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YOUR FAVOURITE SEVENOAKS MAGAZINE w w w . v i n e d i g i ta l . c o . u k

• september

2 0 11

• issue 51


feast Vine previews the best of British writing talent prior to the annual Sevenoaks Literary Celebration

18- pa g e

e d u c at i o n



a lt e r n at i v e










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The stock market. Is it time to take the plunge or take a step back?

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4 vine September 2011

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To register for your free newsletter visit September 2011 vine 5

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What’s inside? September 2011




VINE DINING 20 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Our resident forager and foodie Benjamin James of the George & Dragon, Chipstead has been unearthing the best in season this month PLUS our regular Pub of the Month and Vine Dining features

SPORT 58 THE GOLDEN AGE OF GOLF We visit Knole Park Golf Club and Lullingstone Golf Course PLUS Elite Football

We are giving aw ay 10 pairs of ticke ts to our Rachel Campbe ll-Johnston even t




Email win@vin For your chance to win See page 18 for more information

Welcome to Vine






16 A LITERARY FEAST Regular contributor John Morrison previews the annual Sevenoaks Literary Celebration, a rich autumn feast of book events coming to town this month PLUS full listings and booking information for all events

30 18-PAGE EDUCATION SPECIAL As the kids go back to school, we look at what’s to come for the best local independent schools PLUS our regular family pinboard

26 THE AUSTEN EMPIRE Jane Austen is known for visiting her uncle in Sevenoaks, but the author’s ties to the area may go deeper than you think, says Tom Fleet 55 ALTERNATIVE FITNESS Tired of the gym? Bored of the bike? Vine takes a look at a range of different ways to stay fit and healthy from poles to Pilates Cover shot: Woodcut letter press blocks

WELLNESS 48 A CUT ABOVE as Matthew Cross celebrates the salon’s 11-year anniversary, we delve into his past of glamorous shoots in the Seychelles and working with Damien Hirst PLUS we bring you the best beauty buys this season

HOME & GARDEN 63 AUTUMN TRENDS Vine brings you a selection of the hottest trends for your home this season, from eccentric British design to indulging in your feminine side

As the summer slows down and we prepare for autumn we bring you a bumper issue of Vine. However, it is slightly bittersweet. This month we say goodbye to one of our own as Christopher Porter, a vital player in the growth of Vine over the last year, is leaving. As head of design Christopher has constantly pushed the look of the magazine forwards and has always brought smiles into the office. We wish him all the luck in the world in the next chapter of his life as he starts his own design business in Cornwall. Congratulations to all those students who have received their exam results; for those who haven’t reached that all-important stage yet, our education section delivers some helpful advice and showcases the best schools Kent has to offer so you can make the right choice for the future. With the summer break well and truly over you may be feeling the after-effects of all that holiday excess, so hopefully our handy guide to ‘alternative fitness’ on page 55 can help you shift any extra pounds. So many of us (myself included) have tried the gym and failed miserably, needing motivation from a superhuman force (otherwise known as a personal trainer) or an activity that’s more inspiring than sweating it out on the treadmill. I’m trying Pilates at the moment and I’m enjoying it a whole lot more than my gym sessions! Last but not least, we have a literary feast in the form of a comprehensive preview of the Sevenoaks Literary Celebration from journalist John Morrison and we also have a lovely piece about the Austen family’s connection with Sevenoaks on page 26.

Charlotte Luxford

Editor September 2011 vine 7


The people’s pub: The Padwell

The Padwell in Stone Street Pubs are closing down left, right and centre and those that are doing well tend to be chain pubs, leaving the traditional English pub a rare breed. One pub determined to maintain its sense of community spirit, however, is The Padwell in Stone Street. Landlady Maria Gray is inviting ‘Friends of the Padwell’ to purchase the freehold so it truly remains an independent, local pub. For just £5 a month, or £12.50 per family, the pub can be protected from administrators and the harsh reality of a pub on the brink of closure. Maria said: “The locals have given me a fantastic reception and I’m looking forward to the challenge of creating a place where people want to come back and to save this brilliant pub. “The Padwell should be a home from home and all the renovations and refurbishment have been made with our regulars in mind; it’s their pub and we’re sympathetic to their views – we want to give it back to the community.” Even the local microbreweries are chipping in and offering great rates on their brews, meaning a pint can be as cheap as £2.60, with a great choice of five real ales on tap. To see what it’s all about, head down to The Harvest Beer Festival at The Padwell between September 9-11; advanced tickets are £13 for the public (£11 for ‘Friends of the Padwell) which will get you 10 half pints and there’s also the Beltane festival in May and the Traditional Games Olympiad in July next year to look forward to.

Cycle to success for charity Fitness fanatics shouldn’t miss this year’s Circuit of Kent, one of the longest running cyclo-sportives in the country and an event that has raised over £300,000 for charity so far. The race, organised by Sevenoaks Amherst Rotary Club, will start from Sevenoaks Prep School, Godden Green on September 11 and entrants can choose between two distances: 80km or 130km. However, it’s not just about the ride; apparently one of the best features of the day (apart from the rolling countryside) is the post-ride lunch with baguettes, hearty soups, an array of cakes and a live band – a welcome reward after cycling.

Reader Offer WIN a free cut, colour and blow-dry with Rush’s award-winning stylist in Sevenoaks Email Offer ends 30/09/11 Visit

n It’s not too late to enter: registration, which is £30, can be completed on the website www. or call Derek Williams on 01959 522148

Top tweets

Catch Vine on Twitter @VineMagazine

Our pick of the best local tweets this month

Did you know there is a Sevenoaks in Tennessee, USA and also South Africa #uselesstrivia

Riots in Medway towns now apparently. Nothing will happen in twells unless it involves violence with brollies and biscuit tins as weapons.

I‘ve found the answer to many of life’s worries is to stand up and eat things directly out of the fridge.




n Visit

A world of flowers

Music at the Meeting House

Sue Johnston Q&A evening

Art exhibition for charity

Chelsea Gold Medallist Graham Harmer invites you into his ‘World of Flowers’ at Lullingstone Castle on September 9–11, offering flower arranging demonstrations from 1-2pm and 4-5pm in the Parish Church of St Boltoph and guided tours of the garden at 2.30pm. Visit www. lullingstonecastle.

A series of concerts began at the Old Meeting House in Westerham last month, but there’s still three more. On September 4, October 2 and November 6, cello and piano performances from Cirrus, a group of London-based performers, will raise money for ‘Send a Child to Hucklow’. Tickets £10; call 01732 454222 to book.

Actress and patron of The New School at West Heath, Sue Johnston will be celebrating the release of her new autobiography, This I Couldn’t Tell my Mother, with champagne, canapés, a Q&A session, a book signing and the chance to partake in fundraising efforts for the school on September 23 at 7pm. Visit www.

The Kent Painters Group, which has raised over £200,000, will hold its 21st annual art sale on September 24 and 25. A private view on Saturday from 6.30-9.30pm will include a catalogue, wine and canapés while Sunday is open to the public from 10am to 4pm. Tickets £5; visit www. kentpaintersgroup.

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Sevenoaks tickled pink for charity

Tunbridge Wells turns electric

Watch out men, Sevenoaks town centre will be turned pink over the next few months as the town’s shops club together to support Breast Cancer Care in its effort to raise awareness. Nonna Cappuccini’s will hold a delicious strawberry tea, from 11am-3pm on September 6 and in October the whole town will join in for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with pink balloons and vibrant window displays adorning the likes of Plaxtols, Flower & Glory, Mousetrap, Specsavers and many others from October 8-15. The climax of this fundraising drive will be an evening with the fabulous Martina Cole at The Space Theatre, Sevenoaks School; after the success of last year’s event it is bound to be a popular occasion, with entertainment from Amy Coulshaw; a luxury goodie bag from Rush hair salon in Sevenoaks and a hardback copy of Martina’s latest book, The Faithless. There will also be the chance to pick the brains of Rush’s award-winning style team who will be giving the audience tips and demonstrations.

Creatives and film buffs will certainly enjoy what’s in store at The Electric Lantern Film and Arts Festival (ELF) which will take over Tunbridge Wells from September 3-11. There is a distinct film element to the festival, which is programmed by ELF director and local filmmaker Samuel Marlow. Through his industry contacts, Samuel secured some high-profile feature films with stars including Bob Hoskins and Aaron Johnson. The Trinity Theatre will play host to three days of film screenings from September 9-11, including screenings of Venus and the Sun by Tunbridge Wellsians; The Calling starring Brenda Blethyn and Africa United, described by The Metro as the “Feel-good film of the year.” There’s also an anthology movie which local writers, directors and filmmakers have been working on since February. Sam Marlow said: “We wanted to allow artistic residents a chance to showcase their work – whatever their media or experience. We have some very talented professional artists and photographers who live in Tunbridge Wells, alongside keen amateurs.” The Trinity gallery will also be displaying art photography during the festival week. In addition, paintings, sculpture and installations will feature at popup exhibitions in The Corn Exchange at The Pantiles and an Art and Craft market, bandstand musicians, comedy from Edinburgh Fringe and short-story competitions are just a few of the other events to look forward to.

n Doors from 6pm, October 15, tickets £20. Call Stephanie Harrison on 07961042917 to book tickets and visit for more information on the charity

Event honours NT conservator

n Visit for full listings and information

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


Charlotte Luxford t: 01732 764508 HEAD OF DESIGN

Christopher Porter DESIGNERS

Justin Kemp Charlotte Preston charlotte.preston MARKETING EXECUTIVES

Nic Lapham Valentina Osborn WEB DEVELOPER

Celine Cozler SUB EDITOR

Amanda Hayden

Classical music written for Knole House will be played once again in the Great Hall to mark the death of one of the National Trust’s most influential figures. Hermione Sandwith, who died last year, founded the policies that the National Trust uses to this day when dealing with conservation. The event runs on September 27 between 7pm and 9pm. Janiculum, an ensemble specialising in 18th-century pieces, will be performing music by Handel and J C Bach and dances created for the 3rd Duke of Dorset’s mistress.


Owen Hunnam t: 01732 764509 CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Charlie de Rusett t: 01732 764501

n Tickets cost £25. Visit

BBC filming at Shipbourne

Candelit jazz by the lake

Kent Wildlife Trust art event

The BBC’s cameras will be pointing in Sevenoaks’ direction this September, as Shipbourne Farmers’ Market is due to participate in a new series relating to unique local produce found in Britain. They will be filming both in local Platts and in the market, which runs every Thursday from 9am to 11am at St Giles Church.

Enjoy an evening of candlelit jazz from Martin Nicholls and his Broadway Band by the lake on Chilstone’s 35-acre private park in Langton Green on September 24. Music starts from 8pm, but come earlier and visit the show gardens or sample the bar and barbecue offerings from The Spotted Dog, Penshurst. Tickets £10; call 01892 871596 to book.

The Florum 2011 art exhibition from September 10-17 at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve will showcase the best of artists’ plant paintings and engravings. Started in 2003, the event raises money for the reserve, and artists of international repute will display works for sale. Visit www.

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Catch 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. Please recycle Vine. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial in Vine. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of the publisher. © 2011. All rights reserved.

Dreams that take shape At Kitchen Design of Sevenoaks we have over 30 years of experience in designing both contemporary and traditional kitchens. Choose from innovative features and inspiring technology to make your kitchen dream come true. Showroom Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.00-5.00 Saturday 9.00-3.00 Closed Wednesday and Sunday

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01732 741100 September 2011 vine 11



60 OND



Your monthly round-up of comments, views and interviews with figureheads and the public

View from Westminster with Michael Fallon MP The link between each individual Member of Parliament and his or her constituency lies at the heart of the British political system. As the people’s elected representatives, MPs ought to be as accessible as possible. I spend much of each day corresponding with constituents: I now receive hundreds of emails and letters every week. From foreign policy to local bus services, all sorts of issues are raised. I value this feedback enormously: it tells me where constituents need help; it keeps my finger on the pulse of local concerns and alerts me to the impact of national policies locally. I also try to meet constituents face-to-face. I regularly host visitors at Westminster; most recently a big group from the Swanley schools, the Otford WI and Darent Valley Rotary Club. School parties are the most interesting: they often ask the best questions. In Sevenoaks I usually spend Fridays and weekends visiting businesses, schools and voluntary groups. I hold

regular advice ‘surgeries’ at the district council offices in Sevenoaks and at Swanley Library. Constituents ask for help with all kinds of issues from housing benefit and school appeals to potholes and waste recycling proposals. Just as constituents contact me, I regularly do the same with ministers and cabinet members. Last year that meant pushing Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, over funding for Knole Academy. Recently I met the Defence Minister Peter Luff over the Fort Halstead closure to ask for help with the jobs we are losing. Sevenoaks is not an island, and getting the best for my constituents makes working with my fellow Kent MPs an essential part of the job. Over the past year this has meant coordination on issues such as the dualling of the A21 and the Dartford Crossing. We also have regular meetings with the county council, the chief constable, Southeastern Trains and the water companies.

Send us you rants and raves via Twitter @vinemagazine or email I love the general community feeling of living in Sevenoaks. Everyone is quick with a smile.




Martina Cole So tell us what to expect from your new book, The Faithless? I’m not going to give too much away! But what I can tell you is that it starts with a bang and a very shocking incident which I think will grab the reader’s attention… What question do you get asked the most at book signings? Where do all your stories come from and when will the next book be out. What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you? At one of my book signings a transvestite came with a single red rose, knelt down, kissed my hand and called me the ‘Queen of Crime’. What makes you happy? Chilling out with my family. What is your favourite memory? The births of my children and grandchildren. Which living person do you most admire? David Bowie – my teen idol. What is the worst job you’ve ever done? I’ve always loved working; the worst job for me is cleaning up after my kids! If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would that be? Where I am right now in Northern Cyprus; a beautiful unspoilt part of the Mediterranean where I can completely relax. What is your favourite book?

Hate town’s snobbery, cliquiness, insularity and resistance to perceived outsiders. And the predominance of the retail mafia.

via email I love the red sky over Knole Park on a hot summer’s evening. #wishihadaphoto

Every month we interview a notable member of your community

Kent County Council has an online shop where, 24/7, you can buy such essentials as door stops, Snoopy phone charms and floral food covers. Why?

via email

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Hatter’s Castle by A.J. Cronin. I first read this when I was 13 and it made a huge impression on me. I now have a beautiful leather bound signed first edition and read it every year. How do you relax? Reading a book, listening to music, cooking and laughing with friends and family. What is the best piece of advice you have been told? My dad said to me: “You’re going to be old, but don’t be old and poor.” n Our flexible service includes: Airports and ferry ports Local and long-distance New business accounts welcome Executive cars available MPVs and up to 8 seaters Pre-bookings taken 24/7

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SP September 2011 vine 13


September 2011

With the nights drawing in and a slight chill in the air, here are some essentials to keep the family warm on those autumn walks and outdoor activities. These women’s wellies in ‘mulled’ with a mallard print are a great staple from Joules (£36.95); with the rugby season already underway, this classic Crew Clothing rugby shirt is perfect for layering up for the pitch side (£65); this adorable ‘Funky Duffle’ coat in ‘pumpkin’ from Boden is great for standing out in the playground (£60) and, for the boys, this quilted navy jacket (also Boden, from £45) is perfect for a country ramble – and easy when it comes to wiping off the mud!



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





An old favourite, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has just released its long-awaited new album, I’m With You. The band’s 10th album is their first in five years and also the first featuring new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, who joined the band following the departure of John Frusciante in 2009. Described by lead singer Anthony Kiedis as “one of evolution”, the album is predicted to please both old and new Chili Pepper fans alike.

Recall your own youthful days with the Turner Contemporary’s second major exhibition to be held at the Margate gallery from September 17: ‘Nothing in the World But Youth’. The exhibition brings together 200 works by 93 artists, exploring how adolescent experience has been reflected in art and culture from the late 19th century to the present day. Works include those by internationallyacclaimed artists, writers, musicians and designers including Henry Moore, Peter Blake, Sylvia Plath, Sarah Lucas, Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Jim Lambie and David Hockney and, of course, Turner himself. There’s also the opportunity to see Auguste Rodin’s much-loved life-size marble sculpture ‘The Kiss’ from October 4. n

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Following a sell-out season at the National Theatre and on Broadway, take this rare opportunity to see the award-winning play The Pitmen Painters at The Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells from September 5-10. Written by Lee Hall, creator of the worldwide sensation Billy Elliot, The Pitmen Painters has received huge critical acclaim for its tale of the ordinary Ashington miners who turned out extraordinary things as they begin to paint. The Pitmen Painters is a humorous, deeply moving and timely look at art, class and politics – it’s one not to be missed. Tickets from £18.

Autumn is the perfect time to get your Kentish cobnuts; naturally rich in Vitamin E and calcium, these cultivated hazelnuts are sold fresh and are almost exclusively grown in Kent. Take the advantage of being in the right place at the right time and visit Potash Farm where you can pick up a fresh batch of your own cobnuts or try one of their many cobnut products, such as this handmade blackberry and apple conserve with brandy and Kentish cobnuts, best served on a steaming fresh croissant on a chilly morning.





EXPERIENCE SOMETHING NEW WITH US With 3500 new courses starting this year, there is something for everyone at Kent Adult Education. Enrol now visit our website or call 0845 606 5606! September 2011 vine 15



LITERARY John Morrison previews the annual Sevenoaks Literary Celebration, a rich autumn feast of book events

16 vine September 2011



hether you’ve bought an e-reader or prefer good old-fashioned paper and ink, there’s nothing like a literary festival to put real books first, giving you a chance to hear your favourite authors in person and put your questions to them. Now nearly a decade old, the 2011 Sevenoaks Literary Celebration has a strong focus on life stories, ranging as far away as China and Africa. Vine readers have already met three of this year’s visiting authors: Rachel Campbell-Johnston, Mary Lovell and Jackie Kay. Rachel, who is art critic of The Times, opens this year’s celebration on September 19 in St Nicholas’ Church where she will talk about her passion for the work of 19th-century artist and Shoreham resident Samuel Palmer. Mary Lovell, interviewed in the July issue, tells the story of Winston Churchill, not as a statesman but as a family man. Hilary Spurling, acclaimed biographer of Henri Matisse and Ivy Compton Burnett, has now turned her forensic skills to the story of American novelist Pearl Buck, whose early life as the daughter of missionaries in imperial China gave her the material for a hugely successful career as a novelist, beginning with The Good Earth, the novel that won her the Nobel prize. Her talk on October 5 closes this year’s festival. Scottish-born Jackie Kay, interviewed in Vine’s August issue, is one of several authors who will be telling the stories of their own lives; as a poet she has often explored what it means to be adopted, but her memoir Red Dust Road breaks new ground. It’s a painful and funny description of her search for her birth parents in Scotland and Nigeria. If Peter Sissons hadn’t been shot in the legs while covering Nigeria’s 1960s civil war, he might never have become one of television’s best-known news presenters. A long-time Sevenoaks resident, he has applied his meticulous old-school journalistic standards to his own life story, When One Door Closes, which began to the sound of German bombs falling on his native Liverpool. Two special events bring our readers up close with writers who are equally at home with fact and fiction. The guest at the 2011 Book Lovers’ Tea is Vanora Bennett, who has followed up a prize-winning career as a foreign correspondent with four inventive historical novels set in medieval and Tudor England. The speaker at this year’s Literary Lunch will be the multi-talented Daisy Goodwin, poetry editor, television producer and now author of My Last Duchess, a novel set amidst the late 19th-century aristocracy and the rich American heiresses they married. Professor John Mullan, who has a rare gift for making academic criticism on English literature fascinating with his regular columns in The Guardian, is making his third visit to Sevenoaks. This year he’s talking about Jane Austen, the subject of his forthcoming book. Another unrivalled expert – and a local resident – is Patricia Lovett, a standing authority on calligraphy. Her talk on medieval manuscripts will bring to life the age when books really were precious artefacts, long before hardbacks and paperbacks (not to mention e-readers) were invented.

(Clockwise from top) Hilary Spurling, Professor John Mullan, Peter Sissons, Rachel Campbell-Johnston, Jackie Kay, Vanora Bennett, Daisy Goodwin, Patricia Lovett and Mary Lovell September 2011 vine 17


TOP PICK The Last Slave Market by Alastair Hazell One of the pleasures of a book festival is to get ahead of the pack and discover unfamiliar new writers whose works are winning rave reviews. Alastair Hazell, a first-time author in his sixties, has uncovered in The Last Slave Market the forgotten life story of a real Victorian hero. Everyone has heard of Dr David Livingstone, but until Hazell began delving into the archives, nobody remembered the name of his travelling companion, Dr John Kirk. Yet it was Kirk, not the erratic and often paranoid Livingstone, whose patient diplomacy in Zanzibar from 1866 to 1886 finally brought the East African slave trade to an end. A lowly vice-consul and medical officer when he arrived, he became a trusted confidant of the Sultan of Zanzibar, whose island was the marketplace where thousands of African slaves were bought and sold for export to the Middle East. Not a man to trumpet his own achievements, he overcame accusations by the grandstanding explorer Henry Stanley that he had abandoned Livingstone in his hour of need. Like Gordon Brown, Kirk was a son of the manse from Fife. After his two decades in Zanzibar, he enjoyed a long retirement in Sevenoaks and was buried in St Nicholas’ Church. Kirk Court flats on Mount Harry Road stand on the site of the house where he lived with his wife Nelly and his four children, all born in Zanzibar. Matthew Parris’s enthusiastic review in The Spectator hails the author for overturning conventional wisdom in several respects: “Hazell’s genius has been to plough through the huge and well-documented archive, follow his nose, and tell a tale from an entirely new perspective… and on every page he enthralls his readers.”

This is a humdinger of a tale


Dr John Kirk and slaves he met on his travels around Africa

FESTIVAL LISTINGS Monday September 19, 7.30 pm, £8

Wednesday September 28, 7.30 pm, £8

Tuesday October 4, 10.00 am.

