Parish Cake Autumn 2017


Your slice of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst life - published by Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council








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Parish Cake



Cllr. Brian Clifford



Cllr. Trisha Fermor


Nemone Goodman

Cllr. Nancy Warne


Cllr. Graham Holmes


Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council

01580 713112


Tally Wade

Coffee Shop Media Ltd

01580 848555


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To learn more about us and our

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Whilst every effort is made

to ensure accuracy, the

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

Parish Council, editor and

authors cannot be held

responsible for published errors. The views

or opinions expressed do not necessarily

reflect views of the Cranbrook and

Sissinghurst Parish Council. Inclusion of any

advertising material does not constitute a

guarantee or endorsement of any products

or services or claims made.


Applause for Parish Cake and our Vibrant Parish!

HOW DELIGHTED we have all been by the

numerous congratulatory comments we

have received on the first issue of Parish

Cake. Readers have liked the size, the layout,

presentation and content. The idea to send

it to every household in Cranbrook and

Sissinghurst has also been warmly


I hope the magazine will make

the community more aware

of the wide range of activities

in which the parish council

is involved and the variety of

interests and happenings in the

wider communities.

Examples include the council’s

Neighbourhood Development Plan working

groups in Cranbrook and Sissinghurst, which

are both doing excellent work, and traffic

observations in the parish. During the summer,

Cranbrook in Bloom (CiB) made our town

beautiful with experts from the South and

South East in Bloom competition judging



4 Through the Lens

5 Directory & What’s On

7 Chairman’s View

8 Letters

10 Parish News

12 Club News

16 Events

40 Parish Council Round-Up


21 Tarot Rats – a Cranbrook

band doing great things

23 Windmill and Museum –

the sweeps are back, and

can you name these folk?

helpers’ efforts in July.

We were going for gold! Many of you will have

also enjoyed the private gardens lovingly

tended by their owners for the CiB Garden

Safari. We will have more on CiB in the next


Nuts in May, a Chelsea Fringe spinoff,

was an enormous success and

encouraged many people to visit

Cranbrook and view the town from

the top of St. Dunstan’s Church.

Other popular events include the

annual Sissinghurst fête, Cranbrook

Art Show, the Apple Fair and the

Cranbrook Literature Festival. One

must not forget the shows by the Cranbrook

Operatic and Dramatic Society (CODS), which

are staged in the Queen’s Hall.

We are a very lucky to have such a vibrant


Cllr. Bridget Veitch

Chairman, Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

Parish Council


24 The Mini Racers –

husband and wife hot-rod


27 Academy New Build –

the High Weald Academy

building plans

29 Defib Saves a Life – how

a Sissinghurst resident

was saved

31 A229 Speeding – Trisha

Fermor comments on the


33 Kitchen & Garden –

‘tuplipmania’ and spiced


35 Stone Street Traffic –

let’s be more considerate

says Phil Mummery

37 A Word From our

Sponsor – meet the

team at Buss Murton Law,


39 Business – Emma Wood

on harnessing the World

Wide Web

42 Local Legend – an

interview with Linda Page

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 3


the lens

Can you spot where in the parish these

were taken? Answers below.


ANSWERS: 1. Golford Chapel, Cranbrook Cemetery (the Four Seasons Windows were designed by the late Cranbrook artist Michael Woodford); 2. Cranbrook War Memorial (this

Ransomes plough was used in the local hop gardens during the First World War); 3. Sissinghurst Castle Garden, south side of the lower lake (graves for Vita Sackville-West’s dogs);

4. This Old Wesleyan Chapel is now a private house in The Street, Sissinghurst; 5. The Union Mill, Cranbrook

4 Parish CakeAutumn 2017



Parish Cake guide to events

in Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

• The Cranbrook Union

Windmill is open every

Saturday and Sunday

throughout September from


• The mobile library is at the

Milkhouse, Sissinghurst, every

Friday from 11.40am-12.05pm

• The Children’s Centre,

Cranbrook, offers free sessions

for parents and children

throughout the week. Call

03000 41 10 35 for a timetable

• Cranbrook Museum is open

Tuesday to Saturday 2.00-

4.00pm until mid-October

• St. Dunstan’s Church Tower

is open on Saturdays from

11.00am-1.00pm until

mid-October, £3 donation



Messy Church Children’s Group, Vestry

Hall, 3.30-5.30pm


Cranbrook U3A, Vestry Hall, 2.30pm


Sissinghurst Flower Show Society Autumn

Show, Sissinghurst CE Primary School,



Farmer’s Market, Vestry Hall, 9.30am-



Q&A with author Alison Weir, Vestry Hall,

7.30-9.30pm (tickets from


Cranbrook In Bloom presentation, Vestry

Hall, 6.00pm


Weald Beekeepers Show, Vestry Hall,

10.00am-3.30pm, free admission



Cranbrook Apple Fair, High Street,



Messy Church Children’s Group, Vestry

Hall, 3.30-5.30pm


Kitsch & Stitch Vintage & Makers Fair,

Vestry Hall, 10.00am-3.00pm


Cranbrook U3A with speaker Prof. John

Done on Understanding Carbon Materials

for the layman, Vestry Hall, 2.15pm


Farmer’s Market, Vestry Hall,




Messy Church Children’s Group, Vestry

Hall, 3.30-5.30pm


Cranbrook U3A with speaker Dr Mike

Heeley on Lord Lister, father of surgery

and Kentish links, Vestry Hall, 2.15pm


Farmer’s Market, Vestry Hall, 9.30am-




Messy Church Children’s Group, Vestry

Hall, 3.30-5.30pm


Cranbrook U3A, Vestry Hall, 2.15pm


Farmers’ Market, Vestry Hall, 9.30am-


While every effort is made to ensure

accuracy, dates and times may change. If

you are organising an event in the parish

why not drop us a line and we might be able

to include you in the listings too – editorial@


Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

Parish Council

The Old Fire Station

Stone Street, Cranbrook


Clerk – Mrs. L. Ham

Deputy Clerk – Mrs. L. Larkin

01580 713112 / clerk@



Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

01892 526121

Kent County Council

03000 41 41 41



Electricity: 0800 727282 (24 hrs)

Gas: 0800 111 999

Water: South East Water (drinking

water) 0800 0283399, Southern

Water (waste water) 0800 820999 (24

hrs), Emergency leak 0800 0283399,

Floodline 0845 9881188 (24 hrs)


Non-Emergency Police: 101

Crime Stoppers: 0800 555111

KCC Community Warden: Adam

Osbourn 07813 695741

PCSO: Lee Jules 07772 226045

Neighbourhood Watch Area

Co-ordinator: 01622 604395


St George’s Institute, Sissinghurst:

Ursula O’Connor 01580 713938

The Parish Room, Sissinghurst: Sue

Crowe 01580 712901

The Vestry Hall, Council Chamber and

Addison VC Room, Cranbrook:

01580 713112 (10am-12pm




Congregational Church,

Cranbrook: 01580 388070

St. Dunstan’s, Cranbrook:

01580 715861

St. Theodore’s RC, Cranbrook:

01580 713364

Strict Baptist Church, Cranbrook:

01580 713212

Trinity Church, Sissinghurst:

01580 852275

Vine Church, Cranbrook:

01580 712505


Colliers Green CE Primary:

01580 211335

Cranbrook CE Primary:

01580 713249

Cranbrook Children’s Centre:

03000 41 10 35

Cranbrook School: 01580 711800

Dulwich Preparatory School:

01580 712179

High Weald Academy:

01580 712754

Rainbow Pre School, Cranbrook:

01580 715570

Sissinghurst CE Primary:

01580 713895

Woodpeckers Pre School, Cranbrook:

01580 720195


Jockey Lane Surgery, Cranbrook:

01580 713032

Old School Surgery, Cranbrook: 01580


Orchard End Surgery, Cranbrook:

01580 713622


Cranbrook Medical Centre, Cranbrook

Cricket Club, Sissinghurst

Sissinghurst Castle Garden,


St. George’s Institute, Sissinghurst

Tennis Club, Sissinghurst

The George Hotel, Cranbrook

The Milkhouse, Sissinghurst

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 5

See potential.

