Parish Cake - Autumn 2018


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







Country Life

with a Twist

Duck & Dog


Do you need help at home?

Help at


Private Care Service

Help at


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Our Private Care Services provides tailored packages of

care that can help people stay in their own home for as

long as possible, rather than going into care home before

it’s really needed. We assist those who need due to frailty,

disability or illness to live a independently as possible,

with comfort and dignity, in their own homes.

For a free assessment of your care needs or to

receive your brochure call us on 01580 762244

Parish Cake



Cllr. Brian Clifford



Cllr. Trisha Fermor


Mignon Brian


Cllr. Graham Holmes


Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council

01580 713112


Tally Wade

Coffee Shop Media Ltd

01580 848555

FRONT COVER: Our philosophy

at Duck & Dog is that you should

always drink your tea from your best

china, even whilst wearing your

wellies! Pop into our High Street

shop in Cranbrook or browse online

(with free local delivery) for country

style furniture, homewares and gifts

with a twist. We stock British made

items wherever possible, including

natural sheepskin rugs, rustic garden

furniture, crockery, blankets, mirrors,

lamps and wall hangings. If you are

stuck for ideas, chat to us about our

interior design service too - a one-toone

to help you with your vision for

your home.

01580 715577 /

Photo by Mignon Brian

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.


Stepping Up

IT FREQUENTLY occurs to me that many

of us who live either in Cranbrook or

Sissinghurst are either not aware

or simply take for granted

the enjoyable events in our

community. How many of

us give thought to those

who have given their time

and a huge amount of

effort to make these events

happen? Some that come

to mind include the Apple

Fair, Sissinghurst Village Fete

and Cranbrook Goes Nuts in

May; the Cranbrook Family Fun Day

was cancelled this year because of a lack of


In this edition of Parish Cake, the Cranbrook

Tourism Group has put out a call to the

community to support a number local



5 Directory & What’s On

7 Chairman’s Views

8 Letters

10 Parish News

11 Crane Valley Land Trust


14 Club News

18 Event News

22 Schools News

24 Short Story

48 Parish Council Round-up

attractions by volunteering (see the news

pages) – even for just an hour or so a week.

Perhaps you might give second

thoughts to some local, and

may I suggest enjoyable,

volunteering yourself.

In this issue we include

some special WWI 100 year

commemorative features.

Turn to pages 38-41 for

more, including the special

activities the parish has

planned for the 11 November.



27 Affordable Housing –

where is it?

29 A Love of the Weald – all

the way from America

31 Kitchen & Garden – dry

gardens and courgette


33 Local Heros – firefighters

to the rescue

35 Care Navigation – the

Crane Surgery tries new


Cllr. Brian Clifford - Editor

37 Colin Bateman – from

sports journalism to


38 WWI 100 Year

Commemoration – parish

plans, recollections and

the RBL in Cranbrook

45 Business News – visit to

No. 10 and Hermes on the

High Street

47 From our Sponsor –

Richard Piper celebrates

50 years with Buss Murton

50 Local Legend – “proper

barber” Louis Freeman

Parish CakeAutumn 2018 3


St. Dunstan’s Church, Cranbrook, during an electrical storm, captured by

Fraser Allen

4 Parish CakeAutumn 2018



Parish Cake guide to events

in Cranbrook and Sissinghurst


• Cranbrook Union Windmill

is open on every Saturday


• Cranbrook Museum is open

Tuesday to Saturday

• Farmers’ Market every fourth

Saturday in the month, 9am

-12 noon

• Tempo Singing every Saturday

morning at Cranbrook School

Music Centre, 10.30-11am

• Messy Church Children and

Parent Group, second Friday

each month, 3.30-5.30pm

• The mobile library is in

Sissinghurst every Friday


• The Children’s Centre,

Cranbrook offers free sessions

for parents and children

throughout the week.

Call 03000 411035 for a



Tuesday–Saturday every week

in September – Writers Past and

Present exhibition, Cranbrook



7.30pm Charity Concert by

Invicta Wind Orchestra, St.

Dunstan’s Church


7.30pm Full Parish Council

Meeting, Council Chamber,

everyone welcome


7.30pm Literary Quiz, Vestry

Hall, £12.50p to include supper


Cranbrook Men’s Breakfast,

speaker John Cunningham,

Hartley Farm Shop, tickets -

01580 715861

Cranbrook Rugby Club

Presidents Lunch, tickets -

2pm Sissinghurst Flower Show,

Sissinghurst Primary School


7.30pm Cranbrook Town Band

Concert in Aid of Demelza, St.

Dunstan’s Church


Robert Munn Organ Recital, St

Dunstan’s Church


Cranbrook School Anniversary

Lecture, Sarah Keith-Lucas BBC

weather forecaster, Queen’s Hall

FRI 28 – SAT 29

Cranbrook Literature

Festival and Festival Fringe

Events for Children www.


4-4.45pm Visiting bell ringers

from St Margaret’s, Rochester,

St. Dunstan’s Church



Cranbrook Apple Fayre

Craft Fair, Vestry Hall

St. Dunstan’s PCC 100 Club draw


Harvest Festival, St Dunstan’s



7.30pm Full Parish Council

Meeting, Council Chamber,

everyone welcome


10.30am-3.00pm Kitsch and

Stitch Vintage and Makers Fair,

Vestry Hall

THUR 25 – SAT 27

CODS production of Guys

and Dolls, Queen’s Hall, www. – tickets

from The George and Fancy




RBL WW1 Concert St. Dunstan’s



Cranbrook School Anniversary

Lecture, David O’ Brien

on Remembrance/100th

Anniversary of WW1, Queen’s



7.30pm Full Parish Council

Meeting, Council Chamber,

everyone welcome

THURS 8 - SAT 10

Cranbrook Art Show, Vestry Hall


Parish WW1 100 Year

Commemoration (see pages

36-37 for details)


Cranbrook Choral Society, WWI

Armistice Commemoration

Concert, St. Dunstan’s Church

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 –


Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

Parish Council

The Old Fire Station

Stone Street, Cranbrook


Clerk – Mrs. L. Ham

Deputy Clerk – Mrs. L. Thirkell

01580 713112 / clerk@




Tunbridge Wells Borough


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 226048

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


A full list of over 30 venues for

hire in the parish is available

from the parish office



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 712476

Orchard End Surgery,

Cranbrook: 01580 713622


Cranbrook Medical Centre,


Cricket Club, Sissinghurst

Parish Council office

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

St. George’s Institute,


Tennis Club, Sissinghurst

The George Hotel, Cranbrook

The Milkhouse, Sissinghurst

Parish CakeAutumn 2018 5

In Your Hands a

Out of This Wo

Happy Inside

Confident Outside

Open Morning

Thursday 4th October,

from 9.00 am

Contact our Registrar for details:

Parish cake 216 x 134_boy with bubbles.indd 1 18/07/2018 07:24

SPECIAL OFFER - 10% off in store for the month

of September for Parish Cake readers

Visit us at 20 Stone Street, Cranbrook

01580 713000

6 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

out chairman’s & about


Are Cranbrook and

Sissinghurst Important to you?

In the Spring a new election for Parish Councillors takes place; is this a role in the community for you?

IF THE answer is yes please

consider joining the parish


The parish is at a turning

point in its history. There

is a huge amount of

additional housing and our

Neighbourhood Development

Plan team is working hard to

see this is in the best place,

in order to minimise the

effect on our beautiful and

historic landscape, and of the

best quality as well as being


The traditional high street

is changing. The means of

transport are changing. The

increase in our population will

mean changes to schools and

their services and there will

be a lot of people preferring

to work locally where

possible. Local businesses

and entrepreneurs need to

be encouraged and have

available facilities. The needs

of our increasingly ageing

population must also be


Although the power of

the parish council is limited

there is much we can directly

influence. Decentralisation

of powers continues and this

could mean there is much

more over which we have

direct control in the future.

The parish council consists

of 15 members elected for a

four-year period after which

they stand down. May 2019 is

when the new parish council

is elected with nominations

ABOVE: Cllr. Bridget Veitch,


having to be in by March.

The role of parish councillor

is fulfilling, informative and

working with a team of vast

and varied experiences is

very rewarding. Examples

of the decisions we take

include recommendations

to Tunbridge Wells Borough

Council on all planning

applications, and the

maintenance of our important

assets such as the Vestry Hall

complex and cemeteries and

burial grounds.

One of our main aims is

to encourage and stimulate

a thriving community and

social life. We support

numerous local groups

including Cranbrook in Bloom,

Cranbrook Operatic and

Dramatic Society, Citizens

Advice Bureau and church


I joined the parish council

after living in the area for

35 years and wishing to

give something back to the


Next year there will be

a chance for people to do

the same and help decide

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst’s

future. Nomination papers will



be available at the start of the

year and nomination is easy.

Any electioneering is entirely

up to you but not essential.

Come and influence the

parish’s future.

Cllr. Bridget Veitch, chairman

For further information on the

parish council please visit

(under the About menu item)




Thursday 8 NOVEMBER • 10 - 8

Friday 9 • 10 - 7 & Saturday 10 • 10 - 5

VESTRY HALL • Cranbrook • Kent • TN17 3HA

Parish CakeAutumn 2018 7


| T: 01580 712 215

The Language of

Selling Houses

I was looking at adverts for houses in

the Cranbrook area the other day. One

had four reception rooms! I’m totally

confused, does that mean four front

doors? It also mentioned a kitchen

breakfast room but no living room.

When I was young we had both, a

kitchen and a living room including a

table where we could all eat meals and

one front door with a passage.

Then it mentioned an en-suite

bathroom; we had that in the early

1950’s, a large tin bath that hung outside

the backdoor and was placed in front of

the fire on a Friday night.

