Parish Cake - Winter 2018


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







Festive Treats

this Winter



Do you need help at home?

Help at


Private Care Service

Help at


Help at






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: What’s on

at Scotney Castle this


Hussey family

Christmas eve: Saturday

1 December - Sunday 6

January, 11am-3pm.

Storytelling with

Father Christmas & Mrs Claus: Saturday

and Sunday 1, 2, 8, 9 & Saturday 15 - Sunday

23 December, 9.30am & 12noon. Child £9.

Booking essential (please note a customer

booking fee of 5% applies).

Christmas lunches: Monday 26 November

– Friday 21 December (Monday-Friday only).

Two courses £22.95, three courses £25.95.

Booking essential.

Noah’s ark children’s trail: Saturday

1 - Monday 31 December, 10am-4pm. £2

per trail.

Christmas shopping: Monday 5 November


For more information or to book, call 01892

893869 or visit


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.


Support our Shops at Christmas

WITH CELEBRATIONS shortly upon us, we

asked some residents for their favourite

pieces of music at Christmas – maybe

they are yours too? Have a look on

page 18. As for festive treats, the

offerings from Scotney Castle

this season are sure to prepare

you for a Happy Christmas –

see more on page 43.

Strolling around Cranbrook

and Sissinghurst is a reminder

about how our shopkeepers make

every effort to provide what we might

need. It’s so important that we use

our local shops otherwise we may

lose them!

Having just studied the usage

reports from our parish council website,

it has proved to me just how many



4 Through the Lens

5 Directory & What’s On

7 Chairman’s Views

8 Letters

10 Parish News

13 NDP Update

Crane Valley Land Trust

14 Club News

20 Event News

24 Short Story

48 Parish Council Round-up


18 Christmas Favourites –

our favourite festive songs

parishioners keep an eye on committee

discussions, events, how money is spent

and a whole host of other information –

www.cranbrookandsissinghurstpc. is our website address, if it’s

news to you why not have look?

Yes it’s Christmas – from

my brilliant Parish Cake

production team, Tally Wade,

Mignon Brian, Trisha Fermor

and me, we wish you all that you

wish for yourself at Christmas and

the New Year.


22 Old Cranbrookian Talks

– speakers to celebrate

500 years

27 Local Heros – our

voluntary fire crew

28 Cranbrook In Bloom –

Cranbrook takes gold

29 Quakers Lane – how it

got its name

31 Kitchen & Garden –

dealing with weeds and

Christmas in a mouthful

33 Have Your Say –

commenting on planning


35 Delos at the Castle–

a new addition to

Cllr. Brian Clifford - Editor

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

37 Tracy Moore – an update

from the borough

39 Droning On – Lance

French on drone


40 Helen Grant – the latest

from our MP

44 Business News – a

new business hub in


47 From our Sponsor – legal

advice from Buss Murton

50 Local Legend – Linda


Parish CakeWinter 2018 3


Stone Street at Christmas, captured by Fraser Allen



MOB:07455 607107



4 Parish CakeWinter 2018



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f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f The f f Parish f f Cake f f guide f f f to events f f f f f f f

f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f in f Cranbrook f f f f and f f Sissinghurst f f f f f f f f f

f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f


• 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

• Mobile Library, The Street,

Sissinghurst, every Friday

Morning in December,

January and February,


• The Children’s Centre,

Cranbrook offers free

sessions for parents and

children throughout the

week. Call 03000 411035 for a




5pm Nativity Parade,

Cranbrook High Street

7pm Pudding Club

Christmas Party, The

George Hotel, Cranbrook,

for an evening of fizz,

nibbles and dancing


2pm Cranbrook Ladies

Rugby Team V New Ash

Green Ladies at Cranbrook

Rugby Club

7pm Folk concert – Peter

Knight & Jon Spiers at

St. Dunstan’s Church. For

ticket details see www.


12pm Pudding Club

Christmas Lunch (with

pudding!), George Hotel,



7.30pm Full Parish Council

Meeting, Council Chamber

- Vestry Hall. Everyone



6pm Carols by

Candlelight, St. Dunstan’s



Christmas Eve, St.

Dunstan’s Church. 4pm

Crib Service (for the young

at heart, come dressed

as a character from

the Nativity), 11.30pm

Midnight Mass with carols


Christmas Day, St.