Realise the vision.

Open Morning

Come and see the difference

Thursday 5th October

9.00 am –12 noon

Contact our Registrar for details:

“Teaching in the early years continues to be

outstanding. Both inside and outside areas provide

excellent opportunities for children to explore, be

DPC-AdvertArt-ParishCake-HalfPage-210x128.indd 1 02/08/2017 17:06

creative “Teaching and in delight the early in years their learning.” continues to be

(Ofsted, “Teaching 2017) in the early years continues to be

outstanding. Both inside and outside areas provide

outstanding. Both inside and outside areas provide

excellent opportunities for children to explore, be

Cranbrook excellent opportunities Primary for children to School

explore, be

creative and delight in their learning.”

creative and delight in their learning.”

(Ofsted, 2017)

(Ofsted, 2017)

Cranbrook Primary School

Prospective Parents

OPEN Prospective Parents



Wednesday 8 th November 2017

Wednesday 8 th November 2017

Come and see our outdoor area and enhanced classroom

provision, as well as meeting the teachers. Find out about

the changes we have made and our vision for the future

of Cranbrook Primary School.

Come and see our outdoor area and enhanced classroom

provision, as well as meeting the teachers. Find out about

the changes we have made and our vision for the future

of Cranbrook Primary School.

Tours at 10am, 1.30pm and 5pm

For more information, or to book onto a

tour, call Cranbrook Primary School on:

01580 713249

Tours at 10am, 1.30pm and 5pm

For more information, or to book onto a

tour, call Cranbrook Primary School on:

01580 713249

6 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

Is it Goodbye to

our Public Loos?

FOR MANY months

Cranbrook has been

without its public

lavatories, thanks to the

efforts of a handful of

vandals who have forced

the closure of a vital


The ladies and gents,

tucked along Crane

Lane off the High

Street, were a constant

target resulting in the

owners, Tunbridge Wells

Borough Council, closing


Despite appeals

from townspeople

and Cranbrook and

Sissinghurst Parish

Council, instead of

repairs being made the

building was boarded

up, the borough saying

repairs would cost up to


I now know that people

in Cranbrook feel

strongly about the

conveniences. Vandalism

is such a waste of effort

and money. We must find

other activities for the

youth of this parish.

As well as the lavatories,

the once-beautiful

mosaic seat covered in

scenes of Cranbrook,

just feet from the loos,

has also been attacked.

Large chunks have been

prised out, leaving it

a shadow of its former

self. It was designed

by renowned mosaicist

Nigel Budd and made

with the help of students

from the former Angley

School, now High Weald


Speaking at July’s

parish council meeting,

borough councillor

Tom Dawlings said:

“The money previously

spent on the loos in

Cranbrook last year was

more than that spent on

all the other toilets put


He said there were

suggestions that

responsibility for public

lavatories in the borough

should be handed over

to parish councils, which

has already happened in


Cllr. Dawlings suggested

that councillors visit the

ABOVE: Cranbrook

public toilets

what do you


conveniences in Paddock

Wood which were part

steel to deter vandalism.

If the Cranbrook

lavatories are not reopened

it is hoped that

commercial outlets in

the town, such as cafes,

might offer to allow

the public to use their

facilities. They would

receive payment from

out chairman’s & about


the borough council to

cover costs.

I am exploring

suggestions for

other sites for new

conveniences, perhaps

closer to the coach park

in the Regal Car Park.

Cllr. Bridget Veitch

Chairman, Cranbrook

and Sissinghurst Parish


Should Cranbrook have public conveniences or should

retail outlets provide the service? Let us have your views

by emailing

or writing to CSPC, The Old Fire Station, Stone Street,

Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 3HF

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 7

Letters | T: 01580 712 215

Star Letter

Putting the ‘Cran’ back

in Cranbrook

I was taken with the article

by Trisha Fermor in your

Summer 2017 issue on the

avian etymology of Cranbrook.

I am a resident of the town and

an academic specialising in

ornithology of the Middle Ages,

so I thought I might offer a

further thought on the matter.

Mr Massini is by no means

incorrect when he remarks that

Cranbrook may not be named

after the bird we refer to today

as the Cran. The Anglo-Saxons

certainly knew what cranes

were because these large, noisy

birds were widespread across

the country.

It is possible that Old English

cran was used to describe all

heron-looking birds, but it may

well be that this generalisation

only occurred once cranes had

become extinct in the 17th

century. The Anglo-Saxons

were excellent observers of

birds. Tellingly they had a

separate name for the heron

(hragra), and

there are English

places specifically

named after the

heron (Rawreth in Essex

for instance, meaning Heron

Stream), which implies an

intentional distinction. Even in

the Tudor period, the species

were told apart: the household

accounts for one noble banquet

note that ‘A young Heron is

lighter of digestion than a

Crane’. So Nancy Warne should

not lose heart - it is a credible

possibility that our town was

indeed named after the elegant


Michael Warren, Cranbrook

Who are these Hooligans?

I was delighted to read in Parish Cake (Summer edition, page 11) that

thanks to a residents’ campaign new play equipment has been installed

on the Jubilee Field in Sissinghurst. Well, already panels have been

kicked out of the construction making it unsafe for children to play.

Who are these hooligans who must have got some pleasure causing

damage that will have to be paid for to repair?

sent by e-mail

Star Letter

The author will receive

a voucher for a hot drink

and slice of cake from

Cranbrook café Cocolicious!

Can we Have a Crier?

Can Parish Cake campaign to

have the Town Crier returned to

Cranbrook, which is supposed to

be a historic market town?

Historic market towns always

had a Town Crier. Why can’t

Cranbrook? It was only a few

years ago that we had one in

Cranbrook; where’s he gone?

Andy Slay, Cranbrook

Solving the Crane Problem

I read with interest Trisha’s interview with

Nancy on the name of Cranbrook. Well I think

I can solve the problem of bringing Cranes

back to Cranebrook!

Firstly flood the Crane Valley, plant huge

trees in the front gardens of the bordering

houses to deaden the sound from occupants.

Only allow electric cars in the Co-op and

Tanyard carparks, no street lights in four

hundred yards of the valley and lastly only

allow deliveries to the Co-oP between 3-4pm

on Fridays. Also, all plastic shopping trolleys.

Hey presto the Cranes will be back.

The Village Eccentric (address supplied)


8 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

We have been providing expert and

trusted legal advice to individuals and

businesses for generations.

out & about

How to use an Apostrophe

I noticed a mistake in the use of an

apostrophe on the parish council’s poster

regarding the defibrillation session at

Sissinghurst Primary school, which was

on the wall at the Co-oP store. The plural

defibrillators included an apostrophe.

Because there is often confusion on this

point, I am taking the liberty of pointing

out the error in case you wish to correct it

in the future, and summarising the rules of

apostrophe use.

An apostrophe is needed only to indicate

possession or missing letters, as in the

following examples: I can’t instead of I

cannot, and It’s instead of it is or it has (it’s

can never be used as a possessive).

The singular possessive is indicated by ‘s

and the plural by s’. For example:

• The dog’s bone (a bone belonging to one


• The dogs’ bone (a bone belonging to

several dogs)

• Mr. Jones’s shop (a shop belonging to Mr.


• The Joneses’ shop (a shop belonging to

several people called Jones)

• The company’s logo (the logo identifying

one company)

• The companies’ logo (the logo

identifying several companies).

If the word is already plural as in

“children”, “people” or “men” the

possessive is indicated by ‘s, as in: We sell

children’s clothes and men’s shoes”.

Apostrophes are never used in plurals.

Bananas instead of Banana’s or “100s of

books” instead of “100’s of books” or “Mind

your ps and qs” instead of “Mind your p’s

and q’s”.

I hope this has been helpful and would

thank you for your courtesy in reading this

far. You might like to see some examples

on our web page

Carolyn Rolfe, Sissinghurst


Cranbrook Town


A Call for Members

I would like to draw readers’

attention to the Cranbrook

Town Band, a group that can

trace its roots in the local

community back to 1924.