Rachel Campbell-Johnston: Mysterious Wisdom: the Life and Work of Samuel Palmer

Patricia Lovett: Gold on Parchment: How Mediaeval Manuscripts were Made

Schools Event With Christopher Lloyd: What On Earth? The Incredible Story of Evolution

In association with Vine

Sevenoaks Town Council Chamber, Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3QG

Lady Boswell’s School, Plymouth Drive, Sevenoaks TN13 3RW

St Nicholas’ Church, Rectory Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 1JA

Thursday September 29, 10.30 am.

Tuesday October 4, 7.30 pm, £8

Friday September 23, 7.30 pm, £8

Schools Event With Meg Rosoff

Alastair Hazell: The Last Slave Market

Peter Sissons: When One Door Closes

Knole Academy, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks TN13 3LE

Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Library, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 1LQ

Thursday September 29, 7.30 pm, £8

Wednesday October 5, 7.30 pm, £8

Saturday September 24, 2.30 pm, £8

Jackie Kay: Red Dust Road

John Mullan: Jane Austen’s Genius

Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 3UL

Hilary Spurling: Burying the Bones: Biography and the Creative Power of Memory

Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 3UL

Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 3UL

Friday September 30, 7.30 pm, £8

Sunday September 25, 2.30 pm, £8

Mary Lovell: The Churchills

Weald Literary Walk led by Gilly Moysey (includes afternoon tea)

Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 3UL

Meet at Weald Memorial Hall, TN14 6PS Tuesday September 27, 12.00 noon, £25

Saturday October 1, 2.30 pm, £8

Literary Lunch With Daisy Goodwin

Book Lovers’ Tea With Vanora Bennett: Fact To Fiction

St Julian’s Club, St. Julian’s Road, Sevenoaks TN15 0RX

Knole Academy, Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3LE

Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks TN13 3UL n Tickets for all sessions except the schools events with Meg Rosoff and Christopher Lloyd are on sale at Sevenoaks Bookshop (01732 452055). Read more about the authors at n Read our interviews with Rachel CampbellJohnston, Mary Lovell and Jackie Kay online at

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In the bedroom: BeoSound 8 speaker dock with iPad

BeoSound 5 Encore really does have the invisible touch when it comes to maximising the enjoyment of your music collection, either as a standalone audio system or seamlessly sending your chosen tracks to other music players around your home. BeoSound 5 Encore can link wirelessly to your computer or hard drive, where your music is digitally stored with no loss of quality, and even connect to a whole host of portable devices by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, including your iPod, iPhone or iPad. Experience BeoSound 5 Encore at our showrooms today – as its name suggests we’re sure you’ll want to hear a great deal more.

Bang & Olufsen of Bexleyheath 155 Broadway, Bexleyheath Tel. 0208 303 2760 Bang & Olufsen of Bromley 62 High Street, Bromley Tel. 0208 466 8080 Bang & Olufsen of Tunbridge Wells 66 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells Tel. 01892 527525 September 2011 vine 19

iPod, iPhone, iPad and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. *Terms and conditions apply.

BeoSound 5 Encore... not wired for sound

Our resident forager and foodie Benjamin James of the George & Dragon, Chipstead has been unearthing the best in season this month

September has always been a busy month for pubs and restaurants and the George & Dragon in Chipstead is no exception. Many guests are enjoying the late summer sunshine in the garden while the highly organised customers are enquiring about bookings for Christmas, now less than three months away. Safe in the knowledge that our Christmas menus are planned, I can relish September’s abundance of British favourites appearing in the fields and hedgerows of Kent.

On the forager’s trail BLACKBERRIES

At this time of year you need only take a few steps along any local footpath and you will find hedgerows full of blackberries. There are many ways to enjoy this sweet, juicy fruit: one favourite of mine is in a blackberry-inspired cocktail called a Bramble. They’re popular at the George & Dragon, Chipstead but also simple to make at home. THE ‘BRAMBLE’ A sweet but refreshing cocktail with great blackberry and gin palate • • • •

50 ml Plymouth gin 25 ml fresh lemon juice 15 ml sugar syrup 20 ml creme de mure (blackberry liqueur, a good addition to your drinks’ shelf)

Traditionally served in a small rocks glass, you can also tweak it to make a long drink served over crushed ice. Shake the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup together with cubed ice. Strain over a glass full of crushed ice, then put a straw in the centre of the glass, gently pour the liqueur down the straw so it sinks to the bottom. Finish with a lemon slice and fresh blackberries.

Plums and damsons

Plums are in abundance right now: road-side stalls and farm shops have beautifully ripe locallygrown ones at reasonable prices. A popular dish at the George & Dragon, Chipstead is vanillaroasted plums on toasted brioche with crème fraiche. • • • • •

Four whole plums per person 10g unsalted butter 50g brown sugar Lightly toasted slice of brioche Vanilla pod split into lengths (one pod should make up to eight lengths)

Simple to make, take a non-stick pan and add the sugar and butter. Stir until it forms a runny caramel, add the split vanilla pod and quartered stoned plums, stir for one minute. Using a spoon, move the plums to one side of the pan, tilt the pan allowing the caramel juice to pool on the other side and place the toasted brioche into the juice. Using a palette knife, transfer the soaked brioche to a plate and spoon the plums over the top. Garnish with a spoon of crème fraiche, the spent vanilla pod and sprig of mint.

20 vine September 2011

Back home on the farm

We have been buying Ch art Farm’s new season venison now for the past month. Chart Farm venison is mu ch younger, tender and delicate in flav our than the old red deer that some peo ple may have tried in the past. It is a ver y ver satile meat: my Head Chef Oli ver and I love coming up with new ideas like this week’s Chermoula-marinated pav e of venison. September is also the sta rt of the apple season and The Hop Sho p in Shoreham is for tunate to have one of the last remaining orchards of the Norfolk Royal apple. This sweet old-fashio ned apple makes a fantastic apple juic e (we sell crates of it every week) and picking your own makes for a great afte rnoon out. n All of these seasonal ingredients can be found at the George & Dragon, Chipstead this September. Call 01732 779019 or book online at


from The Padwell words by local Rob Merrills The Padwell, Sevenoaks’ only pub owned by its punters, tells Vine the latest news from this much-loved community pub As Autumn approaches, The Padwell will be looking to show its true colours as things really start to pick up under the new management team. The first big event is the Harvest Beer Festival, from September 9 - 11, which is bound to be a great occasion with live bands, morris dancing, folk musicians and a wide variety of guest ales for the duration. Vouchers are available in advance for beer at reduced prices, with camping pitches offered freeof-charge in the orchards adjoining the pub so you can take full advantage of the savings

and the last of the summer sun! Friday September 23 sees a change of tempo with a dinner dance featuring Dean Weedon, a Rat Pack tribute artist fresh from stints in London’s West End and Las Vegas. The pub is also having a competition to design a new pub sign. Submissions must be made before September 9 and will be judged by beer festival attendees. The winner will receive £250 of vouchers to spend at the pub and be invited to produce the sign should they wish to do so. n Landlady Maria Gray is looking to bring in more innovations and entertainment to build the pub’s reputation. Check the website at and twitter feed @ThePadwell for up-todate listings and information

Spice up your summer with your family and friends at

Oriental Buffet       


MACKEREL THE KNIFE Like fish? Like jazz? Then you could be on to a winner, as The Bull in Wrotham brings the village alive with the sound of smooth jazz, flowing wine and a fish dish or two on a Friday. Sound good? Read on... For fish and jazz lovers (or both), what could be better than a night at The Bull in the quaint village of Wrotham for a fish feast on a Friday with the best local jazz talent? Fish night at The Bull, which has recently won an AA Rosette, is a real treat for those who appreciate a good glass or two of wine and award-winning cuisine. Enjoy a glass of Chablis or Kent’s favourite – Tenterden Chapel Down sparkling wine – while you listen to Javajam. The trio have played at venues including The Savoy, Bovey Castle and Pizza Express’ jazz club, offering a repertoire of tunes from easylistening to pop classics. You can expect to begin with some gorgeous Maldon rock oysters with lemon and Tabasco to kick off the evening and then move on to either king scallops, steamed mussels in a Thai broth or grilled mackerel, caponata and an aubergine purée. The main event offers every

fish dish you can think of, from whole lobster, Cornish crab and wild sea trout to lemon sole and skate wing (OK, there’s a 30-day-aged Hartley Bottom steak thrown in for good measure for the non-fish eaters). Dessert is of course fish-free, but delightfully indulgent (after a light fish course there should still be room for pudding!): bread and butter pudding with crème Anglaise or iced raspberry parfait should do the trick, or there’s the artisan cheese board, perfect for finishing off the evening. The charming 14th-century inn will provide a delightful setting for an evening of jazz, wine and great food with a lively atmosphere on October 7, with dinner starting at 6pm and music from 8pm. If fish isn’t your thing, but you like jazz, you can enjoy The Jazz Advocates, who play the last Wednesday of each month from 8.30pm. Admission is free for both events.

Award winning chefs prepare fresh food to provide a superior dining experience Eat as much as you like with a fixed price to choose from more than 50 items Exotic spices from China, India, Nepal, Thailand and Malayasia Perfect menu for all age groups of friends and family Friendly service to match with fine dining Very good value for money in this difficult financial time Children very welcome Please book a table to avoid disappointment


Oriental Buffet 96 High Street, Tonbridge TN9 1AP Tel 01732 361666

n To book, call 01732 789 800 or visit www. for more information September 2011 vine 21

The Plough Leigh

Address: Cheapest Pint: Tel: Opening times: Food: In a sentence: words:

Leigh Road, Hildenborough TN11 9AJ £3.50 01732 832149 Tue to Sat 12pm-3pm and 6pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-5pm, Monday closed A great selection of seasonal dishes – the carvery is its jewel in the crown An exemplary English pub set in a rural idyll

PUB of

the month

Charlotte Luxford


eep in the rolling Kent countryside between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge you will find the picturesque village of Leigh, which dates back to the 11th century. The Plough Close by at Powdermills, the handsome can cater for Plough Inn is a resolute favourite of the local dwellers and it’s not hard to see why. With its every taste – own impressive seven-acre lot, this pub has a glorious traditional garden but the building itself is just as noteworthy; sat in a concentrated conservation area of 49 listed hog roast buildings, Dating back to 1526, The Plough originally over an open began as three cottages and a smithy. It was built on the foundations of Hadloe Manor, and the tithe barn was charcoal spit; built 100 years later. barbecues; Once inside, it doesn’t disappoint; buffets; oldthe building is packed with all the character that you would hope to find fashioned in a quintessential English pub. In Kentish cream summer there’s the quiet backdrop of willows and flowers and in winter the teas and grand oak beams and roaring log fires medieval in the inglenook fireplaces make for a cosy feel. More importantly, a great sense banquets of community can be found here with a are all friendly attitude towards all the family (including the dog), making The Plough possibilities a perfect pit stop on country walks and cycle rides. The pub is also keen to support local producers, offering a range of real ales from the Westerham and Tonbridge micro-breweries. Dining at The Plough at Leigh is a real treat – it affords opportunities for those looking to sit down for a formal meal in the exclusive restaurant area, or for those who merely wish to grab a quick, tasty snack at the bar. An emphasis on seasonal and, wherever possible, locallysourced ingredients, means the menu at The Plough is constantly changing, with new specials being added every day. At the moment, you can enjoy a pheasant 20 per cent off terrine with melba toast and damson your food bill when you book a table chutney; a heart-warming duck, pork in the restaurant for four or more, and smoked bacon cassoulet with haricot Tues – Fri. Valid with this voucher beans and a blackberry and apple pie with berries from the garden to finish. There’s Offer ends 31/10/11 an eclectic mix of wines, many by the glass, which you can enjoy with your meal.

However, the chef’s pride and joy is the Sunday carvery (best to book) held in the Great Barn: three huge joints of meat – turkey, beef and pork – complemented by Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, a selection of fresh seasonal vegetables and lashings of gravy. The beautiful interior of the 17th-century old barn with its great oak beams, polished wooden floors and minstrels’ gallery can take 130 people in a formal capacity, which makes it a perfect location for special occasions. The Plough can cater for every taste – traditional hog roast over an open charcoal spit; barbecues; buffets; old-fashioned Kentish cream teas and medieval banquets are all possibilities. Wedding receptions are incredibly popular here and the wedding team prides itself on being able to offer over 50 years’ experience in wedding organisation, working previously at such venues as The Savoy and Connaught Rooms in London.

Reader Offer

22 vine September 2011

The warm interior of The Plough’s function room



An indulgent dining experience with French boutique elegance and charm 01689 855501 |

Beetroot and pickled walnut salad


of that sun and take up our menus while some and juicy and the confit not too overpowering short drive from Sevenoaks, delicious hazelnut focaccia and Provencal and falling straight off the bone. The other but far enough away to enjoy a bread is brought to the table. After some main of line-caught sea bass, crisp potato, meal in peace, is the delightful debate over the various options on the menu, paprika mayonnaise and samphire is enjoyed and sophisticated Lujon. Its manager Dominique Schefferlie points us in with a superb glass of Chablis; the fish tastes mysterious name means ‘warm, the right direction (he is brilliantly attentive fresh with a melt-in-the-mouth texture and gentle breeze’ and it couldn’t be throughout). One of us decides to the salty samphire works perfectly any more apt as we pull up on a balmy early brave the 24-hour-cooked lamb’s with it. evening; the last of the sunlight is beaming tongue and sweetbreads with Pudding is a sight to behold down on Keston Common opposite the sheep’s curd, while the other goes and I feel like a contented child restaurant, making for a perfect setting. On for the beetroot salad with Ellie’s Lujon’s kitchen with my (ironically) rather adultan evening like this, you feel you could still Dairy goat’s cheese and pickled like Kentish strawberry cocktail; be on holiday; warm enough to sit out on the has a strippedwalnuts. The beetroot salad is the warm madeleine cakes are terrace with a glass of rosé in hand, lounging amazingly beautiful, somewhere super squidgy and complement back, modern in your wicker chair, feeling rather pleased between a Hampton Court the tangy strawberry sorbet. The you’ve found a midweek haven to escape to. approach to food, showpiece and a work of art – it other exciting addition is the sea Inside, it is like a boutique hotel situated in letting the flavours salted parfait which is so delicious tastes pretty good too, with the Provence; delightful blue-greys and antique salty cheese complementing with the sweet fruit – anything creams offset the shine of the gold mirrors, do the talking the earthy beetroot and sweet with sea-salted caramel and I polished cutlery and sparkling glassware, pickled walnut. I try the go weak at the knees. The milk making for an indulgent yet relaxing setting. sweetbreads and tongue and I chocolate mousse doesn’t fail to Subtle touches such as paintings of romantic am pleasantly surprised with the deliver either: the yoghurt sorbet European destinations that once adorned flavour and texture of the tongue; the sheep’s is superbly fresh tasting and the cream and restaurant owner Angela Bell’s own walls; curd is absolutely delicious too with its essence mousse together is totally indulgent. There’s a beautiful flower arrangement in the of cauliflower. even hazelnut cake to go with it – you couldn’t completely renovated upstairs seating area; I have a smooth Argentinian Malbec ask for more in a single pudding. You couldn’t luxurious fabrics and soft lighting all complete with my Gressingham duck, cooked three ask more from this restaurant really. the look. different ways: confit, breast and a crispy But, just like the French, it’s all about good duck ‘cannelloni’; the breast is perfectly pink words: Charlotte Luxford food and decent wine and they have that in abundance here. Head chef Alan Irwin already has a Michelin Star background and has mentored Derek Donaldson, who is now up for Visionary Dining Chef of the Year. Lujon’s kitchen has a stripped-back, modern approach to food, letting the flavours do the talking and it is not afraid to put on the more unusual cuts for discerning foodies as well as the solid favourites. While the dining experience is great, Lujon isn’t ostentatious – granted you can dress up and make a date of it, but equally you can gather round the table for Sunday lunch with the family. Weekly Set Lunch Either way, you’ll enjoy Tuesday - Saturday a lively atmosphere, 2 courses £14.95 surrounded by others 3 courses £16.95 having a good time. We are sat at a table Dominique Schefferlie, Sunday Roast next to the patio doors, Angela Bell and Alan Irwin Indulgent yet relaxing 2 courses £16.95 trying to make the most

3 courses £19.95 September 2011 vine 23




sanctuary A SEASONAL

Autumn is approaching and Christmas will be here before you know it, so what better excuse than to curl up at a village pub and enjoy a hearty meal? The White Hart in Brasted has the right mix of luxury and historic appeal


ith the nights gradually drawing in, The White Hart’s lavish interior, fine dining and historic charm makes for the perfect cosy winter haunt. The pub, situated in the beautiful village of Brasted, dates back as far as 1386 in Richard II’s reign and managed to escape several hundred bombs dropped during World War II, with many RAF pilots grateful of this inviting sanctuary. The legacies of the servicemen remain at the pub: framed photographs; canvases; wallpaper made from photos of the pilots and a replica of the blackout board which WWII RAF men signed have all been integrated into the pub’s luxurious interior. History aside, this pub is luxurious and contemporary: while it is smart it still has a sense of comfort about it and what it lacks in classic pub trinkets it makes up for in a mix of velvet, tweed, reindeer skins and polished parquet flooring. There are a great number of tables by open fires which make for the perfect setting to enjoy the pub’s new autumn menu, full of comforting meals. Expect delicious offerings such as lamb rump and traditional favourites such as a heart-warming lasagne. There’s never been a better time to enjoy a Sunday roast either: lashings of gravy, seasonal vegetables, Bloody Marys and the Sunday papers provide the perfect way to see out the weekend. While the food is great at this village pub, it doesn’t have to be pricey; The White Hart offers a prix fixe menu throughout the week for

The White Hart’s plush interior

24 vine September 2011

This cosy pub dates back as far as the 14th century

both lunch and early evening meals and all day on Monday and Tuesday. At £12.50 for two courses it’s a bargain and you can enjoy dishes such as curried smoked haddock fishcake to start followed by a spit roast gammon, mustard mash, pomegranate molasses sauce and green beans, or a cod fillet for something lighter. While it’s only September, many of us will just be starting to think about Christmas (even if we’re not, the Christmas merchandise creeping into shop windows is bound to remind us!) and it’s worth planning ahead as The White Hart gets incredibly busy over the festive season. Their Christmas menu is simply delicious with a really unique twist to each course – no dish is overlooked. The Christmas Day menu is a real treat with turkey and all the trimmings of course, but it also features unexpected dishes such as pan-fried sea bass fillets with crayfish and chive croquettes with saffron and lobster sauce or venison medallions with wilted spinach, roasted pear, celeriac purée and a St Germain elderflower jus. The festive menu is perfect for large parties at £21 per head for lunch and £26 per head for dinner for three courses. Slow braised beef in red wine with creamy parsley mash and horseradish crème fraiche, followed by a fun Baileys chocolate pot with whipped cream and candied orange zest, are just a couple of the tempting offers on the menu. n To make your Christmas booking, call 01959 569 457 or visit

There are a great number of tables by open fires which make for the perfect setting to enjoy the pub’s new autumn menu, full of comforting meals

ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE ...We are Entertainment!

SEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS Sun 4 Sun 11 Sun 18 Sun 25

One Night at the Proms Sesame Street Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers How The Koala Learnt to Hug

OCTOBER HIGHLIGHTS Sat 1 Sun 2 Wed 5 Fri 7 – Sat 8 Sat 8 Sun 9 Mon 10 Wed 12 Thu 13 Fri 14 Sat 15 Sun 16 Thu 20 Fri 21 Sat 22 Tues 25 Sun 23 Wed 26 Thu 27 Fri 28 Sat 29 Sun 30 Sun 30

Book online at: Box Office:

01892 530613/532072

Magic of Motown An Evening with Graham Seed The Hollies Mr Stink Rick Wakeman Milton Jones Soweto Gospel Choir Aled Jones The Eva Cassidy Story Rhythm of the Dance Elkie Brooks Marc Almond Kate Ashworth The Illegal Eagles The Burlesque Show Explore with Paul Rose The Snow Queen Peter Alliss Kate Rusby Gardeners’ Question Time Sixties Gold High School Rocks Reginald D Hunter Follow us: September 2011 vine 25

J Jane Austen is known for visiting her uncle in Sevenoaks, but the author’s ties to the area may go deeper than you think, says Tom Fleet

26 vine September 2011

ane Austen started writing as a teenager. Her novels, all published anonymously, were notable for their wit and insight into life as a 19th-century British woman and are among the most famous in the country. Perhaps the most celebrated ones – Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma – have been compared to numerous literary works from the plays of Shakespeare to Monty Python sketches. Although her popularity bloomed late, a 1911 essay on her works by Shakespearean scholar A.C. Bradley has been described as “the starting-point for the serious academic approach to Jane Austen” and a national poll in 2002 found her among the 100 greatest Britons in history. The Austen family was well established in Kent by the 1700s. Jane’s great-uncle, ‘Old Francis’ Austen II, was a prominent solicitor in the area and resident at the Red House on Sevenoaks High Street. In 1788 he invited George Austen (Jane’s Father), Jane, her sister Cassandra and her mother to a grand dinner at the house. When George was a boy, Francis had been his patron; he later paid for George to attend Tonbridge School. His intention was for the Austens of Steventon to meet the most senior and wealthy Kentish branch of the family, the Austens of Kippington. Among these was Philadelphia Walter, Jane’s cousin, who wrote to Elizabeth de Feuillide, Jane’s second half-cousin, of the events there: “My uncle, aunt, Cassandra and Jane arrived at Francis’ the day before [the feast]. We dined with them there. I can’t help thinking Cassandra was very pretty… [Jane] is very like her brother Henry, not at all pretty and very prim…Yesterday they all spent the day with us, and the more I see of Cassandra the more I admire her… Jane is whimsical and affected.” After the visit, George, Jane and the family travelled back to their home, and stopped on the way to visit his sister Philadelphia and her daughter Elizabeth de Feuillide, who wrote back to her correspondent Philadelphia Walter: “They talked much of the satisfaction their visit had afforded them. I love (my uncle George) most sincerely as indeed I do all the family. I believe it’s your first acquaintance with Cassandra and Jane.” This was not the only time Jane visited her affluent great uncle. In 1796, when she was 21, he most likely invited her to one of his properties in Chevening. Indeed, there is strong evidence that Chevening House (currently used by Nick Clegg and William Hague) provided the model for Rosings Park in Pride and Prejudice, with its “fine proportions and finished ornaments.” Elizabeth Bennet, the well-known protagonist of the novel, had a favourite walk which ran along an open grove, edging that side of the park on which the parsonage stood, leading to a sheltered path. This walk can be recreated almost exactly at Chevening House. In the book, Rosings is described as “a handsome modern building”, at a time when Chevening House, around 160 years old, had undergone extensive renovation and was described in Paterson’s Roads of 1826 as a “handsomely modern structure.” It seems Jane drew inspiration from the Sevenoaks area and her relatives here for many features of her books. The Gardiners, “a sensible, lively and intelligent couple”, in the same story are thought to be based on business associates of the Austens at the time, who had moved into mansions near Sevenoaks. Old Francis Austen’s son, Francis Motley Austen, became as big a property tycoon in the Sevenoaks area

FEATURE as his father had been. He inherited the Red House in 1796 from his father, but the Land Tax return for that year shows him also to be the owner of three Chevening properties. In the same year, he bought Kippington Estate, which would be passed down through the Austens. Jane writes of her father and brother Frank deferring a visit to the estate in 1801 to a later date – it is likely that she and Cassandra may too have been present. The Austen family had ties with the area long before Jane’s time, however. In January 1693, Elizabeth Weller of a distinguished Tonbridge family dating back to the Civil War married John Austen IV, of Horsmonden, Kent. By 1703 they had had seven children, including Francis II of Sevenoaks and William, Jane’s grandfather. But the following year John died of ‘consumption’, and Elizabeth was left with mountainous debts and a large family. Determined for a better life for her children, she travelled to Sevenoaks, where she took up employment as housekeeper to the headmaster of Sevenoaks School and was granted reduced schooling fees there for her children, and free accommodation. Henry Austen, Jane’s first cousin once removed and the son of her great-uncle Thomas Austen, who was an apothecary in Tonbridge, was at the school there when George Austen arrived. Henry became a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge in 1748 and was later presented with the perpetual curacy of Shipbourne by Lord Vane of Fairlawne. He married Mary Hooker – daughter of John Hooker of Tonbridge Castle – and retired to the town where he died in 1807. If Jane ever paid a visit to Tonbridge, it was most likely to Henry’s house when she

was young. His daughter, Elizabeth Matilda Harrison, was known to Jane while she lived in Southampton in the early 19th century. The Austen Family gradually blossomed in Sevenoaks and the surrounding area. Jane’s second cousin, Colonel Thomas Austen, became an MP for West Kent after serving in the forces and eventually inherited the Kippington Estate. He was also a governor at Sevenoaks School. Another second cousin, Reverend John Austen, was the rector of Chevening in 1813 and his son Francis Austen was the last relative of Jane to own the Kippington estate – he sold it to W.J. Thompson in 1865. Sevenoaks has been associated with such literary giants as Vita Sackville-West, W.H. Davies, and H.G. Wells, who penned the first science fiction novel The Time Machine at 23 Eardley Road in 1894. Frances Burney, the author who so greatly influenced Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice taking its name from the final pages of her novel Cecilia), once visited Knole House on her way to Brighton from London. But the Austen Family, linked with the area long before the time of Jane, had its roots in the heart of Kent and has produced more than one prominent figure in its history. Here, Jane experienced the intimate relationships between families and strengthened her understanding of middle-class society. Jane wrote to her sister Cassandra from her home in Steventon in December 1798: “People get so horribly poor and economical in this part of the world that I have no patience with them. Kent is the only place for happiness: everybody is rich there.”

Kent International Club share the experience of living abroad

Frances Burney, the author who so greatly influenced Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice taking its name from the final pages of her novel Cecilia), once visited Knole House on her way to Brighton from London


Mosaic Glass Terracotta Stone & Porcelain Tiles

The Kent International Club for Women is a social club based in Sevenoaks and the surrounding area. Regular events include: Monthly Coffee Morning (with speaker) • Badminton • Bridge Cinema Club • Country Walks • Gardening • Golf • Luncheon Group Mums and Under 5s • Book Group • Tennis • Ladies Night Out Theatre Handicrafts • Ladies to London Dinners • Wine Tastings

To discover more or join the club, visit or call 07982 089559


Library co. A T



Shear Farm Oast, North Road Goudhurst, Kent TN17 1JR Telephone 01580 212700 47529 September 2011 vine 27

ily pinboard m fa s k a o n e v e Your S

Football fever in Sevenoaks

All The Right Ingredie nts For Cookery Fun!

Clubs ⋅ Parties Holiday Worksh ops Schools

Young football hopefuls can take the opportunity to show off their skills at Elite Football’s 2011 trials for the Kent Elite squad next month. The trials, held at Sevenoaks School on October 2, will determine who will be selected for the squad and those chosen few will work with UEFA-qualifi ualified ed coaches and the Sports Science department’s physiotherapists, nutritionists and experts to improve their game and there’s even the chance to attend matches abroad. ■ n Read our story on page 61 for more details about the trials

pil hool or pu s about a sc w e e th n n g o n ti ss ci busine some ex ature your fe If you have to e lik ks or you’d in Sevenoa e@vinedig tt o rl a h c il ma pinboard e

More student courses in Tonbr idge

Birthday party coming up? Let's cook up some fun!

Call Catherine on 07748 715644 or email info@cookieskit


Kent • Sussex • S

tory duc o r t In ASS


ly music classes Top quality friend , songs & lullabies with traditional ussion rc pe & es m ga musical world. from around the

www.cookieskitc urrey

ol, to starting scho From newborn ps! m Bu al ic us M play with sing, learn and

Reader Offer WIN tickets for a family of four to see Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale ballet The Snow Queen at The Assembly Hall Theatre on Sunday October 23 and enjoy a delicious cream tea at the stunning Hotel du Vin. Simply email with your details

noaks Tuesdays – Seve & Sevenoaks ad he er Riv Wednesdays – tt Pla Fridays – 28 vine September 2011 www.musicalbum Tel: 01732 321217

Visit and

Tots’ Praise

Chill at the Chilstone Festival

at St Mar y, Kipping ton: a fun introduction to Christian worship !

the fun Just because the summer holidays are over it doesn’t mean for families has finished! The Chilstone Festival is the perfect day out painting. and includes everything from tightrope walking to face s of The event on September 25 is organised by the Friend John’s St lance, Ambu Air Kent of aid in is Penshurst Church and h and local Ambulance, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Penshurst Churc schools, held in Chilstone’s 35-acre private park. jazz; The day will include a variety of music such as folk and n alike, childre and adults for t ainmen entert street acts, games and Tightwire including the Wheelhouse Circus Theatre; the Travelling as well as a Show; ‘Take a Pose’ photography fun and face painting, and local number of arts and crafts exhibitors selling home-baked clothes ry, jewelle wrap, gift ies, remed care produce, facial and skin and interior design items. t head It’s thirsty work, so once you’ve enjoyed the entertainmen n Train over to the Lavazza coffee bar, Hepworths Brewery, Wago stalls or Steak House, Honours Ice Cream and other refreshment enjoy a picnic by the lake. in advance; n Admission: £20 per car (for up to 6 people) or £15 g parkin ample day; the on £3 or rians £4 for bikes and pedest available on site and dogs (on leads) permitted 6 or visit

n For more information call Bob Atkins on (01892) 87159

n Does your child have a creative streak? If so, send in their drawings or paintings to be featured right here on the pinboard.

What? A 20-m inute, age-approp riate toddler servi of story, action so ce ngs & instruments followed by drink biscuits, chat & pl s, ay. Open to babi es, toddlers, preschoolers and ad ult companions... come and join us ! When? First Frida y of ever y month , we meet at 1.45 for a 2pm start; an pm d on the third Frida y (starting in October), we mee t at 11am for a 11 .15am start. More... Our “se rvice” is usually he ld in church, with and play in our wo tea nder ful Centre ne xt door. We have ample parking, ba by-changing facil ities and disabled access. You can find us at the pa rish church of St on Kippington Ro Mar y, ad, Sevenoaks. And... There is al so a weekly preschool group, St Monkeys, ever y We Mar y’s dnesday from 10 .00 ‘til 11.30am Centre... a chan in The ce to relax while your children play . Please contact us at kippingtonpr aise@hotmail.c with any questions om , and the team wi ll get back to yo u. Rev’d Lynette Le ithead 01732 74 29 42 Ms. Lisa Cornell on 01732 46 20 79

Book the perfect party

Children’s par ties can be difficult to organise and kee ping the guests entertained is much harder, but with Spice Up Your Par ty you can be sure that everyo ne will be enjoying thems elves. With children expecting mo re than just jelly and ice-cre these days, Jill can provide am par ties that keep up with the latest trends – themed discos incl ude the ever-popular High School Musical, Glee, Grease and, for something more energe tic, try the hit-dance-workout zumba! If none of that suits, Jill can come up with a range of ideas that are all tailor-made to suit the client. The aim of the evening is to offer children, teens or adults of any age a fun tim e where everyone can switch off, rela x and enjoy the music. Jill will come to you fully-eq uipped with her sounds sys amazing lights, decoration s and prizes. Jill can even tea tem, ch dance as par t of the disco as she has a background as a profess ional dancer ; her love of music means she is in tune with the latest cha and the old favourites, so rt hits there’s something for everyone. As Jill is fully CRB-checked and as a female DJ, you can be ass ured that your children are in safe hands, as Jill worked at school discos too has . It’s not all for children tho ugh; Jill can arrange memorable Christmas par ties; bir thday par ties; corporate events and is also experienced in providing entertainment for weddings; Jill will meet to discuss likes and dislikes before you r big day so it’s special. n Visit www.spiceupyou and www.atouchofclassd or call 0800 012 1755 or 078 00 639 141 for more information

Heavy horses September 2011 vine 29

The three aaaghs


Reading, writing and arithmetic. Maths and English Study Programmes


Kumon can help your child progress with their maths and English studies, boost their confidence and help them shine. Kumon programmes: • work at a pace tailored to your child’s needs • give their confidence a real boost • develop invaluable study habits and concentration • establish a solid foundation for academic success • complement the school curriculum

A* GCSE hile the percentage of A and year, most grades is at a record high this good schools will tell you that getting es com it en wh grades isn’t going to be enough is ion cat re: an edu to looking for a job in the futu und a fifth of 16 about learning for life. With aro petition is fierce to 24-year-olds unemployed, com ls are striving to for jobs; our independent schoo t chance in life, give your children the ver y bes r truly well-rounded working with parents to delive ones. Vine takes individuals as well as academic ls in our area are a look at what the best schoo in our 18-page doing now to make this happen education special


Every day Kumon helps children of all ages and abilities to realise their true potential. With over 600 centres nationwide, it’s convenient too. Contact your local Instructor today.

Sevenoaks Study Centre Mandy Yarnold 01342 851221

Otford Study Centre Maki Bates 020 8333 9550


Every child can shine

Hilden Oaks School & Nursery

                  

            

OPEN DAYS  Friday 7th October 1.30 - 3pm Saturday 8th October 9.30am - 12 noon   Quality education for boys and girls from 3 months to 11 years

30 vine September 2011


 

 

y... a w s i Th 30/9/10


Boys’ Prep School 4 to 13

The New Beacon ● Brittains Lane Sevenoaks ● Kent TN13 2PB Telephone: 01732 452131 Fax: 01732 459509 Email: Web:

A leading prep school offering: ● Academic Bursaries/Scholarships available from Year 3 ● Outstanding record at CE and Scholarship ~ academic, ● Strong sporting tradition sport, music & art ● After school care for Prospectus and further information, please e-mail: Tiffany Spurling-Harrold at Registered Charity No: 307925




Sevenoaks School

When William Sevenoke left money in his will of 1432 to maintain a school and an almshouse in the town, he could hardly have imagined that both would be flourishing almost 600 years later. Vine speaks with undermaster Mike Bolton about Sevenoaks School’s success


he school has come a long way from its medieval foundation when it was set up to teach only Greek and Latin (although both are still taught today). From its origins as a free grammar school for a handful of poor boys, it is now the leading coeducational independent school in the country. Of course, most of its students still come from Sevenoaks and the locality, but the school now attracts boys and girls from over 30 different countries. Sevenoaks School aspires to achieve academic excellence, and its students’ IGCSE and International Baccalaureate results are regularly among the best in the country. All sixth formers study for the IB Diploma, which the school introduced in 1977 as an alternative to A Levels. Twenty-two years later, the school’s decision to give up teaching A Levels altogether provided the main story on the front page of The Times and was reported widely by television news channels. This decision has certainly been vindicated, as the diploma programme is increasingly recognised as the new ‘gold standard’ and welcomed as a qualification for entry to leading universities. Although academic achievement is at the heart of what Sevenoaks stands for, so too is the emphasis it places on co-curricular activities. With a wide range of sport, music and drama opportunities and over 50 clubs, all pupils can find something to get involved in. The school started the Voluntary Service Unit in the town in 1961, and service to the community also remains a central part of any student’s experience. The school is proud of its deep roots in Sevenoaks. For centuries it was the only grammar school in the town. It has always had a close connection with Kent Education Authority and, from 1945, provided free places. These were sadly removed in the 1980s, but the school is determined to widen its access as much as possible. The school offers a wide range of academic, art, music and sport scholarships to students entering the school at 11, 13 and 16, and is also building up the bursary fund, which enables talented youngsters from the local area to benefit from the opportunities which the school has to offer. William Sevenoke would surely have approved! n For more information on Sevenoaks School visit or call 01732 455133

▲ (Images clockwise from top right) The Space, the award-winning performing arts centre, provides firstclass teaching, recording and performance facilities, and is becoming an important local venue for arts activities; students get involved with the community in their weekly VSU afternoons; the school is represented at national level in shooting, hockey and sailing September 2011 vine 31


Combe Bank

Right from the beginning, Combe Bank girls are given the best start in life so they can prepare for senior school and beyond. Vine visits the nursery and prep school to find out more


ounded in 1924, Combe Bank nursery and preparatory school is a flourishing independent girls’ school that stands in 27 glorious acres of gardens and grounds, on the Kent/Surrey borders, within easy reach of central Sevenoaks. The nursery and school, along with the senior school, form the Combe Bank School Educational Trust.

The nursery

EYFS nursery classes are housed within a lovely courtyard area; having recently undergone complete refurbishment, this provides first-class facilities for both indoor and outdoor activities, including a speciallydesigned secret garden. The numbers in the two nursery classes, known as Daisies and Buttercups, are kept intentionally small, providing an ideal environment for growth and development. The nursery offers the highest quality childcare, where parents can feel confident leaving their children safe in the knowledge that they will be cared for by an experienced and well-qualified team. This is the only co-educational section of Combe Bank, accepting boys from three to five years old.

The prep

The prep school is housed in an original stable block and affords a unique environment in which the children feel safe and comfortable. Specialist teaching rooms include those dedicated to ICT, French, music, PE, speech and drama. The hall includes a permanent stage with sound and lighting systems. The older girls have access to a purpose-built technology room and to the senior school science labs. The ICT suite, networked to all classrooms, allows full class access at any time.


Beech Walk, with its secure adventure play area, gives the children greater freedom at break times. There are

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two playing fields and five outdoor tennis and netball courts. The purpose-built Jubilee Sports Hall allows for the teaching of multi-sporting activities and interschool fixtures. All pupils including the nursery use the indoor heated swimming pool weekly throughout the year.

Academia and the arts

Academic standards are high. The girls aged between seven and 11 are prepared for scholarship and entrance examination. Girls sit the entrance exams to the senior school and compete with other potential Year 7 candidates for academic, art, sports and music scholarships with high levels of success. Girls are also prepared for the Kent Assessment Procedure at 11+ (100 per cent pass rate for those girls recommended) and entrance into other independent schools. Drama and music also flourish in the school. Girls have many opportunities to perform throughout their time in the prep from large drama productions to musical ensembles. The majority of girls study at least one musical instrument from Year 3.

Teaching and pastoral care

A highly dedicated staff team take care of the academic, physical, pastoral and extracurricular needs of the pupils. They work together to raise the self-esteem of each child and encourage independent learning. The school actively promotes the development of a strong home-school partnership through parent consultation, information evenings and a programme of INSET. Headmistress Mrs Sue Walker said: “While academic rigour is at the heart of what we do, we never forget that there is more to childhood and learning than exams. We successfully prepare our girls for senior school but we also place a strong emphasis on providing a full and exciting curriculum. We will ensure your child is an eager, enthusiastic and responsive learner who skips into the classroom with a smile.”

Drama flourishes at Combe Bank

n Combe Bank has its open day for all years on Saturday October 1 from 10am – 12.30pm, where the whole family are welcome. You will have the opportunity to tour the entire school, meet the headmistress, staff and the girls and join the school for a famous Combe Bank lunch. An Open Evening specifically for sixth form entrants is held on October 11 from 7.30pm. Combe Bank would love to show you its successful, friendly and vibrant school. Visit www. for more information


A day at Combe Bank Vine follows one Year 5 pupil at Combe Bank, where a typical day can include anything from forensic investigations to street dance classes

Early bird today! I have been at school since just before 8am as I have 11+ Club. I do it with my friends who are also interested in doing the 11+. Anyone in Year 5 can join in and we do extra papers to get ready for the 11+ at the start of Year 6.


an Student working with ss cla in ard bo ve interacti

After registration we’re off to assembly. Today it’s a ‘Learning to Learn’ assembly – we all take it in turns to perform one to our parents and the rest of the Prep school. Today, Year 3 told us about their top 10 learning highlights. They did an amazing rap about art and sang songs about Boudicca.

Science We had a science week last term where we had a CSI investigation. We learned about forensics, finger printing and genetics. It turned out that one of the teachers had stolen a painting (she said she was just dusting it!) and it wasn’t a master criminal after all!

Breaktime It’s my turn to get the tortoises, Tilly and Tommy, out of their run in the courtyard and take them in their carrier up to Beech Walk so they can walk around on the grass while we play.


Science is an important part of everyday lessons

I love Maths! We go to Miss Cooper’s room for our maths lessons. She will be teaching me next year too. I am on the Maths Honours Board: I know all my tables “back to front and inside out” as Mrs Walker says. I am competi ng in the Super Maths Challenge which happens twice a term. Miss Cooper makes Maths fun and she says we are doing work that the older girls normally do. This is good because it will help me when I sit entrance exams to the senior school and Sevenoaks.

Lunchtime Lunch is delicious at Combe Bank. Roast is my favourite but there is so many options to choose from. We even had ice lollies when it was very hot last term!

Speech and drama The girls pose with their medals on the school playing fields

After lunch I do to speech and drama with my best friend Ellie. I am working toward my next LAMDA exam. We have speech and drama in lesson time and you can to more drama in lunchtimes and after school. I go to street dance class and musical theatre after school. I am looking forward to being in the Year 6 production next year. They do amazing shows like A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Pirates of Penzance.

English This afternoon we have English – we are learning about persuasive writing and I am writing to Mrs Walker to persuade her to abolish homework! I know that this won’t happen but I can have a go!

Swimming Then it’s swimming – I am aiming to become a member of the ‘20 Club’ (able to swim a length of the pool, 25 metres, in under 20 seconds!). We swim every week, as well as having our other PE lessons.

After school After school our netball fixture has been cancelled – shame it wasn’t at our school as we have a huge sports hall and we could have played inside. Anyway I can go to independent study so I can get ahead with my research project on Kenya for geography. September 2011 vine 33


Russell House

Russell House School in Otford is renowned for helping children reach the school of their choice at 11. Vine learns that by encouraging children to join in and aim high from an early age, Russell House students enjoy exceptional achievements in every aspect of school life


his year has been incredibly successful for many children at Russell House. Some have gained places at the junior departments of Trinity College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music. One child achieved a choristership at St Olave’s and has been singing with the choir for the royal family. In tennis, children have won a collection of county titles and, in swimming, a national trophy. Such exceptional individual achievements are not unusual in a school where every child is encouraged to aim high and achieve beyond expectation. Russell House is small enough to recognise the achievements and successes of individuals at every level and promotes an environment where children want to participate in all the opportunities on offer. “We have always had extraordinarily high expectations of our children,” says headmistress Alison Cooke. “It can be seen, for example, in the music our choristers sing, the challenges we give our mathematicians, the literature children study, and, most recently, in our choice of end-of-year production.” That production was Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which attracted rapturous applause as well as more than a touch of awe at the manner in which the children, aged from nine to 11, handled Shakespeare’s words and comedy. “In the production, the children rose to our expectations and even surprised themselves with what they achieved,” Alison Cooke continues. “The experience of approaching a challenge like this and the resulting success gives children so much confidence, both in their own ability and in tackling new challenges in the future.” The self-assurance children develop at Russell House is, Alison Cooke believes, one of the factors in the school’s continued success in helping children to gain entry to the school of their choice when they leave at 11. “Our focus throughout the school is on encouraging children to participate in the many, varied cultural, musical and sporting activities on offer here,” she says. “Children need to be happy and confident if they are to achieve their best and the confidence they gain from accomplishments in every sphere feeds into their academic success. You need only look at our results to see it works!” In choosing Russell House, parents don’t need to compromise between size and breadth of opportunity. The school remains small enough to provide a genuinely happy, relaxed family atmosphere and excellent pastoral care while still offering an incredible breadth of subjects and activities pursued to the highest levels. n Experience this remarkable school for yourself. Russell House School, Otford is holding an open morning at 10am on September 23, or call to arrange a personal tour on 01959 522352. For more information visit

34 vine September 2011


Granville School A balanced life is crucial at the independent girls’ school, The Granville, in Sevenoaks. Vine looks at a school year of top grades, exemplary pastoral care and exciting extracurricular activities The Granville School’s results have been outstanding this year. Thirteen scholarships and exhibitions were awarded to ten Year 6 girls: an all-time record for the school. The annual school fête was a real success with the Friends of Granville (FOG) raising money that facilitated the purchase of Granville’s first shiny new minibus. This is such a wonderful asset and will allow children to attend all kinds of events and sporting activities.