They almost all mention being in the

Cranbrook School catchment area. In

Ashford, where I was a kid, the last thing

an estate agent would mention was the

school I went to.

Why am I looking at adverts for

houses? I’m perfectly happy with the

cottage we have - we have a front door

which is the back door, a kitchen, a

living room, two bedrooms and even a

bathroom, though sadly not en-suite

(the tin bath went many years ago).

PS. I have just realised why you might

need four front doors - the in-laws!

The Cranbrook town eccentric

Helen Grant MP with students of

Cranbrook COE Primary School

Update from MP Helen Grant

My thanks to the ‘Cake’ editor for the

opportunity to provide a brief news

update for the September edition. My

Constituency office is staffed full time

and the team currently includes my

diary secretary Katy Allen, a former

Benenden School girl and Cranbrook

resident, parliamentary assistant

and former Maidstone Grammar

School student Alex Rolfe, and senior

parliamentary assistant and former

solicitor, my husband Simon Grant.

Please get in touch if you feel I can be

of help: London office 020 7219 7107,

Maidstone office 01622 669623, or email

me at

Boundary changes, if approved by

Parliament this Autumn, will place

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst in a new

constituency called Mid Kent and

Ticehurst at the next General Election,

whenever that may be! I will keep you


Engaging with young people is one of

my ongoing campaigns and accordingly I

visited Cranbrook CoE Primary school to

meet the new House Captains recently. I

was equally delighted to meet the winner

of my Christmas card competition at

Sissinghurst CoE Primary last December.

Helen Grant MP for Maidstone &

The Weald

Another Possible Greenfield Loss in Sissinghurst

There is considerable local concern about yet more proposed housing development in Sissinghurst. 46 homes are proposed

outside the village on five acres of parkland adjacent to Camden House/Mill Lane and Cramptons.

The Mill Lane and Cramptons Residents Association is against the proposals – particularly as the density is too high for the

rural location and access via Sissinghurst Road and the likely traffic impact on Mill Lane are too dangerous.

A planning application is imminent (search “Sissinghurst Road”) – please comment to TWBC accordingly!

Peter Mellor, Sissinghurst

8 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

We have been providing expert and

trusted legal advice to individuals and

businesses for generations.

out & about

Star Letter

Church and

Community as One

Star Letter

The author will receive

a voucher for a hot drink

and slice of cake from

Cranbrook café Cocolicious!

Emma Wood’s article in the Spring

edition was a delight and joy to read. I was saddened by the

response from Cllr. Linda Hall. I wonder if it was Emma’s

innocent mention of St James’ Church’s making “a brave

decision to remove the pews and turn it into a versatile space”

which triggered Linda’s letter.

I am sure Linda would acknowledge that in St. Dunstan’s

we have a welcoming, secure corner in the north west of

the building where parents and carers can bring their small

children during a service; and she would acknowledge that we

do have a beautiful chapel at the opposite end in the south

east corner, which is always available for quiet, stillness and


It is immensely important that church and community work

together for the sake of both. Revd Ann confirmed in Trisha’s

article that she is “everyone’s vicar”, and I am fully convinced

that the whole church family is determined to do everything

in its power to bring church and community together for their

mutual benefit - practical, social and spiritual.

We believe church is all about people - the

community. Church is not simply the building and its

furniture, but they do form the springboard that enables its

ministry to achieve its vision to inspire, include and support

the community. The building can equally be a financial and

practical asset in this ambition.

Churches like St. James that adapt to the needs of current

and future generations, and provide both ministry and

facilities to inspire them, succeed and grow. If they don’t they

die, to the detriment of all.

Bob Butler, Cranbrook

Please send your letters to 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.

Swallowing up

the Countryside

I know people have to

live somewhere but it is

sad to see so much of the

countryside being swallowed

by new development.

I was born and bred in

the countryside and the

countryside is where I want

to be. Others like me will

have to grin and bear it

or think about moving to

somewhere less inhabited.

The problem with people

moving into an established

community in numbers is

Nicholas Bussey

Call 01580


or 07717 855516 anytime

the first thing they want to

do is change everything.

Unless the existing

community is strong, their

values and heritage seem

to be dismissed. Change is

inevitable but the majority of

these developments are just

lining the pockets of a few,

otherwise the developments

would be more affordable.

Local people are getting

priced out of the area

with no social housing to

accommodate them either.

In my opinion society has

become very unbalanced.

Ivor Hatcher

‘Bringing the

best from

your piano

for all to


Parish CakeAutumn 2018 9



and views from

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

Vital Centre’s Hours to be Cut


TO EVERYONE in Cranbrook Philip

Mummery is the man to call on if

you want anything done.

And in honour of his

commitment to everything from

Nuts in May to the Apple Fair

–whether dressed as a monk or

not – the Kent Association of

Local Councils has given him a

community award.

It was given “for being a

motivational force for the

community and business. A wellknown

and entertaining figure with

legendary organisational skills,

attention to detail and the ability to

get things done.”

The framed citation was

presented to Mr Mummery by

parish council chairman Bridget


USERS OF the Weald Information Centre (WIC) in Cranbrook have been shocked to hear that

opening hours are planned to be cut drastically.

Set up as a one-stop-shop for council and tourism services, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

is planning to introduce a much-reduced service. Plans also include putting services online.

The WIC currently operates on weekdays from 9am to 5pm on a drop-in basis where people

can talk directly to a member of the borough council’s staff.

The plan is from October to December this year opening hours will be reduced Monday to

Friday to 10am to 3pm. January to March 2019 reduced to three days a week 10am to 3pm. April

to September open one day from 10am to 3pm for drop in and one day for appointments 10am

to 3pm. October onwards one day a week 10am to 3pm appointments only. The days it is open

are not specified.

Parish council chairman Cllr. Bridget Veitch said: “I think the plan is very sad and will be a

great loss to Cranbrook as well as surrounding villages. So many people come in for a chat and it

helps their mental wellbeing. Some come in because they are so disorganised and could make an

appointment and not turn up. It is a vital service to the communities.” TF

Guys and Dolls

THE CRANBROOK Operatic and Dramatic

Society (CODS) is currently rehearsing the big

Autumn show for 2018, which will be the everpopular

American Musical; Guys and Dolls.

Thought by many to be the best of all

musical theatre shows, Guys and Dolls is a

funny, energetic, feel-good, and poignant

stylised interpretation of 1950s New York and

features such famous numbers as: Luck be a

Lady, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat and I’ll


The show runs during school half term,

from 25–27 October 2018 with a BSL signed

performance on the 25th and both matinee

and evening performances on the 27th.

Tickets are already available from the link on

our website and

will be at our box offices The George Hotel and

Fancy Pants Emporium in Stone Street soon.

Guys and Dolls promises to be a

wonderful vibrant and colourful evening’s

entertainment, suitable for the whole family.

Future shows will include our family

friendly pantomime Cinderella, which runs

between Christmas and New Year and our

Spring Play will be an exciting new production

of Anna Karenina.

As the society approaches its centenary,

CODS proudly continues to bring live theatre

into the heart of Cranbrook and we would love

to see you in the audience. Annie Hatcher





FOLLOWING ITS successful Summer

Concert with Cranbrook School, Cranbrook

Choral Society’s contribution to the

Armistice Centenary will be a performance

of Karl Jenkins’ well known modern Mass

for Peace, “The Armed Man” on Saturday

18 November in St. Dunstan’s Church. The

Christmas Concert will be on 15 December.

We welcome new members and do

not hold auditions. We rehearse every

Tuesday evening from the beginning of

September. To discuss a two week “taster”

and experience the joys of group singing

locally please contact Peter Hoole on 01580

752193. We would like to see you!

Ian Fletcher

10 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

Progressing Plans for Affordable Homes

The parish’s land trust has been active on many fronts this past quarter, writes Mark Wade


IT HAS been a year of action so

far in our mission to manage

development in the parish to

deliver truly affordable homes

for locals. The Crane Valley

Land Trust (CVLT) works

closely with the Neighbourhood

Development Plan (NDP) process

and stands ready to deliver the

affordable housing component

of the plan. We joined with

the NDP public engagement

events in St George’s Institute,

Sissinghurst, and the Vestry Hall,

Cranbrook. Interest in our stand

was high and we welcomed many

new members.

The team also joined with

parish councillors and residents

in conversations with developers

Persimmon and Berkeley Homes

to influence and mitigate the

impact of developments on the

Brick Kiln Farm and Turnden



We are delighted to announce

that the CVLT and development

charity Bioregional Homes

have agreed to work together.

Bioregional Homes shares

our ethos and works with

community groups and

landowners to deliver

sustainable, affordable ‘One

Planet Communities’ - check

out their award winning work



This charity has a very

different business model to

conventional developers and

our partnership will enable us to

deliver inclusive, ‘tenure blind’

community developments of

outstanding architectural design

to Passivhaus standard (next

to zero heating costs). We are

currently in conversations with

a number of land owners who

share this vision.

We are applying for

the recently announced

government’s Community

Housing Fund Phase 2 funding

to enable us to promote

anticipated affordable housing

schemes through planning

permission and we continue to

engage with Tunbridge Wells

Borough Council planning

officers and other critical

stakeholders, such as the High

Weald Area of Outstanding

Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit,

to inform our plans and gain


Alongside all this we continue

to share our knowledge,

helping neighbouring parishes

progress their plans for their

own community land trusts. By

sharing our learnings we hope to

be an instrumental part of a seachange

in the way local housing

is delivered.

For more information on

the trust and how to become a

member visit:





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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 11


It’s a Dog’s Life

for Arthur

Cranbrook Tourism Group

Says ‘Come and Volunteer!’