Over the years the band has

contributed greatly to the local

area by providing free tuition

to young and old alike with

its learner band. We have a

thriving youth section and, as

a result of this approach, local

parents have benefited to the

tune of over £30,000 through

not having to pay for tuition

Please send your

letters to editorial@parishcake. or by post to Parish Cake,

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council,

The Old Fire Station, Stone Street,

Cranbrook, TN17 3HF. Please note, letters

may be published in a shortened form at

the discretion of the editor.

costs, instrument and music


The band also supports

charities both locally and

nationally having raised

£10,996 for Children in Need

between 2003 and 2013 and

since 2014, £4,350 for the local

Demelza Hospice which cares

for terminally ill children.

The band is very active in

the local area throughout

the year and has completed

a hugely successful first for

itself and the academy stage

school in Tenterden with a

joint concert in February 2017.

We also takes part in the local

contest scene and are ranked

in the scaba 2nd section where

we have gained numerous first

places and awards for best

instrumentalist, section and


We would be delighted to

welcome new members and

also bookings to play. Visit


uk for more on us!

David Newsom,

Collier Street

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 9



and views from

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

Join the



DEER AND wild boar may well

be a problem throughout the

Weald but a herd of horses

has been greeted with delight.

Twenty-four life-sized

sculptures are on show in places

throughout West Kent and East

Sussex in a bid to raise money

for Hospice in the Weald.

Designed and painted by

local artists and sponsored

by businesses, the stunning

horses have already created

a stampede of interest in the

parks and other places where

they are grazing or generally

ambling about.

To find them you can

download a special map from There

is also special Herd of the

Hospice merchandise for sale

in Royal Victoria Place (RVP)

where visitors can add their

hand print to an unpainted


The herd will stay on show

until the beginning of October

when they will be rounded

up and taken to RVP to be

auctioned off.

To donate £3 text HERD to

70660; 90p in every £1 goes

straight to patient care.




THROUGH THE Neighbourhood Plan process we have been

given an amazing opportunity to help shape how our local

community can develop over the next 20 years or so.

During this year, several public engagement events took

place where residents in Cranbrook and Sissinghurst, and

other participants,

had the opportunity

to express what they

most value about our

parish and what causes

them most concern.

Tasks Groups are now being formed to work on the

many actions points identified.

We would like as many of you as possible to participate

in the creation of the Neighbourhood Plan. If you have

a particular interest or skill in any of the areas that have

been identified, please get in touch. You could also help by

gathering the views of your friends and neighbours.

The areas that have been identified include looking at

Community & Culture, Heritage, Landscape, Education

& Employment, Land Use & Social Infrastructure,

Development Opportunity Sites, and Access & Movement.

To have your say, as well as the views you may

have acquired from those you have spoken to so

far, please complete our short questionnaire by

September 22, which is available both online at www. and from the Parish

Office, where the results of the work so far are also on

display. Cllr. Nancy Warne

Health & Wellness Consultant

07734 714391

All I ask for in return is honest feedback

Skincare, Haircare, Supplements, Sports & Weight Management,

Health & General Wellbeing, Pet care & Home products

Cranbrook Secretarial Services

Don’t use a computer? Let me help

• Typing letters, documents, manuscripts etc

• One off jobs or long term

• Working from my

home or yours

Catherine Fowler

t 01580 713395 or 07899 861291 e

10 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

Record Numbers at Summer Run

NEARLY 200 people took part

in the Cranbrook 10k and 5k

run in July to raise money for

the primary school’s Parent

Teacher Association.

Starting at the High Weald

Academy, the race attracted

about 40 children in the

kids’ fun runs and some serious

runners fighting for first place in the longer events.

The prizes were some special chopping boards made by

local kitchen manufacturer, Mounts Hill, who were one of the


Barry Hopkins from organisers Sporting Events UK said: “We

specialise in creating great running events which have something

for everyone, young and old, beginners and more experienced

club runners.

“We sold out on entries and hit record numbers. We have lots

of plans for next year to make the event bigger

and better than ever.”

The 2018 event is on Sunday July 15.

Book a Talk with the

Air Ambulance

THE KENT, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is inviting

local groups, clubs, societies and other organisations

to book a talk (free of charge) to find our more about

its work.

By inviting one of its volunteer speakers to your

group, you will be helping to raise awareness of the

charity, ensuring it can be there for those who need its

services, now and in the future.

For more information or to book a talk, please

contact 01622 833 833 /

Petition Over

Town’s Car Parks

A PETITION signed by 60 people claims

shoppers are being turned away from

Cranbrook because of insufficient parking


At the August meeting of the parish

council, chairman Bridget Veitch said the

petitioners, who included shopkeepers

and business people, had asked for an

independent parking expert to review the


They claim the free car parks - the

Tanyard, Jockey Lane and the Regal - are

frequently full leading to loss of business

because people go elsewhere.

It was agreed to set up a working group to

look at all aspects of parking in the town.

Hop on the Bus to the Seaside

FOLLOWING A local campaign, Cranbrook now has

a Sunday bus service to Hastings. The Stagecoach

Bus company is operating the service for a period

of 12 months in order to evaluate public support.

Timetables are available in the Weald

Information Centre in Cranbrook, or you can

view them online at


It goes without saying that unless the service is

supported it may well be cancelled.

Goodbye – Sorry

to see you go

IT WAS sad to see the closure in July

of Millstone, the dress shop in Stone

Street, after more than 40 years’


Proprietor Caz King, whose mother

had also worked there, told Parish

Cake that the lease was up for renewal

and she had decided, very reluctantly,

not to renew it.

But enthusiasts of her woollen

garments need not worry. Caz said

she will continue knitting and doing

business at craft fairs.

We Have a Winner!


Dobson of Cranbrook, the winner

of the Wealden Knowledge of the

Worldwide Web competition sponsored

by Hothouse Wealden Growth Agency.

57 people answered the three questions

correctly (Tim Berners-Lee invented

the World Wide Web. He was born in

London. It became publicly available

on 5 August 1991) and will soon be in

ownership of a £1,000 website.

Turn to page 39 for more on why

websites are so important in business.

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 11


A round-up of news from

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst clubs,

groups and associations


MINI RUGBY can be the start of

a long-term development of a

successful rugby player or, for

some, simply the beginning of an

enjoyable and healthy fulfilling


Mini rugby is an active, fun

start to being part of a real team

through the joy of rugby. By

developing the principles for the

love of physical activity, team

work, and the skills of rugby

at early ages, we are aiming to

develop strong values and skills

that can be used throughout a

lifetime and career.

Although the main

focus of mini rugby is fun

and participation, we also

want children to have the

opportunity to develop strong

‘FUNdamentals’, through

knowledgeable coaching and


Unlike some other sports

rugby is a true team sport. At any

level, rarely can one player take

over or control a game. Rugby

needs everyone’s participation,

dedication and team work

for a team to succeed. So the

requirements of rugby mean that

rarely is a player standing still or

waiting for something to happen.

Every player must move with

and follow the play in order to be

part of it and support their team

mates to come out tops. Rugby’s

values of teamwork, respect,

enjoyment, discipline and

sportsmanship are what make

the game special for those who

enjoy the culture they create.

They define the game and define

England rugby. Terry O’Brien

For more information call

01580 712777 or visit www. – U3A)

Sing Like A Crow!

THE ARTS are part of what makes us human,

helping us give expression to our deepest

emotions. Whether it’s thousands gathering with

Ariana Grande to remember those affected by

terrorism, or a foot-stomping Last Night of the

Proms, there are songs for every occasion.

Over the summer holidays The Vine has taken

time to focus on Psalms, sometimes called “the

songbook of the Bible”. Written thousands of

years ago, the lyricists certainly didn’t hold back

in expressing their emotions to God as they

experienced many of the same troubles and

triumphs we face today.

Each week different Vine members led us in

appreciating psalms that have been significant for

them. Some in times of joy, others in times of great

stress and sadness.