This year there were some great trips that combined education with enjoyable days out. One exciting outing for Year 5 was a visit to the Weald and Downland Museum. The girls dressed in Tudor outfits for the day: a pleasurable way to learn about Tudor history.

In the nursery, a water experiment is an informative and rather wet activity! An educational and exciting activity for the Reception class was incubating and hatching chicks. They learn to raise the chickens and care for them outside the classroom in a run in the garden. Eggs are raffled to provide for food and upkeep.

Physical education, games and swimming are important parts of the curriculum. The novelty races at the annual Swimming Gala are entertaining, while the Year 6 ‘crate challenge’ at Sports Day is really popular. The reward of an ice lolly at the end of Sports Day goes down very well!

Girls thrive in music and drama lessons and all classes perform in concerts. This year, the girls acted in the magical summer production, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

n For a tour of the school with the Headmistress call 01732 453039 or email For more information visit September 2011 vine 35



King’s Rochester As a new Principal prepares to continue King’s success from September 2012 and the school celebrates one of its best-ever years for A Level results, Vine asks King’s teachers and students what makes this 1400-year-old school so successful Kathryn Galliers: Head Girl 2011-12

Oliver Hiller: Head Boy 2011-2012

It is an honour to have the title ‘Head of School, King’s Rochester’ as I cherish the community at King’s. There is a family here that is constantly offering opportunities to everyone and as King’s is a small community, no one is forgotten; it is not every school where the Head Master knows everyone by name! For me, it is the finishing touches that King’s has really provided – I have the confidence to hold a conversation with adults (and this will prove to be very useful in my upcoming university interviews!) and I have the independence to question everything and think outside the box. One of my most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences at King’s would be the two-year course of I/GCSEs. Studying for these exams required a lot of hard work and commitment inside and outside school but it was eased by the supportive network that King’s provides as all teachers are able to address each student’s weaknesses (mine being that I write too much!). The teachers here not only give you the ability but the confidence and determination to do well; they do not treat us like children, but students where respect is maintained between both. In becoming Head Girl I accepted that there will be a lot of responsibility, commitment and time required but I have a great partnership with Oli as Head Boy and a great team in Vice Heads, all supporting one another. I know that this year, sadly being my last at King’s, will be even more memorable, exciting and fun than my previous years at this friendly and caring school.

It’s easy to take things you see or do everyday for granted, but I constantly find myself thinking about how lucky I am to be at a school like King’s. The beautiful setting is something really very special and, whether it’s playing cricket on The Paddock or serving in the cathedral every week, there are always opportunities to take part in a mass of activities. At times, the opportunities King’s presents can be the most challenging but also the most rewarding. We are encouraged to organise activities outside those already on offer such as the Three Peaks Challenge last summer and the World Challenge expedition to Ladakh in August this year. Aside from being a fantastic life experience, a rigorous test of character and a great team-building exercise, the World Challenge expedition was probably the most fun I’ve ever had. The ethos of, “this is your expedition”, allowed us plenty of freedom and we all needed to be well organised when it came to finding places to stay or transport to book. Experiencing a culture so vastly different from our own was incomparable and the people we met were incredibly welcoming – that was three weeks I certainly won’t forget. All these experiences teach us valuable skills for the future and I hope that being head boy and working with Kathy this year will provide more oppertunites to benefit King’s and the pupils.

A Level success for the senior team A great leaving present for current Head Master Dr Ian Walker came in the form of this year’s A Level results, “the second best in my 25 years at King’s Rochester.” Over one fifth of all grades were at A* and just under 50 per cent were at A* or A. Over 75 per cent were grade B or above and 24 subjects taken this year achieved a 100 per cent pass rate. He continued, “Young people are impressive. If you give them the right tools, they can fly!” Two top performers, however, were head girl and head boy of 2010-2011 who both gained 5 A* and As. Riti Patel and Michael Fedosiuk and their deputies Sara Ahmed, Helena Becci, Daniel Mutton and Dominic Saunders opened their envelopes to find The Senior Team had netted 13 A* and nine A grades between them, guaranteeing

36 vine September 2011

their places at Oxford, Bristol, Nottingham and Loughborough universities. Head Girl Riti is a scholar and plays countylevel cricket and Michael, who learned about his grades while on a World Challenge trip to India, is also a scholar, a cathedral server and also managed to play first-team rugby for the school and take part in the debating society. Senior School Headmaster Kevin Jones said: “These pupils are not only academically gifted and great contributors to the wider life of King’s but they have also shown that they can manage their workload alongside a heavy schedule of duties as Heads of School. We are incredibly proud of them and wish them well in their, no doubt, glittering futures.”

Sarah Skillern: Head of PrePreparatory School

Roger Overend: Headmaster of the Preparatory School

Kevin Jones: Headmaster of the Senior School

The Nursery and Pre-Prep are modern and lively learning environments where children receive a superb all-round education right from the very beginning. Children achieve great things in school because the teachers really know the children’s abilities and challenge them to move forward. There is also good liaison between all three schools at King’s so the pupils can be educated in the same supportive school right the way through from three years to 18 years. Children learn German from the age of three and there are always exciting projects on offer each term. Last year, we arranged a music and arts’ week which culminated in an art exhibition and dance demonstration. We also make use of the excellent facilities in the main school with curriculum swimming lessons from a young age and expert music tuition right through the Pre-Prep years. This year we are teaming up with the Pauline Quirke Academy to offer an additional performing arts and drama classes for pupils on Saturdays. We also offer numerous after-school activities; last year we ran a dancing on skates club in our sports hall and a photography competition.

Being part of a prep school until the age of 13 allows teachers to help the pupils manage the first two difficult years of adolescence before moving on to secondary school. They have the opportunity to be at the top of the school as Prefects and House Captains, and therefore as young men and women with responsibility. The pupils have more individuality and freedom, but in a comfortable and carefullycontrolled environment. It can be difficult making the move to secondary school: the workload increases dramatically; making new friends can be daunting and starting at the very bottom of a school can be stressful, so we feel our children are more prepared and confident when they make the next step at 13, particularly as almost all of them proceed to our own Senior School. There’s the opportunity to try many more subjects taught by specialist subject teachers and our pupils enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum. The school has a strong Christian ethos as a cathedral school; we have many pupils who become choristers and they are highly respected by their peers.

The headmaster of the Senior School has to finish off the fine work of his colleague heads, working with teachers, parents and students to complete a change from child to young adult. Good manners and open-mindedness are important but we also need top qualifications for our pupils: excellent grades at GCSE and A Level. Combining these with girls’ and boys’ other experiences and skills from King’s – leadership, sport, community service, fluency in languages and ICT helps to make individuals who are happy, confident, ready to make wise choices in the adult world and who catch the eye of admissions tutors and employers. It’s important work but great fun.

Reflecting: Ian Walker

A new beginning: Jeremy Walker

As Ian Walker’s 25 years as Head Master come to a close, he looks back on what’s changed and the school’s achievements during that time

An Oxbridge graduate with two children, and having worked as a headmaster, housemaster and subject head, head-to-be Jeremy Walker couldn’t be in a better position for the new appointment of Principal of King’s Rochester, having experienced every aspect of school life. Here’s what he’s looking forward to for the future

As you might expect, there have been many physical changes over my time here at King’s. In 1988 we opened a Pre-Prep for four to eight year olds. With the turn of the millennium, we were fortunate enough to move that Pre-Prep into brand new, purpose-built accommodation: Chadlington House. King’s became fully co-educational in 1992 and now we have a wellbalanced boy:girl ratio throughout all three parts of school. In that same year we extended the Preparatory School building and in 1998 a heated indoor pool was added to our facilities. In 2006 we also built a beautiful Conference Centre with a new dining hall for our PrePrep and Prep pupils and completely refitted our girls’ boarding house and last September we opened a new Nursery for our three year olds. We have an ambitious ongoing development programme at King’s which includes innumerable improvements to the many buildings on this historical site. King’s will remain a beautiful, traditional school occupying an ancient site in the heart of Rochester but with all the facilities of a top 21st-century school. I have no doubt that Jeremy Walker will take this very special place forward once I retire in August 2012 and will ensure that it continues to deliver an excellent education to the many pupils in our care now and those to come. I would not presume to give advice and I know that, like me, he will enjoy working with the pupils at King’s who are very special youngsters with intelligence, compassion, courteousness and a zest for learning.

The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our girls and boys and working with a talented, committed staff is what I’m looking forward to most. I have family and friends in Kent and have made many happy visits so moving to the area is something I am really pleased to be doing. I am passionate about the importance of education and was drawn to the school because of the warm and friendly atmosphere. King’s has an incredible 1,400-year history and a unique and beautiful setting which provide the foundation for a modern and dynamic education and I am looking forward greatly to taking the school forward from its current strong base. I want to continue to provide a first-rate education for every child within our care which will enable every pupil to have a successful and fulfilled life. Exam results are very important but a real education has to develop skills such as leadership, working with others and being proactive. Qualifications get you interviews but it’s the person who walks through the door that gets the job. That’s why extracurricular activities are so important as well as giving the opportunity to try new experiences. A wide range of interests and a strong set of values are the bedrock of a rounded, confident individual and that runs true from the youngest at King’s to those ready to embark on their adult lives.

I am passionate about the importance of education and was drawn to the school because of the warm and friendly atmosphere

n Jeremy Walker, MA, who will take over the leadership of King’s Rochester in September 2012 upon the retirement of Dr Ian Walker, will be present at the Saturday October 8 Open Day and is looking forward to meeting as many of King’s present and future parents as possible. Call 01634 888590, email or visit www.kings-rochester. for more information September 2011 vine 37




Sevenoaks Prep After over 30 years of life at Sevenoaks Prep, head teacher Philip Oldroyd has finally decided to move on, with another old boy Luke Harrison stepping up to the challenge in the new year. Charlotte Luxford asks what this will mean for the Prep’s future


hilip has always been part of the ‘Prep family’. He joined the school as a young boy and he has never looked back. Similarly, the school had a hold on future head and current deputy head Luke Harrison as he too has been involved with the school since the 1970s. Both men will work together as colleagues and friends to maintain the school’s success for the future. Philip said: “When I leave the school in January, Sevenoaks Prep will always have been part of my life in one way or another, having attended, taught and been head here. I will miss the children, their parents and my staff enormously. However, I will never really leave. As anyone involved in school life here knows there is a special bond with the school that creates an amazing loyalty and draws them back.” “Over the last 20 to 30 years, the Prep has always provided children with an education based on their individual academic abilities and needs, with pastoral care at its heart. I am particularly proud of our results over the past three years and a highlight has been seeing pupils achieve scholarships in all areas of the school’s curriculum.” So what changes will be made for the future? “It will be evolution, not revolution,” explains Luke. “I am very keen to continue Philip’s hard work in trying to develop the Early Years and Key Stage 1 teaching facilities and ensure that all our pupils experience a broad and exciting curriculum. It is also important to look the secondary school environment in Years 7 and 8. Most of the teachers of these classes at The Prep have a senior school background and I want to make sure the pupils feel as though they are entering a new, secondary phase in their education whilst at the same time continuing to benefit from learning in a prep school environment.” Luke was a secondary school teacher himself, beginning his career at two comprehensive schools in Cornwall. From there, he moved on to the Weald of Kent Grammar School for Girls where he taught English and Theatre Studies to A Level standard. Prior to his arrival at Sevenoaks Prep, Luke taught at Kingston Grammar School, an independent 11-18 school. These experiences have given him an insight into the school environments his prep students feed into and having taught in both prep and secondary settings, he is wellequipped to prepare students for a smooth transition into their destination schools. “I don’t want to make myself invisible and hope to continue teaching; I want the children to see me around school and keep the same open door policy that Philip so successfully maintained.”

38 vine September 2011

How have parents and students reacted to the forthcoming change? “I have had really lovely comments and I was really pleased that my students felt they could come up and talk to me about it,” says Luke. “It’s a big responsibility but I have a very supportive team behind me and The Prep is a wonderful place; there isn’t a day I’ve got up for school and not looked forward to it. Every day is different and children are the most entertaining people around. My two girls attend the Pre-Prep and skip into school every day – they seem to be comfortable, so I’m very privileged that my family and I are a part of it.” However, while the Prep is a safe haven, the students are still very much encouraged to keep in touch with life outside the school gates. The Prep’s work with a range of charitable organisations, as well as numerous school trips, visits from external specialists and school projects supports this concept. The Prep’s groundbreaking Social Entrepreneurs Project (SEP) has been highly successful and combines enterprising education with social responsibility, raising money for charity HopeHIV through entrepreneurial initiatives. Philip will be sad to leave but looks forward to the future: “The ethos of the school has never really changed over the last 30 years and it is almost ‘inbuilt’. It is the children and their parents that make the school what it is and I have no doubt that this will remain the case under Luke’s leadership. He understands the school and this provides reassurance for current and prospective parents. I have been invited to return to the school as a governor and therefore will continue my long association with the school and will be able to advise on many aspects of school life as it moves forward.”

▲ The new head teacher Luke Harrison n Visit uk or call 01732 762336 to arrange a visit

▼ Philip Oldroyd will be stepping down as head teacher


Fosse Bank School Vine catches up with Miss Sarah O’Connor of Fosse Bank School who tells us the latest news on the Year 6 leavers’ successes; the new Phoenix club and the return of the Head this September


osse Bank School is a unique co-educational independent primary school situated conveniently in Hildenborough between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge. We offer a family-friendly education for every child, encouraging and nurturing confidence in academic learning, social skills, sport, drama and art. With only just over 100 children in the entire school, focus on the individual is a genuine promise.


Our Year 6 leavers have had another excellent year and we wish them every success as they head off to: Tonbridge Girls Grammar; Notre Dame Lingfield; Frewen College; The Judd; Skinners; Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar School; Bennett Memorial Diocesan and Sackville School. The Head Mrs Gillian Lovatt-Young arrives back from maternity leave and we are delighted to have her back again working closely with the Deputy Head Mr Jamie Broad who has done an excellent job standing in for her during her absence. EDUCATION AT FOSSE BANK SCHOOL

Fosse Bank is able to offer a truly tailored education for your child because we are determined to continue to retain a single form entry of 18 children. Each class has not only a fully qualified teacher but also a fully qualified teaching assistant. Staff-pupil ratios are therefore never in excess of one to nine throughout the school from Reception to Year 6. Our dynamic and flexible Pre-school offers a seamless entry into Reception and many of the children who continue throughout the school start with us at the age of three. We are pleased to be able to offer flexible sessions from as few as two per week to as many as 10, which can consist of a mixture of mornings, afternoons or full days.


All our children attend a Taster Day before they start with us and parents are welcome to book one after either attending one of our forthcoming Open Mornings on Wednesday September 28 or Tuesday November 29 from 11am until 12.30pm, or after making an individual appointment to meet the Head and have a tour of the school. OUR FACILITIES

The excellent facilities we have mean that our children have access to our own indoor swimming pool; a stateof-the-art ICT suite; 26 acres of beautiful secluded grounds and bright and airy classrooms, all helping the children to develop a love for their school and environment in which they can learn.

n Call 01732 834212 or email admissions@ fossebankschool. or visit www. for more information


In response to parental interest we have also started to run our own after-school care facility, the Phoenix Club, which enables children from Pre-school upwards to be looked after in the school until 6pm every school day. Mrs Osgood and Mrs Lucas who run it are full of enthusiasm for this new venture, which can be used either on an occasional basis or can be pre-booked in advance. It is proving to be extremely popular with many of our working parents, and the children love it too! At Fosse Bank pupils are treated as individuals and inspired with confidence to reach their full potential from an early age September 2011 vine 39


A tale of two STUDENTS As the summer term came to an end, Vine visited Walthamstow Hall Senior School to speak to a Year 7 student and the outgoing Head Girl about how they had found their first and last year at school

Alice Lupton, finished her first year as a ‘Third Former’ (Year 7) at Walthamstow Hall in July; she returns to school this September as a ‘Lower Fourth’ (Year 8)

I decided to come to Walthamstow Hall because the atmosphere at the open day I went to was friendly and welcoming and pupils were smiling and enjoying themselves

How did Walthamstow Hall help you get through the first few days at school? We covered everything we needed to know as soon as we started on the first day, things like the school bells, the lunch routine and where to go for lessons. The only things I was nervous about when starting school was the homework and finding my way around, but my form teacher covered both of these things right away. They built the homework up slowly so we didn’t get the full amount we are given now on the first day. Our teachers also explained our timetable and showed us the map of the school in our planners that we keep with us. Are the other pupils friendly? Everyone in my year is extremely friendly and very easy to get along with. The form groups have been mixed up well because there is a range of personalities and we all get along very well. The teachers make sure nobody is excluded and that everyone has someone to be with at lunch or break time. We also all met each other at the induction day before we started, which made everything a lot easier than having to meet everyone for the first time on the first day when there are so many other things to take in. What made you decide to come to Walthamstow Hall? I decided to come to Walthamstow Hall because the atmosphere at the open day I went to was friendly and welcoming and pupils were smiling and enjoying themselves. Some other schools I went to didn’t have the same atmosphere. The sixth former who showed me around was also very friendly and I could see that the other sixth formers were the same. The lessons I went to seemed very interesting and the interactive white boards were a very new way of learning and it looked exciting. The teachers who I spoke to were very kind and funny. I could also see that pupils were friends with people from the year above and below, there were no certain groups. What have you enjoyed most about your first year? The thing I have enjoyed the most is meeting many new friends. I have also really enjoyed a wider range of subjects, like Drama, Design Technology and separate science lessons: I had only one lesson of science at my primary school, which had all subjects squeezed into one, but now I have Chemistry, Physics and Biology with the correct equipment. What has been your favourite subject? My favourite subject has been Drama. All the teachers are professional drama

40 vine September 2011 Alice Lupton

teachers and they don’t just teach us improvisations, they also teach us important words and techniques about how to perform a piece. Another subject I have been enjoying is English because we do a lot of creative writing, which is my favourite thing to do in a lesson. What extracurricular activities have you liked doing? I have been enjoying many extracurricular activities like Trinity Guildhall Drama, which is a lesson with only two pupils. The teachers are really kind and lots of fun and I seem to be getting a lot better at Drama. I am also enjoying a wide range of sports like netball, rounders, tennis, athletics, gym and lacrosse, which I had never played before. I was nervous to start with but the teacher took each step slowly until it was very easy! Have you been on any exciting trips or visits? We have been on three exciting and interesting trips this year. The first was to the beautiful Mandir Temple in London where we learnt about Hindu worship. It was an extremely interesting trip and I learned a lot. The next trip we went on was to the Herstmonceux science park where we got to complete many tasks and experiments and play fun, but educational games. The next place we visited was the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve where we looked at all the things that live in ponds and trees and why they live there. This was also very exciting as we could get quite muddy and wet! We also have smaller trips where we visit somewhere with just our class, not the whole year group. For example, my art class went to a church where Marc Chagall had designed some windows. What are you looking forward to doing as you start your second year here? I have become close to my friends in my class this year and I am looking forward to our classes being mixed up again so that I get to know more friends in my year group even better. I am also looking forward to having lessons with new teachers. Would you recommend Walthamstow Hall to those thinking of coming? Yes I would recommend the school to someone because I think it is one of the only schools that act like one big family. Everyone knows each other and we all get along well. The teachers care for each student individually and treat everyone equally. I think Walthamstow Hall was a good choice for me and I think it will help me do the best I possibly can.

n For more Walthamstow Hall news and information go to To see the school in action come to our Open Morning on Saturday September 24, 10am– 12.15pm

The school has such a sense of community and family and the teachers make such an effort to know who you are and therefore help you in the most effective way

Sarah Ruxton joined Walthamstow Hall in the Upper Fourth (Year 9) when she was 13. She was Head Girl from September 2010 – July 2011. After gaining four A Level A grades Sarah is going to study medicine at Leeds University this autumn What in particular have you enjoyed about your time at Walthamstow Hall? The house music and house sports competitions are easily my favourite aspect of ‘Wally Hall’. The amazing school spirit and relationships they create are unforgettable. This more relaxed and exciting side of Wally Hall is not usually shown at open days and in prospectuses but it has definitely been my highlight. What made you choose to come here? I was shown around the school by the Head Girl of five years ago. She was so vivacious, friendly and confident that I knew that if I came here and became half the young woman she was then this was the right place for me to be. How is the school different from other schools? The school has such a sense of community and family that I didn’t feel at larger schools. The teachers make such an effort to know who you are and therefore help you in the most effective way. The girls at Wally Hall are also like no other and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Did you ever imagine you would become Head Girl? I NEVER thought I would be Head Girl! But from when I started here at 13, I have grown in confidence and selfbelief and knew that when I was elected that Wally Hall had equipped me with the skills to do a good job.

