work towards a professional career in performance or just seeking to overcome shyness and make new friends. With the aim of producing ‘daring theatre,’ it is no surprise that their previous performances have been highly creative and include the likes of 'The Wedding' (done in conjunction with Sackville GCSE students), ‘The Vaudeville’, ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ and ‘Our House’. When not preparing for a performance, students learn artistic tools, play theatre games and practice improvisation and are taught projection, movement, dance, vocal skills, diction and mime. For more information, visit www. or watch videos of their performances on their YouTube channel. Sackville School in Hildenborough is an Independent Day School for Girls and Boys aged 11-18. For more information visit or see for yourself at their Open Day on Saturday 9 March


Osteopath - Kay Lilley B. Ost (Hons), B.A. (Hons.), GOsC and B.O.A Registered

The Diamond Shard Practice Are aches and pains impinging on your life? Try Osteopathy! Effective,manual therapy for musculoskeletal problems - Practice in Seal High Street. - Simple to find. - Easy, free parking - Weekly Yoga Classes, Sevenoaks CALL NOW: 01732 458249

Walk of the month The Darent Valley Path Famous for spectacular lavender fields, history and striking views, there are many visual delights to be seen when walking amongst the North Downs


tarting off at off at the visitor centre, follow the signs to the Darent Valley Path across the fields towards the banks of the river. Continue alongside the river and you’ll meet the picturesque centre of Shoreham. Just past Shoreham Aircraft Museum, take the footpath signposted Halstead and Timberden Bottom. Follow the path uphill; be sure to look behind you to enjoy the remarkable views of the valley on your way up. At the top of the hill, Meenfield Wood provides a great place to stop, rest and enjoy the scenery. When you’re feeling rested enough to make a move, head downhill and walk on through the woods. The route then takes you to Beechen Wood and across a fairway to the main entrance of the golf club car park. Pass the gate and follow the path into the fields beyond. Continue through the woodland and you’ll come into the open, walk along the field edge and as the path winds downhill you can catch a glimpse of Lullingstone Castle in the distance. Continuing to wind downhill, the path provides

stunning views of Eynsford Viaduct before turning to pass directly in front of the castle. A kissing gate leads you back to the river banks and visitor centre. If you are short on time there are shorter routes available. To download a full route, visit February 2013 vine 47

Valentine’s Beauty Buys Tired of unsuccessfully trying to find the perfect gift for your Valentine? Sit back and relax, we’ve searched high and low for the best beauty gifts for him and for her, no aimless wandering of the high street required

Sugarlicious by Benefit, FOR HER Keep your lady happy this Valentine’s Day with this pocketsized cheek and lip kit from Benefit. Featuring four favourites, including the award-winning cheek colour, Benetint and deliciously pink blusher, Sugarbomb, Sugarlicious will add a pop of colour to your look wherever you are.

Available for £24.50 at Boots

Prada Luna Rossa, for him The backbone of this scent is lavender; combined with a bitter orange essence it creates an aromatic freshness. The signature is strong, noble and sensual, a timeless scent sure to invigorate and energise each morning.


Do you want to be fitter? Perhaps lose some weight? Don’t want to join a gym?

Available for £44.50 for 50ml at The Perfume Shop

Clinique Happy, for Him

Inject some happiness into your man’s shaving ritual this Valentine’s Day with Clinique’s limited edition set. Comprising aloe shave gel, cologne spray and aftershave balm the set is worth over £60. The products will soothe, comfort and leave you feeling revitalised and smelling divine.

Maybe having a fitness trainer is for you! I’m Steve Smith a level three personal fitness trainer. With my professional guidance and support I can help you achieve your fitness goals. Contact me for a FREE fitness consultation so that you can decide whether personal fitness training is for you.