Dunstan’s Church. 8am

Holy Communion (a said

service using The Book of

Common Prayer), 10am

Sung Eucharist (a Sung

Service with carols and



2.30pm Cinderella the

Pantomime, Performing

Arts Centre Cranbrook




7.30pm Full Parish Council

Meeting, Council Chamber

- Vestry Hall. Everyone




7.30pm Cranbrook School

Presents Hairspray the

Musical, Queen’s Hall



7.30pm Full Parish Council

Meeting, Council Chamber

- Vestry Hall. Everyone


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 712620



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 CakeWinter 2018 5

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6 Parish CakeWinter 2018

out chairman’s & about


Plans for community

centre take a leap forward

Heads get together to finalise vital details

AFTER DECADES of aspirations

that a community centre will

be built in Cranbrook, the

parish council has agreed to a

joint, project-managed scheme

as a huge step forward.

Important meetings have

been held with interested

parties, including Guy Johnson,

the landowner who wants to

gift part of Wilkes’ Field to

the town, and parish, borough

and Kent County Council


The four sets of solicitors

have been looking at the rights

of access documents, and

those relating to the transfer

of land for a portion of Wilkes’

Field and land that is part of

the toilet block. I hope final

agreement can be achieved

by the end of the year with all

parties, including the Cooperative


At the full parish council

meeting in October the

plan for a professionallymanaged

scheme was given

the go ahead, and also the

authority to approve the legal

documents by 11-1 votes. After

20 years the centre is now

much closer to being realised.

We have sufficient money

set aside to undertake the first

stages involving the architect

and project manager. It is

good to report that we are very

nearly there.

On a festive note, I would

like to wish everyone a happy

Christmas and a healthy and

prosperous new year. I would

encourage those of you who

would wish to give something

back to the community to

consider seriously standing

as parish councillors in May.

I would be happy to meet

informally and discuss it with

anyone who is interested.

We are all delighted

that Cranbrook in Bloom’s

tremendous efforts have been

recognised with a gold award

from South and South East in

Bloom and a silver gilt from

Britain in Bloom. The town

looked beautiful and the

group’s efforts were admired

not only by residents but

tourists to our lovely town.

Cllr. Bridget Veitch, chairman

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Parish CakeWinter 2018 7

Letters | T: 01580 712 215

Star Letter


Ladies Who Latte

Star Letter

The author will receive

a voucher for a hot drink

and slice of cake from

Cranbrook café Cocolicious!

After running two women’s

networking meetings I am

convinced that women who

actually go after their dreams and

reach their goals are those who

surround themselves with the

right crowd. And don’t just take

my word for it, there’s enough

evidence that surrounding

yourself with the right people is

the fastest way to success.

Women’s networks are not

just about inspiration and

learning from each other, a good tribe of

like-minded people will boost your mood, help you believe

in your dream and give perspective to the decisions and

challenges ahead in all areas of your life. It is the collective

energy of many that often defines whether you are going to

give up on your project or carry on and persevere. We share

our progress, keep each other accountable and inspire each

other in monthly group meetings. So why not come along

on the first Wednesday of each month 10am at The Queen’s

Inn Hawkhurst? Alison Ede

A Wasted Amenity…

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is holding us all to ransom.

They are withdrawing the Saturday amenity vehicle for

garden waste and they are charging £52 per year for a bin to

dispose of it.

They are also giving us no option but to have a waste food

bin, which few of us need – who wastes food?

This is all a money making venture forcing us to pay twice

for collecting our bins.

Brian Swann (a very disgruntled council tax payer)

Come and Volunteer –

A Reminder

Volunteers continue to be needed at some of our tourist

attractions. If you have some spare time please make

contact with....


Chris Lear – 01580 891821/

Museum: Rodney Dann – 01580 712475/curator@

Cranbrook in Bloom:

Linda Page –

01580 713604/ info@

Friends of St.Dunstan’s:

Brian Awford – 01580 715556/

Cllr. Graham Holmes

Aching from work?

Injured from sport?

Want to improve

your posture? Just

need a massage?

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• Injury and posture assessment

• Deep and soft tissue massage

• Taping for joint and muscle support

• Exercise rehabilitation including range of motion,

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Professional mobile service. Discount for under 25’s

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.

8 Parish CakeWinter 2018

Friday 7 December - Wednesday 2 January

Ice Skating

at Calverley Grounds

Friday 16 November to Wednesday 2 January



supported by

Box Office: 01892 530613



and views from

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst



Takes a Break

SIX YEARS after it was started,

Sissinghurst Speedwatch

members have agreed to take a

break from monitoring drivers’

speeds through the village.

The group has seen

volunteers dropping out and

calls for replacements have

gone unanswered. Villagers

complain that speeding

continues, particularly in

Common Road and The Street,

and believe more effective

methods such as cameras and

regular police activity are now

called for.

There is also a minority who

do not recognise the problems

that speeding can cause.