Music helps us move beyond the superficial

“I’m-fine-thanks-how-are-you?” to a deeper level

of connection. From the desperate cry of, “Life’s

not fair!” in Psalm 73, to the rapturous praise of

Psalm 150, God is not afraid of our emotion. As

Pastor David encouraged us, “whether you sing like

a lark or a crow, prefer drumstep or a philharmonic

symphony, use a song to reach out and tell God

how you’re feeling.” Chris Goodchild

For more information on The Vine Church

call 01580 712505 or visit

12 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

club news

Cranbrook U3A

THE CRANBROOK branch of the ‘University of the Third

Age’ is for anyone at that stage in life where you are

no longer working or are semi-retired. There is no age

restriction on becoming a member.

In the UK the national U3A organisation supports

development of local U3As which are self-managed by

volunteers with a democratically appointed committee

of members, who run the local organisation.

There are currently over 1,000 U3As in the UK and

more than 385,000 members. Cranbrook U3A supports

and encourages its members to join interest groups

hosted and run by other members with a particular

interest, life skill or sporting activity which they would

like to share. Over 160 members and more than 25

interest groups offer a diversity of subject matter such

as bridge, pottery, languages, play reading, walking,

gardening, local history and wine appreciation –

activities that appeal to most people.

On the social side there are regular coffee mornings,

a lunch club and outings to the theatre and museums.

Sharing educational, creative and leisure experiences

the lives of all who participate are significantly


Cranbrook U3A meets monthly (except for August)

in the Vestry Hall, to enjoy a chat, a coffee or tea and

listen to an invited speaker. Topics are wide and various

including life in Kent School during the war years, how

a group of young men in the 70s took a double-decker

bus around the world and about Charles Dickens and his

love of magic.

Members receive a National U3A magazine and a

quarterly Cranbrook Matters which provides a real

insight into our activities. Jane Pugh

To join Cranbrook U3A please visit the website www., pick up a leaflet in the Vestry

Hall or pop along to a Monthly Meeting. Look out for

notices in the Market Cross notice board.




WHILE TRINITY Church cannot

boast a history going back to the

11th century, it can be proud of

its supporters who belong to the

Friends of Sissinghurst Church.

The group was formed by the

late and much-missed Canon Doug

Redman who was keen to see the

fabric of the Victorian church

safeguarded for the future.

For years, he headed the

committee which organised

everything from a popular village

lunch with well-known personalities

as speakers to the book stall at the

annual fête.

Money raised has gone to a

variety of projects including

bespoke oak cupboards at the

back of the church, the painting of

the church interior and extensive

repairs to the parish rooms.

The Friends are still pursuing

Canon Redman’s wish for a

memorial plaque at Sissinghurst

Castle to commemorate the many

French prisoners of war who were

incarcerated and died, most without

graves, during the seven years’ war

1756-63. The Friends, who have

been promised a donation of £500

by the National Trust, have separate

fundraising for this project.

Anyone interested in joining the

Friends should contact membership

secretary Peter Mellor on

01580 715860.

14 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

club news

Jam and Jerusalem join Chi Gung!

RELAUNCHED JUST four years ago, the Cranbrook

Women’s Institute is making quite a name for


While jam and Jerusalem is still there, it is more

likely that members will be participating in Chi

Gung (an ancient Chinese health care system) or

Sloe Seduction, tasting an exquisite selection of

sloe gin products!

While there are still very traditional themes

on offer - such as making a Christmas wreath

with well-known Cranbrook florist Nita Chandler

- the 30-strong membership has enjoyed

archery lessons, theatre visits and a talk on

“undergarments through the ages”.

Founding member Sharon Pickles said: “We

would love to attract more members. We had

about 80 people to the first meeting

when we relaunched but the number

has now whittled down to a group of

about 30 signed-up members.

“We have had talks ranging from a

local solicitor giving advice on wills to

creative writing, jewellery making and

knitting. Christmas time will be very

traditional with things like Christmas cake making.”

The group meets at 7.30pm on the first Tuesday of the month

at Cranbrook School’s sixth form centre. People can attend three

meetings for free before they need to pay £3.50 a session. Annual

membership is just £39.

Meetings include refreshments, with the WI’s traditional

home-made cakes, and there is a raffle with profits going to local

community funds.

Mrs Pickles added: “We are a very friendly group and people

can choose what they want to do. There are several spin-off

groups including Knitting Natter and whatever people want to do

they will be sure of a friendly welcome.” Trisha Fermor

Contact Cranbrook WI at




holding a singing workshop on

Saturday 23 September from 2.00 to

6.00pm. It is designed to be suitable

for experienced as well as inquisitive

new singers. If you belong to a choir,

or are thinking of joining one, this

is the perfect introduction to the

Choral Society.

For more information visit or

telephone 01580 714828.

Family Gastro Pub

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serving Harveys of Lewes

Good choice of ales, lagers,

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Relaxing terraced garden

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Children’s play area - B&B rooms

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Parish CakeAutumn 2017 15

eventnewswe are

Some of the great events

rightly proud of!

Popular Novelist at

Literature Festival

WRITER ALISON Weir will be in

Cranbrook this month to speak

about her best-selling novel

Innocent Traitor.

Her appearance at the Vestry

Hall at 7.30pm on September

27 is the latest offering from Cranbrook Literature

Festival. Book groups in and around the town are

being encouraged to read the book in advance.

She will also be talking about her two new

novels, A King’s Obsession, and The True Queen.

Members of the audience can take part in a Q and

A session and there will be a book signing.

Apple Fayre Time is Nearly Upon us

THOSE OF us who over the years have seen the anarchic goings on before

will remember the Red Barrows thundering down the High Street at

incredible speeds, Concorde flying down the High Street at ground level,

the country crafts, Morris men, bands, military vehicles, all types of cider,

and of course the famous Kentish apple in many forms.

This year will be no exception; on October 7 the theme is ‘Cowboys and

Aliens’ so be prepared to visit the Wild West and the awful unknown.

Free fun for all ages 10am to 4pm. Phil Mummery

Contact Phil at or Stuart at stuart.cleary@ Updates will also be posted on Facebook.

Tickets are £5 each and available from Buss Murton

or online via

Buzz Along to the Bee Show

THE WEALD of Kent Beekeepers will be giving the

public a chance to “spot the queen bee” in a hive at an

exhibition in Cranbrook.

On Saturday September 30 the Vestry Hall will

be a hive of activity as members explain how their

aim is to protect honey bees, and other bees, which

are responsible for pollinating one in every three

mouthfuls of food people eat. The event will run from

10am to 3.30pm.

Recruiting Nail & Brow Technicians

New Nail Salon, Benenden

Maison Manicure is opening a luxury nail

and brow salon on The Street in Benenden

You will have a professional and friendly approach, solid

experience & qualifications covering manicures, pedicures,

Shellac or BioSculpture and/or brow and lash equivalent.

Extremely competitive rates of pay, paid annual leave

and bonuses, and a new approach.

Email introducing

yourself and your skills, and we’ll be in touch


Cranbrook and


areas since 1921



Traditional butcher

specialising in


meat and poultry


Tel: 01580 713128 • Stone St, Cranbrook TN17 3HF

16 Parish CakeAutumn 2017


Parish CakeAutumn 2017 17

Hackett London,

Scotch and Soda, and Tresanti

Opening times:

Monday-Saturday 9.30am - 5.00pm

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18 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

out & events about

25th Anniversary for

Cranbrook Art Show

IT IS hard to believe that it is 25 years since the

Vestry Hall opened its doors to welcome this

popular exhibition to the town.

This artist-led show aims to provide an

atmosphere where visitors can enjoy browsing

through a variety of art and creative styles while

meeting many of the artists. Four women make

up the committee and are available to help and

advise. They hope visitors will find the perfect

piece to buy for their home or as Christmas


The art show is celebrating by looking to the

past and planning for the future. Alongside

those selected from open submission, there

will be a feature of work by artists who took

part in the early years of the show. There will

also be a community award of Cranbrook

students’ work sponsored by Dulwich Prep

School, Cranbrook.

Felicity Flutter

The show runs from 9-11 November and

entry is free. For more details visit

98 Years Later and Still Performing

IN THE summer of 1919,

young Daisy Allen was

walking down the hill in

Cranbrook when she met

newcomer to the town,

Eva Campbell, an amateur

theatre enthusiast who

asked Daisy if she could


With a musical

background, Daisy popped

into Eva’s home to sing and

delighted with the sound,

they both thought that it

would be a good idea to

stage a musical. This chance

meeting led to the start of

the Cranbrook Operatic and

Dramatic Society with its

production of the Gilbert

and Sullivan musical,

The Mikado.