Call ME now on O7836 548 548

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Sevenoaks Aesthetics offers a wide range of cosmetic skin rejuvenation treatments to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, improve complexion and add volume and contour, without the need for invasive and costly surgical procedures. Dr Richard Warwick, a member of The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors, and his team are based in Sevenoaks and hold regular practices at locations across West Kent and Sussex. For more information and to book your free, personalised, no-obligation consultation, please contact the team on:

01732 644 744 • 07504 401 014


BODY SHOP Answering your exercise dilemmas Q: Every time I try to kick-start a new training regime I am in pain for days after my workout. It is really putting me off training. Should I really feel this way after exercise? Mark, Oxted A: Firstly Mark, don't panic, you are experiencing DOMS (The delayed onset of muscle soreness). We have all been there; you stroll into the gym after a month off, have an amazing session, and stride out an hour later feeling motivated and ready to crack on. 24 hours later you feel as though you have taken a beating and can barely move. Many of you will have heard your trainer shout ‘No pain, No gain’ or cheer when you tell them you are in pain the next day. If this sounds familiar you should consider hiring someone that understands a little more about muscle pain and its causes. Causes and treatment of DOMS DOMS is very common; in fact anyone that has ever had a tough session will have felt it at some point. Symptoms can range from a slight tenderness in the muscle to a loss of strength and range of motion that can be debilitating. You will most likely suffer from DOMS when returning to intense exercise after a long break or undergoing sessions involving lots of eccentric exercise (the rapid lengthening of your muscles under tension – think the downward motion of a squat or lunge). Despite popular belief the pain experienced post-exercise has nothing to do with Lactic acid. Although the real cause of DOMS is not yet fully understood, the most likely source of the pain you are feeling is the inflammation that comes as a result of microscopic tearing in the muscle precipitated by eccentric exercise. The degree of pain experienced by this muscle soreness can be enough to make you want to dodge the gym for weeks.

It is important at this point not to give up your new routine. The most effective way to counter DOMS is repeated exposure to the same exercise intensity. Overload and repetition are always necessary for a muscle to adapt. Ever noticed how after three or four sessions back in the gym you stop aching the next day? If you are really struggling to move after a hardcore session, a max strength ibuprofen can be effective in relieving symptoms, but is unlikely speed up recovery. Despite popular belief the same applies for stretching: although great for flexibility. stretching will not help to prevent muscle damage that has already been done and in some cases overstretching can itself cause more soreness! NOTE Having a bit of pain does not mean you need time off from training. If you have a good trainer they will have accounted for this and planned to work on some different muscle groups/ movements, so drop the excuses! DOMS or worse? It is however, important to distinguish between DOMS and a more serious injury. If you are unable to move a joint at all or if the pain lasts for longer than 3-5 days you need to get your trainer to refer you to a GP or physiotherapist. On the other hand, if you don’t feel any pain after a workout it DOES NOT mean that you haven’t worked hard enough. A trainer/instructor that understands this is far more likely to get you results and keep you injury-free in the long run. Now get back in the gym.. By Chris Wharton, Director BBS n For more advice give us a call on 01732 451979 or visit


High quality care at home Personal & social care you can depend on

live-in care

domestic services

meNtal health personal care

personal assistants

elderly care



pHysical disabilities

alzheimer & dementia support

Night sitter/sleeP-iNs Tunbridge Wells • Tonbridge • sevenoaks areas

01892 536 888 • 01732 550 180

come rain or shine While many of us enjoyed a day or two off due to the snow, it was business as usual for the team at TerraBlu – delivering specialised home care to our most vulnerable, whatever the weather


hen it comes to home care, reliability is key. Come rain or shine the dedicated support workers at TerraBlu go to the homes of elderly people in and around Sevenoaks, assisting with their day-to-day living – depending on their needs – as well as that all-important human interaction that means so much to those who live alone. This is especially crucial during these colder months as support worker Heather found out when she realised the heating in one client’s home had stopped working. Heather notified the office who then arranged for the necessary repairs. “I was a bit worried my little Nissan Micra wouldn’t make it, but even if it had broken down, I would have walked anyway.” We met with Frieda (pictured), a vivacious lady living in Sevenoaks, who receives twice-daily visits from TerraBlu. She told us how she enjoys the social aspects of her visits. “It's lovely to have someone to talk to and someone who listens,” she told us.