ASK ANY volunteers at our

tourist attractions why

they are doing it and the

answers will be similar;

it’s interesting, there is an

opportunity to meet people

from far and wide, developing

new skills or they just like

promoting our historic

market town.

On a grander scale,

organisations like the

National Trust simply

would not function without

volunteers willing to give

their time.

People lead busy lives these

days and it seems impossible

to include volunteering as

well, but it might surprise you

to know that just giving a few

hours a week would be hugely


Want to have a go? Here’s

some contacts who are ready

to discuss what a difference

you could make:

Windmill: Chris Lear – 01580

891821 / volunteering@

Museum: Rodney Dann –

01580 712474 / curator@

Cranbrook in Bloom: Linda

Page – 01580 713604 / info@

St. Dunstan’s Church: Brian

Awford – 01580 715556 / brian.

TWO-YEAR-OLD working spaniel

Arthur has faced a life-style change

by getting to grips with lattes and


Instead of sniffing out game on the estate

where his owner, Jack Marshall, 25, works, he makes sure he is the

star attraction (apart from the delicious food and drinks) at the café

which is named after him.

Arthur’s in Stone Street, Cranbrook, is run by Jack’s girlfriend,

Amberley “Amber” Mason, 21, who is named after the Surrey castle

where members of her family – including a Michelin starred chef –


On the menu are Arthur’s jackets - baked potatoes in various

guises - and anyone who comes in with their dog can have its picture

taken to display in the café.




FOLK ROCK pioneers Fairport

Convention proved the march of

time has just made them even


Around since the 60s their

popularity has not waned and to

prove it St. Dunstan’s Church in

Cranbrook was filled to capacity

on 26 May.

The five-man group – led by

legendary singer Simon Nicol –

were mesmerising, the Rolling

Stones in a more gentle form,

performing their time-honoured

hit songs.

The concert took place with

the full blessing of the vicar the

Revd. Ann Pollington who was

delighted that £1,700 had been

raised for the church. More folk

evenings are planned for the

future. TF

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described as a cut above the rest

by fellow students at Cranbrook


Allowed to abandon their school

uniform when they enter the sixth

form most opt for modern casual

but for 6ft 4ins Freddie, 17, from

Golford a nod to the Edwardian

era was his choice.

Spotted in Cranbrook in

the summer with girlfriend

Eve Edmonds, also 17, Freddie

explained he had his suit

hand-made while on holiday in

Thailand. Coupled with a boater

and an elegant watch chain he

certainly turned heads with his

sartorial elegance.

His choice of clothes might well

be due to his love of history and

classics and both of them enjoy

history re-enactments.



Thanks to the children from

Cranbrook Primary School for

their imaginative designs for

housing of the future produced

for the recent Neighbourhood

Plan exhibition. These included

bold use of colour and decoration (the Butterfly

House was my favourite), practical solutions for the

car (underground) and spaces for all ages to enjoy

together. Cllr. Nancy Warne


By the way parents, next school dress up day, did

you know Fancy Pants will offer you 25% off if you

mention the local school discount scheme? And if

enough kids from that school use the scheme the

school gets to use costumes for free for their next


New Manager John and his team look forward to welcoming you to

Enjoy freshly ground coffee & home-baked pastries

Breakfast available daily from 8:30am - 10:30am

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A round-up of news from

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst clubs,

groups and associations

A Good Bat and Ball Season


has gone well for the

Sissinghurst club this

year with a number of

matches still to go. A

highlight has been the

performance of our junior

teams at under 8, 11, and

13 age groups, who have

all played extremely well

and have at the time of

writing reached a cup

final and are contesting

the top of their various

league competitions. Well

done to all these young

cricketers, parents and

club coaches for making

the season such fun and

such a success.

A special mention

must be given to our

juniors girls who are

acknowledged to be one of

the best girls sides in the

area, well done!

Our senior sides are

enjoying a satisfactory

year, albeit we have not

been able to mount a

serious challenge to win

the premier league this

year. Our Wednesday

night practise and social

evenings have been

well attended and, as

always, we extend a warm

welcome to any potential

new players of any level

to come and enjoy playing

for Sissinghurst.

The club is hoping

to increase its playing

members for Sunday

cricket and we would

welcome players looking

for a game who perhaps

enjoy the more leisurely

side of cricket that our

Sunday side enjoys!

Thanks are expressed to

all our sponsors who are

invaluable in helping fund

the club and enable us to

develop our facilities for

all to enjoy. Further details

of our club and joining

information can be found


Jonathan Gurr


SO FAR this year; the Bun Penny Club held its annual quiz in May which was a

great success. Six teams took part in a very competitive evening at St. George’s

Institute, and in July we took our guests by coach to the London Beach Hotel in

Tenterden for a delicious cream tea.

Plans are now underway for our annual Christmas dinner, which we will be

holding again in Sissinghurst.

All of the Bun Penny committee members are very grateful to everyone who

have, in various ways, sponsored us this year and to everyone else who supports

us in all that we do.

We really are very grateful to you all. Pat Edwards, chairman

Gasping for a drink

MUSTN’T GRUMBLE! Short-changed

with plenty of rain and precious little

sunshine, most summers seem to be a

non-event. Not so this year! However,

the record-breaking temperatures have

come with plenty of collateral damage;

brown lawns, wilting foliage and stunted


Life is dependent on water. We often

forget how precious it is, and how

blessed we are with such a plentiful

supply. At least until we experience a

dreaded hose-pipe ban.

Speaking to a woman taking her daily

visit to the village well to fetch her water

supply (John’s Gospel Ch4), Jesus got

to the root of another thirst. His words

made such an impact on her that she

proceeded to bring the entire village to

“hear a man that told me everything I

ever did”. To be known as we are, warts

and all, and yet be completely loved, is

a thirst not easily satisfied. Whilst they

didn’t make the religious grade, the

villagers found Jesus to be the one to

quench their thirst.

There’s nothing like a chilled drink

on a hot summer day. If you’re “gasping

for a drink”, Jesus’ offer still stands, “Let

anyone who is thirsty come to me and

drink.” Chris Goodchild

For more information on the Vine

Church, call 01580 712620 or visit

14 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

club news

Clubs Building for the Future Together

Two well established sports clubs working together to improve facilities are focused on raising

the necessary funds, writes James Fraser

IN THE last year, those visiting

or passing the Tomlin Ground

will have notice a great deal

more cricket and rugby being

played, particularly by juniors

– this is really great news.

You will also have noticed the

demolition of the old cricket

pavilion – this following three

surveys to show there were no

bats, and a fourth to show that

none had moved in since the

previous three!

So, that is a further step

towards building a new

clubhouse on the site for

which planning permission

was obtained in February. The

approved plans are for four

changing rooms on the ground

floor, each with showering

and toilet facilities – this

particularly needed because

the club now has a ladies rugby

team. There will be a bar,

balcony and function room

above the changing rooms

overlooking the cricket pitch

and the main rugby pitch. The

clubhouse has been designed

to the standards now set by the

Rugby Football Union (RFU).

The new clubhouse will cost a

significant amount of money –

perhaps £1.5m – and a group of

club members are planning the

fundraising for this project. We

are in close touch with the RFU

and anticipate support from

funds which will be allocated

to assist clubs in 2019-20;

that sets the timetable for the

building project.

A detailed business

plan is required to

attract public funding

and this is being

prepared. Kent County

Council no longer

provide finance for

sports projects but are

helping in identifying

potential funding

sources. Tunbridge

Wells Borough Council has

indicated that they will provide

some funding support. Helpfully

too the club has some retained

funds from good financial

management and fundraising

activities undertaken while the

plans for the new clubhouse

were being developed.

The Cranbrook Rugby and

Cricket Club is a community

club and the new clubhouse

will be a community facility.

Presently, the subscription

structure is being reviewed

with a view to encouraging

more residents from in and

around Cranbrook to become

members and more former

players to continue their

membership. The clubhouse

facilities, especially the bar

and function room, will also be

available for use by other clubs

and organisations from in and

around Cranbrook.

Showing an increasing

membership and wider

community usage will also

be helpful when applying for

public funds. Also helpful

should be the club’s record of

nurturing and coaching players

who have progressed through

the club and now play at the

top level of rugby, notably Sam

Arnold, James Catt, Jordan

Earle, Nathan Earle, Will Kane,

Ruaridh McConnochie, and

Harry Sloan.

Mens’ Breakfasts in Cranbrook

ST. DUNSTAN’S Church organises four Mens’ Breakfasts each year at

Hartley Coffee House and Farm Shop on Saturday mornings each year with

an excellent cooked breakfast followed by a speaker. Recent speakers have

included Jeff Barker on his expedition through Nepal and Tibet, and Peter

Allen talking through 500 years of Cranbrook School. Our next meeting is on

15 September with former councillor John Cunningham talking about a recent

visit to Columbia.

The meetings are open to anyone (including ladies who wish to hear a

particular talk) and you need to book a breakfast by contacting Clare, the

administrator, at the parish office on 01580 715861. John Tapper, chairman

16 Parish CakeAutumn 2018





The Waterloo House tearooms has a hosting capability of 26 seats with a

further outside seating of 12. Spread out over three floors in a mezzanine

setting overlooking the antique retail section below.

Our A3 rated kitchen allows us to provide a seasonal menu with more choice

in hot meals along with sandwiches and classic fried breakfasts, all sourced

within the High Street.

We use local produce in our menus, from fresh milk and High Street

butchered meat to local and in-house baked cakes and scones, suitable for all

dietary requirements (GF/Celiac/Lactose intolerant .

Currently Looking for more antique traders to join our team - enquire via email or call.