How has Walthamstow Hall prepared you for the next stage of your education? The science department has been amazing and has more than prepared me for going to university to study medicine this autumn. Wally Hall has made me confident and unafraid of the future: I have learnt key skills that are not only useful in medicine, but in life as well. How has the school helped you to cope with exams and university applications? The careers advisor has been invaluable: she knows each of our year groups really well and has therefore been able to help us all individually and in a way in which we know we are being truly listened to and properly suited to a future career. What advice would you give to prospective students? Wally Hall treats you as an individual and cares about who you are and what you’re interested in. The school produces young women who are completely ready to face their independent futures head-on. September 2011 vine 41 Sarah Ruxton


Kent College Pembury

In a new series, Vine looks back at over 50 years of Kent College Pembury history. From its roots in Folkestone through to the war years there is much to celebrate at the school’s 125th anniversary this September

In the beginning... Kent College opened on September 22 1886 with the French Miss De la Mere in charge of nine girls on Bouverie Road in Folkestone. An establishment such as Kent College (KCF) was very much needed at this time as there had been little for girls other than a governess or a small selection of private schools for ‘young ladies’. The Wesleyan Methodist Conference took up the opportunity and set themselves the task of building and furnishing the £15,000 school. The earliest recorded memory from an old girl was in a letter from Blanche Richardson who joined the school aged 15 in 1888. She describes Miss De la Mere as “quite a character – a bit French in manners! Once she called me out of bed at 11pm and took me on the front to see the moonlight on the sea.” Blanche went on to write: “There were 22 pupils in the school that term. The boarders fees were £45 per year, we learned all the usual subjects such as French, German, Latin, Algebra, Euclid, Drawing, Needlwork, Piano, Violin and Singing. We had a good gymnasium (below) and a Sergeant Court took us for a drill for which we had gym tunics made of very heavy serge. We all got

up at 6.30am and studied from 7am to 8am after eating a very nice hard biscuit. We had to empty our basins and tidy our wash stands before coming down and were supposed to do some little household duty. The meals were good but plain. On Sundays we only had an apple for pudding and ate it in the garden while we learnt our catechism. We had little books called ‘Conscience Books’, in these we were supposed to write down any rule we had broken during the week and on Saturdays they were shown to the Head. My usual offence was talking on the stairs.”

1890: The ‘forbidding’ Miss Chudleigh Miss Chudleigh reigned as Head from 1890 to 1899 and it is documented that she was an enterprising and successful Headmistress who prepared the school for its progress into the 20th century. In 1960 Arthur Atkinson, one of the few boys in the KCF Kindergarten in the late 1890s, wrote to the school in connection with his invitation to attend the school’s 75th Anniversary: “I remember Miss Chudleigh as a rather short, somewhat forbidding middle aged woman who inspired great awe into all the little tadpoles in the First Form. Nellie Hughes used to delight in chivvying me around the garden with a large snail to put down my back during the break interval. Most undignified thing for a lady to do, but there were only two boys in the whole school, the other being Stanley Baker.”

1899: A very modern headmistress In 1899 Miss Brunyate (right) succeeded Miss Chudleigh. She was a woman of very high academic calibre and was described by later Headmistress Miss Tilley as “One of the great headmistresses of her generation.” Miss

42 vine September 2011

Miss Brunyate brought the school’s thinking up-to-date and trained women who would be able to hold their place in the modern world

EDUCATION Brunyate brought the school’s thinking up-to-date and trained women who would be able to hold their place in the modern world. “Each girl was expected to make at least one contribution to the conversation, and an answer to a question was not considered adequate. The terrifying thing was that Miss Brunyate always knew who had not volunteered a remark, and all the form had to remain until the silent one had produced a remark. I remembered on two occasions, one ash-blonde girl, whose blushes could be seen through her voile blouse, eventually managed to say, “I did enjoy my bath this week!” which eased the tension as everyone laughed – this being the one bucket of hot water per bath per week. The other girl who had suffered much in attempts to cope with quadratic equations in Miss Brunyate’s class blurted out “I believe I’m beginning to like algebra.” I doubt whether she was speaking the truth.” Kathleen Powell née Kendall.

1914 – 1918: War approaches By 1914, Miss Brunyate had been the Headmistress at KCF for 15 years and the school was well established with a good reputation. However, with the start of the war and Folkestone being so close to the front line, every part of school life was affected with girls heavily involved in the war effort: “In 1915 girls were busily making bandages instead of dancing at the Saturday evening socials. Some organised a sale of work and used proceeds to send bread to Prisoners of War. Others took on holiday work to help the war effort and the usual prize givings (below) were discontinued from 1915 and instead girls donated money to war charities.”

Old Girl Enid Chenhall remembered her ‘free and easy style’ which was a welcome contrast to Miss Brunyate’s more formal approach: “When not in class, she called us ‘Old Girl’. This mateyness was unusual in those days when most Headmistresses were very dignified and remote. Harry was the first of a new type. I admired her tremendously and my parents approved very much of this modern Head.” One unconventional approach was that she played hockey with the girls, often joining them as a member of the school’s 1st X1; this gained her great respect and admiration from most of the girls.

1928 Tough times Miss Walker (top right) joined as Miss Hargreaves’ (below right) successor, having been the Senior Assistant Mistress since 1921, leading the school through the most momentous and critical years of its entire history. Known as ‘Johnnie’ (from Johnnie Walker beer), she may have appeared “austere on the outside, yet beneath the surface there was great kindness and a warm heart.” (Irene Webb, née Bellamy) Kent College was still recovering from the effects of the severe depression in the early 1930s and facilities were limited. In spite of this, old girls from this time succeeded in careers such as PR, agriculture, the civil service, radio, film making, nursing and secretarial work. “I do not think many of those present at KC in the early 30s would have criticised the lack of exam successes. Miss Walker constantly urged parents to let the girls stay on longer at school and take more exams, but the climate of opinion was not generally conducive to this and the financial slump was very real. The aim of most of our parents at the time was to give us a good general education, not an academic one and thanks at least partly to the school, I do not think we turned out too badly. We were largely expected to be useful allrounders.” (Rene Cornford)

n Senior School Open Mornings 2011: Saturday 8th October and Tuesday 11th October. 9.30am – 1.00pm n To book please contact Admissions: 01892 820218

1938 & 1939

Kathleen Powell née Kendall who was separated from her parents for seven and a half years while they were in Burma, remembered: “We felt close to the war in Folkestone. We could hear the guns across the channel. Promenading on the Leas were men in every variety of uniform and of many different nationalities, but the most moving sight was the departure of the cross-Channel ferries, packed with khaki figures, and the knowledge that so many of them would not come back. Of the few that did, most were in hospital blue. I was not surprised when I went back after the war to see that the long steep hill to the harbour had been re-named The Hill of Remembrance. No one who had seen those long lines of troops marching down there, knowing where they were going, could forget it.”

1918: ‘Harry’ the new Head In 1918 Miss Brunyate was succeeded by the young Head, Miss Hargreaves: “the energy and vitality contained within her small, neat frame impressed her colleagues and pupils, and indeed all through her life.” Known as ‘Harry’, she became a popular and highly successful Head.

In 1938 the school briefly moved to Cornwall as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the much greater move to Pembury in 1939. The decision was made that WW1 had been difficult and if WW2 came, conditions would be much worse due to the school’s location in a channel port. On September 28 1938 Miss Walker, her staff and 82 pupils journeyed to Penzance: “That summer, plans were made to evacuate us to a sister school in Penzance. The school there had two years earlier moved to newly built premises on the outskirts of town leaving the school empty, this is where we were to go. The journey to Penzance in early September was very exciting as a complete train plus goods wagons had been booked to take pupils, teachers, luggage, desks, beds, washstands, books and classroom items from Folkestone to Penzance. The first two weeks we split up into twos and threes and stayed with families of day pupils, teachers and friends of the school. Sadly conditions were very spartan after our comfortable Folkestone school but we managed and later thought it all an adventure. We spent about five to six weeks there and the danger of war receded. At Speech Day in 1939 it was announced they had purchased a very large country house and in two years’ time when alterations had been completed the school would move there. However when war broke out in September 1939 the school moved straight to Pembury, where it is today.” (Joan Harlow)

n Celebratory events in September include: Kent College’s 125th Birthday: Victorian Day and Folkestone Reunion Tea at The Grand on the Leas, both on September 22, and a Birthday Lecture with Historian Dan Snow on September 30 n For more information visit www.kent-college. or call 01892 820237 September 2011 vine 43


Sackville School The pupils at Sackville tell Vine why small classes and a family atmosphere make this a hidden gem of a school

Ash and Luke Geer

Head Boy Lorne Burns, Year 13

The size of classes makes such a difference. At a large school and as a Year 7 pupil, you can be so overwhelmed whereas with Sackville’s small classes, the teachers get to know students personally. It also means that pupils in different years are not just a faceless blur. It would be hard to imagine a Year 7 at a large school approaching Year 11 students and asking to join in a football match, but I did that during my first term and everyone was really friendly. I love cricket and play for Worcestershire and Northamptonshire: Sackville has been really supportive. Academically, before I came to Sackville I struggled but the teaching and small classes have really helped and I am now looking forward to going to university, one where I can still play cricket, of course! The Sixth Form is amazing. You are preparing for the most important exams of your life and at Sackville you are in classes of about five pupils; I even had one-to-one classes. You get tailor-made lessons from exceptional teachers which is crucial to succeeding in your exams. I would seriously recommend Sackville to prospective students: you leave as a confident, well-rounded human being. I am sad that my time here has come to an end.

Ash and Luke Geer, Year 10

You get lots of attention at Sackville. When we first came we were really shy but it is so easy to ask teachers for help here. You become friends with everyone and your confidence increases. We join in lots more activities now and went on a school trip to Sicily this summer. We have also been encouraged in other areas such as sport and have played very successfully in the ISA Rugby 7’s, in Football and Basketball as well as coming second in the 4 x 100 metres relay race at the ISA National Athletic Championship in Birmingham.

Catherine Alexander, Year 12

I came to Sackville for the Sixth Form because I really wanted to experience the small classes and the focused, more personal teaching for my A Levels. You are not embarrassed to ask questions and you learn so much more. I also really wanted to take A Level photography which I couldn’t do at my previous school. Sackville has allowed me to develop my interest and I really enjoyed working on my coursework: photographing cheetahs and meerkats!

Catherine Alexander

Theo Farringdon, Year 11 Lorne Burns

Robyn Bannister, Year 9

Sackville supports you both academically and in extracurricular activities. I am on the school parliament; love singing at concerts and prize-givings; acting in plays and I have had the chance to play so many sports from rounders, to netball, to high jump. I hadn’t tried high jump until I arrived here, but this year I actually won the regional competition and got to go to Birmingham for the nationals. There is a really great balance here at Sackville. Robyn Bannister 44 vine September 2011

At Sackville, I have realised how interested I am in the technical side of music and drama. I am involved in so many projects, including the outdoor music festival. Here you get to try your hand at what you like: at a larger school there may be 10 or 20 students who all want to do the same thing. I am really looking forward to the Sixth Form and Sackville has enabled me to really focus academically: I will be studying maths, chemistry, applied ICT and music technology for my A Levels. I love it here and you have great relationships with teachers and students: it’s not your average school!

Theo Farringdon

n For more information on Sackville School, or their open day on Saturday October 8, visit or call admissions on 01732 836401



Caterham School You may remember when soulless dictation or constant repetition was part of the mundane school routine. While those teaching methods may have worked for the minority, what about the rest of us? Charlotte Luxford talks to Kim Wells about a more progressive approach

I n Visit www., email admissions@ or call 01883 343028 to arrange a visit

t’s obvious, but everyone is different and therefore our learning styles are bound to be unique too. Caterham School in Surrey is well ahead when it comes to preparing its students for the adult world: Caterham’s motto is ‘Education for Life’ and this is what its pupils get. The role of Director of Learning and Teaching was born in 2004 after recognising the need for each pupil to understand how they learn best and how to think independently and creatively for their future life. Director Kim Wells has introduced countless initiatives that aren’t subject-specific, but can be applied across all areas of learning. He said: “There is an intense pressure on students to produce excellent exam results, but in order to flourish in the modern world they need transferable skills to be able to think independently.” A study skills programme has been introduced, where students cover areas such as lateral thinking and learning styles in the first and second year. The school uses multiple intelligence testing to find a student’s preferred

Kim’s top tips for effective learning

g difficult or important, explain it to (1) Teach it: when you learn somethin and do, er 90 per cent of what we say, hear, someone else afterwards. We rememb ory really does commit it to mem so having to verbalise the infor mation by ly bad: some children are ‘disturbed’ (2) Listening to music isn’t necessari ering hoov like e, with background nois silence. If this is the case, trial working and quietly, preferably at around 60bpm ic mus to listen or e elsewhere in the hous with no lyrics 20-40 revision should be pretty intensive, so (3) Don’t work for too long in one go: ents mom ld help limit those daydream minutes followed by a short break shou of e: moving to another location is a form (4) Work in different places in the hous subrent diffe ing association so try learn break, but also our memories work by ll in the exam room reca help to tions topics in different loca , like them in places where you spend time (5) Use Post-it notes for key facts: put er emb rem you help will facts key reviewing on the bathroom mirror. Constantly things, but won’t feel like work

learning style and when it gets closer to GCSE and A Level, half-day courses are introduced on memorising, note-taking, speed reading and exam technique. Kim has an open door policy and an amazing ability to help all students, covering a broad range of subjects. Study surgeries can uncover all sorts of revelations – some children discover that listening to podcasts on their iPod can help; others, reciting information to a pot plant, and some more creative types find using symbols rather than words can help. The school’s study buddy scheme has also become highly successful where sixth formers volunteer 20 minutes a week to help younger students. One pair spoke informal Spanish to each other which helped both tremendously and friendships tend to grow way beyond these sessions. ‘Study champions’ (extremely gifted students) will help lower sixth students with coursework and sometimes become auxiliary classroom assistants. “We want to change the direction of learning all the time; the teacher shouldn’t always be at the centre of learning and with pupils teaching others, they can associate pieces of information with the individual they are teaching, thereby remembering more of the lesson’s content,” explained Kim. Sixth formers are also required to take on an independent research project where students select a topic and present it in a format of their choosing whether it be an extended essay, a short film or a sustained scientific investigation. If parents are in the least bit unconvinced by these new teaching methods the results speak for themselves: the school is the only one in the country that is both in the top 35 of the Financial Times’ A Level results list and top one per cent of ‘value added’ (this takes into account the child’s progression from start to finish, not just the results). The school was also the first independent school in the country to have achieved ‘Thinking School’ status from Dr Edward De Bono in 2006, which has now been upgraded to ‘Training School’ status by Dr De Bono himself. Parents aren’t left out of the equation; Kim runs training events for parents to bring them up to speed on study skills, the ‘Six Thinking Hats’, and nonverbal intelligence so that they can fully understand and support pupils’ work at home. September 2011 vine 45



Reassuringly academic

A school without rules? No, but Rochester Independent College is a fresh alternative to traditional private schools and its students still achieve first-class results. Ashleigh Togher investigates


ith no class-time bells or school uniforms and children on first-name terms with their teachers, it is obvious that Rochester Independent College (RIC) is not your typical independent school. Founded in 1984 by Brian Pain and Simon de Belder, RIC takes day students from 11 years old and boarders from 16, discarding a stifling atmosphere in favour of a more relaxed learning environment. This does not mean that there are no rules, homework or mandatory attendance; on the contrary, all these things are of equal importance to RIC as they are to any other school. It’s just that the pupils at RIC are treated as young adults in an atmosphere closer, in some respects, to a university than a school. One of the school’s three principals, Alistair Brownlow, observes: “There is a sort of institutional informality, but that co-exists with a traditional approach to teaching. At Rochester, underneath the kind of trappings perhaps more associated with alternative schools, there is a rather old-fashioned academic rigour.” The college, attended by about 280 students, holds very small classes in a round-table environment ensuring attention is paid to each individual. Originally recognised for excellence in preparation for competitive courses such as medicine, the college’s curriculum now

combines excellence in Maths and Science with the creative arts – a broad education ultimately geared toward achieving top examination results. Led by enthusiastic teachers, some of whom attended RIC themselves, classes naturally bring out an outstanding level of participation and engagement from its students. RIC’s approach has been praised by a multitude of independent bodies. Ofsted’s recent review was overwhelmingly positive, giving RIC outstanding marks in all areas including teaching and behaviour. Additionally, RIC was awarded a Silver Artsmark by the Arts Council of England in 2009 and two Good Schools Guide Awards in 2011 for the best points score in English Literature for boys and girls of any independent school in the UK. Entry is non-selective, though students must demonstrate a “willingness to work hard”. Last year’s sixth form leavers secured places ranging from Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge to History at UCL, Dentistry at Sheffield, Physics at Imperial, the London College of Fashion

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and the Fine Art Foundation Course at Central Saint Martins. Alastair Bennett is one of RIC’s many success stories. Arriving from The Judd School in Tonbridge with D,E,U grades at A Level and little confidence academically, he went on to achieve A,B,B at RIC and a place studying English and Film at Warwick University. Bennett reflects on his experience at RIC, saying: “What you have at the college is an ability to make gold from lead, to heighten the aspirations of dreamers to previously unthoughtof altitudes and, most importantly, to get them there.” Bennett has worked at EMAP’s Smash Hits Television and is currently employed by Channel 4. A current parent of the school said: “My wife and I left RIC after our visit convinced it was the right move for our daughter. In fact, it’s the kind of school we both would have loved to have gone to ourselves.” n For more information visit or call 01634 828115

BACK TO SCHOOL: WHAT NOW? As your child prepares for another year at school, The Parent Teacher Centre advises what you can do at home to help your child Moving up a year or starting at a new school can be daunting for both parents and children. You have probably already met the new teachers and have high expectations that they will educate your child to their full potential with inspirational learning at the right level. You also want them to understand your child’s needs, ensuring time in school is happy, nurtured and fulfilling. You are entitled to expect this service, especially if you are paying school fees! Here are some tips for learning at home:

own organisation, i.e. packing their pencil case, correct books, sport kit, etc., the night before so they learn to think for themselves and don’t expect their mum (and teachers) to remember everything for them. • READ AND DISCUSS It is so important to read to and with your child at home, through their primary school years. Reading a wide range of books not only teaches valuable comprehension skills, vocabulary and knowledge, it also leads to interesting discussion, independent research and openmindedness.

• COPING WITH TRICKY SOCIAL SITUATIONS All children have fall-outs in the playground and it is likely your child will feel wrongly treated at times. How your child learns to handle these instances is the solution. Talk things through objectively and equip them with the tools they need to cope with tricky social situations. If the situation doesn’t improve in a week or two, then discuss your concerns with the class teacher. • HOMEWORK HELP Parents who show an active interest in their child’s homework and learning generally have more conscientious, more content and higher-achieving children. Encourage attention to detail, neat


your child to take some responsibility for their

handwriting/presentation and the importance of always trying their best. Ask the class teacher how you can best support your child at home too. THINK SMILE LEARN

(from The Parent Teacher Centre) is an online store that provides high-quality, fun educational games, books and activities, fully supportive of the National Curriculum from nursery right through to preparation for the 11+, Common Entrance and beyond. They also offer free advice from qualified teachers. n Visit The Parent Teacher Centre shop in Sevenoaks, call 01732 742888 or visit www.thinksmilelearn. 0871 423 5656

Quote VIS12 at website checkout when ordering Visit our Sevenoaks store: 6 Bligh’s Court, Bligh’s Meadow. TN13 1DD. Tel: 01732 455360 Mon to Sat: 9:30am-5:30pm, Sun: 11am-5pm

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Many of us know Matthew Cross in Sevenoaks High Street as a quality hairdresser in town, but as Matthew celebrates the salon’s 11-year anniversary, we delve deeper into his past of glamorous shoots in the Seychelles and working with Damien Hirst


atthew Cross never started small. He kicked off his career in the West End at John Frieda in 1989 and then onwards and upwards to Nicky Clarke shortly after. Realising his own talents, Matthew started doing freelance shoots, commercials, pop videos and shows all over the world, which is when the fun began. His career is catalogued in numerous ‘tear sheets’ for magazines like Cosmopolitan, Harpers & Queen, Tatler and national newspapers as well as music videos for stars like George Michael, The Spice Girls and Duran Duran while also having done hair for the likes of Ruby Wax, Jennifer Saunders and Bridget Fonda. He has decided to dust off memorabilia from the past and hang it proudly in his salon in an exhibition that celebrates English hairdressing and the salon’s collective talent that sets it apart from many. The salon opened in 2000 and is now one of the leading salons in the south-east. “We offer quality and honest hairdressing in a relaxed environment. We offer London quality but to suit our clients’ lifestyle,” says Matthew.

Matthew reminisces... What’s your career highlight? Cutting Mick Jagger’s hair – he’s like your dad and a real family man. We talked about fashion mainly; he’s really into it...and the female models! I also loved working with INXS, the Australian rock band; I worked on their last single and did their hair for Top of the Pops. I did the Spice Girls’ hair for a lot of their videos too. I always aspired to work for Harpers & Queen too and managed that so I’m happy! What was your most memorable photoshoot? I loved working in the Seychelles – we had a private plane and visited every island I could think of; as an assistant I never imagined getting there. I also worked with Damien Hirst on his first commercial for a science channel called 100% Weird. We shot it in Spitalfields Market and got the models to dress up like 1940s washer women with a meat theme (Lady Gaga spring to mind?) – their hair was dressed like kebabs! He wanted to do it in a basement but as a

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carcass was carried down into it, the stairs broke due to the weight so he decided it would have to be chopped up – which he did himself ! That week I remember going to the Groucho Club in Soho and David Hockney was there – it’s something I’ll never forget that’s for sure! Who was your most difficult client? Juliette Binoche for The English Patient premiere – Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes were great though. I find it’s actually the up-and-coming models and artists who are the most demanding; those who are already famous are comfortable with themselves, whereas people like Big Brother contestants who are desperate to be famous with little talent are tricky customers. n An exhibition of Matthew’s portfolio will be shown in the salon until September 13, with a drinks evening to launch the exhibition on September 8 from 6pm. Visit www. or call 01732 461 988 for more information




Vine brings you the highlights from this season’s beauty collections BRILLIANT BLUES

AUTUMN BRONZE Nars’ ‘Delphes’ trio has taken organic autumnal colours and put a contemporary twist on them with their delightful combination of sheer peach, dove grey and frosted sage, £33. Bobbi Brown and MAC have followed the trend with this metallic raspberry lipstick, £18, and coffee-coloured eyeliner for a softer look, £11.50. Spruce up your nails with this trio from the new Biba range in shades of vibrant purple, caramel and burgundy, £21.