Frieda has early dementia. Her daughter Caroline, who lives in Folkestone, said: "I started noticing my mother wasn’t eating properly. I needed help as I couldn’t do everything myself especially living so far away without a car. With TerraBlu I don’t have to worry. I know that they are looking after my mother which is a great comfort for my brother and I. What I like is that they work with the families too - on average I speak with them around twice a week and they always keep me informed. Unlike many other care companies, they also look after things that need fixing which is such a weight off my shoulders as unfortunately I can’t just ‘pop over’ to deal with those issues." n For more information visit or call Richard Gould on 01892 529429



Whether you’re after an exciting gift for a loved one this Valentine’s Day or fancy treating yourself, we’ve got the lowdown on the best gadgets guaranteed to impress

John Lewis

Bowers and Wilkins P3 On-Ear Headphones


Samsung Series 3 Wi-Fi Chromebook

These award-winning headphones would make a great gift for the music-lover in your life. They combine immaculate audio performance with a compact style, the fit is lightly snug and they fold away with ease. When on the move, music is extraordinarily natural and detailed as the advanced technological innovations keep distortion to a minimum. Designed to broadcast the true sound of your music, these headphones bring you as close as possible to the sound the artists and studio engineers wanted you to hear.

PROS: : Cheaper and more advanced than competitors'

CONS: Could be a tighter fit

Samsung’s Chromebook allows you to surf the web, access applications at incredibly fast speeds and starts up in an impressive seven seconds. The inbuilt security protects you against viruses and malware and your apps are automatically updated, saving you the trouble. If using for work, you can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations with apps, all of which can be backed up with cloud storage – removing the risk of losing data and allowing you to access your files securely from any internet connection. PROS: It’s cheap and starts up quickly CONS: Screen quality doesn’t match the competitors' RECOMMENDED FOR: Workers on the go, thanks to the great battery life and light, compact style

RECOMMENDED FOR: Commuters and office workers who listen to music daily

DeLonghi Vintage Icona Espresso Coffee Machine Give your loved one the gift of great coffee this Valentine’s Day with DeLonghi’s stylish Vintage Icona machine. Available in a range of retro colours, including baby pink and olive green, you can make a neat espresso or a deliciously frothy cappuccino. The two-in-one filter holds freshly ground coffee or pods and the simple three-button operating system makes it easy to use. This machine boasts all the extras, including an inbuilt tamper, a cup warmer and an incorporated crema device, all helping to create the perfect cup of coffee.


PROS: Heats up quickly CONS: Large mugs may not fit on the tray RECOMMENDED FOR: Budding baristas seeking the perfect cappuccino


ubble Spa Bath Mat Melt away the stresses and strains of everyday life with Gizoo’s Bubble Bath Spa Mat. The variety of settings allows you to tailor your spa experience to suit your mood: set it to 15 minutes for the bathroom equivalent of a power nap or grab a glass of wine and some candles and let the mat work its magic for an hour. Hundreds of vents create powerful massage jets, giving you the ultimate bath spa experience and you’re in control of your massage with the wireless remote. PROS: Easy to set up and use CONS: A bit noisy RECOMMENDED FOR: Those with tired and achy muscles in need of pampering February 2013 vine 51


Home Technology In Just A Click New Wave AV specialise in creating user-friendly and cost-effective smart home technology and audio visual systems for your home or business. Vine investigates Home Entertainment

Peace of Mind


New Wave AV are home entertainment specialists who deliver top of the range audio visual systems that are truly smart. Not only can you transform virtually any room into a home cinema with large plasma display televisions, Artcoustic hidden speakers and lighting control, but you can manage it all with just one remote. What makes their entertainment system especially impressive, however, is the integrated smart technology. You can browse cover art and start the film from your phone, orchestrate whole-home audio with a slide of your finger and even program it so that you can wake up to your favourite television show, all with built-in discreet technology - meaning no more fussy wires.

More than just entertainment, New Wave AV offer practical solutions for modern life. Protect your home with 24/7 video surveillance as well as an intercom allowing you to easily screen visitors. Compatibility with smart phones and tablets means that even when away from home you can receive email or text alerts in case of a water leak, intrusion, or fire. You can even be notified when your kids get home!

With New Wave AV, you can add more control to your home over time, adding more features as you go along. You may just want to start with a home cinema and slowly expand it to the whole house. At New Wave AV, you are only limited by your imagination!

Save Energy Save energy and money with smart dimmers, intelligent thermostats and a “Goodbye” button which automatically turns off all the lights when you leave the house as well as easily monitor and manage your energy use from your TV or touch screen.

Control4® This is all made possible by a smart central hub which is why New Wave AV use Control4® as the brains of their system. You really must see it to believe it – give them a call today to arrange a demonstration. They are located just outside of Tonbridge.