01580 713802 (we take bookings)

Find us at the bottom of Cranbrook high street, towards the windmill

Two floors of

antiques to peruse

Parish CakeAutumn 2018 17



Goes Nuts

in May




Trisha Fermor captures the floral

action from Cranbrook’s colourful

Chelsea Fringe festival, Cranbrook

Goes Nut in May

Cranbrook Literature Festival

TICKET SALES are going well for the second Cranbrook Literature Festival

which includes appearances by Jeremy Vine, broadcaster and writer, and

Davina McCall who will be sharing her keep-fit kitchen secrets.

The two-day festival, on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 September, has events

for all ages including writing workshops, talks, poetry readings and lectures plus

competitions for children and families to enter.

Details of the events and competitions can be found at or by phoning 01580 715837. TF

18 Parish CakeAutumn 2018


Flower Show


Green Fingers

Scoop the Trophies

A COUPLE who “saved” a rose from

extinction which grows on their house

won a prestigious award at this year’s

Sissinghurst Flower Show Society’s

summer show.

Christopher Neve and his wife

Arianwen found the white rose when

they moved into their Benenden cottage

many years ago. It used to be the home

of garden writer Marion Cran who wrote

“Story of My Ruin” about the house.

She made a name for herself as the first

gardening radio broadcaster. Many years

later the Neves are still tending the rose

but are not sure of its name.

Despite the ravages of the “beast from

the East” which hit gardeners badly

entries were not too badly affected.

Villager Beryl Bancroft took two major

trophies as did chairman and secretary

Mitzi Newsom. Other cup winners were

Mr J. Davies and Mrs C. Crabtree. In

the children’s section junior cups were

awarded to Angelica Ponte, Annabel

Pook, Beatrice Denyer, Grace Tucker, Max

Bunyan and Oliver Highwood. TF

The autumn show is on Saturday 15

September at 2.30pm at the primary


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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 19




Flower and

Arts Show


Flowers Abound at St. Dunstan’s Church

ST. DUNSTAN’S Church was

blessed with more than 22

impressive floral arrangements

for its Festival of Flowers in June.

With the tagline, bringing

the community together, both

the inside and outside of the

“Cathedral in the Weald” were

decorated with blooms, foliage,

flags and banners.

Local clubs, organisations

and businesses from Cranbrook

supported the event and the

vicar, the Revd. Ann Pollington,

paid tribute to all those who

rallied round to come up with


She said: “Mother nature

supplies us with masterpieces

that, with our hands, we

arranged into displays.”

Florist Nita Chandler displayed

her huge wall hanging covered in

poppies which is expected to be

hung again for the Remembrance

Day service on November 11 this

year, exactly 100 years to the day

after fighting stopped.

Other arrangements included

ones from Cranbrook Rugby

Club, Rainbow Pre-School,

Cranbrook in Bloom, the

town’s Girl Guides, Brownies,

and Scouts, and St. Theodore’s

Catholic Church. While admiring

the hard work of exhibitors,

visitors were intrigued to see

a small cardboard box full of

weeds. Who had done them and

what they represented remained

a mystery.

Hawkhurst and Cranbrook

Rotary sold hot dogs and burgers

outside the church while teas,

coffee and cakes were available

in Church House.

Just before we went to

press, Revd. Ann, whose

catchphrase is “Funding

from fun-raising”, said she

was delighted that since

the start of the year £7,000

had been raised towards

an estimated bill of at least

£35,000 for new wiring in

the church.

20 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 21


Beans Means Fun!

CHILDREN AT Woodpeckers Pre-School

found a novel and rather messy way of

getting their own back on one of the


The occasion was the pre-school’s

20th anniversary and parents and pupils

joined in a June afternoon of fun to


Sarah Bartholomew, the deputy

supervisor who confessed to hating

baked beans, sat in a tiny paddling pool

while children paid 50p a time to dowse

her with beans, courtesy of Heinz who

donated several huge tins.

Afterwards Mrs Bartholomew said: “I

had to have two showers afterwards but

I was still finding baked beans!”

The school off Quaker Lane,

Cranbrook, was set up by Karin Vallence

in a former garage which was turned

into a thriving learning environment

with the help of lottery funding

and work by former prisoners at

Blantyre Prison, Goudhurst.

Woodpeckers is a charity, parent-

elected, committee-run school,

open 38 weeks a year from 9am to

3pm. Children range from two to five

years old and a highly-qualified team of

Early Years practitioners is passionate

about giving them the best possible start

to their educational life. TF


Royal Visit for Cranbrook School


was delighted to receive a

visit by Her Royal Highness

the Princess Royal. The

Princess made an extensive

tour of the school site,

meeting a large number of

staff and students along

the way, before opening

the new Sixth Form Centre.

Amongst those students

who were thrilled to have

an opportunity to speak

with the Princess were

those in the historic new

Year 7 intake, physics

specialists on hand to

demonstrate the school’s

observatory and senior

sixth form students who

showed off the new facility.

The Princess concluded

her visit by speaking to the

whole school including

pupils from Cranbrook

Primary due to join the

school in September. Her

recollections of her time at

all-girls Benenden School

and the occasional social

gatherings with the boys at

Cranbrook brought a smile

to everyone’s faces.

Headmaster John Weeds

said: “This has been the

real highlight of an already

special year. Cranbrook is

500 years old this year and

is celebrating in so many

different ways this summer.

This was the icing on the


Cranbrook celebrated

with a Festival Week

extravaganza of events,

including a family fun

day, a concert, events for

Old Cranbrookians and a

parent-run Summer Ball in

June. Rebecca Potter

22 Parish CakeAutumn 2018


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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 23

short story

The Battle of Brian

Part one of our new short fiction feature by local author Minnie Rowland

“WE ARE all the strings in the

music of time,” sighed Brian

Philpott. He stared at his freshly

purchased local newspaper, not

quite believing what he’d just read.

So he reread it. Unflinchingly, the

announcement read the same.

Clementine, Brian’s wife of 63

years, lowered herself in a seat

across from the kitchen table

where Brain was sitting. She took

a sip of her tea. “You and your

Family Announcements page,” she

said, “you read it before the front

page story.”

“Well, I like to keep a check on

those who have gone to Arrivals,

Departures or Baggage Claim,” said

Brian smiling sadly.

“So?” Clementine asked. “Who’s


Brian wasn’t surprised by her

question. In a long marriage like

theirs communication became a

type of Morse code of eyebrow

raises, eye contact, frowns and

old sayings. ‘We are all the strings

in the music of time,’ was Brian’s

death knell. He steadied himself

before he spoke and took time to

look into Clementine’s eyes.

“Laurence Ledger,” he said. “He

died peacefully on September the


Clementine’s eyes revealed

two things at once. Shock and

confusion. Brian felt his stomach

flip-flop. So, she still holds a torch

for ole Larry, eh?

Brian took a large gulp of his hot

tea and immediately regretted it.

Painfully, he forced the burning

liquid down his throat and shot

Clementine a hurt and angry glare.

“What?” she asked. Her liverspot

covered hand was now

resting at the nape of her neck.

Clementine did this hand gesture

every time she felt wounded.


“I’m going for a walk,” Brain

grumbled as he began the process

of sitting to standing, which took

around 10 seconds because of his

bad knees.

Clementine looked appalled.

“Another walk? But you did your

daily mile this morning. Oh, off to

the pub are we?”

Brian answered Clementine by

waving his hand at her like he was

swatting away a fly.

“Oh, don’t be silly,” moaned

Clementine, then defensively:

“What about you when Rosie died!”

Brian’s hand was now on the

front doorknob. Inwardly, he had

to admit that he was being a tad

unfair to his wife. After all, Brian

himself had felt, well, gobsmacked

to read that the invincible

Laurence Ledger had succumbed

to death like a mere mortal after

all. However, jealousy wasn’t

rational and feeling indignant was


“It’s the date,” Clementine hissed

startling Brian out of his self-pity.

“That’s what shocked me the most;

if I’m honest. Of all the dates for

Laurence to die on. The date same

as when… you know.”

Died peacefully on September the


Brian’s mind felt like it had been

‘hit-and-run.’ He knew exactly

what Clementine was referring to.

He’d never forget what happened

that day. In fact Brian reckoned

24 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

that specific memory was

his protection from forming

Alzheimer’s. Brian’s brain

could never forget that.

But the actual date it had

happened on?

It made sense. Brian and

Larry had just finished school

for the day. They were walking

to their favourite shop. Brian

had heard it so he looked up

to see whose it was and was

greeted with the last of the

summer sun beating halfheartedly

into his eyes.

“Brian? Come back and sit

down,” Clementine insisted.

Brian did the opposite. He

found a surge of energy unlike

anything he’d felt in years

and was soon marching along

the pavement towards the

Cranbrook High Street. That

day had nearly killed Larry

and him and it seemed to

Brian in one way or the other

it had continued to do so.

Did that date, 20th of

September 1943, come back

75 years later and claim

Laurence? Did death mark

Larry for that date? What

about Brian?

Maybe that’s the date I die

on? Next year!

“Don’t be an old fool,” Brian

hissed to thin air, grabbing

the surprised attention of two

passing teenagers.

Brian walked. And before

he knew it, he was there. The

shop with the cement step so

old the middle was worn down

into a groove. Just the right

size for an eight-year-old to

curl up in, cover his ears, stare

at the green tiles of the shop

next door and pray his last.

He took a step…

To be continued…


Literature Festival

A weekend dedicated to the joy of books, writing and reading.



An evening with




journalist and writer.



novelist and

historian ‘The

Marriage Game –

the History behind

the novel elizabeth i’.




poet, presents

his verse play

‘Frankie vah’.