Rehearsals are now well

underway for the latest

CODS offering, the musical

Scrooge written by Leslie

Bricusse, which will be

staged in the Queen’s

Theatre at the end of


Playing the title role is

parish councillor Andy

Fairweather and the

show is directed by Lisa

Ferris and Rachel Croft

Golding. Tickets are now

on sale at the George

Hotel, Cranbrook, for

performances on 26-28

October, with a matinee on

the Saturday.

Brian Clifford

rural family


Fun for all

the Family

THIS YEAR’S Weald of Kent

Ploughing Match will be held

on Saturday September 16

at Gatehouse Farm, Marden,

TN12 9SG.

Among the attractions will be

ploughing classes for modern

and vintage tractors as well

as horses, a farmers’ market,

Thelwell-type gymkhana, trade

stands, clay pigeon shooting

and terrier racing.

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 19


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20 Parish CakeAutumn 2017


We’re Predicting

Great Things!

Trisha Fermor talks to Cranbrook-based band

about its name, sound and upcoming gigs


not the first place you

would link with hardened

blues rock but Cranbrook

can pride itself on

spawning a band with a

brilliant future.

Think Led Zeppelin,

think Bowie, think Black

Sabbath and add the fiveman

Tarot Rats who are

fast-tracking their way to

joining the best.

The eclectic bunch of

music-makers are riff

wizard, much tattooed

father of four, Johnny

Hammond, 36; guitar lord

Chris Sansom, 39, also

father of four; Adrian

Smithers, 32, rhythm

glue; Alex Ribchester, 33,

stickman, and the baby

of the band, singer Tim

Hill, 29.

Where did their

unusual name come

from? Johnny explained:

“We kept picking names

and found they had

already been taken. Then

we had a eureka moment

and thought of Tarot Rats

because we write some

songs with reference to

tarot cards, which are not

all gloomy.”

The band has just

completed an EP of their

work which is being

released on September

1. Entitled 3.0, Johnny

explained: “It refers to

the third full line-up of

the group, rather like the

Phoenix rising from the

ashes. Now is such an

exciting time for us and

we are looking to next

year for more festivals

and perhaps the year after

a tour of UK and after

that Europe. Glastonbury

is not happening next

year but we would love to

play there in 2019.”

The Rats were eager to

sing the praises of record

producer Guy Denning

who runs the Granary

Studio in Lamberhurst.

Looking to the sounds





of the past, he recorded

the band using old

technology – reel-to-reel

analogue tape – and Chris

said: “It is very expensive

but the sound is just




Johnny said: “It just

feels right at the moment.

Our sound has matured

and our profile will go

up and up. We will be

supporting some big acts

and aim to release our

first full LP album next


The band has been

signed by Rock People

Management and will

be at The Forum in

Tunbridge Wells on Friday

September 22. Following

a tradition, Tarot Rats will

be at The George, Stone

Street, Cranbrook, for a

Halloween night gig on

October 28.

Sign up to the Ratpacks’ website and try

your luck at winning two tickets for

their gig at The Forum, Tunbridge

Wells, on Friday September 22 plus a

copy of their brand new EP.

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 21

British-made gifts, art exhibitions &

creative workshops in Cranbrook

47b High Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3EE

22 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

Hurrah! They are Back


Cranbrook’s Union Mill is reunited with its sweeps


the Cranbrook windmill was

reunited with its huge sweeps

after more than a year’s


Hurrah! The windmill is able

to produce stoneground flour

again. Kent County Council

owns the landmark which will

be painted as soon as possible.

Cranbrook Windmill

Association volunteers open

the mill to the public and

operate it to produce flour

which is sold.

Joy Temple

Come and join us!

Email volunteering@

uk or visit www.

uk for more


At a recent parish council meeting, our county councillor

Sean Holden said: “It has taken more than a year for the sweeps

to come back. I hope it won’t take that long for KCC to do the muchneeded


He was referring to the fact that one side of the mill is green,

possibly due to the long, hot summer. This phenomenon occurred

several years ago before the mill was given a fresh coat of paint.



IN THE last issue of Parish Cake we

asked for help in putting names to

faces in a 1924 photo of Cranbrook

Town Band. Within a few hours of

its delivery we had a call from local

resident Mrs Hadaway

who has a copy of the

same photo with every

name. Thank you; the

photograph in the

museum now means so

much more to us.

In this issue we

follow a similar theme

but this time it is a

1928 photograph of

the Cranbrook cubs. We know it’s

Lesley Bangham in the back row on

the right but can you name anyone

else? Perhaps spot your father or


If you can help our email address

is cranbrookmuseum@gmail.

com or we are there to answer the

phone on Wednesday mornings

(only) between 9am and 12 noon

on 01580 712929.

As for the

Town Band,

here are the

names! Many

of you will

be familiar

with the


Back row, left to right;

H.W.Hills, C.Honess, G.Leeves, H.G.Hatcher, H.Hatcher,

J.C.Parker, H.S.Cayzer.

Middle row, left to right; A.E.Bangham,A Bangham,

A.W.Hatcher, L.C.Piper, J.Elvin, H.W.Hinkley, C.V.Norris.

Front row, left to right; S.W.West, A Boniface,

A.T.Slingsby, T.A.W.Slingsby, H.J.Hinkley, S.Stone, E.

Osborne, W.Butler.

Cranbrook Museum Curator

In the last edition we described Mike Huxley as

Curator of Cranbrook’s Museum. We made a

mistake – the Curator is of course Rod Dann. The

error was mine and I apologise – ed.

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 23


No Rivalry

in this Team

A life long passion for minis makes this couple a

team to be reckoned with writes Trisha Fermor


drivers would probably go

down like a lead balloon

in one Weald household.

Pete Berry, 41, and his

fiancée Zoe Atkins, 35, are

two of the country’s top

hot-rod racers, travelling

the length and breadth of

the UK to compete in their

iconic Minis.

Pete, who works at his

father John’s garage,

Cranbrook Cars,

Sissinghurst, is suitably

proud of Zoe who has left

the ladies-only classes

to join the men. She is

currently lying in third

place against 40 rivals.

Her fiancé is the leading

points champion of the

6,000-member Invicta

Kent club – the largest of

its kind in the UK – based

at Ivychurch, Romney


Their beloved Minis are

Pete’s much-rebuilt green

pick-up with a Cooper

S 1071cc engine and

Zoe’s white model with a

1000cc engine.

Surprisingly, using only

first and second gear,

Pete can achieve 89mph

in second while Zoe can

reach 70 plus in hers.

The races are usually run

clock-wise on an oval

grass track and their

cars’ tracking is altered,

making them look

lopsided when stationery.

Mr Berry snr was one of

the first people in the

1970s to race on the

stock-rod grass track in

Frittenden and Pete said:

“When I was in a pram I

used to be taken to the

track. I was two years old

when I helped my Dad

change the wheel nuts on

a racer.

“When I was 12 and tall

for my age I was allowed

to take part racing cars

although the minimum

age was 13. They said if












I could reach the pedals

and see over the steering

wheel I was OK.”

Pete is not alone in

getting help from a

parent. Zoe’s Mum,

Glenys Atkins, who lives

at Knoxbridge, raced

Minis at Brands Hatch.

Zoe said: “I did karting

for six years before

racing Minis. Pete was

always going on at me to

join him racing and one

Christmas he bought me

a Mini. I went on to be a

ladies’ champion which is

why I joined the men.”

Although hot-rod racing

is supposed to be a

non-contact sport both

their minis have suffered

damage in collisions and

both have rolled their

cars – Pete reckoning to

have somersaulted up to

20 times in one incident.

Fortunately they have

avoided serious injuries.

While Zoe’s car is

trailered to events,

Pete built his own lorry,

complete with living

quarters, to carry his


He said: “We are like a

travelling circus. We take

our two dogs, a Staffie

and a Staffie x Lab, with

us wherever we go.”