For more information call 0845 5000 126 or visit

Garden Management and Design

WEALDEN Country Landcraft For all your design, construction and maintenance requirements, contact: Adam Sutton BSc (Hons) Environmental Science | Tim Playfoot BA (Hons) Garden Design Tel:01892 722699 | Adam:07979 362241 | Tim:07990 751353 |

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To truly appreciate our furniture and service, please visit our showroom. The Old Timber Yard, London Road, Halstead, Kent, TN14 7DZ t. 01959 532553 w. Open: Mon-Fri: 09.00-17.30 Sat: 09.00-14.00

CHA MBEr fur n itur e


we have all the expertise required to sort the problems quickly with a minimum of fuss, as well as to help ensure that they don’t happen again in future. Services include:

ge l draina a c o l w y Your ne ith man w , y n a comp ce. xperien e s r a e y e on us, w y l e r n You ca /7/365. 4 2 e l b ila are ava

Saniflo unblock & repair

Maintenance & service contracts

all household kitchen & bathroom blockages

external pipework excavation & repairs

drain cleaning, jetting & repairs

drain tests

drain lining

commercial premises

cctv surveys

available 24/7/365

fiXed fee Price Structure no caLL out cHarge Don’t forge


For more information go to our website:

keep our n umber handy, you never know when you might need us!

caLL 01732 400 004

Natural decor is renowned for adding light and space to your home and it’s going to be a key interior trend this year. Think sustainable materials, earthy colours and rustic textures

Designed by Bronte, this check cushion is the epitome of British heritage. Available in a range of neutral caramel-toned colours, it will bring classic outdoor country style to your living room. Why not give the gift of luxury this Valentine’s Day with a 100 per cent pure lamb’s wool cushion? A matching throw is also available.

Spruce up the walls of a plain room and make an interior statement with Van Gogh’s Long Grass with Butterflies. The artwork features a detailed illustration of the asylum’s grounds where Van Gogh was a patient. He described the ‘abandoned gardens’ in which ‘the grass grows tall and unkempt, mixed with all kinds of weeds’. Available in a range of sizes to suit even the smallest of rooms.

Whether you use them for decoration or as a vase, these mouth-blown, handcrafted Dartington bottles are sure to bring your room to life. Available in a selection of delicately natural colours and an array of shapes and sizes, they are best-sellers. Our favourites are the green and yellow; place a few on your coffee table to achieve contemporary style.


Kitchens Bedrooms Studies

designed to be perfect

Solid wooden handmade furniture, traditional and contemporary styles at affordable prices.

01892 723083 Unit 2, The Coppice, Petteridge Lane, Matfield, Kent TN12 7LP




House & Garden

Bespoke curtains and blinds supplied and fitted

Beautiful flowers for all reasons Sevenoaks, Kent Tel: 01732 452008

Weddings, Funerals, Events & Everyday Gorgeous Decorative Objects for your House & Garden

01732 743419

Reader offer 10% discount off fresh flowers for Valentine’s Day

12 Black’s Yard Bligh’s Meadow Sevenoaks Kent TN13 1DS

Tel: 01959 509023 | Tel: Admin/Fax 01959 571359 Mob: 07979 593558 | Web: February 2013 vine 55



6th March March10am-1pm 10am-1pm Saturday 9th

£35 We demonstrate how to make rustic plant supports. You then gather as much material as you like from our 2 acre Cobnut orchard. 8/9 Tubs Hill Parade, London Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 1DH Gardening Workshops The Garden House Shipbourne Road

01732 464450 Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9NS 01732 360453 07711607054

8/9 Tubs Hill Parade, London Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 1DH

01732 464450

REVOLUTIONARY Roofing Has a harsh few months of wind and rain taken its toll on your roof? Investing in a new one doesn’t have to be stressful with NPR Roofing and Building


hether you need an entire new roof or a weather-induced leak needs fixing, family-run Kent business NPR Roofing and Building are here to help. The company have extensive experience in all aspects of roofing and building and are happy to take on building work of any size, from a small porch to a double-storey extension. The team are knowledgeable in dealing with local council planning departments and can advise you on the route to take with your planned build. They manage the whole project for you, including plumbing and electrics making your building development stress-free. NPR specialise in Rubberbond roofing, the ultimate flat-roofing system. It is flexible, doesn’t tear, split or crack and is ozone-resistant and defiant against extreme climates. The modern and environmentally friendly roofing

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system is moss and fungus resistant and has a life expectancy of over 50 years – subsequently, you won’t need to worry about needing a new roof for a long time if you invest in a Rubberbond roof. NPR Roofing and Building work throughout Kent and around south-east London. They provide a free, noobligation quote and can visit your home on evenings and weekends – ideal if you work throughout the week. All of their work is guaranteed and of high quality and they provide a reliable and honest service. So if you’ve been meaning to fix that leak in the roof or you would like a more eco-friendly, sustainable option, get in touch with NPR now. n Visit or call 01959 525074 or 07929 443302 for more information.