Tv presenter

and writer,

shares ‘Davina’s

Kitchen Favourites’.



illustrator of the

Harry Potter

series and author

of The Pirates series.

Join us in Cranbrook on Friday 28th September

and Saturday 29th September.

Friday 30th September and Saturday 1St OctOber 2016

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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 25


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What is Affordable Housing?

When asked the question, councillor Kim Fletcher found himself concerned about young

peoples’ future home ownership

I HAD to have some

work done on my house

recently and the chap who

arrived to do it came from

Fairlight, the other side

of Rye.

I was set to wondering

if all the new housing

we are hearing about in

our neighbourhoods will

enable local people to live

and work locally.

Many young people

living in Cranbrook and

Sissinghurst would like to

be able to own their home

instead of having to move

away just to be able to

afford a first flat or house.

It seems that some of

the larger local companies

have to employ new staff

who travel from Bexhill,

Maidstone, or Ashford,

and only very senior

managers can afford to

live locally. I thought that

having housing would

be great news for our

young, expanding, local


Some of the potential

developers are running

public engagement

meetings so these

should tell us what their

plans for local housing

are. These gatherings

are opportunities for

local people to ask the

developers what they are

doing about affordability

for them to buy, so do go


Anyone listening to the

Archers will be aware that

promises of affordable

housing at the planning

stage often disappear in

the cold light of day.


If an Englishman’s home

is his castle, I considered

their mortgage capability

and the house prices

on these new local


The new homes

in Common Road,

Sissinghurst, are the

first 60 of the new

developments to

come on the market.

A two-bedroom house

costs £365,000, three

beds from £435,000, four

from £625,000 and five

beds for up to £900,000. I

believe the lowest cost of a

new house in Hawkhurst is


A young couple

who both work, say a

young accountant and a

skilled craftsman, earn

£60,000 between them,

and could borrow three

times their salaries, so

£180,000. A 10% deposit

on a house they could

afford is £20,000, so they

could afford a house of

£200,000. The national

press reported that the

average UK house price is

£225,621, so our couple

should be able to afford


However, if all new

ABOVE: An example

of a development by

Persimmon Homes

INSET: Cllr Kim Fletcher



developments match the

pricing in Common Road,

local young people will

not be able to live locally.

Persimmon Homes, who

will be developing Brick

Kiln Farm (at the top of

Cranbrook High Street)

reported that their average

selling price in 2017 was

£213,321 – I wonder if they

will be priced like this in


Over time, the

inhabitants who can afford

these new houses will

be coming from outside

the area, so we should

to be ready to work hard

to integrate them and

find the future pillars of

the two communities to

help run our fêtes, Nuts

in May, Cranbrook in

Bloom, volunteers for the

Hospice in the Weald shop,

drivers to the hospital or


Meanwhile, I hope that

the next tranche of new

houses are priced about

£200,000, so I can find

someone living locally

to paint my house, care

for my elderly relatives,

service my car, nurse,

teach, drive a taxi or

ambulance, or whatever.


Cranbrook and Sissinghurst do have an option to deliver

affordable housing for residents. Turn to page 11 for the latest

developments from the Crane Valley Land Trust, the not for

profit organisation that is securing land and development

partners to create truly affordable homes for locals.


Parish CakeAutumn 2018 27


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28 Parish CakeAutumn 2018


Falling in L ve

with the Weald

Couple swap “indelicate Trumpian life”

for the Weald, writes Brian Clifford

previous Parish

Cake, the couple

wrote: “Cranbrook

is not dying on

its feet. It is not

dying…. please

don’t change the friendliness

of your residents and the

charm of your community that

you are so lucky to enjoy on a

regular basis.

“We hope to be back

soon to escape our

indelicate Trumpian

society and enjoy a

place where civility,

neighbourliness and reverence

for history still exists.

“Hope to see you soon, cheers

and God save the Queen.”

LITTLE DID Michael and Joan

Wootton from California know

that a visit to Cranbrook would

end in them falling in love with

the Weald and the people who

live there.

The couple, who come from

Indian Wells, first stayed at the

Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse

in 2013 and enjoyed the

fund-raising country fair and

sheepdog trials held in the

castle grounds to raise money

for the Kent Air Ambulance.

Since then they have made two

further visits and stayed with

Cllr. Brian Clifford and his wife,

Linda, a former chairman of

the parish council.

Joan writes: “....the first

time we went into Phillips

Man’s Shop Phil took a great

interest in us and engaged us

in a welcoming and lengthy

conversation. We loved seeing

the children buying their

school uniforms.

“I had my first Hendricks G and

T at the George Hotel offered

by a bartender who looked

curiously like Prince Harry. We

ate fish and chips and mushy

peas there, shopped at the Coop,

bought delicious pastries

at the bakery, a hand-knitted

sweater, things we didn’t need

but loved at the kitchenware

store, all from tradespeople

who were friendly, helpful and

fun to talk to.

“We visited the church and

the windmill and learned a lot

about the history of the area

including the pilgrims’ path to

Canterbury through the Weald

and the Battle of Britain fought


“We admired the stunning

gardens at Sissinghurst, bought

lovely plaid blankets from the

National Trust and braved the

hedgerows and driving on the

`wrong side of the road’.”

Referring to an article in a

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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 29

In the


Heatwave to change our gardens?

Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Essex

AS I WRITE this column in good time

for deadline day, my eye catches

the weather station in our kitchen –

showing me it is 33.6 deg C outside.

For the past 50-odd days no rain has

fallen and the plants and trees outside

the window are totally reliant on me

for water and food. As for the lawns,

they have turned a straw colour and

the birds have given up looking for

worms in the concrete-hard ground

While Donald Trump poo poos

climate change, scientists are

predicting that these high summer

temperatures will be the norm. If that

is the case we will all have to rethink

what we grow and I fear our beloved

cottage garden could become just

a memory, especially if irrigation

restrictions are introduced.

That wonderful plantswoman,

Beth Chatto who sadly died this year,

pioneered dry gardens at her stunning

Essex garden.

How to do it? Get rid of the lawn,

lay down a permeable membrane to

stop weeds coming through, cover

with gravel then plant up your

drought-proof plants.

The same principle is shown at the

Royal Horticultural Society’s garden,

Hyde Hall, also in Essex, where plants,

many of them from hot, exotic,

countries grow up through stones

on a baked slope. Among the most

spectacular are the 12ft high Echium


Fortunately, there are numerous

drought lovers which will survive

given good drainage and the promise

of dry feet in the winter. They range

from Achillia to Agapanthus and

Alliums, to Buddleia, Cistus and hardy

geraniums to Knautia and lavender.

And, of course, there are hundreds

of ornamental grasses from which to

choose to imitate prairies.

On the subject of lawns, I find the

current trend for fake grass difficult

to advocate. Great, you can throw

your mower away you can play hockey

on it, but from the environmental

perspective the wildlife living under

it, including beneficial worms, will

find life tough. It must confuse birds

terribly as nothing benefits from it

except people. But an accident with

a barbecue could be fraught with

problems, not least melted grass.

While we have been enduring

record temperatures the only good

thing to have come out of the

heatwave? The lack of slugs!

Penny Royal

Let’s Cook!

Courgette Pancakes

with Chive Crème


Get them while they

are young, don’t wait

until you have marrows!

Whenever I have served

this scrummy courgette

starter, guests have

wanted the recipe so

I am happy to share it

with the readers of Parish

Cake. Great if you have a

vegetarian at the table.


Serves 4

900g courgettes, ends


1 heaped tbsp finely snipped


200ml tub of crème fraiche

2 medium eggs

3tbsp double cream

2 level tbsp plain flour

2 peeled and crushed cloves

of garlic (optional)

Quarter of a level tsp of

grated nutmeg

1tbsp vegetable oil

25g unsalted butter

Salt & freshly ground black


1 Roughly grate

courgettes into a sieve

over a bowl, sprinkle

over 4 level tsps of salt.

Mix and leave for 30

mins for the salt to draw

out the liquid from the

courgettes. Meanwhile,

mix crème fraiche, chives


and seasoning in a serving

bowl and set aside.

2 Preheat the oven to

160C (fan), 320F or gas

mark 3. Put courgettes

into a clean tea towel

or muslin and ring out

as much liquid as you

can. Then spread out on

another clean tea towel

and pat dry.

3 In a large bowl mix

together the eggs, cream,

flour and garlic. Season

with nutmeg and pepper

but no salt. Immediately

stir the courgettes into the

egg mixture.

4 Heat a quarter of

the oil and butter in a

large frying pan over

a medium-high heat.

Spoon four separate

rounded tablespoons

of the mixture into the

pan and press down to

make 6cm rounds. Fry

for 2-4 mins until golden.

Carefully flip over with

a palette knife and cook

the other side for 2 mins

until golden. Lift them

to an oven-proof serving

dish and keep warm.

Repeat until you have 16

pancakes. Serve warm

with the crème fraiche. An

ideal starter on their own

or with a tossed green


Bon appetite! Emma


Parish CakeAutumn 2018 31

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32 Parish CakeAutumn 2018



to the Rescue

Local smiling faces arrive

complete with a fire

engine to the surprise

of Ann and David

Cook, which turned

out to be just what the

doctor ordered! Trisha

Fermor reports

FEARING SHE might be having

a heart attack Ann Cook dialled

999 but had no idea help

would come from four “big,

strapping” firefighters.

Suffering from excruciating

pain in her back she expected

paramedics to arrive in an

ambulance but was amazed

to see help initially coming

from a different source – the

Cranbrook retained fire station

in the High Street.

Mrs Cook, 70, who lives

not far away in Oatfield

Drive, Cranbrook, said: “The

emergency services said the

ambulance was coming but I

was amazed when I saw a fire

engine pull up outside and four

big strapping lads came in.”