Speaking just before the

National Championships

in Herefordshire at the

beginning of August, Pete

said: “Zoe and I have a

real partnership, we do

everything together and

are a great team.”

24 Parish CakeAutumn 2017








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Academy to

Share £10

Million Pot


The new High Weald Academy building

will be state-of-the-art, writes

Trisha Fermor

THE HIGH Weald Academy

is to receive a large slice

of government money for

the construction of a new

building on its Cranbrook


The project will deliver

state-of-the-art specialist

science facilities, a suite

of art rooms, a dance

studio, library, IT rooms

and numerous generalpurpose

classrooms along

with a new dining area.

The construction work is

due to start in December

or January on the current

site in Angley Road. It is

anticipated there will be

minimal disruption to

the students’ working day

as the new development

will be on unused campus


It is also planned to

demolish old buildings

no longer required and

landscape the area.

Ruth Murphy, executive

support officer for the

Brook Learning Trust

which is in overall charge

of running the school,

said: “We are the first

school within our batch

of four in Kent to be given

money by the Department

for Education. The trust

has been working closely

with bidders and the

Education and Skills

ABOVE: Prefect Team

examine new plans

INSET: Artists

impression of the new


Funding Agency to find

the right contractor.”

The public has also been

asked to participate in

a consultation process.

The project is hoped to be

completed by September


Caroline Longhurst

and Nicola Taylor, coprincipals

of the academy,

said in a joint statement:

“We are extremely

pleased and proud of the

involvement staff and

students have had in

shaping the design of our

new buildings.

“This is an incredibly

exciting time for us all

and we eagerly await

the start of the works to

transform our learning


“The students of High

Weald and the community

of Cranbrook deserve

school buildings of which

we can be proud.”

This saying by

Mahatma Gandhi

is on the school’s

website: “Live as if you

were to die tomorrow.

Learn as if you were to

live forever.”


Capital Allowances Consultants

Helping people in the area save money upon

their commercial buildings such as offices,

shops, restaurants, hotels and holiday let cottages

For Information contact Paul Jempson on

Tel: 0800 954 5081

Mob: 07957 822110

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 27



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28 Parish CakeAutumn 2017


Saves a Life


Quick thinking and easy access to

the right equipment saves a

Sissinghurst resident

FOR GEOFF Cunningham what should have been just

a stroll from the village pub to his home turned into a

night that changed his life for ever.

The 86-year-old was not far from his home in Hop

Pocket Close, Sissinghurst, when he suddenly collapsed

in The Street and could easily have died had it not been

for quick-thinking people.

One in particular, John Smith, a parish councillor

for the village, used the defibrillator, mounted on the

outside of the nearby St George’s Institute, to try to

revive the unconscious Mr Cunningham.

Soon, first responder medics, Georgie Watford and

Sarah Crouch, under team leader Andy Parks, were

on the scene. With the help of the defibrillator, they

treated him before he was rushed to hospital where he

stayed for a month and was fitted with a pacemaker.

Mr Cunningham said: “I can’t remember anything

about my collapsing. It was really fortunate that it

happened in the street because my wife was out. If I

had collapsed at home I wouldn’t be here now.”

In July, Mr Cunningham had a chance to meet his

first responders at a defibrillator awareness evening at

the village primary school.

He said to them: “Thank you all for giving me a new

lease of life.”

During the evening villagers were given the chance

to learn how to use a defibrillator and also CPR to

save someone’s life. They learned that a heart attack

ABOVE: The responder

medics team with

Geoff Cunningham

is different from a cardiac arrest and the machine will

not save someone who has had a stroke. Training is not

necessary to use a defibrillator as the machine gives

clear and concise verbal instructions on how to use it.

The earlier a defibrillator can be used the greater the

chance of saving someone.

As Mr Parks said: “You won’t kill people using a

defibrillator, you will only save them.” Trisha Fermor


There are four defibrillators in Sissinghurst but the only one which is

available 24 hours a day is outside St. George’s institute. The others can be

found at the cricket club, tennis club and the Milk House pub.

In Cranbrook, one is situated at the George Hotel, the other on the

outside of Cranbrook Fire Station at the top of the High Street – available

24 hours a day.



Call Stuart Mason on 01580 212198 or 07710 180381

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 29

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30 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

out & about

Why Do We Have


Sissinghurst Speedwatch member Trisha Fermor draws

attention to ineffective signage on the A229

NO-ONE could have been

happier to hear that reduced

speed limits were to be

introduced along the A229 than

the people whose homes are

alongside it.

But the euphoria was shortlived.

It would appear that at

the same time the few and

somewhat randomly scattered

speed limit signs were installed,

a large majority of road users

began to treat the A229 as their

own Brands Hatch.

Sean Holden, our Kent

County Council member

for Cranbrook, was rightly

pleased that after battling for

months, the limits between the

roundabout at Sissinghurst and

Knoxbridge, would be reduced

to 40 or 50mph.

But instead of slowing down

traffic those of us whose homes

line the road are faced with

faster and faster vehicles – the

40 from the roundabout to close

to Mill Lane being ignored by

everything from HGVs to motor


High speed overtaking at 50,

60, or more, especially 70+ if

you are a motorcyclist heading

north towards Staplehurst, is

frequently done in the straight

between the roundabout,

past the Shell Garage and

beyond Mill Lane. Certainly

motorcyclists, whichever

direction they are going, use

this stretch of road to show

off the versatility of their

machines, either on one wheel

or two.

Despite the junctions and

numerous driveways, for some

inexplicable reason, the 40 then

becomes 50 before, in a few

yards time, dropping again to

40 at the start of Rocks Hill.

Why didn’t the powers that

be – Kent Highways – make it

40mph all the way from Angley

Road to the bottom of Rocks

Hill instead of chopping and


We all know that KCC is

strapped for cash, as are many

local authorities, but why

so few signs? Between the

roundabout and Mill Lane there

is a lone short 40mph sign on

the right (heading towards

Staplehurst) but nothing on the

left. Some of the signs are even

being partially obscured by

growing trees.

But I suspect that no

matter how many signs we

have reckless drivers will

always speed. As a member

of Speedwatch I frequently

see drivers speeding into

Sissinghurst ignoring the

30 limit signs and slowing

down only when they see our


But perhaps

the most


problem of all

is the increased

noise from hoards

of highly-tuned motorbikes

going to and from Hastings at

weekends and Bank Holidays.

The excessive noise, which I

believe is illegal, is horrendous

when, on a warm summer’s

day, literally hundreds of bikes

scream along the A229, the

riders seemingly oblivious as

to how much they spoil others’

enjoyment of the countryside.

I have always believed that

there is little point in having

laws of any kind unless they are

policed. We rarely see police

in the town and I have

never seen traffic

police operating

speed checks.

I appreciate

Kent Police are

overstretched but

the impression

is being given to

those of us in rural

areas that speeding is

not a problem and neither

are exceptionally noisy motor




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32 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

In the



A brief history of tulips

with Penny Royal

THE SEASON of mists and

mellow fruitfulness is

almost in full swing and

for us gardeners our

thoughts are turning to

the spring and bulbs.

What shall we plant?

The choice is almost

endless but 600 years ago in

Holland there was just one musthave

bulb – the tulip.

It originated in Turkey and Persia

and it is believed its name came from

the Persian for turban “toliban” which,

changed into Latin, become tulipa.

Its appearance in Holland dates back

to 1593 when botanist Carolus Clusius

became head of the new botanical

garden at the University of Leiden

where he planted the first known bulbs.

Growing them purely with a scientific

eye, others saw them as floral gold. Part

of his meagre collection was stolen

and so began a multi-million guilder


The tulip became a status symbol

and in 1624 the craze had reached

fever pitch. The white and maroon

Rembrandt-type Semper Augustus

commanded 3,000 guilders each, the

equivalent to £1,500 today.

Tulipmania reached its peak in the

1630s. Bulbs were sold in the same way

as gold and the price of one bulb could

have bought five swine, 12 sheep, one

complete bed, 1,000lbs of cheese or a

silver tankard.

But 1637 saw the tulip bubble

burst with people turning

into paupers overnight. Its

demise was on a par with

the Stock Market crash

of the 1920s.