ALL TREE SURGERY All Tree Work Undertaken

01892 530034 07810 726213 Grove Hill Rd Tunbridge Wells

Other services include: Hedge Cutting Stump Grinding Fencing Logs Available Free Quotes Free visual tree inspections and advice Fully qualified and insured Council applications arranged

Accurately replicate your traditional style windows Available in over 200 RAL colours Installed by our own craftsmen Full consultation service

Conservation by design

Uniquely designed to fit into existing timber frames or direct to brick or stone

01732 461 919 145 High Street, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1XJ February 2013 vine 57

WHAT’S ON? ART & CRAFTS n 2 Feb. Green Woodworking workshop. 09:30-16:30. Hadlow College, Hadlow near Tonbridge. £40. 0500 551434

07704 279948 n 15 Feb. Winnie’s Valentine’s Disco for Under 7s. 17:00. Churchill School Hall, Rysted Lane, Westerham. £3.50 Contact Katie on 97930 396063 for tickets.


n 10 Feb. Decorative & Fine Arts Society meeting. Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. 01883 337935

CHILDREN n 01-02 Feb. Beauty & the Beast panto. 19:30 (+ Sat 14:30). Adults £8, children £5. Village Hall, Borough Green. Borograds 01732 882045, 07765 603706 n 01-02 Feb. Red Riding Hood panto. 19:45. Village Hall, Eynsford. Riverside Players

n 17, 21, 23-24 Feb, 02-03 Mar. Hellebore Tours. Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Hadlow near Tonbridge. Adults £3, children free. 01732 850551 n 28 Feb. 5-mile walk around Horton Kirby & Farningham Wood. Meet 10:00 Lion Hotel car park, Farningham. Free. Sevenoaks Society 01959 564145, 01732 461623

COMPLEMENTARY HEALTH n 03 Feb. Life Change workshop. 10:30-12:30. Kikodo Centre, St Johns Hill car park, Bat & Ball.

9 Feb. 14:00, 18:00. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175 01342 Winner of the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Musical


09 Feb. Gong Bath sound healing. 18:00-19:30. Kikodo Centre, St Johns Hill car park, Bat & Ball. Whilst having a Gong sound bath your body will naturally tune in and create a resonance with the sounds of the gong. Each of the Gongs works on a different part of yourself. Energetically, emotionally, Spiritually, and physically, there is no part that will not receive and benefit from the sound. It’s also a wonderful way to stress bust and relax. You will be lying down on a yoga mat for an hour to enjoy this healing experience. Wear comfortable clothes.

HISTORY n 01-24 Feb. In the Blood exhibition – Churchill’s American ancestry. Chartwell near Westerham. £6.50. n 12 Feb. Sevenoaks – the Economics of Growth talk by David Killingray. 20:00. Town Council Offices, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Bat & Ball. Sevenoaks Society 01732 458898 n 12 Feb. Oldbury Hill & its Trackways talk. 20:00. Memorial Hall, School Lane, Plaxtol. £2. Plaxtol Local History Group 01732 810489 n 28 Feb. Sevenoaks Historical Society meeting. 20:00. Undercroft, St Nicholas Church, High St, Sevenoaks. £3

Sevenoaks. Free.

Take an ice cold dip into the frosty waters of St Julian’s outdoor swimming pool while raising money for chYps, children’s hospice. Once you’ve completed your challenge, you can thaw out with a bowl of red hot chilli and a chilli dipper’s certificate, all included in your £10 registration fee. All spectators enter free of charge, so friends and family of our Dippers are welcome to come and watch the action from the viewing balcony.

n 13 Feb. Dave Peabody & Alan Glen blues gig. 21:00. Anchor pub, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Free. n 22 Feb. Babajack blues gig. 20:00. Doors open 19:30. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £12. 01732 450175 n 27 Feb. Dinner Jazz and Blues. The Padwell Stone Street, TN15 0LQ. 01732 761532 www.