Mrs Cook, who is married to

parish councillor David Cook,

said the whole experience of

being treated by the men had

been “very professional”.

The incident became more

surreal when it turned out that

one of them had been a friend

of her son’s at Cranbrook

Primary School, another had

been a pupil at Cranbrook

School where Cllr. Cook taught,

and another was married by

him when he was a clergyman.

“I was amazed,” said Mrs Cook,

“when the men told me they

had once been out six times on

one shift carrying out similar

medical emergencies. The

whole thing was made much

easier by their friendliness

and the fact we knew some of


An ambulance did turn up and

Mrs Cook is still undergoing

exploratory tests with regard

to her back pain.

A spokesperson for Kent

Fire and Rescue said: “The

firefighters are called first

responders and we do support

the ambulance service.

Cranbrook will have crews

who are trained but they are

not replacements for the

ambulance. The Cranbrook

crew do have a defibrillator

at the station and also on the

fire engine. We do support

SECAmb for certain lifethreatening

emergency calls

when we send the nearest

available responders.”

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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 33



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Tel: 01580 712546 •

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34 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

New Time-Saving

System at Surgery

Sharing your health condition when needing

to see your doctor has been established to

save both doctors’ and your time as well,

writes Trisha Fermor


Surgery in

Cranbrook is

among surgeries

in West Kent that

have introduced

a new voluntary

system to help the

smooth running of

the clinic.

Patients who

want to book

an appointment are asked

if they would mind telling

the receptionist the reason

they want to be seen. Part

of an NHS initiative called

Care Navigation, the move

has followed research in

other parts of the country

which has shown that this

simple measure can save both

doctors’ and patients’ time.

Julian Le Saux, the surgery’s

practice manager, gave an

example: “If the patient has

a suspected urine infection

there is not much point in

seeing the doctor because

what we need to do is get a

sample of urine and send it to

the lab for analysis; and if the

symptoms are severe we can

usually prescribe antibiotics

on spec.”

He said patients

often visited

the surgery with

problems which

could easily be

dealt with by a

chemist or dentist.

“By getting some

information at

the outset we

can make sure

that patients go

straight to the right place and

even in cases where a doctor’s

appointment is the most

appropriate thing it often

helps to know in advance

what the appointment is

about so that the doctor can

have a look at any relevant

results and letters beforehand,

instead of having to go

searching for them during the


Mr Le Saux emphasised that

the new system was voluntary

and patients did not have to

give a reason why they wanted

to see a doctor.

He added: “This is supposed

to be a way of helping people

and making our service

more efficient, not a means

of preventing people from

getting appointments.”

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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 35

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36 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

Need a helping hand?

THERE ARE a number of local charities, set up by previous

residents, which might be able to help you out. Their histories,

until somewhere in the 1950s or 1960s is recorded in a booklet

by C.C.R.Pile, available from the Cranbrook Museum, and

a fascinating read it is. But for those who need more than

information, what follows may help:

If you live in Sissinghurst, or went to Sissinghurst Primary

School, and are taking on the expenses of going on to higher

education, then the Cornwallis trust may be able to help you

with a grant.

John Spicer’s Apprenticing Trust going back to just after 1700,

can help boys from Cranbrook in taking further training or

education beyond school.

Katherine Elizabeth Wood, a local doctor’s daughter founded

a trust called after her in the late 1940s, and this can give

help to people with various kinds of need. It helps girls [and

occasionally boys] on much the same terms as Spicer’s Trust

does boys, up to the age of 21. But its remit is more far-ranging

– cases of need handled in recent times have included help

with transport costs for prolonged medical treatment, the

provision of a telephone specially suited to a partially sighted

person, among others. It’s worth a try – but you do have to live

in the parish of St. Dunstan’s.

The Cranbrook Aid in Sickness Fund was created in 1957

by merging a number of charities with various purposes,

including one that provided coal in winter. The Fund covers

both Cranbrook and Sissinghurst, and as its name suggests its

primary aim is to help parishioners involved in costs through

sickness with financial support.

Information on all of these can be obtained from the Parish

Office. They may or may not be able to help you, in terms of

the criteria they have to work by, but in all these (and perhaps

some more?) parishioners of the past stretch out a helping

hand to those of the present. If you’re at your wits’ end, the

worst thing that can happen is that they have to say,`Not us’,

but perhaps they can help, or point you elsewhere for help.

Revd. David Cook




AFTER SPENDING his working

life as a journalist covering

everything from assassinations

to international sport Colin

Bateman has turned to


But his new career

is perfectly legal

and involves a

thriller which

is centred in

the Dover and

Folkestone areas.

The central

character is an


journalist Tom

Kidd whose

marriage has collapsed and

who decides to make a new

career for himself as a writer.

But reality soon takes over

when a body is washed up

and he becomes embroiled

in people-smuggling and the

theft of rare plants.

Mr Bateman, 64, who writes

under the name C J Bateman,

has concentrated much

of his former career on

sports writing. He covered

both the London and Sochi

Olympics as well as touring

the world reporting on the

fortunes or otherwise of the

English cricket team. He

has ghost written several

autobiographies including

David Gower’s.

Other big stories he covered

included the assassination of

the former Prime Minister of

India, Indira Gandhi, for the

Daily Express, on the day he

arrived in New

Delhi to report

on a test match.

He also found

himself covering

the assassination

in Mumbai

of the British

deputy high

commissioner to

India the day after

he had enjoyed

drinks with him.

Mr Bateman lives in

Hawkhurst Road, Cranbrook,

with his nurse wife Brenda,

and among other things

he has been an invigilator

during exams at Cranbrook

School and a polling clerk for


The paperback, which costs

£9.95, is on sale at several

outlets across the Weald and

can be bought direct from Mr

Bateman by emailing him at

or telephoning 01580 712366.




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

07916 140683

Parish CakeAutumn 2018 37


Parish Plans for

100 years of



Throughout Great Britain commemorations acknowledging the

end of World War I are being planned, writes David Riddick

THE FIRST World War was a

very nasty affair on so many

counts. The horrors of living

and fighting in trenches -

open to every kind of weather;

being shelled for hours, even

days on end; enduring firing

from multiple machine guns;

being subjected to gas attacks

which caused blindness or

a painful death; the barbed

wire, the rats and the endless

mud. It was the first war in

modern times which involved

the civilian population, who

were bombed from the air and,

although naval forces fought

each other, enemy naval forces

also attacked civilian ships

thus threatening our supplies

of food and other items. With

the men away at the front,

women were required to work

in the factories and the farms.

Thus everyone was involved.

It was therefore

with gladness that we

commemorate the ending

of that war, although it

subsequently failed to live up

to its billing as “The war to

end all wars.” 100 years on, the

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst

Parish Council has agreed

that this commemoration

should, more than ever, be a

community event.

The national

commemorations are centred

around cathedrals and parish

churches. As a member of

the Royal British Legion and

churchwarden of St. Dunstan’s

Church, Cranbrook, I am

keen that St. Dunstan’s plays

its part in both the national

and local commemorations.

Fortunately, the 11 November

this year is also Remembrance

Sunday. The national

commemoration starts with

a piper playing Battle’s Over

on bagpipes at 6.00am outside

every cathedral and as many

parish churches as possible.

I hope that a local piper

will come forward and also

play at that hour outside St.


The morning is devoted,

as usual, to the Acts of

Remembrance with the service

in St. Dunstan’s at 10.45am

followed by the parade to the

War Memorial where there is a

service and laying of wreaths.

The parade then heads back

down the High Street to the

Tanyard. This year, we will

have a saluting dais in front

of Lloyds Bank, manned

by parish and borough

councillors, and marching

contingents will be invited

to give an “Eyes Right” when

passing, followed by an “Eyes

Front” once they are past. This

is common in many towns and

cities in the UK.


Plans are still in the making,

but the activities in the

afternoon and evening will

start at about 5.00pm with

various displays in the Vestry

Hall, St. Dunstan’s Church

and Church House. We will be

inviting local schools and the

Cranbrook Museum to prepare

suitable displays, and local

people to submit personal

stories about war in general,

which in itself will become

one of the displays.

In addition we will be

inviting local groups and

businesses to set up stalls

38 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

offering food and drink, in the

Vestry Hall and Church House.

One can never be sure what

the weather will be like in

November but if the weather

is kind then some of the stalls

could be outside – hog roast


In St. Dunstan’s we are

hoping for music – WWI

songs, a sing-along, Glenn

Miller type jazz, religious

music, or just beautiful music.

Again we are looking to

schools and local groups to

come forward and volunteer.

The national

commemorations start at

6.55pm with the Last Post

played from the top of the

church tower. I am hoping

several players will volunteer

as I would very much like

the Last Post to be played at

minute intervals from other

parts of the town such as

Rammell Field (War Memorial

Field) and the War Memorial.

Hearing the Last Post played

in the distance, in the dark, is

very evocative of the Menin

Gate in Ypres, through which

young soldiers marched to the

front line.

At 7.00pm the beacon will

be lit on top of the church

tower by Bridget Veitch, chair

of the parish council, which

will be followed by the church

bells being rung at 7.05pm,

recalling 1918 at 11.O’clock

on the 11th day of the 11th

month, when church bells

were rung across the nation

which had been silenced for

the duration of the war. A

two minute silence has been

observed at that hour, in a

tradition that began in 1921.

Finally, as far as St.

Dunstan’s is involved, at

7.30pm there will be a short

service of reflection led by our

vicar, Revd Ann. All are most

welcome to join her.