Thanks to Herr

Clusius, the Dutch

now cover a staggering

24,000 acres of land with

three billion tulips each


Fortunately, for most of us it is a

case of planting some in beds or pots.

But which variety to choose from the

thousands on sale? The red and white

Clusiana Peppermintstick; the spidery

looking Acuminata; fringed, peonyflowered

or parrots?

Among my favourites are the

magenta pink Doll’s Minuet, a true

perennial; Burgundy, the lily flowered

purple variety and its cousin White

Triumphator and the red and white

Estella Rijnveld, a very old parrot


Don’t be in a hurry to plant your

bulbs. Leave it until October or even

better November, as long as the ground

is not frozen. Plant at least 20cm deep

and if you have heavy soil dig a trench

and line with grit or washed sharp sand

for drainage.

Then, stoke the fire put your feet

up and start looking through plant

catalogues to plan your garden for 2018!

Let’s Cook!




It’s that time of year

again when the Weald

is alive with the sound

of apple pickers! I

believe the English

apple is the finest and

most versatile top

fruit. Having a fruit-farming mother-in-law I am

more than happy to share her recipe for these

autumn delights.


Serves 4

200ml white wine

200ml ginger wine

200g granulated sugar

2 broad strips of orange rind

2 star anise

3cm of root ginger, peeled and finely sliced

4 eating apples or 8 small ones

Juice of 2 large lemons


1 Mix everything together, except apples and

lemon juice, in a saucepan with 200ml water.

Slowly bring to the boil. Stir occasionally to

dissolve sugar.

2 If the apples are small halve and core them.

If bigger cut into quarters, coring each piece.

If apples have attractive skin leave on. Drop

pieces into a bowl with lemon juice.

3 Bring the liquid back to a very gentle simmer,

add apples and poach until tender. Be careful

not to overcook. Take each piece out as they

become cooked. Cool on a plate.

4 Boil the liquid until it has reduced to about

a third. It should be syrupy and will thicken as

it cools to room temperature. Strain, pick out

the star anise and add to the apples. Pour syrup

over the apples and chill briefly.

5 Serve with thick cream, Greek yoghurt or

crème fraiche.

Bon appetite!

Emma Fraser

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 33

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34 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

Stone Street Traffic Hazards


Phil Mummery shares his thoughts on why unthinking drivers are making Stone Street so dangerous

LIKE THE Grand Canyon in the US of

A it is full of hazards, though ours

are man, and dare I say it, woman


I am amazed by the stupidity of

a minority of drivers. Firstly, those

who don’t know the width of their

own vehicles; two 4X4s can pass in

Stone Street, I’ve checked.

I find it amazing how shortsighted

many (dare I say it, local)

drivers are. They can’t see beyond

the end of their noses. There’s a bus

coming through, so some idiot tries

to beat it. This ends up blocking the

street so everybody is stuck, or even more seriously mounting

the pavement causing problems for all pedestrians with or

without prams.

Your wheels are illegally on the pavement, there’s nothing in

sight but what about the little child who is about to dash out of

the aptly named Morts Alley!

Your wheels have run over it just

because you had no patience (too

late to be sorry now).

Then there is parking: Once

again I keep seeing things. Are

they yellow lines in Stone Street?

They can’t be because I see vehicles

parked there every day. If you

are coming from the High Street,

trying to negotiate the parked cars

because their owners are too lazy

to use the car parks, there is usually


Why spend money on enforcing

solutions like traffic lights (costly

and unsightly), wardens and cameras? How much pleasanter

and safer if we all used common sense and consideration for


I’ve stated the obvious I know, but if that minority of drivers

don’t reform there will be a fatality. There are no excuses. Let us

all remember it is our town, we make it what it is.

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36 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

Meet the Team

Meet the legal team at Buss Murton Law, sponsors of Parish Cake


WITH 11 members of staff in the Cranbrook office, you

can always be guaranteed a warm welcome when you

come through our door on the High Street.


Partner and head of the Cranbrook

office, Kerry joined the firm in

April 2016. Kerry has worked

locally for a number of years and

specialises in property and private

client matters. In short Kerry helps

people buying and selling houses

whether for their personal use or for commercial use.

From the private client aspect Kerry specialises in

Wills, trusts, probate and lasting powers of attorney


Kerry lives locally and has links with the Cranbrook

Rugby Club where her son plays and husband helps

coach. Kerry loves to spend time with her family and

friends and to travel, a particular favourite being Italy.


Claire is an experienced solicitor

who has been with the firm’s

Cranbrook office for a number

of years. Claire specialises

in the private client work of

the administration of estates,

probate, Wills and lasting powers

of attorney. Claire also has a wealth of experience in

residential property conveyancing and is sensitive to

the needs of people going through the stresses and

strains of buying and selling their homes.


Corinne has been with Buss

Murton since 1977 and has many

years’ experience of all types of

property work acting for a variety

of personal and commercial

clients across a wide geographical

area. She has also worked

for house builders in the acquisition of land for

development and its eventual disposal as completed

units. She has acted for commercial landlords and

tenants in respect of leases of offices, retail, industrial

units and land.




Julie is a solicitor who has worked

in our Cranbrook office since

joining the firm in 2015. Julie

acts for clients in all areas of

family law and divorce. She is a

member of the national family

law organisation Resolution

and understands the complex emotional processes

involved in family law matters and divorce. Julie is

also an experienced employment lawyer, advising on

business restructures, settlement agreements and

tribunal claims.

Julie lives in Cranbrook where her son attends

a local school. She is Membership Secretary for

Cranbrook Rugby Club, a committee member of

the Cranbrook Literature Festival and Secretary to

The Cranbrook Experience. Julie also organises the

Cranbrook Pudding Club, a monthly business and

community networking lunch at The George Hotel.


Richard joined the Wealden firm

of Murton, Clark and Murton-

Neale in 1968 as an articled clerk.

After qualifying as a solicitor, he

became a Partner in 1975, and

was involved in the merger that

created Buss Murton in 1985.

Throughout his working life he has lived and worked

in the Weald of Kent, servicing the legal requirements

of his many clients acquired over the last 50 years.

Since his retirement as a Partner in 2000, he has

worked with the firm as a Consultant, dealing mainly

with conveyancing work, both residential and

commercial, as well as providing other general legal


Find Buss Murton Law at

31 High Street, Cranbrook.

01580 712215

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 37

38 Parish CakeAutumn 2017


Harnessing the

Power of the

Web in theWeald

You don’t need to rely on customers walking past

your shop or office door, writes Emma Wood of

Hothouse - Wealden Growth Agency

I WANT to share with you just how important a website

and the internet is to any business, particularly in

rural areas such as ours. The World Wide Web has

transformed the way that businesses trade

regardless of just how remote some might be.

Whilst numerous businesses have risen to

the challenge of harnessing the web, there

is often apathy from some small and even

large business owners to having a website

and putting their business online. Here are

my reasons why it is so critical to do so.

i. Potential customers are searching for you

and you aren’t there. Consumers use the

internet to search for products and services, as

well as to do research about products and services

that they need. Your competitors are putting their

goods online and so should you.

ii. With a mobile-responsive, optimised website to

direct traffic to your products and services giving the

customer what they need, you can compete.

iii. Online traffic is trackable: Smaller businesses,

particularly rural ones, do have smaller budgets.

With online marketing, you can start by investing

small amounts and be able to measure the results. By

utilising direct response messaging on your offline

advertising you can drive potential customers to

dedicated landing pages on your website, enabling

you to better monitor return from your investment

in publications, television, radio or other media.

iv. Because digital marketing is trackable from day one,

this means that you can measure which channel or

message is getting better sales conversions. You can

adapt your messaging, change your promotions and

alter your products along the way.

v. When you have a website you convert more business.

People will search for a product or service, or name

of your business, and go to your website. In today’s

world, most searches are conducted on a mobile

telephone rather than going, for example, to a

printed directory.


Wood is founder of

more info

vi. With various advertising tools available you can

reach a global audience. It is easy to run a campaign

across the globe. If your product or service is

transportable you can increase your turnover and

profits from international customers and not be

reliant purely on visitors to your locality, or those

residing in Cranbrook or Sissinghurst and the

surrounding area.