Christian Dior once said “Midnight blue is the only colour that can ever compete with black” and it seems every designer has gone barmy for blue. Dior has reinvented the smoky eye with its ‘Blue Tie’ eye palette, £52, and Chanel’s ‘Les Jeans de Chanel’ nail polishes, £16.50 each, are going to be big sellers. This beaded peacock feather clip, £18, from Accessorize and silver woven headband, £4, from Topshop complete the look.


Put the fun back into doing your make-up in the morning with this colourful cream eyeliner palette from Smashbox, £30.50; MAC’s neon-bright cinematic brushes, £39.50 and ‘Pink Nouveau’ lipstick, £13.50, and Clarins’ pixel-perfect ‘3D Radiance’ face powder, £30.

STOCKISTS • • • • • • • September 2011 vine 49


SALON of the MONTH Let’s face it, going to the hairdresser’s these days is more of a luxury than a right. So when we do go, it should be a seriously indulgent case of ‘me-time’ rather than squeezing in a quick cut and blow-dry. The Chapel is deliciously extravagant, but not outrageous in price says Charlotte Luxford


he Chapel in Sevenoaks really is a sacred place. Taking after its successful counterpart in Tunbridge Wells, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary with a complete re-fit, the Sevenoaks salon is set in what was originally a 19th-century chapel constructed by John Thorpe of Greatness Mill and also housed St Nicholas Infants School. While the building is beautiful, with its huge, timberframed windows letting in lots of natural light, it is the contemporary interior and revolutionary concepts that make The Chapel special. The Chapel is not merely a salon, it is more like a boutique hotel and trust me, you’ll feel like checking in for the weekend once you’re there. There are many things that make The Chapel unique. Firstly, you book by the hour so there’s no need to sacrifice your usual full head of highlights for touching up the roots due to price – whatever you have done is irrelevant, you’re simply paying for your stylist’s time, ensuring you get a truly tailored service. Secondly, you’re not facing the wall, or looking out onto the high street when having your hair done, saving any embarrassing situations. The mirrors are suspended from the ceiling in a light and airy space with no clutter to be seen; colour is then applied in a relaxing and peaceful colour studio where you can unwind by a warm fireplace and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or a nice cup of coffee; there’s even the option of lunch if you’re feeling peckish. Thirdly, there are no junior stylists here, so you are totally pampered by your stylist from start to finish who will indulge your every whim while you are here. Your

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hair wash for example isn’t merely a quick shampoo, but a lavish experience of massaging leather chairs, Redken hair masks, and an Indian head massage in a lamp-lit room with soothing music. I was greeted by stylist Jodie Daniels for my appointment in the beautifully designed reception area; with its bespoke fittings and luxurious sofas and fabrics, it feels like a hotel reception and we have a 15-minute consultation to talk through my preferences. Unlike most hairdressers, she doesn’t want to sever my hair into a bob or anything dramatic as soon as she sees it (I’ve never had my hair cut short) and agrees that it doesn’t need much in the way of dramatic styling. I mention layers but she advises against it, as my hair is fine but offers an alternative. She decides to soften my feathered edges around the front and prior to drying she uses a blow-dry lotion and a smoothing, lightweight serum as I tell her my hair doesn’t react well to a lot of product. She also teaches me how to use a round brush to create lift and suggests a different styling method when blow-drying my hair to give it some volume. My hair genuinely feels the softest it ever has done and it’s so, so shiny! Everyone here is actually very friendly and Jodie tells me that in the industry, it’s not always the case (I think we’ve all had those killer stares when we walk into a hair or beauty salon, secretly judging us...), but you don’t get a sense of that here. Because everyone seems to enjoy their jobs, there is a jovial and relaxed atmosphere that you might not expect from a luxury salon. With a progressive attitude to hairdressing and the realisation that people need and want a little luxury in their lives, The Chapel is on to a winner here.

n For more information visit www.thechapel. or call 01732 759839

Enjoy massaging leather chairs whilst your hair is washed



Sevenoaks Aesthetics offers a wide range of cosmetic skin rejuvination 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 MBChB and his team are based in Sevenoaks, holding regular practices at locations across West Kent and Sussex.

For more information or to book your free, personalised, no-obligation consultation, please contact the team on:



01732 644 744 • 07504 401 014

01732 759 839








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I S L I N G T O N 17/08/2011 10:21:14

17/08/2011 Drs Ian Brignall & Miles Atkinson


Dr Makbule Ogretme, Prof Graham Roberts

Incorporating Sevenoaks Smile Studio

Incorporating Sevenoaks Smile Studio Shortlisted for UK Best New Practice 2009* Runner up Best Practice in South East 2009** Runner up UK Most Innovative Practice 2009* Runner up- UK Best Website 2009**

Family Dental Care

*Private Dentistry Awards ** Dentistry Awards


A case of non- invasive composite veneers

Advanced Cosmetic Dentistry Dental Implants Tooth Whitening & Veneers Specialist children’s dentistry Evening and Sat appts available “Aquabubble” interactive children’s submarine (as seen on BBC “South East Today”)

State of the Art Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice HALF PRICE ADULT NEW PATIENT ASSESSMENTS with withDr Dr Mac Mac Ogretme Ogretme until 10th 26th September 2011, with voucher June 2011, with thisthis voucher Mac excels at helping both nervous adult and child patients and has undergone formal training in cosmetic dentistry

Nervous patients Welcome “Inman Aligner” treatment for correction of crooked front teeth, in a matter of weeks . From £1,100 Case below took 12 weeks (Both cases shown by Dr.Ian Brignall)

1st Floor, Lady Boswell House, 42-44 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1AS. Tel 01732 459222 September 2011 vine 51 Case below took 12 weeks

BEAT THE Inspirational stories from the Better Body Shop

To many people concerned about their weight, dieting is the first answer. There are statistically almost double the amount of women who are on some sort of diet compared to men, but that’s not to say that they are more successful. On the contrary, fad dieting always beats us in the end and while weight-loss stories are usually heavily female-focused, Vine’s decided to look at some male success stories instead. When we head down to the Better Body Shop in Sevenoaks, we discover weight-loss isn’t just about shedding the pounds; it’s a complete lifestyle overhaul

Biggest loser: Nick Kirkham Nick shed the weight after discovering exercise can be enjoyable

Fat to fit: Steve Palmer Steve’s original goal was to lose weight and generally get fitter but now he focuses on fitness levels and lean muscle mass When I first arrived at the BBS back in January 2008 I was overweight at 17st 10lbs. Jason and I set some goals together and we hit them by June 2008: I was 15st 7lbs. We then started to increase the resistance side of my training, having felt that I had shed enough fat and would now concentrate on putting on muscle. Three and a half years later I am 16st and in (reasonable) shape. I genuinely look forward to my sessions and even get the kids along on a Saturday

Steve Palmer and his trainer Helen

The Better Body Shop really helped me achieve my goals and I’ve lost 3st 7lbs. The trainers’ positive attitudes have really given me a new outlook on life – I feel like a horse chomping at the bit if I haven’t trained for a few days! It’s a fantastic facility and, most importantly, BBS has a great team who are always there to help.

morning, if I can persuade them to get out of bed that is! Unlike regular gyms where you can pass through unnoticed, the atmosphere in the BBS is much more personable; you feel like a stakeholder rather than a member. This, combined with the highly skilled and friendly trainers, can lead you to your goals at a pace that suits you. The BBS is more than a gym; it’s a sports science venue.

Lifesaver: Ray Shore Ray needed a dramatic lifestyle change after developing health problems due to his weight and age

Ray Shore and his trainer George

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At 58 years old I was five stone overweight, had a heart problem and was completely sedentary. Jason at the Better Body Shop said I needed to sort myself out; I then found myself talking to George. I found the initial assessment difficult, even though I didn’t have to do anything. I bit the bullet and started my personal training sessions twice a week with George, along with a diet. It wasn’t easy but it was fun and within a couple of weeks I could walk up the stairs or to my car without stress and the

weigh- loss started to show. Within a little over three months I had lost over 30lbs and my life was transformed. My friends, family and not to mention my wife were shocked with my obvious personal improvement. My massively enhanced sense of wellbeing and life has been astonishing. As a result, I cannot recommend Better Body Shop (especially George) highly enough; they do what they say on the tin, with patience and kindness, not to mention with fantastic results.

Star success story: Nick Harwood Unhappy with his excess weight and poor diet, Nick had a goal of 12st 7lbs when he decided to give the Better Body Shop a go – now it is more than just what it says on the scales, it’s a complete lifestyle change and he says he’ll never go back. This is why... July 2010 I had not been happy with my weight and shape for some time and had passed the Better Body Shop on a number of occasions. I finally resolved to do something about it and went to the website and registered. When I arrived for the initial assessment at the end of May 2010, I was almost 15 stone and my waist measurement was 39 inches. I signed up for an 11 one-to-one session package including assessment and I had set my goal to get down to 12st 7lbs. Chris said this would be achievable if I followed the guided eating plan, ‘The Truth’. I must admit I was a little sceptical. My doubts soon evaporated along with the weight. I decided that I would attend one personal session and go to one class per week. After eight weeks, 10 personal sessions, seven classes and sticking to the eating plan, my weight had dropped by more than 2st to just under 13st, and I had lost three inches from my waist. Six months on: Christmas 2010

Try out the classes for yourself

2011 to date I currently try to do one personal training session and at least one class each week. Classes provide the opportunity to share the experience with other likeminded people trying to improve their fitness and wellbeing and are both motivational and enjoyable. They are very good for relieving the stress of the working day. I can only describe myself as a new man and now I can eat what I want (within reason). My attitude to food has changed and I now think very carefully about what I eat and drink; only drinking alcohol in moderation. My decision to go to the Better Body Shop is one of the best decisions I have made. Having personal trainers of the calibre of Chris and Tiff, who provide a structured exercise programme combined with guidance, support, motivation and probably a fair slice of patience, has really worked for me. It has completely changed my life.

So what are you waiting for? Why not try out one of BBS’s tailored group training sessions, which offer you the chance to reach your goals in a cost-effective manner. At just £10 per session and with no membership fees, these classes offer you an opportunity to train with a postgraduatequalified professional within a small group, giving you everything you need to achieve your goals.

Achieving your fitness goals is simply a case of deciding what you want, setting yourself a target and going for it. Anyone can achieve results, no matter what age, gender, or physical condition, it is never too late to get in shape

Classes include: Boxercise; Strength Class; Zumba; ‘Sprucing up the Seniors’; Thai Kickboxing; ‘Marvellous Mid-section’; Beach Burn; MMA Grappling; Advanced Circuits; ‘Little Black Dress’; ‘Ab Buster’; Total Conditioning and Teenage Training to name a few.

The key to my success so far was adopting and following the Better Body Shop’s guided eating plan, combined with a structured exercise programme. I am proud of the fact that I committed totally to the programme and did not waiver. This included changing my eating habits and giving up alcohol for 60 days. For example I never used to eat breakfast. Now I have got into the habit of having porridge or Shredded Wheat every day. Spurred on by the results I had achieved, I reset my goal to get under 12 stone. My sessions were divided, pretty much equally throughout this period, between Chris and Tiff. Chris was my initial trainer but as he is so much in demand it was not always possible to book him when I wanted, so I was fortunate that a time slot that suited me became available with Tiff. I was still following the eating plan with some relaxation as my body had now “learned” to burn fat. After a further four weeks my weight was down to 12 stone. So after a total of 12 weeks, 19 personal training sessions and nine classes I had lost a total of 3stone I continued my programme averaging two sessions a week, one with Chris and one with Tiff, with the occasional class. It was not long before my weight had stabilised at 11st 7lb. Chris was now encouraging, or dare I say nagging, me to eat more protein as I was starting to build up some muscle.


n For more information on any of the classes, call 01732 451979 or email info@ betterbodyshop. or visit www.

Before and after: Working closely with BBS Nick reached his goal weight after only 8 weeks September 2011 vine 53 Before


The premier personal training facility and home to the leading fitness experts in the south-east


The Walled Garden, Noble Tree Road, Hildenborough TN11 8ND

01732 834155 54 vine September 2011 | September 2011 vine 55


Up close and personal

Friendly, flexible fitness Almost all of us have heard of Pilates, but how many of us have tried it and of those who have, how many after one session decided it “wasn’t for them”? Pilates takes time and commitment, but once FIRST SESSION FREE you’ve got it, you’ve got includes a consultation it for life. Many of us are and 30 min session looking for toned bodies, Simply quote Vine even those of us who aren’t when booking looking to lose weight, and Pilates is the perfect solution – if you put the effort in and if you are taught correctly. Pilates is a passion for Stacie Fraser, who completed a diploma with the Pilates Institute after deciding to pack in her corporate career. She set up Bay Pilates on the east coast of Scotland, building it up to 30 sessions a week before moving to Sevenoaks in April this year. Stacie takes the Pilates session to you so you can enjoy the full benefits of being in the comfortable environment of your own home. An initial free consultation with a 30-minute physical session will determine what you need to work on to achieve your personal goal. “I aspire to help each client to develop their core muscle strength and flexibility through a calm, but disciplined approach in a friendly atmosphere,” says Stacie. It is possible for personal trainers to receive a certificate for teaching Pilates after only a two-day course, whereas Stacie would spend hours studying just one exercise on her course, perhaps explaining why some have come away from previous sessions underwhelmed. “I actually specialise in Pilates and this makes a huge difference when teaching it; many women who have come to me and tried it before have remarked on this. Also, I never had any of my clients leave the sessions once joining – once you’re hooked you start to see the results and the ladies I taught in Scotland still get together now to practise; they’re so advanced now they can do it on their own.”

For many of us, the gym is a wasted trip and we tend to stick to the same old routine when we’re there and, unsurprisingly, we don’t see the results we dreamed of. Perfectform, however, couldn’t be more different from the described gym experience. In the beautiful setting of a walled garden and country surroundings, Perfectform’s studio has everything you could wish for. Head trainer Paula Dewar said: “We are not a gym; there’s no membership fee and we’re all about offering bespoke, one-to-one sessions to suit each individual in the comfort of our purpose-built studio. Perfectform is a very exclusive and unique personal training service unrivalled in Kent and the south-east.” Perfect form is a one-stop-shop where you can have a session, take a relaxing shower, go for a sports massage to relieve those aches and pains or treat yourself to the various beauty treatments on offer, all under one roof. The team works with a variety of clients covering general fitness, pre- and post-natal and postural correction. They also train endurance athletes, triathletes, marathon runners to cyclists, swimmers, and rugby players, working alongside many local clubs to improve their fitness levels.

Reader Offer

n For more information on classes visit www.purepilateskent. or call 07738 766420

n For more information call 01732 834 155 or visit

A healthy balance Like many of us, Brenda Hambrook found balancing her stressful job, the long commute and home life difficult, but discovered that yoga was a great way to relax. Now, she teaches her own Hatha Yoga classes in Sevenoaks, Otford (where she lives) and Shoreham, consisting of yoga postures (asanas) combined with breathing techniques and relaxation. Her aim is to provide students with tools that they can use not only to keep strong and flexible, but also to cope with the challenges of daily life. By practising yoga regularly her clients find they:

o Are better able to relax and concentrate o Feel increased vitality o Build flexibility, strength and improved muscle tone o Become more balanced and mindful

Brenda said: “The weekly yoga class I attended was a haven to me in my busy week. Now I have given up the ‘day job’ in order to pass the benefits of yoga on to others.” Brenda has practiced yoga for over 10 years and obtained a teaching diploma with the British Wheel of Yoga in 2008, for which she is the West Kent’s Deputy County Representative. Classes cost £8 per session and are suitable for all abilities or, alternatively, individual tuition is available. n For more information and to reserve a place call 01959 525969 or 07879 880447, email or visit

Otford Church Hall – Tues 7.30 - 9pm Walthamstow Hall School – Wed 7.30 - 9pm Shoreham Village Hall – Thurs 8 - 9.30pm

56 vine September 2011

Personal Training one to one


Personal Training small group

Injury Rehabilitation

Weight Loss

Over Sixties

Nutrition Tailored Classes Rapid Transformations Sports Performance Individual Athletes Teams & Clubs

We have a friendly and dedicated team of graduate and postgraduate qualified exercise specialists and physiotherapists to cover your every requirement.

ASK JASON Teenage Fitness

Jason Crow

Tiffany Cole

Chris Wharton

Steve Fusse

Lucy Curtis

Fitness professional Jason Crow answers your exercise dilemmas

Schools & Colleges

your fat burning metabolism

Q: How can I stop being constantly on a diet? Carol, Riverhead A: EXERCISE LESS AND EAT MORE. This is why: 1. If you exercise two or three times a week at a high intensity, using multiple muscle group exercises, you will speed up your metabolism 2. A faster metabolism will allow you to burn more fat throughout the day, when you are asleep or even on holiday 3. This type of exercise can be done in short time bursts with little or no equipment 4. If you are like me and not 20 years old with brand new limbs it is kinder on your joints than long-duration, constant-impact exercise

6. Eat more lean protein foods, vegetables and very complex carbohydrates What could be simpler? You don’t have to exercise as long, you don’t have to be constantly dieting and you will look fantastic. Lucy and I have put together an example workout to help you end your yo-yo dieting forever. Just go to our YouTube channel thebetterbodycompany. If you have any questions feel free to email me at jason@ or pop in and say hi.

n If you would like help with losing weight, you can call one of our professional trainers at the Better Body Shop in confidence on 01732 451979 or see our 5. Don’t starve yourself; if you website at: do, you will eat away the muscles that keep you toned and build BBS Vine 90 x 121 Rapid advert:Vine 90 x 121mm Rapid Ad 25/08/2011 13:32


2 week transformation course

We are even able to supply your food for every meal.

Lose up to11/2 stone in just 2 weeks

BETTER BODY SHOP - SEVENOAKS Unit 3, Sevenoaks Enterprise Centre, Bat & Ball Road Sevenoaks TN14 5LJ. Opposite the Bat & Ball station

Call Alison on

01732 451 979




WHEN BREEZY, SWING EASY Now summer is over, it’s getting windier out there on the course, which can make controlling the ball harder than at other times of the year. The biggest mistake I see from club golfers is that they try to battle against the autumn winds by hitting the ball harder than they normally would. Although I fully understand this instinct, it has the reverse effect and rather than keeping control of the ball in windy conditions, they end up losing control. To understand this, we must understand what effect we have



on the golf ball when we hit it harder. The diagram above illustrates that as the speed of the club increases, so does the backspin imparted onto the ball. Backspin

is one of the key factors that controls the height of the ball and put simply, the greater the back spin the higher the ball will fly. So by hitting the ball harder in windy conditions, you will end up hitting it higher. This is the opposite of what good players try to achieve in strong winds. They are trying to keep the ball flight lower, thereby not allowing the wind to affect the ball as much. So when it’s breezy, swing it easy. Remember this the next time you are playing in windy conditions and try taking one club more than you think you need and swinging slower. The combination of the less lofted club and the slower swing speed will keep the ball down and give you back some control in the difficult conditions. Peter Parks is the PGA professional at Hever Castle Golf Club. or call 01732 700771



ith autumn on its way, there’s never been a better time to enjoy Lullingstone Park Golf Course: as the leaves begin to turn in the last of the summer sun, the course looks stunning and conditions are excellent for a rigorous game in the fresh country air. For a course that’s become renowned for its challenging holes, at this time of year it offers even greater opportunities for the seasoned player and budding enthusiast alike. To get around the tough course with ease, the pro-shop has invested in an all-new fleet of golf buggies too. To complete the playing experience offered on its 18-hole and 9-hole courses, Lullingstone Park also boasts a 22-bay driving range, a well-stocked pro-shop and full catering facilities. A unique reward scheme is available to regular customers in the form of exclusive special

offers and downloads if you sign up to their Privilege Membership. It’s completely free to join and a cost-effective way of letting customers knows about the club’s offers, competitions, giveaways and discounts. Lullingstone has a reputation for offering outstanding moneysaving opportunities for groups and societies to enjoy, and with a great option of early autumn and winter golf packages available, Lullingstone is once again being talked about as one of the most challenging, picturesque and value-for-money courses in the south-east. ■ For more information visit www.lullingstonegolfcourse. or call 01959 533793/4

Winter Society Packages 2011/2012 Package prices from

£27.00 per person Bespoke packages on request. Ideal for corporate & large society/ charity days To book please call Debbie on:

01959 522944 Golfers enjoying the picturesque course

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THE GOLDEN AGE OF GOLF With a historic location dating back over 400 years and a club almost a century old, Knole Park Golf Club is one of the richest places to play in terms of both the fine course and its past


eyond the formal garden walls of Knole House (seat of the Sackville family for over 400 years) lies Knole Park Golf Club. It was the brainchild of the 3rd Baron Sackville, who formally opened the layout by driving from the first tee in 1924. From a golfer’s perspective, Sackville’s decision to include a course within his 1,000-acre estate was a true blessing. The rolling parkland was covered in a rich carpet of bracken and ancient oaks that have come to epitomise quality inland golf. The club emblem of an antlered stag celebrates the deer

numbers remain limited to ensure that the course is not overcrowded. Applications for membership are welcomed from ladies and gentlemen who wish to contribute both on the course and socially in an active private members’ club. Junior membership is also available to those aged under 18 on January 1 of each year, and most of the 80-strong membership is in the age range of 12 to 17.

that freely roam the course, adding to the tranquillity of the place. The clubhouse is equally impressive with recent renovation work to the exterior restoring it to its former grandeur and the interior re-fit is well underway. The conservatory and dining room look directly onto the course; the summer’s long evenings can be enjoyed on the south-facing terrace and in the winter a roaring log fire provides a welcome back to the clubhouse. In addition, the club boasts extensive practice facilities, nestled between the 1st and 18th fairways, and in the clubhouse there is a snooker room for those who wish to continue competing off the course. If you want something more vigorous, there are also squash facilities within the grounds, housing Sevenoaks Squash Club. Back out on the course, you will never find yourself waiting for a large group to clear as Knole Park is essentially a two-ball course and membership

n For more information about membership, visit www.knoleparkgolf or call 01732 452150