A musical comedy by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale of the Ugly Duckling which has been transformed into a modern musical comedy for all the family. From the moment the ‘Ugly’ is hatched by the duck pond, the show brims with charm, witty lyrics, catchy songs and a cast of ducks, geese, turkeys, bullfrogs and an indefatigable cat.

MUSIC – BLUES n 06 Feb. Ben Tyzack blues gig. 21:00. Anchor pub, London Rd,

16 Feb. 10:30-15:00. St Julians Club near Sevenoaks. Free. CHYPS Children’s Hospice 01322 221315

MUSIC – CHORAL & CLASSICAL n 6 Feb. Lunchtime recital. St Lukes Church, Eardley Rd, Sevenoaks. Free.

n 18-24 Feb. Sevenoaks Sings choir workshops. Pamoja Hall, Space Performing Arts Centre, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. 07561 148084 n 23 Feb. Denner Ensemble Concert. 19:30. Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. 01732 451581 n 23 Feb. Denner Ensemble play Baroque Music For Woodwind and Strings. Presenting 18th century chamber music for double-reed woodwind (oboe and bassoon), the Denner Ensemble recaptures the beauty and exuberance of this fascinating repertoire. In their historically informed performances they use copies of 18th century instruments, including those of the famed woodwind maker Jakob Denner. n 19:30. Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. £15 (students £10). 01732 451581 n 02 Mar. Temenos Chamber Choir concert. 19:30. St Nicholas Church, High St, Sevenoaks. Tickets £10 (students £5) from Sevenoaks Bookshop or 01959 523765

MUSIC - POPULAR n 16 Feb. Robbie Williams Tribute Night. 19:30. Westerham. £10

SOCIAL EVENTS n 06 Feb. 1st Wednesday Business Networking event. Royal Oak Hotel, 5 High St, Sevenoaks. Chamber of Commerce

Medieval Fair

FEBRUARY EVENTS AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE Assembly Hall Theatre • Crescent Road • Tunbridge Wells • Kent TN1 2LU Ticket office: 01892 530613/532072 01-18 Feb. My Kent Big Weekend.Free tickets for visitor attractions on 23-24 Mar from The Big Weekend is all about celebrating Kent’s unique and diverse tourism and leisure offer. More than 100 venues have provided more than 15,000 tickets free of charge this year, ranging from free entry into gardens and castles, to free watersports and horse riding taster sessions


Set against the backdrop of Rome with spectacular sets and costumes, with two of the best roles for tenor and soprano, plus a truly blood curdling villain. Sung in Italian with English surtitles. ‘Brilliantly sung’ The Times (Royal Albert Hall)

Fri 1 Feb 7.30pm £20

Hailed as the originators of British folk-rock music, Fairport Convention is widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement. Pure entertainment with their great combination of rock, theatricality and staging.


Wed 13 Feb 7.30pm £24, £30, £35

Starring international mezzo soprano Nadia Stoianova. A dazzling new production, set in Seville. Sung in French with English subtitles ‘Impassioned and sultry’ The Observer



Mon 4 – Sat 9 Feb Mon – Sat evenings 7.30pm Wed & Sat matinees 2.30pm Tickets £22.50, £23.50, £25.50 & £27.50 n 16 Feb. Celebrate Valentine’s. Donnington Manor Hotel. £29.95 which includes a four-course dinner and glass of bubbly. 01732 462681 n 16 Feb. Valentines Dance. 19:30. Memorial Hall, St Marys Platt. £15 including buffet. 01732 883422, 885244 n 23 Feb. Dinner & Dance - Neil Diamond music. 19:00. Crockenhill Village Hall.

PHOTOGRAPHY n 04 Feb. Print competition. n11 Feb. Camera Club meeting. www. n 25 Feb. Audio Visual competition. www. n 04 Mar. Digital projected image competition. www.

COMMUNITY EVENTS n 04 Feb. Council Highways & Lighting Meeting. 19:30. n 22 Feb. Mental Health Awareness Workshop. 13:00. Sevenoaks Centre, St John’s Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 3LW.