As usual, we will be planting

small Royal British Legion

(RBL) crosses inscribed with

the names of those on the

War Memorial on the verge

opposite the west door. As

many of us have come to

Cranbrook from elsewhere,

RBL crosses with the name of

your loved ones killed in war

will be most welcome in this

Garden of Remembrance.

Be involved

If you would like to be involved in any

of the above – especially players of

the Last Post – please make yourselves

known to me - 01580 720575.

One and two day courses

covering: Curtains, Roman

Blinds and Cushions,

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m: 07711 615296


Parish CakeAutumn 2018 39


Reflections on

World War I

Major (Retd) David Riddick shares

his experiences, comparing WWI

action for our troops with his

own experiences

I HAVE spent my entire

working life with the

Army. But fighting in

the trenches of World

War I must have been a

horrendous experience.

During my time in the

Army I have spent weeks

living in trenches but this

was on exercise and no

one was firing at us.

Living in a trench is

not pleasant, especially

when it is raining or

snowing. Keeping clean

and dry is a problem, and

shaving in a snowstorm

is very different to

shaving in your heated

bathroom at home!

I have been shot at –

in Aden and Northern

Ireland – but fortunately

they missed me and hit

a person next to me. But

I have never been

shot at with machine


I have been grenaded

in Aden, but again I

escaped being hit by

shrapnel. But I have


Major David Riddick

never been shelled by

heavy artillery fire.

I have experienced

comrades being killed

– my Company HQ was

ambushed in Aden and

all were killed, leaving

me as the senior officer

in charge at age 24 – but

not on the scale that

occurred in WW1.

How those men were

able to carry on, living

in the conditions of the

trenches in WW1 in

all weathers, enduring

shellfire from artillery

and mortars, and then

when required to advance

towards the enemy in

the face of continuous

machine gun fire whilst

negotiating barbed wire

obstacles, I will never

know. We owe all of

them a most tremendous

debt for their bravery. A

hundred years later we

salute all of them.

40 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

Supporting the Forces

David Hazlewood gives a brief history of the

Royal British Legion in Cranbrook

THE ROYAL British Legion is a

democratic, non-party-political and

non sectarian organisation. It promotes

the welfare of those who are serving or

have served in the Armed Forces and

their dependents.

The organisation was formed in

1921 and the Cranbrook branch was

established five years after in 1926. In

1071 the British Legion received the Royal Charter.

The Cranbrook branch standard was received and dedicated

by the Lord Cornwallis and was received by Mr. Frank Turner on

August Bank Holiday in 1932.

Five years later, the women’s section of the Cranbrook branch

was founded and on 14 May 1937, Mrs Mollie Dann. who joined

in 1946, was the longest serving member and president until it

was disbanded in September 1999.

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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 41

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42 Parish CakeAutumn 2018


Duck & Dog

Launched during the Cranbrook Goes Nuts

weekend at the end of May, Duck & Dog

brings a fun twist to country style homeware


Levett has run her interiors

business online for the past

four years, but despite also

being a mum, farmer’s wife

and multiple show pony

owner/competitor, she

introduced her Duck & Dog

interiors and homeware shop

to the Cranbrook High Street

during one of the busiest

weekends of the year.

“We worked all night to get

ready for Cranbrook Goes Nuts

in May,” says Holly. “We didn’t

make a big song and dance

of our launch but we worked

hard and had champagne on

the go.”

The shop stocks British

made items, wherever

possible, for the home and

garden including one off

antiques, reclaimed furniture,

and handmade, rustic and

natural looking furnishings.

Homewares include candles,

perfumes, body lotions, bowls,

cups, plates, vases, natural

sheepskin rugs, rustic garden

furniture, mirrors, blankets,

light shades, lamps, cute

home decorations, stationary,

greeting cards, and wall


“Having traded online for

four years, I have been able to

see which items are popular

and cater for this in the shop,”

says Holly. “I like to think

of the Duck & Dog style as

quirky and fun but mixed

with a bit of country. Our

philosophy is that you should

always drink your tea from

your best china, even whilst

wearing your wellies!

“I’d like to turn what’s

thought of as ‘country style’

away from the twee and

into the traditional, with a

functional, contemporary

and family friendly twist.” An

example of this is the large

table on display made from

an antique wooden door –

beautiful, traditional, recycled.

Holly started with interior

design as a hobby. This

escalated when friends started

asking her to revamp their

homes. “I enjoy it so much

that I’d do it for free if I didn’t

have bills to pay” she says.










“It’s because of my love of

interiors and unique styling

that I opened the shop – I

just love selecting the stock

and helping people with their

interior visions.” Do ask her

about her one-to-one interior

design service.

Find Duck & Dog at the

bottom of Cranbrook High

Street. You can also purchase

items through the website

at and

enjoy free local delivery (free

national delivery on items of

£75 and over).

And what’s next for Holly

and Duck & Dog? Fashion!

Look out for the range

launching later this month.


01580 715577

Parish CakeAutumn 2018 43








The Bloomfields team has grown and now includes three former

Planning Officers from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. We are

working with a number of landowners in the Parish to promote

sites for consideration as part of TWBC’s new Local Plan and the

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Neighbourhood Plan.

Call us to arrange an initial site appraisal to see what

development potential might exist for your site in the

coming years.

Tel. 01892 831 600






Helen Grant

Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone

and the Weald, holds regular

surgeries around the


If you would like to arrange

an appointment to discuss

an issue of concern to you,

please e-mail Helen at helen. or

telephone 020 7219 7107.



Produced by Helen Grant MP, House

of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

44 Parish CakeAutumn 2018



An Invitation to No. 10

EMMA WOOD, founder of

both Hothouse Wealden

Growth Agency and

recently launched multimedia

events platform

The Big WOW, was invited

by Emma Jones MBE and

Founder of Enterprise

Nation to a meeting at No.

10 Downing Street.

Alongside 15 other

invited delegates, all of

which were from rural

areas across the UK,

she met with the Prime

Minister’s special adviser

Jimmy McLoughlin. The

fundamental aim of the

meeting was to outline the

various challenges faced

by the self-employed and

SMEs (small and medium

sized enterprises) in

rural areas and establish

which measures could

be implemented to help

improve or resolve these


With over 35 years in

business and representing

the Wealden community,

Emma encapsulated her

recommendations in a

report ‘Business in the

Weald’, and handed this

over to both ministers

and attendees. Emma

identified problems with

funding, lack of advice,

the desperate need for

the improvement of vital

broadband and telecoms

services, unsatisfactory

transport links,

infrastructure and lack of

available local business


Each delegate was asked

‘What is the one practical

thing that I would do if I

was Chancellor?’ Emma’s

response: “I would set up

a task force for funding

and business advice in

each rural area, not just for

start-ups and those that

want to grow, but for those

that need to diversify,

providing dedicated

resources aimed at

bridging funding gaps left

by risk-adverse high street

banks, the declining role

of investment banks and

the cautiousness of private


Hermes Finds

Itself on the Shelf

IT’S MAINLY seen on the pages of glossy

magazines or on the shoulders of

worldwide personalities, however a shop

in Cranbrook has tempted sales. Designer

fashion shop, Bond Street to Your Street,

has brought the iconic Hermes Birkin

bag worth many-thousands-of-pounds to

Cranbrook High Street!

Hermes bags are the ultimate symbol

of wealth and luxury and are often seen

dangling on the arms of the world’s rich

and famous including Kate Moss, Victoria

Beckham and even royalty such as Megan,

the Duchess of Sussex and Mary, Princess

of Denmark.

Stores such as Harrods are infamous

for their long Hermes bag waiting list,

so it’s no surprise to the owner of Bond

Street to Your Street, Emma Povey, that

three out of the four Hermes bags that

she had in stock have already sold. “My

clients bought the Hermes Birkin bags,”

says Emma Povey, “not only because they

wanted to own a beautiful status piece,

but to make an investment.”

And according to world leading

economists, they are an excellent

investment. A Hermes Birkin handbag

has officially become a better investment

than gold with a value increase each year

of a whopping 14.2%. In over 30 years,

Hermes bags have not decreased in value.

Bond Street to Your Street has just one

bag left. A limited edition Birkin 30’ in

Macassar Brown, clemence leather and

palladium hardware selling for £12,000.

So next time you are strolling on the

Cranbrook High Street, don’t forget to

pick up stamps, milk, bread, and perhaps

a recession proof investment in the form

of a handbag. Mignon Brian

Parish CakeAutumn 2018 45


Rental Income

Tax Problem?

Charter Tax can help with HMRC enquiries in light

of a new campaign regarding rental income,

writes Mark Howard


that it will be commencing

a campaign in an attempt

to flush out previously

undeclared rental income

and collect tax, interest and

penalties arising from any

such income.

We have now had experience

of clients receiving a letter

from HMRC inviting them to

disclose any rental income

Chartered Accountants

helping you, your business

and your family

We specialise in farms, families, trusts and estates and have a

dedicated team who can help you manage your financial needs.

Our directors, Janet Pierce and Mark Howard have direct experience

with equestrian and farming matters, and we also offer an

extensive range of services including:-


Succession planning

Accounts preparation

Inheritance tax advice

Please contact or • Telephone 01580 313108

Suite 1 Bedgebury Business Park, Goudhurst, Kent TN17 2QX

46 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

not previously declared or

any rental income where the

amount was not correctly


It is very important that

such letters are taken seriously

and HMRC have requested a

response within 30 days of the

issue of their letter.

HMRC states that it will

treat any disclosure resulting

from a letter as “prompted”

Tax returns and VAT advice

Estate planning


Auto enrolment

Chartered tax advisors Janet Pierce

(nee Paterson) and Mark Howard

rather than as a voluntary

disclosure and, as such, a

higher rate of penalty may

be applied, calculated as a

percentage of any additional

tax liability arising.