FOR DETAILS CONTACT CRAIG SUTHERLAND 01959 572989 Founded in 1969, our superb course is set in 130 acres on the North Downs, 600ft above sea level. We are located on the outskirts of Biggin Hill, within five miles of Westerham. The course measures 6,593 yards and is a par 72, undulating course with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. As members, we have the luxury of playing golf when we want to, without having to book tee times. What’s more, unlike many private clubs, Cherry Lodge has a truly unique, unpretentious atmosphere – many tell us the camaraderie at our golf club is second-to-none. Visitors are always welcome, so come along and see for yourself why we are the envy of many clubs in the area. | 01959 572989 September 2011 vine 59


New September term-time classes For juniors AND adults

All bookable now! Venues: • Hollybush Tennis centre, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks • Kemsing LTC, Heaverham Road, Kemsing • Hildenborough Tennis Club, Riding Lane, Hildenborough At all our venues we offer pay and play classes, sessions for ages 3 years up to adults (and everything in between!), squad programmes and competitions

Join us for the new term in September. Whether you’re new to the game and want to learn the basics or an established player looking for higher level coaching, give us a call on 01959 523377 or check out all the classses on our website

Fantastic coffee shops serving hot and cold food all day, great coffee and friendly service! The Lodge has free wireless, children’s toys and a children’s menu at both sites

01732 458158

60 vine September 2011 Hollybush • The Stag Theatre

RACQUET ACADEMY One of the UK’s remaining racquet specialists staffed entirely by a team of Professional Tennis Coaches. CHECK OUT OUR 24-HOUR ON-SITE RACQUET RE-STRINGING AND RE-GRIPPING SERVICE 4 Sevenoaks Road, Otford, TN14 5PB

01959 525441


forward BEST FOOT

Many children dream of becoming a professional footballer and representing their country, but very few get the chance to turn this ambition into a reality. Elite Football, however, provides players with the opportunity to fulfil their dreams


f you think your child has what it takes to be the next Jack Wilshere, Elite Football is giving young hopefuls the chance to show their talents at a trials day. Players aged 10 to 16 can join Elite Football and trials for the Kent Elite squad, one of six regions run by Elite Football, are taking place on October 2 at Sevenoaks School. During the trials there will be a presentation to parents about the set-up, and a chance to meet the coaching staff. Those players selected for the Kent Elite squad will have the opportunity to work with highlyqualified staff to develop technical, physical and mental aspects of their game. Elite Football’s Sports Science department use chartered physiotherapists, nutritionists and experts in developing speed, quickness and footwork, to help prevent injuries and enhance player performance. Parents receive regular written reports and personalised injury prevention programmes. In addition to the technical and tactical coaching from highly qualified UEFA coaches, the players also attend mental fitness workshops to improve areas such as confidence, concentration, commitment and emotional control. Many of the children continue to play for local league teams, so even the busiest players can join the squad without concern

My favourite moment was scoring a volley which put us into the last 64! RORY SALE

THE KIDS SAY  “The Gothia World Youth Cup was a great experience. It was really fun to play against different countries from all around the world.” Jayden Antwi-Nyama    “This tournament is something that I will never forget. I have learnt so much about team spirit; an amazing trip.” James Smith  

THE PARENTS SAY “The coaches were excellent. Not just their technical abilities as coaches but also for their positive attitude and sheer sense of fun.”

over too many commitments. During the summer holidays the teams compete in International Tournaments abroad. Kent Elite have just returned from the Gothia World Youth Cup in Sweden. The tournament offers players a fantastic opportunity to meet and make friends with other players from many different countries, cultures and religions. The tournament attracted teams from 75 different nations and included an Olympic-style opening ceremony attended by over 52,000 people. Kent Elite reached the last 32 out of nearly 150 teams, many of which were professional academies. One parent recalls their son’s experience: “The tournament was a unique experience for my son to play against diverse nationalities, try different styles of football and endure the intensity of several games in a short space of time at completely new times of the day – such as an 8am kick off ! It was fascinating to watch the team play in front of all those people and take it in their stride. He loved the tournament and fully recognised how lucky he was to be a part of it. It is an experience that will remain with him for the rest of his life.” n Visit, email or call 01483 274051for more information about the trials

Taster Day! This is a unique opportunity for your child to prove themselves at the Kent Elite Squad Trials 2011 Sevenoaks School, October 2 from 2-4.30pm Apply through the website: September 2011 vine 61


Country Landcraft

Garden Management and DESIGN 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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Vine brings you a selection of the hottest trends for your home this season. Whether you want to celebrate the eccentrity of British design, take a trip back in time or indulge in your feminine side, we have something for everyone

It seems that retro is here to stay, with more charming products available this autumn, so why not invest in a few key pieces? From House of Fraser, the Jewels tea range (from £10) will add a splash of quirkiness to your kitchen, along with the Newgate Brixton wall clock (£85) from Urban Outfitters. These printer’s blocks in blue and cream from Laura Ashley (£15) and this Orimono flower cushion (£68, Anthropologie) are ideal for that homely touch, while this retro phone (£70) by the Contemporary Home makes a fun addition to the home.

For a softer touch this autumn fill your home with beautiful accessories. Subtle decorations such as this Darlington crystal flower bottle vase (£37) from John Lewis; Vernon photo frame (£29.99) and these Zamar Jars (from £19.99), both from Zara Home, will add delicate femininity to any room. If you are looking for a more contemporary take on the look, this handmade White Ribbon coat rack (£88.99, and gorgeous vintage rose quilt and cushion set (from £30, The White Company) should do the trick.

STOCKISTS Think of bright prints, bold typography and new twists on old objects. This autumn inject some home-grown products into your home. This Orla Kiely scribble stem mug (£8.50) from John Lewis is perfect for injecting some organic colour into the kitchen and you can make drying up more fun with this Happiness tea towel (£10) by Emma Bridgewater. For print lovers, this UK type map by Bold & Noble (£45) from is perfect and for those searching for a solution to that untidy hallway invest in this Twiggy coat stand (£140, Habitat); an unusual take on the traditional version, yet still practical.

Find all the products shown on this page on the websites below September 2011 vine 63

Whether you have traditional, contemporary or bold interior style, Potts Bathroom and Kitchens Limited has bespoke designs to suit every home and a wealth of experience when it comes to choosing the right look for you


n the picturesque East Malling countryside you may not expect to find one of England’s largest and award-winning interior showrooms, but Potts Bathrooms and Kitchens Limited has been leading the way in innovative kitchen and bathroom design for over 40 years. Each one of their installations, whether fitted by yourself or by Potts’ expert teams, is custom created to suit your every requirement in materials, finish and functionality. The vast 10,000 sq-ft showroom ensures that you will find something to suit you with over 40 displays to choose from. The staff can hold your hand through the entire process and there’s nothing that Potts can’t or won’t do to make sure you get your dream kitchen or bathroom. Potts showcases the very latest technology, bespoke solutions and high-quality design in all its kitchens and bathrooms with both affordable and top-of-the-range options. Most of the kitchens and bathrooms are from countries which represent the very best in innovative and sleek design such as Austria, Germany and Italy and closer to home Potts’ artists use both CAD and hand-drawings to make sure that your kitchen or bathroom is the perfect fit. Whatever your style, Potts can offer you a design service and quality materials that you will be pleased with.

clean & contemporary This modern bathroom juxtaposes curves with clean lines: this smooth, abstract ‘Feel’ bath from Teuco has a pure look about it and the circular mirror and basin work alongside the wooden and glass Keuco vanity unit. Detailed elements such as the diagonal mirrored ceiling, the chrome heated towel rail and mosaic tiles give it a distinct, contemporary look.

bold & bright

timeless & traditional For many, the very epitome of the traditional bathroom look is Victorian; a celebration of confident square forms with distinctive high splashbacks. The basin, closet and cistern in this suite are based on authentic original pieces; the designs recreated by B.C. Sanitan craftsmen in all their gleaming glory. However, for most it is the roll-top bath that makes any period bathroom complete; this stunning ‘Mark Anthony’ cast iron, free-standing bath in popular duck egg blue is perfect and you can choose for a selection of colours to match your personal scheme.

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Inject a bit of colour into your bathroom with Potts’ bespoke glass panels in ‘Red Cracket Ice’ design and abstract red detailing on the bath, working nicely with the modern grey tiles and dark wood for a contemporary feel. Villeroy & Boch’s Sentique basin with a space-saving unit and the water-saving wall hung toilet provide the perfect solutions for modern-day living while the elegant and simple design lets the colour do the talking. The Cetus bath by Villeroy & Boch can be fitted with whirlpool systems for a touch of luxury and has won the prestigious Industrie Forum Design Award.


clean & contemporary For an ultra-modern sleek look, Austrian independent brand Intuo has unique yet timeless kitchen designs. The brand’s kitchens focus on top-quality materials and reduced design, meeting demands for today’s modern and exclusive tastes. To complete the contemporary look, why not include one of Potts’ exclusive aluminium radiators like this ‘feather’ design from a range created by Monica Pilenghi. Continue the streamlined feel with your fittings and appliances such as this angular tap design and in-built appliances. This high-gloss kitchen is balanced by the use of wood, meaning it can stand the test of time.

timeless & traditional While not the quintessential hand-painted kitchen with an Aga (although Potts can do that), this more traditional-style kitchen is somewhere in between, meaning it’s versatile and can fit into any home. Because the units are tailored to suit the customer, with handmade lightened oak in this instance, the kitchen is unlikely to date. Your worktops don’t have to be all the same colour – this kitchen has a mix of ‘golden glory’ and ‘antique brown’ granite. There’s the option to include modern touches, such as this fantastic ‘broken-glass’ bespoke worktop, which is perfect for evening drinks with friends and adds a unique dimension to your kitchen.

bold & bright Think of any colour of the rainbow and Potts can introduce that colour into your kitchen, no matter how bright or subtle. Tangerine has become a very popular colour with a recent retro revival and is certainly a talking point in the kitchen; it also works well against the monochromatic kitchen units for a bold statement. The tangerine worktops and splashbacks made from toughened glass come from an independent supplier and the kitchen units from German company Beckermann have a stylish highgloss finish with a touch of luxury. n For more information visit or call 01732 848444 September 2011 vine 65


BUCK THE TREND Looking for a handmade kitchen? Visit Garden House Collections for fabulous design, good quality and unbeatable value for money Owner of Garden House Collections James Buck discovered a passion for kitchen design when he and his wife Alison renovated their own house. “The Garden House” in Tonbridge is now a beautiful house, and boasts a clean and stylish look. The same Provencal French colours and traditional Englishcrafted furniture run throughout James’ showroom. As a premier partner, Garden House Collections is the sole stockist of Neptune’s stunning handmade kitchens, interiors and soon-to-be released bathroom range. Garden House Collections carries Neptune’s three full kitchen ranges and offers a personal service so you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home when choosing your dream kitchen.

CHICHESTER The Chichester range provides affordable, quality cabinets with a choice of 20 colours in a standard limestone finish and can fit a wide variety of spaces.

SUFFOLK This latest Shakerstyle kitchen is a contemporary classic, handpainted in Dove Grey finished with chrome accessories and includes the full range of Neptune technology. HENLEY This classic solid oak design is built to last and has a beautiful colour and grain structure. It is easy to use with most of the lower cabinets in a drawer format and has a complete collection of trims.

n For more information call 01732 351866 or visit

Hand-made wooden kitchens & interiors Garden House Collections 01732 351866

187 High Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BX

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Bartlett Tree Experts Exceptional Trees Deserve Exceptional Care



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of the month DETAILS Map: OS Explorer 147 Start & finish: Edenbridge Distance: 3 miles Time: 2 hours Terrain: Field paths, short woodland section Gates: 9 Stiles: 7 Parking: Parking is available in Edenbridge town centre and train station Step Count: approx 6,000


njoy this three-mile circular walk starting from the Marlpitt Hill area of Edenbridge, taking you into glorious countryside with rich historic associations


Discover many species of wildlife on this well sign-posted walk and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the herd of deer that have made their home near Broxham Wood and in the surrounding fields. Enjoy the autumn colours of the woodland and fields that you pass through on your way to and from the 13th-century Broxham Manor, which once stood inside the square moat. However, it has since been re-built twice, having been devastated by fire. The largely 18th-century building called Broxham Manor stands outside the moat today.

A local tale relates that in the 16th century two ladies of the parish complained they couldn’t get to church from the other side of the river using the stepping stones. Money was raised and the Great Stone Bridge Trust formed, building a permanent crossing. There are many medieval timber-framed buildings in the town, including the Eden Valley Museum. Among places to eat, drink and relax, Ye Old Crown Inn stands out with its unusual pub sign that crosses above the high street. Edenbridge market is on Thursday every week and there is a farmers’ market on the third Saturday of the month.


Edenbridge is a small town on the Kent and Surrey border. The Saxon abbot, Eadhelm, built a wooden bridge at the point where the Romans first crossed the river. The settlement surrounding it became Edenbridge. n For a detailed route, please visit or call 08458 247 600 where you can print it off or get it sent in the post. You can also download the route using the ‘Explore Kent’ iPhone or Android app. You can save the route straight to your phone and use to navigate around the walk

Landscaping and Garden Design

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07831 868 848 | September 2011 vine 69




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We’d love to know what you think of this month’s Vine. What did we get right? What did we get wrong? Send your 250-word review to Or you can post letters to Vine, 3A Lakeview Stables, St. Clere, Sevenoaks TN15 6NL Visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter


at Knole. It’s the piece I’m most proud of and I got my photo on the cover. Win win!

Vine has the final word with the man behind our brilliant magazine design, Christopher Porter, before he heads off to Falmouth for seaside fun and freelancing

Best thing about your job?

What will you miss about Sevenoaks?

I have lived in Sevenoaks all of my life, so over the last 26 years I have got to know a lot of people from the community. I’ll miss bumping into these people in town and having a quick chat and I hope to find that same spirit in Cornwall. Oh, and I’ll miss my mum too obviously! What are your favourite memories of Vine?

Our lunchtime picnics by the lake occasionally known as ‘Cider Fridays’! What was the best Vine issue you worked on?

October 2010 holds a special place in my heart because of the Behind Closed Doors feature that I took the photos for


Design has always been a passion of mine and since working full-time in the industry my love for it has grown. Every day is different and each new project brings its own challenges. It’s very rewarding to see your work in print. What will you miss the most?

The team at Vine HQ. It’s been great to work with young, driven, passionate people from different backgrounds and disciplines. I’ve made some very close friends here. What are you looking forward to about moving?

I’m looking forward to many things with my new start but learning to drive a boat and setting off from Falmouth harbour for little adventures is high up on the list.


The Kite by Jennifer Stinton Bright cobalt-blue, straining on its bridle A wild-winged bird, fighting for survival Spars straining, tugging the fluttering cloth Flying-line pulling tight, a mesmerising moth

NAMES: Murphy: given to this scruffy lurcher by the animal rescue team at Last Chance in Edenbridge after they had saved him from being put down at a dog pound in Wales. OWNER: The O’Brien family

Nose-diving, swirling, dervish-like dance We struggled, gripping tight taut string, in a trance Gusty broken winds, dipping and diving Spine-breaking, curling, ripping and writhing At last, skywards strong winds lift the dancing kite Soaring high above, joining birds in flight Leaving exhausted watchers to admire in duty No longer ear thbound, but a free object of beauty

LIKES: Running to the point of exhaustion and lots of big cuddles AND DISLIKES: Other dogs getting attention from his owners, he’s just a jealous guy! FAVOURITE TREAT: A lovely big juicy bone


A WORD FROM THE OWNER: We don’t know what happened in the first six or so months of Murphy’s life. He came to us with some problems but with some hard work, support from other dog owners and wonderful trainer Caroline at he has become a well-loved member of our family.

If this is you in Tesco car park on 25 August 2011, send us photographic proof and you’ll win two tickets to a film at The Stag Theatre. If you know who it is, tell them so they don’t miss out! Available until 07/10/11 September 2011 vine 71


n 04 Sep, 02 Oct. Painting Workshop. 10:00-16:30. Sevenoaks. £47 www.

n 04 Oct. Talk on the Coloured Pencil in Botanical Art. 20:00. Village Memorial Hall, Otford. £1. Otford Gardeners Society 01959 523760 gardeners

n 10-17 Sep. Florum art exhibition. 10:00-17:00. Visitor Centre, Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks. Free. 01732 461087 n 24-25 Sep. Meopham Art Group exhibition. St Johns Church, Meopham. Free. 01474 813106 www.meophamfestival. n 25 Sep. Kent Painters Exhibition. Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge Rd, Sevenoaks. 07876 562418 n 07 Sep. Talk on Velasquez – not just a court painter. 20:00. Westerham Hall, Quebec Avenue, Westerham. www. n 15 Sep. Talk on Gods, Heroes & Mortals – Greek Myths in Ancient Art. 13:45-15:00. Community Centre, Cramptons Rd, Bat & Ball. Knole Decorative & Fine Arts Society 01732 780453 n 28 Sep. Impressionism Reconsidered course. 8 weeks. 10:00-12:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £100. 01732 352316 n 28 Sep. Talk by Patricia Lovett about Gold on Parchment – how Mediaeval manuscripts were made. 19:30. Council Chamber, Town Council Offices, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks. Tickets £8 from Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High St, Sevenoaks 01732 452055 www.

BLOOD DONATION SESSIONS n 02 Sep. Blood Donation Session. 14:00-16:30, 17:3020:00. St Andrews Church Hall, Maidstone Rd, Paddock Wood. 0300 123 2323 n 07 Sep. Blood Donation Session. 13:30-16:30, 17:3020:00. Christchurch Centre, High St, Tunbridge Wells. 0300 123 2323 n 09 Sep. Blood Donation Session. 13:30-16:00, 17:0019:30. St Marks Church Hall, Church Rd, Biggin Hill. 0300 123 2323 n 12 Sep. Blood Donation Session. 14:00-16:30, 17:3020:00. Camden Centre, Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells. 0300 123 2323 n 15 Sep. Blood Donation Session. 13:30-16:30, 17:3020:00. Sainsburys car park, Otford Rd, Bat & Ball. Free. 0300 123 2323 n 15 Sep. Blood Donation Session. 14:00-16:30, 17:3020:00. WI Hall, Station Rd, Edenbridge. 0300 123 2323 n 30 Sep. Blood Donation Session. 13:30-16:30, 17:3019:30. Tesco car park, London Rd, Riverhead. Free. 0300 123 2323

CARNIVALS, FAIRS, FESTIVALS, FETES, OPEN DAYS, RALLIES, SHOWS n 02-11 Sep. Westerham Festival. www.visitwesterham. n 03 Sep. Village Show. Memorial Hall, Platt. 01732 882045 n 04 Sep. Heavy Horse & Rural Crafts Show. 10:0017:00. Preston Farm, Station Rd, Shoreham. Adults £7, OAPs £5, children £3. Lions Club www. n 04 Sep. Vintage Bus Day. 10:30-17:00. Oxted. Free. Country Bus Rallies http://frees pace. virgin. net/ian. smith/ buses/ CBR/ CBR01. htm

72 vine September 2011 Jimmy Carr


n 04 Sep. Community Day. 11:00. Recreation Ground, Swanley. Sevenoaks District Council 01732 227000 www. n 06 Sep. Bellringing open evening. 19:45. St Marys Church, Westerham Green. Free. www. n 08-11 Sep. Heritage Open Days. Various venues. English Heritage 0870 333 1181 www. n 10 Sep. Open House Air Day. Biggin Hill Airport. 07785 745857 www.bigginhillairport. com n 10 Sep. Wild West Village Fete & Dog Show. 12:00-16:30. Recreation Ground, Seal. Know your Neighbours 01732 763727, 763585, 07772 226028 n 10 Sep. Autumn Flower & Craft Show. 14:15. Village Memorial Hall, Otford. Adults 50p, children free. Otford Gardeners Society 01959 523760 gardeners n 10-11 Sep. Medieval Fair. 10:00-17:00. Tonbridge Castle. Free. 01732 770929 www.tmbc. n 11 Sep. Fair. 10:00-16:00. Westerham Green. www. n 11 Sep. Country Fair & Morris Dancing. 12:00-16:00. Chiddingstone Castle n 11-25 Sep. St Edith’s Festival. Kemsing www.kemsingfestival. n 18 Sep. Riverhead Carnival. Chipstead Common, Riverhead. Sevenoaks Scouts 07970 729506 n 25 Sep. Rolls Royce Car Rally. 11:00-17:00. World Garden, Lullingstone Castle, Eynsford. 01322 862114 www.

CHILDREN – GENERAL n 01-04 Sep. Make a Scarecrow & other Summer Holiday Activities. 13:00-17:00. Quebec House, Westerham. 01732 868381 n 02 Sep, 07 Oct. Soundwaves Youth Bands Night for under18s. 19:00-22:00. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £4. 01732 450175, 451548 www. n 04 Sep. 15:00. BBQ, bouncy castle & band. Grasshopper on the Green pub, Westerham Green. 01959 562926 www. n 25 Sep. Family Fun Day. 12:00-18:00. Chilstone Lake, Langton Green near Tunbridge Wells. £4. 01892 871596

CHILDREN – DRAMA n 05 Sep. Weekly. Stag Youth Theatre. 7-10 year-olds 16:30-17:30, 11-13 year-olds 17:30-19:00, 14-18 yearolds 19:15-20:45. £70. Plaza Suite, Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £70. 01732 450175 www. n 11 Sep. Weekly. Alice in Wonderland rehearsals. Hope Hall (above The Depot), Blighs Car Park, London Rd, Sevenoaks. Bullfrog Productions 01342 322411 www.