Starring Beverley Callard (Coronation Street), Ray Quinn (Dirty Dancing, Grease, Legally Blonde) and Jess Robinson as Little Voice. A story of music, divas and romance featuring songs by some of the world’s greatest female stars including Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand.

Mon 25 Feb 7.30pm £22.50

The band is back to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Fleetwood Mac’s 11th studio album, Rumours. One of the decade-defining albums of the 70s, Rumours has since transcended its era to become one of the greatest and most compelling pop albums of all time!

Guinness Book of World Records


Mon 11 Feb 7.30pm £22.50

The first group of serving soldiers to hit the British pop charts. The soldiers are real life heroes, have several medals between them and can be called up at any time. Their two top-ten albums, Coming Home and Letters Home exceeded sales of 800,000 and have helped raised over half a million pounds for army charities.


Tue 12 Feb 7.30pm £24, £30, £35

Starring the international soprano Elena Dee and featuring a boys choir.

GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS Thu 28 Feb 7pm Adult £17 Child £15 Family (x 4) £60

Join our Official Guinness World Records Adjudicator and team of presenters in genuine live record attempts by our audience. Unleash your inner skills, understand the world we live in, and see if you too can be a record breaker!

n 23 Feb. Jumble sale. Village Hall, Borough Green. Quarry Hill WI

THEATRE & COMEDY n 09 Feb. Comedy Supper. 19:30. Shoreham village hall. £10.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO INCLUDE YOUR EVENT IN THESE FREE LISTINGS please email basic details to Bob Carpenter at

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Nicol Banin has the last word



re we doing anything told me I was a chauvinist pig who had for Valentine’s Day just single-handedly undermined this year? the whole of feminism. It was only “Hmm?” I don’t Pizza Express!” He says, getting look up from my paper. quite shrill now. “Why are you asking? “So yes I’m asking you to truthfully It’s January,” I reply with a yawn. tell me what you want to do this year. “Oh...well, it’s just that I just wanted Truthfully Nicol.” to know if you are planning on playing The truth? The truth is that I don’t your usual trick this year?” know what I want to do. On principle “Trick?” This does not sound like the I disagree with Valentine’s Day. A day ideal start to a conversation. to celebrate love? PAH! Who am I, “Yeah, you know, Bridget Jones?! I am a that little trick you do modern In our house, 21st-century where you say you woman! We believe in absolutely don’t want equality, empowerment... Valentine’s a present and you cynicism! I don’t need Day will definitely don’t want a fluffy, pink, sugarto go to a restaurant coated day to declare my always, to eat an overpriced undying love for the man sadly, be meal surrounded by I share a bathroom with. disgusting slobbering do I? synonymous Or couples. And then The real problem with ‘Passive with Valentine’s day is when I don’t take you out or buy you that it brings out my Aggressive anything, as instructed, deepest, darkest, girliest you cry, doors are wishes. I spend 364 days Day’ slammed and I spend of the year absolutely the night on the sofa.” fine with splitting everything 50/50 Hmm, this could be a tricky one within the context of a happy, healthy, to get out of. You see, he’s completely modern relationship. Yet on this one right – this is something I definitely do day, I suddenly want it all: the meal, (personally, I wouldn’t call it a ‘trick’ the chocolates, the embarrassingly but I’ll put that down to a difference large card, the bouquet of flowers in perspective) yet admitting to it just (freshly picked from Texaco)... but I seems like a bad move. Admit one just cannot bring myself to admit it! fault, then what? Admit them all?! My inner-cynic (the same one who rolls I don’t think so... her eyes at The X Factor and murmurs I opt for the defensive approach. “It won’t last” at weddings) just won’t “I never said that” I snort, allow it. And that is why in our house, dismissively turning back to my reading. Valentine’s Day will always, sadly, Make him believe he’s mad. be synonymous with ‘Passive “Yes. Yes you did. Yes you do! You Aggressive Day’. do it every year. It’s like a test...except He looks at me, still waiting for a there’s no pass or fail. There’s only Fail. response. I better say something. “Remember that year I took you out “Just do what you think is best for Valentine’s Day? Remember that? darling,” I reply, patting him on I thought that despite your protests, the head. maybe that’s what you actually wanted Poor lamb, he’s right. There’s only Fail. deep down. Everything went well at the restaurant then we got home you and Catch Nicol on Twitter @VineMagazine

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Vine Magazine | February 2013  

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