If no response is made, and

HMRC has reason to believe

that the correct amount of

tax has not been paid, then

it may take formal action to

recover the tax outstanding

and this could result in even

higher penalties becoming

payable. In extreme situations

a criminal investigation may

be commenced.

For all the reasons

mentioned above if you receive

a letter from HMRC headed

“Let Property Campaign” it

is imperative that you take

immediate action.

Landlords should take this

opportunity to review their

get in


records to ensure that they are

happy that full and accurate

disclosure has been made to

HMRC in their tax returns. If

you have any questions on

reporting rental income, or

receive a letter from HMRC,

please do not hesitate to

contact us.

At Charter Tax we have

a team of tax specialists

who will be able to help you

prepare your response to

HMRC and guide you through

the process. We can help to

agree the correct position

with HMRC and negotiate

the settlement to include

any interest or penalty that

HMRC may try to apply. We

can also help to resolve any

misunderstanding that may

have arisen particularly in

connection with jointly-owned

property where HMRC may

not have received the whole

picture before initiating an


Charter Tax, Suite 1 Bedgebury

Business Park, Goudhurst,

Kent, TN17 2QX

01580 313108

Chartered Accountan

helping you, your busin

and your family





Celebrating Richard Piper’s 50-year career with

Buss Murton Law at the annual spring party

WE PROUDLY hosted our annual

spring party at The George

Hotel in Cranbrook. This was a

celebration to thank our clients

and local businesses for their

support during the year and it

was a celebration of the career

of our well-loved Richard Piper

who retired after an amazing 50

years of loyal service with the


Richard has lived locally all

his life and is well known in the

area. When he left school in

1965, he worked for his father

who ran a newsagents and

printing works, and started the

Wealden Advertiser. Thereafter

he joined law firm Murton Clark

& Murton Neale as an articled

clerk, he then went on to qualify

as a solicitor and some years

later became a partner, during

which time he was involved in

creating Buss Murton. Richard’s

specialism was conveyancing

and his knowledge of the local

area is unsurpassed. Richard

would often be found out and

about visiting the properties

he was buying/selling and his

personal service to his clients

was highly valued. Richard was

a delight and pleasure to work


Richard played cricket locally

for many years and has been a

longstanding loyal supporter

of the Cranbrook & Hawkhurst

Rotary Club. His holidays are

spent with his family on his

narrow boat cruising the English


Richard is well known for his

love of animals. For years his

dog Lucy came to work with him

and more recently he rescued

a chicken which he saw falling

from a muck spreader on a

roundabout. Richard stopped

his car, swept up the chicken,

popped it in his car and came

back to the office as he knew

he could rehome it later that

day. The staff named it Babs

after a character in the Chicken

Run movie. It was rehomed

with Richard’s neighbour and

we hear is very happy after it’s

‘great escape’.

We wish Richard a long and

happy retirement with many

relaxing holidays cruising on his

narrow boat Prudence! Andrew

Linton, Managing Partner



Find Buss Murton Law

at 31 High Street,

Cranbrook. 01580 712 215

Parish CakeAutumn 2018 47



and views from Cranbrook

& Sissinghurst Parish Council

Lynn Takes New Job – Just Feet Away



A NOMINAL current annual cost

of £22 per five rods (45x30ft)

with a 50% reduction for


• A wonderful source of fresh

fruit and vegetables for a

healthy diet at minimal cost

• A relaxed friendly atmosphere

with an abundance of

experienced allotment holders

happy to give advice

• A great form of exercise.

If you are interested in joining

the waiting list for one of our

allotments please pop into the

Parish Office or alternatively call

01580 713112 for further details.

A FAMILIAR face has taken

on the role of deputy clerk,

moving just feet away from her

old office chair.

Lynn Thirkell, who

previously ran the borough

council’s Weald Information

Centre in the Vestry Hall, has

taken on her new role in the

parish office. Mrs Thirkell,

who is married with three

grown up children and three

grandchildren, has already had

experience running a parish

council when she worked as

clerk to Hawkhurst council.

She took over her new job

from Laura Larkin in August

and said: “The position became

vacant at the right time and I

felt I needed a change.”

In her spare time Mrs

Thirkell who said she is “very

Lynn Thirkell (left) with clerk Lori Ham

family orientated” enjoys lunch at the end.

being with her grandchildren, Jokingly Mrs Thirkell said:

reading and vegetable

“We walk all round Kent and

gardening. She also belongs to I don’t mind where I walk as

a walking group which meets long as there is a pint at the

monthly and enjoys a pub end of it!” TF

News from the Neighbourhood Development Plan

A BIG thank you to all those who came to

the exhibition (c.250) in June and left your

responses to the different development

scenarios posed. The most favoured

approaches were those of the dispersed

model based on local historical settlement

patterns and a possible new settlement at

Colliers Green.

This invaluable evidence and other

comments you made will all help inform the

plan’s policies.


We have also been responding to and

incorporating the findings of the Cranbrook

& Sissinghurst Housing Needs Assessment

report produced by AECOM and those

of TWBC’s borough-wide analysis of

housing need. The priorities for any new

developments will include an increase in

the proportion of 1- and 2-bedroomed

homes and those that are affordable for the

local population.


The revised National Planning Policy

Framework (NPPF) was published on 26

July with an emphasis on high-quality

design delivered through Neighbourhood

Plan policies which should “demonstrate

clear local leadership in design quality… to

truly reflect the community’s expectations

on how new development will visually

contribute to their area”.


The first full draft of the Neighbourhood

Plan should be ready in the Autumn for a

six week public consultation period before

being submitted to TWBC for its first round

of inspection. Cllr. Nancy Warne

48 Parish CakeAutumn 2018


A PROJECT to improve the “bleak

aspect” of Sissinghurst cemetery has

been given the green light.

The parish council has welcomed an

idea by journalist Andrew Davidson,

who lives nearby, to brighten the area

with eight to 10 mixed ornamental

trees. He also suggested pruning some

of the less interesting ones along

the northern boundary to expose the Andrew Davidson and Cllr. Brian Clifford

beautiful view.

Mr Davidson said: “The aim of the project is to improve the bleak aspect of the

cemetery by planting a variety of suitable ornamental trees that flower in spring

and produce autumn colour and berries.

“They should also grow no higher than 30 feet over 30 years to avoid any

difficulties associated with planting inappropriate parkland trees.”

Among the specimens considered are may, cherry, crab apple, ornamental pear

and amelanchier.

The council is now looking at a five-year plan and drawing up a schedule of

activities. Brian Clifford, chairman of the Parish Council Burials and Properties

Committee, said “We are looking into the possibilities of planting trees in

Sissinghurst Cemetery based on suggestions put to us by Sissinghurst resident

Andrew Davidson.” He added “Any decisions we take will be based on the long

term enhancement of the cemetery.” TF



Following the commissioning of a Fire

Risk Assessment Report for the Vestry Hall

and Vestry Cottage, estimates of necessary

expenditure are now urgently being gathered

that will improve the building safety.


The Parish Council has now appointed

solicitors to begin the process of securing

the ownership of part of Wilkes Field in

Cranbrook for the proposed Community




Following a presentation to the Parish

Council by Tunbridge Wells Borough

Council, displays of the proposed signage are

being prepared for discussion and comment.



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Parish CakeAutumn 2018 49

local legend




A Q&A with a jack-of-all trades and “proper

barber” whose shop is like a tardis


Staplehurst on November 14 1954 and

I moved to Sissinghurst when I was 10

years old.


Staplehurst Primary School and then

Swattenden just outside Cranbrook which

is no longer there.


As a barber. I was apprenticed to Michael

Chambers who still has a salon in

Cranbrook. I worked with him for several

years and then did various jobs including

building swimming pools and tennis

courts, labouring, dumper truck driving

but still cutting hair.


We did a house swap but I have lived in

various houses and lodgings, including

Wheatfield Drive. I have lived in Cleavers

in Sissinghurst since 2003 and played

football and cricket for the village and

rugby for Cranbrook. I was very sporting

and also did boxing. In my younger days

I was known as a real little b*****r but as

I have got older I have calmed down and

don’t have an enemy in the world!


Love of life. I love writing poetry and

writing. I did italic writing when I was at

Staplehurst. I have met people from every

walk of life and this job has educated me

to the meaning of respect and politeness.


Oh dogs although I have not got one.

They have loyalty and they are always

there for you.


I almost died when I was electrocuted

working at Benenden Hospital; I had a

tree fall on my head when we were taking

it down; a car hit me once and I have

broken my wrist twice playing football!



Becoming very close to my family

again after a lot of years. Family is very

important. I missed a lot, like weddings

and christenings. It is important to me to

visit my brother in Australia once a year.



Game of Thrones and sport but I’m not

very keen on football.


It’s not a cake, it’s gypsy tart! We used to

have it at school. I go to the Co-op and

buy two or three and have them with a

glass of red wine!


I play golf, mess about in the garden and

relax with friends, and read.


The Times. People don’t expect me to

read it. One day a customer came in and

said “someone’s left their copy of The

Times”. He looked surprised when I said

it was mine!

Louis’ tiny shop

off Stone Street

has just one

barber’s chair

and is a veritable

time machine, its

walls and ceiling

covered in years

of memorabilia.

A large poster of

Louis’ friend, actor Mark Rylance, whose

parents used to live in Sissinghurst, is

on one wall and sporting paraphernalia,

ranging from caps to programmes, is

crammed into every space. A few weeks

ago a couple from Holland, who had

found his salon on the internet, made a

special journey to see it. TF

50 Parish CakeAutumn 2018

01580 852 727

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