Visitor Centre, Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks. Adults £4.50, children £2. Kent Wildlife Trust 01732 456407 www. n 10 Sep. Scarecrow & Garden Trail. 11:00-17:00. Quebec House, Westerham. £5. 01732 868381 www.nationaltrust. www. n 10-11 Sep. Blackberry Picking. 10:30-17:00. Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Riverhill near Sevenoaks. www.riverhillgardens. n 10-11 Sep. Scarecrows & Soldiers Weekend. Squerryes Court near Westerham & other venues. www.visitwesterham. n 11 Sep. Living Scarecrow

DON’T MISS! Art & Contemporary

Designer Craft Fair. Purchase direct from the very best contemporary craftmakers and artists in the UK today. No imported or massproduced products. Textiles, furniture, artwork, metal, leather, ceramics, jewellery, glass, fashion and more....Sevenoaks School, 21-23 October, 12 noon to 5 pm Friday, 10 am - 5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Adults £3.50. • 01622 747 325 n 17-18 Sep. Panto Factor auditions. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 450175 www. www. n 29 Sep. Panto Factor grand finale concert. 19:30. Stag Community Arts Centre, London Rd, Sevenoaks. £5. 01732 450175 www.stagsevenoaks. pantofactor

CHILDREN – HISTORY n 01-03 Sep. Back to Regency summer holiday games. 10:30-17:00. Penshurst Place & Gardens, Penshurst near Tonbridge. 01892 870307 www. n 03 Sep. Family Fun Day – Hands On Victorians. 11:0016:00. Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, Mount Pleasant, Tunbridge Wells. Free

CHILDREN – NATURE n 01-04 Sep. I Spy Nature Spotting for over-3s.10:30-17:00. Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Riverhill near Sevenoaks. www.

n 10 Sep. Peppa Pig. Spa Valley Railway, Groombridge Station. 01892 537715 www.

n 01-04 Sep. Summer Holiday Activity Trail. 10:00-15:00. Lullingstone Country Park, Castle Rd, Eynsford. £2.50. 08458 247600

n 24 Sep. Family Fun Day. 14:00-16:00. Kemsing School.

n 04 Sep. Walk with a Warden. 10:30-12:30. Jeffery Harrison

Parade. 10:30. Westerham Green.

CHILDREN – SPORT & HEALTH n 01-02 Sep. Summer Holiday Tennis Camp. Tennis Academy, Hollybush Recreation Ground, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. 01959 523377 www. n 19 Sep. MEND after-school healthy weight programme. 10-week course. Swanley. Free. Sevenoaks District Council 01732 227000 n 02 Oct. Children’s Aquathlon. Sports Centre, Tonbridge School. Sevenoaks Triathlon Club n 04 Oct. MEND after-school healthy weight programme. 10-week course. Sevenoaks. Free. Sevenoaks District Council 01732 227000

COMEDY n 29 Sep. Jimmy Carr Laughter Therapy. 20:00. Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. £25. 01892 530613

CHILDREN – WILDLIFE n 07 Sep, 05 Oct. Deer Park walk. 10:45. Knole House, Sevenoaks. £1. 01732 462100 n 16 Sep. Bat Walk. 19:00-22:00. Visitor Centre, Bough Beech Nature Reserve, Winkhurst

SEPTEMBER EVENTS AT THE STAG What’s on at your local theatre and cinema?

CRAFTS n 06 Sep, 04 Oct. Late Night Adult Pottery Painting. 19:0022:00. Croc n Craft, Cobden Rd, Sevenoaks www.crocncraft. n 09-11 Sep. Weald of Kent Craft Show. Penshurst Place & Gardens near Edenbridge n 02 Oct. Art Deco Fair. 10:00-16:00. Spa Hotel, Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells. Adults £3, children free. 01273 248739, 07905 180654

DANCE n 01 Sep. Morris Dancing. 21:30. Dukes Head pub, London Rd, Dunton Green. Free. Hartley Morris Men 01622 685960 www.hartleymorrismen. n 08 Sep. Morris Dancing. 20:30. Rose & Crown pub, Wrotham. Free. Hartley Morris Men 01622 685960 www.


With resident host Maff Brown...Over-16s Some of the best comedy acts in the UK have played at The Stag Theatre: Lee Mack, Stephen Merchant, Andy Parsons, Rufus Hound, Omid Djalili, Russell Howard, Sarah Millican. Voted 4th best comedy venue in the UK (The Guardian)

SOUNDWAVES 2 Sep, 7.30pm, £2 or £4 on the door

Soundwaves is a monthly night of live music for under-18s, showcasing up and coming local talent. To register for our under-18s Soundwaves nights which includes updates, offers and info please text “STAG1” to 60777


3 Sep, 5pm, £15, £12 conc.

John Otway, Well… what can one say? If you have seen Otway before then you’ll understand the struggle to describe the man and his show. The only word really applicable is ‘unique’ and this is a guy that has been ‘unique’ for over 30 years. Otway provides a fantastic evening of entertainment that will have you grinning and laughing and crying from start to finish. There is no other like him.

PARENT/CARER & BABY CINEMA CLUB 6 Sep (13, 20 and 27 Sep)

n 10 Sep. Barn Dance. 19:30. Churchill School, Westerham.


n 19 Sep. Strictly Come Dancing course for beginners. 8 weeks. 21:00. Walthamstow Hall Junior School, Bradbourne Park Rd, Sevenoaks. 01732 835304

Directed by Steven Spielberg. When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

n 22 Sep. Ballroom & Latin Dance for Beginners. 6 weeks. 19:30-20:30. Medway School of Dancing, 14 High St, Tonbridge. £36. 01732 358355 www. n 22 Sep. Morris Dancing taster evening. 20:30. St Georges Hall, Wrotham. Free. Hartley Morris Men 01622 685960 www.hartleymorrismen. n 28 Sep. Solo Salsa. 6 weeks. 18:30-19:30. Medway School of Dancing, 14 High St, Tonbridge. £36. 01732 358355 www. n 28 Sep. Ballroom & Latin Dance for Beginners. 6 weeks. 20:30-22:00. Medway School of Dancing, 14 High St, Tonbridge. £40.50. 01732 358355 www. n 30 Sep. Harvest Barn Dance. 19:30. St Johns Church, Meopham. Adults £10, children £5 including supper. 01474 813106 www.meophamfestival.

EXHIBITIONS n 01-09 Sep. Victorian View exhibition. Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, Mount Pleasant, Tunbridge Wells n 01-11 Sep. Living History

6 Sep, 2.30pm, 7.45pm

LETZ ZEP 10 Sep, 8pm, £17

Critically acclaimed as the leading tribute to the music of Led Zeppelin, with a superb repertoire from rockers like ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Rock and Roll’, the acoustic folk style of ‘Gallows Pole’ and ‘Tangerine’, to the haunting ‘Kashmir’, and classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’, a gig by Letz Zep magnificently portrays the full scope of the music of Led Zeppelin.


icing like a pro and how to create your own eye-catching designs for any occasion. More information available at /classes.html

THINK FLOYD 23 Sep, 7.30pm, £17.50, £15 conc.

Presented by LP Music The UK’s Number One Pink Floyd Tribute Band return with their show featuring the whole range of Floyd classics from Barrett to The Division Bell. All the atmosphere, visual magnitude and musical genius of Pink Floyd, faithfully recreated live on stage by THINK FLOYD – THE DEFINITIVE PINK FLOYD EXPERIENCE.

LA BELLE HELENE...(TROY BOY) 24 Sep, 7.30pm, £15, £13

Presented by The Merry Opera Company Kit Hesketh-Harvey’s witty adaptation of Offenbach’s lively operetta La Belle Hélène promises ‘jolly unpretentious fun’ (Daily Telegraph). Drowning her sorrows in a Greek restaurant in Chislehurst, Helen locks eyes with the handsome waiter, Paris,unnoticed by her Blackberry-obsessed husband…... ‘it’s hard not to get swept up in the fun,’ Independent on Sunday


Presented by Blues with Bottle Club Earl Green is a legendary British blues singer, born in Jamaica, with over three decades’ experience of performing on the local and international blues scene. His wonderfully soulful vocals will be perfectly complemented by the cool, jazzy grooves of the Barcodes (Alan Glen, Bob Haddrell and Dino Coccia) and Greg Rolleston-Smith on saxophone. This will be a night of sublime blues!


Eight finalists, selected from hundreds of panto hopefuls, will battle it out live on stage, for the coveted role of Panto Fairy in this year’s Panto Factor Final. A celebrity panel will preside over a full scale X Factor-style concert, and the winner will be crowned live on stage. This is a spectacular production not to be missed, so pick your favourite, make a banner, print a T-shirt, and come along to find out who will be filling the Fairy frock this Christmas!

Rehearsals every Sunday from 11 Sep at Hope Hall, Blighs Sevenoaks

Join the cast of Bullfrog Productions Youth Group’s next magical musical – Alice In Wonderland. Rehearse on Sundays from September and perform the show at The Stag in February 2012. Based on the book by Lewis Carroll, Alice falls down a rabbit hole and meets The Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat and many more. All these parts are up for grabs, so come and join the cast!

CUPCAKE DECORATING MASTERCLASS 14 Sep, 7pm, £35, £30 conc.

Hosted by Bella’s Cupcakes Learn how to make and decorate the perfect cupcakes from the experts at Bella’s Cupcakes! During the two-hour session you will learn: How to make five-minute cupcakes, how to make the perfect fondant and buttercream icing, how to pipe

Classic film club - Jaws



Green near Ide Hill. Adults £3, children £1. Kent Wildlife Trust 01732 355080 www.

photo exhibition. Closed Mon & Tue. Quebec House, Westerham. Free. 01732 868381 www. n 01 Sep-07 Oct. A Family Affair exhibition. 12:00-16:00. Hever Castle, Hever near Edenbridge. Adults £14, OAPs £12, children £8. 01732 865224

FARMERS’ MARKETS n 01, 08, 15, 22, 29 Sep, 06 Oct. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-11:00. St Giles Church, Shipbourne. www. n 03 Sep. Produce Market. 09:30-10:00. Underriver House. In aid of Hospice in the Weald n 03, 17 Sep, 01 Oct. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-14:00. Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells. www. n 03 Sep, 01 Oct. Farmers’ Market. 09:30-12:00. Penshurst Place car park, Penshurst. 01892 870666\nwww.edenvalleykent. org/markets.asp www. n 04, 18 Sep, 02 Oct. Farmers’ Market. 09:30-12:30. Westerham. n 04 Sep, 02 Oct. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-12:30. Fitness & Tennis Centre, Meopham. www. n 06, 13, 20, 27 Sep, 04 Oct. Farmers’ Market. 09:0011:00. St Johns Church Centre, Hildenborough. www. hildenboroughfarmersmarket. www.kentfarmersmarkets. n 10, 24 Sep. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-14:00. Town Hall forecourt, Tunbridge Wells. www. n 11 Sep. Farmers’ Market. 10:00-15:00. Coolings Green & Pleasant Garden Centre, Main Rd, Knockholt. Free. 01959 534386 n 17 Sep. Farmers’ Market. 09:00-13:00. Market Yard Car Park, Edenbridge www. n 25 Sep. Farmers’ Market. 09:30-13:30. High St, West Malling. www.

FOOD & DRINK n 01-04 Sep. Chilli Fest. Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt. 01959 532269 n 04 Sep. Cream Tea. St Peter & St Paul Church, Shoreham n 08 Sep. Westerham Brewery open evening. 18:3021:30. Westerham Brewery near Crockham Hill. www. www. n 09-10 Sep. Harvest Beer Festival. 11:00-24:00. Padwell Arms, Stone Street near Seal. n 14 Sep. Talk on A Nice Cup of Tea. 19:30. Community Centre,

Cramptons Rd, Bat & Ball. Sevenoaks Area National Trust Association n 17, 30 Sep. Dinner Disco. Hadlow Manor Hotel, Goose Green near Hadlow. £15. 01732 851442 n 24 Sep. Coffee Morning. 10:0012:00. Village Memorial Hall, Martin Carthy & Otford. Dave Swarbrick 50p in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. 01959 523404 n 01 Oct. Book Lovers’ Tea – fact to fiction. 14:30. Knole Academy West, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks. Tickets £8 from Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High St, Sevenoaks 01732 452055 www. n 01-02 Oct. Orchard Harvest. 11:00-16:15. Chartwell near Westerham. Free. 01732 868381 chartwell n 07 Oct. Indulgent Desserts. 12:00-15:30. Chartwell near Westerham. £20. 01732 868381 chartwell

GARDENING n 03 Sep. Horticultural Show. 11:30-15:30. Village Hall, Halstead. Halstead Horticultural Society n 04 Sep, 02 Oct. Plant Doctor Service. 11:00-15:00. Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Hadlow. 01732 850551, 853211 n 06 Sep. Talk on Tips of the Trade for a Better Lawn. 20:00. Village Memorial Hall, Otford. £1. Otford Gardeners Society 01959 523760 gardeners n 19-20 Sep. Plant Propagation Days. 12:00, 14:00. Closed Thu & Fri. Emmetts Garden near Ide Hill. Free. 01732 868381 www. n 21 Sep. Talk on Autumn Colour. 10:30. Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt. £20. 01959 532269 n 21 Sep. Talk on How to grow 2000 plants in a 20’ x 30’ garden. 14:00. Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt. £20. 01959 532269

LITERATURE n 01-30 Sep. In Pursuit of Peace book exchange. 11:00-17:00. Closed Thu & Fri. Emmetts Garden near Ide Hill. Free. 01732 868381 uk/emmetts n 23 Sep. Talk by Peter Sissons on When One Door Closes. 19:30. Ship Theatre,

74 vine September 2011

Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. Tickets £8 from Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High St, Sevenoaks 01732 452055 www. n 24 Sep. Talk by John Mullan on Jane Austen’s genius. 14:30. Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. Tickets £8 from Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High St, Sevenoaks 01732 452055 n 25 Sep. Literary Walk & Tea. 14:30. Memorial Hall, Weald. Tickets £8 from Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High St, Sevenoaks 01732 452055 www. n 27 Sep. Literary Lunch with Daisy Goodwin. 12:00. St Julians Club near Sevenoaks. Tickets £25 from Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High St, Sevenoaks 01732 452055 www. n 27 Sep. Romance Revival & Literature of Adventure course. 8 weeks. 19:00-21:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £100. 01732 352316 tonbridge n 29 Sep. Changing Times – Literature in the 60s course. 8 weeks. 10:00-12:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £100. 01732 352316 tonbridge n 29 Sep. Talk by Jackie Kay on Red Dust Road. 19:30. Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. Tickets £8 from Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High St, Sevenoaks 01732 452055 www.sevenoaks n 05 Oct. Talk by Hilary Spurling on Burying the Bones biography & the creative power of memory. 19:30. Ship Theatre, Walthamstow Hall School, Hollybush Lane, Sevenoaks. Tickets £8 from Sevenoaks Bookshop, 147 High St, Sevenoaks 01732 452055 www.

British Superbike Championship Finale. Brands Hatch Motor Racing Circuit near West Kingsdown. 0845 453 9000

Competition. 20:00-22:00. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Camera Club www.sevenoakscameraclub.



n 03-04 Sep. Musical Salute to the RAF. 15:30-20:45. Chartwell near Westerham. 01689 300005

n 04 Sep. Olympic Village outing from Platt. 09:30. Platt Society 01732 883422

n 04 Sep. Music in the Garden. 18:00-21:00. Camden Arms, Pembury. 01892 822012

n 17 Sep. Day Trip to France from Otford. Adults £25, children £11. Otford-Hardelot Twinning Committee 01959 524808

n 17 Sep. Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick folk concert. 20:00. Doors open 19:00. St Johns Church, Meopham. Tickets £14. 01474 813106 www.

n 24 Sep. Bore Place Organic Farm & Environmental Centre outing from Shoreham. £5. Shoreham Society

n 25 Sep. Johnny Dickinson & Sean De Burca gig. Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells. £13. Moles Music 01892 557333 www.

n 22 Sep. Bob Dawes Quiz. 20:00. St Edith Hall, Kemsing. 01732 762033

n 30 Sep. Hot Rats gig. St Edith Hall, Kemsing. Brandywine Music

NATURE & WILDLIFE n 18 Sep. Binoculars & Telescope Day. 11:00-16:00. Visitor Centre, Bough Beech Nature Reserve, Winkhurst Green near Ide Hill. Kent Wildlife Trust 01732 750624 www. n 22 Sep. Ranger Ramble. 14:00-15:30. Knole House, Sevenoaks. £2. 01732 462100 www.national n 24 Sep. Birds of Lakes & Woodland. 10:00-12:00. Jeffery Harrison Visitor Centre, Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Bradbourne Vale Rd, Sevenoaks. Kent Wildlife Trust 01732 456407 www.kent wildlife trust. n 27 Sep. Kentish Weald course. 19:30-21:30. Tonbridge Adult Education Centre. £72 for 8 weeks. 0845 606 5606 www. n 30 Sep. Medieval Animals – Real & Mythical course. 8 weeks. 10:00-12:00. University of Kent, Tonbridge. £100. 01732 352316 n 03 Oct. Talk on Field Techniques in Nature Photography. 20:00-22:00. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Camera Club www.sevenoakscameraclub.


n 07 Oct. Christian Aid Quiz. 19:30. St Johns Church, Meopham. £5. 01474 813106

WALKS n 02 Sep. 9-mile walk to Ightham Mote & back. 10:3016:30. Knole House, Sevenoaks. £1. 01732 462100 www. n 08 Sep. 5-mile country walk. 10:00. Meet Village Hall, Cowden. Sevenoaks Society 01732 465127, 459001 www. n 26 Sep. 5-mile country walk. 10:00. Meet Leigh Green. Sevenoaks Society 01732 458898, 459001 www. n 01-07 Oct. Pure Earth, Clean Air & Blue Sky walks to Toys Hill and Crockham Hill. 11:00-16:15. Chartwell near Westerham. Free. 01732 868381 uk/chartwell

To see your event here, email full details to tic@sevenoakstown. Edited by Bob Carpenter. Guaranteed insertions cost just £35 + VAT. Call us today on 01732 760823.




n 02-04 Sep. DTM German Touring Car Championship. Brands Hatch Motor Racing Circuit near West Kingsdown. 0845 453 9000 www.

n 05 Sep. Talk on history of photography at The Times. 20:00-22:00. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Camera Club www.

WE SELL: Souvenirs • Books on local

n 01-02 Oct. Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Brands Hatch Motor Racing Circuit near West Kingsdown. 0845 453 9000 www.

n 12 Sep. Talk on Portrait of a Photographic Archive. 20:00-22:00. Mencap Hall, 71 Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks. Camera Club www.

What’s on in the area • Walking and cycling in the local countryside Holiday guides for the UK

n 07 Oct. MCE Insurance

n 26 Sep. Projected Image

Stag Theatre, Plaza Suite Tel: 01732 450305 Email: history • Stamps and postcards Maps and guidebooks • Theatre Tokens National Express tickets


WE PROVIDE: Photocopy service Accommodation advice and bookings


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At Cooper Sevenoaks we are committed to PRE-PRESS PROOF ensuring that your BMW is safe and in the best possible condition for the road. DY FOR APPROVAL Open 8am–6pm Monday–Friday 8.30am–12.30pm Saturday Closed Sunday


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YOUR PRE-PRESS PROOF Please mention Vine when responding to advertisements IS READY FOR APPROVAL

n A low resolution pre-press proof of your insertion into our November 2010 edition (issue 41) is attached. Please approve for press by return. Unless we hear from you with amendments or new copy before



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Holly Seddon has the last word



78 vine September 2011

ack to school. Back born into a bootcamp supportive, to the morning rush intensive learning workshop or and sponging dirty three. I maintain that if a child school jumpers that is bright enough to pass the test, evaded washing they’re bright enough, and if they’re basket capture. Back not, putting them through intensive to scrawled last-minute dinner ‘conditioning’ to force them into a money cheques and finding monthselective school system they can’t old letters crumpled into the dirtiest handle is cruel, but... and it’s a big corners of book bags. Back to six but, what if they’re bright enough unbroken hours of time to get but they’re bewildered by the stuff done without the chorus of nuances of the 11+ and frightened bickering tying your neck muscles by test conditions? into internalised knots of So yes, we did that, and got her rage. Heaven. some extra practice But for some of papers and she seems Back to us, the spectre of more confident and September has loomed sponging dirty glad of the extra help. larger this year. I’m We also told her, and school jumpers talking directly to you know what, we that evaded Year 5 parents now. should have told her washing basket this every day, that it I see you, shoulders drooping just a little capture. Back to really doesn’t matter lower than everyone what the result is, so finding monthelse, heavy with it all. long as she gives it a old letters Whether you’re shot on the day. crumpled into steering your progeny The nearer the through the 11+ 11+ gets, the more the dirtiest or navigating the corners of bags ready I am to take labyrinth of school the results as they application forms, this come. There are term has been a long time coming, a some good schools outside of the long time dreaded. grammar school system. And, with Firstly, my God, our little nine the perspective that a glass of wine and 10 year olds are going on visits brings, I also remind myself that the to big school, when most of us still first school my kids went to in Kent struggle to let them walk to the park. had the shiniest league table scores Where have our babies gone? and the most beautiful surroundings Secondly, when did school get so and utterly failed my son and was complicated? I know, I know, I’m no great shakes for my daughter. on dangerously ‘in my day’ territory We moved to a school that is a but seriously, I’m sure in my day you little dustier at the busy roadside, just went to the local comp and it had suffered a body blow in their was decent, or you went to the local previous SATs and has far fewer grammar school if you passed your 4X4s parked outside it. It has been 11+. Done. End of. If you worked a revelation. hard when you got to secondary So bring it on, and whatever that school, you did well, if you didn’t, results letter says in a few weeks’ you did less well. time, she’ll get the biggest hug of I didn’t crack and get a tutor, I her life for going through all this. really didn’t. What I did do, was Catch Holly on twitter @hollyseddon freak out and book my beloved first-







e to Yo ur gu id

si ne ss th e st ar bu s ak in Se ve no 2011


Yo ur gu id e

to th e st ar bu si ne ss es in Se ve no ak



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Vine | September 2011 | Issue 51  

Vine | September 2011 | Issue 51

Vine | September 2011 | Issue 51  

Vine | September 2011 | Issue 51