And of course with local customers in mind it is also

important to remember that according to Google


• 72% of customers that do a local search visit a store

within five miles

• Local searches lead to 50% of mobile visitors to visit

stores within a day

• 78% of mobile searches result in offline purchases.

So no matter what size, nature or location of your

enterprise in the Weald, I cannot emphasise enough

how important is it that you harness the World Wide

Web by having a website to promote your business.

If you would like to discuss how you can make the most

of trading on the World Wide Web call Emma on

01580 715772.

Emma Wood is founder of – the

community and enterprise portal that supports and

promotes all things local, managing director of Wealden

Growth Agency - and strategy &

business development director at –

International Expansion Specialists.

Parish CakeAutumn 2017 39


News and views from Cranbrook

& Sissinghurst Parish Council,

compiled by Kim Fletcher

What is a Parish Council

for and How Does it Work?


Sissinghurst Parish Council is

the first level of getting things

done in the community. Elected

councillors take decisions that

affect everyone’s lives in a

small way.

Tunbridge Wells Borough

Council (TWBC) makes bigger

decisions, Kent County Council

(KCC) takes bigger ones still,

and eventually the buck stops

with Helen Grant, our member

of parliament.

The ‘glue’ that makes all this

happen is the work of the

committees in the parish

council, the monthly parish

meeting, and the clerks who

sit in the Weald Information

Centre, at the bottom of the

church steps.


There are 15 elected members

of our parish council, who are

elected for four years, including

chairman Cllr. Bridget Veitch.

The parish council has a

monthly meeting to which

all members of the parish are

welcome. Reports are given

from the various committees

and a vote taken on their

decisions to make them

binding and for your precept

money to be spent. Questions

from members of the parish

can be asked at the end of the


We have the following


Planning and Preservation –

chaired by Cllr. Alison Bunyan

This committee meets every

fortnight to give feedback to

TWBC on the local view on

any planning applications. As

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

have so many listed buildings,

the planning committee

work with local groups and

individuals to try to maintain a

balance between modern living

and the historic character of the


The committee can only advise

the TWBC planning department,

not instruct it.

Environmental Management

– chaired by Cllr. Andy


This committee looks after

playground equipment, the

allotments, the car parks and

street lights. The countryside

in the parish is an Area of

Outstanding Natural Beauty

(AONB) so it balances the

modern way of living with the

rural nature of the parish

Burial Grounds and Properties

– chaired by Cllr. Brian


The parish own buildings

and land so this committee

looks after the cemeteries,

grass cutting, grave allocation

and properties such as the

Vestry Hall. It ensures that

maintenance is done in a timely

manner and that the buildings

are safe.

Policy and Resources

– chaired by Cllr. Peter


Each sub committee has a

chairman and they all sit on

this committee with the parish

council chairman, deputy and

finance member.

Members ensure the left and

right hands know what is going

on. It is this committee that

works out finances and give the

sub committees their budgets

for the year. Each sub committee

has a five year forward plan for

expenditure, so we put money

aside to pay for major projects

which may occur in the future,

such as painting the outside

of the Vestry Hall or renewing

some play equipment (each

piece costs about £6,000).

A reserve is also held for


Policy and Resources also looks

after our most valuable assets,

the parish clerks, Lori and Laura.

The clerks act as the ‘do-ers’ for

the parish – they report issues

to TWBC, contact suppliers

and contractors, and act as the

front line in communication

for parishioners. They work

alongside Lynn from Tunbridge

Wells in the Weald Information

Centre, and if one doesn’t know

the answer, one of the others

probably does!

Neighbourhood Development

Plan (NDP) – chaired by Cllr.

Nancy Warne

The Parish Council is

responsible for the delivery

of the NDP. Led by Cllr. Nancy

Warne, the NDP Steering Group

is made up of councillors

and non-councillors.

Through public engagement

events and questionnaires,

parishioners are helping to

create a shared vision for

the future development

of the parish. Details of

how to get involved can be

found on the website www.


The final plan will include a set

of policies specific to the parish,

against which future planning

decisions will be determined.

Parishioners get to vote on the

plan in a referendum, which

will take place in late 2018/

early 2019.

40 Parish CakeAutumn 2017

Issues Facing

the Parish



Nuts in May, Cranbrook in Bloom,

Sissinghurst Fête, Sissinghurst boot

fairs, Cranbrook Apple Fair - how can

we, as a community, encourage people to

keep creating the events that define the

parish? Such energy and creativity can

be nurtured by the parish, but it is the

individuals in the community who make

these things happen, so thank you!

The parish council has funds that can be

applied for as ‘seed corn’ for events (eg.

the 5K and 10K runs organised by the

Primary School), but we also hear that the

Co-op now has local funds for supporting

local organisations – a big thank you to

the Co-op – ask in store for details!


We cannot be a tourist destination unless

people can get off a coach and go to the

loo. Unfortunately, the public toilets have

been vandalised time and again by the

youth of the town, to the point that TWBC

has spent more money on the Cranbrook

WCs than all the others in the borough put

together. The issue is being debated with

the borough council to find a solution.


Some of the parish’s new play equipment

has been vandalised, and if we get new

WCs we need to protect them too. If you

see (or hear) vandalism taking place,

please call 101 immediately. If fire is

involved, 999 is the number.


The future community centre will need

to be redesigned as the first plan is

unaffordable. The NDP Steering Group

is assembling views, and we still need

information and evidence of what it will

be used for.

There is a split in the community between

people who say ‘There is no need for one’

and the other camp who say ‘Build it and

they will come’.


We do not know how many new houses

TWBC has to build, and how many it will

put in our parish. The NDP is crucial to

enabling us to have a say on where they

go and what they look like, so please

get involved or have your say. There are

decisions about to be made that will

change the parish, and you do have an

option to influence them.


With new housing comes the need for

places to work, and so often businesses are

not considered as they do not have a vote

– they pay huge commercial rates, but

have no say in the democratic process. The

NDP is also considering where and what

type of premises are needed – businesses

need to tell us!



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Parish CakeAutumn 2017 41

local legend


Cranbrook In Bloom champion and much more


Bexleyheath, then we moved a couple

of times before living in Iden Green. We

then went to Apple Pie Farm in Benenden

where my husband-to-be Fred worked. We

met when I was 15 and waiting for a bus to

Cranbrook. When I got to the town he was

waiting for me and asked me out. Three

years later we were married!


Benenden Primary and then to the

Tonbridge Tech which is now the Weald of

Kent Grammar School.


I went into the police as a cadet for a year

but Fred did not want me to carry on with

that so I worked in an insurance company

in Maidstone. We married when I was 18

and we had three children, Chris, Simon

and Teresa.


Enthusiastic, positive, cheerful. I am a half

glass full person!


We took over 21 High Street, Cranbrook,

which was a sweet shop and newsagents

but it soon became too small so we moved

into what was Dykes’ newsagents when

the owner retired. Our son Chris is now

working in the shop.


I like seeing results. I get

a lot of pleasure out of

organising things

in the town. One

of my four sisters

says I am the one

who lights the

touch paper and

goes away!






I am very proud

of being chairman of Cranbrook in Bloom

which was set up in 1994 but really got

going in 2000. I am so lucky to have so many

people in the group who work so hard. We

have won gold twice in the South and South

East in Bloom competition. On the strength

of that we were one of only five small towns

to be invited to take part in Britain in Bloom

and won silver gilt in 2014 and 2015.



I am a people person. I just like to be able to

see people every day and see what is going

on. It is such a friendly town. I step outside

the door and look up and down the High

Street and say to myself “aren’t we lucky?”



I don’t do soaps, I don’t do the news! I read

a paper instead. I did like Broadchurch and

Silent Witness.


Neither! I don’t like cats and Fred is allergic

to animals.


Cream is more important than the cake! I

do like a Pavlova and I have cream on my



I do like to read novels. I like Pillars of the

Earth by Ken Follet set in medieval times. I

also like a gin and tonic!


I read the I Daily newspaper. I used to be a

Mail reader but there is too much drivel in it

now. The I is very concise and only 50p!

42 Parish CakeAutumn 2017











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