Members have decided to stand

down until next March when it

is hoped more volunteers will

step forward and that, in the

meantime, a way is found to

introduce more permanent and

constructive deterrents on the

village roads. TF

The Fiennes

Stanley Wykeham

Cornwallis Trust

ESTABLISHED IN the mid-1980s

from the sale of No 1 and 2

School Cottages in Sissinghurst,

the Cornwallis Trust has helped

Couple say Goodbye to their Delicatessen

AFTER 30 years running what must be the

smallest shop in Cranbrook, Richard and

Rosemary Clarke are closing the door for


Perfect Partners in Stone Street

has been the go-to place for top

wines, interesting cheeses and

other culinary delights but the

couple have put the business on

the market.

Shortly before Parish Cake went to

press Richard said they wanted to retire

and he was hoping to sell the shop and the

flat above which has been their home since

they moved there in 1988.

Richard said times were harder now for

many apprentices and university

students with books, tools

and materials needed for their

various courses.

Students who may have

chosen to study medicine,

law, or to become a mechanic,

electrician or plumber, an

interior designer, or something

else, could be offered some

financial help by the trust.

If applicants fit the following

criteria of going on to

further education, university

or an apprenticeship, live

in Sissinghurst, attended

Sissinghurst Primary School for

a minimum of two years and

businesses in Cranbrook, adding: “The best

years were in 2005 to 2008. We were doing

well and so were others like antique shops. I

think when Cranbrook School stopped

classes on Saturdays it had a knock

on effect.”

Before taking over the tiny

shop, Richard worked in the wine

trade and was once asked to fly to

Sri Lanka to teach airline stewards

all about wine.

His family business was brewing and

his mother Isobel had lived for a time at the

town’s converted forge. The couple, who have

two girls and five grandchildren are hoping to

stay in Cranbrook. TF

Plantsman’s Illness Prompts Huge Support

AFTER JEREMY Homewood collapsed at his

home with a life-threatening illness customers

feared it might lead to the closure of his

popular plant nursery Bumbles.

In October last year Mr Homewood,

57, suffered an attack of vasculitis, a lifethreatening

inflammation of the blood vessels.

He will never walk again and has spent almost

the whole of this year in Haywards Heath


But he is now living in a care home and

has already made visits to the nursery in his

wheelchair and planning to return at least

once a week.

While Mr Homewood was being treated

his son Will, 30, took over the running of the

business and others stepped in to help.

Will put his own job as a logistics manager

for a beer import company on hold and turned

the clock back 12 years to when he and his

father started the nursery together.

With “plants in my blood” – Will’s great

grandfather set up Springfields Nursery in

Hawkhurst – he added: “My father lives for the


He went on: “People have been very kind

and their kind words have been passed on to

Dad. He much appreciated them and I am so

grateful to people for their support. We had

the best spring we have ever had.” TF

are under 25-years-of-age they

should apply for further details

and an application form.

Please contact Mrs Mellor

at sissinghurstawards@gmail.

com or telephone 01580 714618.

The closing date for applications

is 28 February 2018.

Juliet Mellor

10 Parish CakeWinter 2018


Friends Need Help

AN URGENT call has gone

out in Sissinghurst for more

committee members to help

the Friends of Sissinghurst

Church (FoSCH) to survive.

Currently there are

only four members of the

committee and they are

finding it more and more

difficult to come up with

ideas for fundraising and,

more importantly, to help

run such events.

Under threat is the popular

annual FoSCH village

lunch, which needs more

committee members to help

organise and run it. This

year’s FoSCH book stall at

the village fête raised only

£168 compared to a previous

record of more than £400.

The Friends were set

up 10 years ago by retired

clergyman Canon Doug

Redman who handed over the

reins of chairman to parish

councillor Trisha Fermor

shortly before his death. The

charity has donated several

thousand pounds on a variety

of improvements to Trinity

Church including decorating,

the installation of bespoke

new oak cupboards, the

garden area, and latterly

the kitchenette in the new

extension to the Parish


Cllr. Fermor said: “I feel

I am letting down Canon

Redman. We lost our hon.

secretary who moved away

from the village and appeals

for a replacement have gone

unheeded as have calls for

more villagers to join the


“I would stress we do

not have any plans to close

FoSCH and we hope more

people will join to help

maintain our lovely church.

But reluctantly we feel we

cannot continue to organise

events without more help.”

Anyone who would like

to join the committee can

contact Cllr. Fermor at

or membership secretary/

treasurer Peter Mellor at

Creatures Great

and Small...


for thinking they were seeing

things when animals of all

kinds met at St Dunstan’s


The vicar of Cranbrook, the

Rev Ann Pollington, presided

over a special pet blessing on

one of the hottest days of the

year. Among the more unusual

pets were two ferrets who

rested quietly in their owners’

arms, while dogs of all shapes

and sizes made up most of

the congregation. Among the

hymns were All Things Bright

and Beautiful in honour of the

pets. TF






Raises £1,655

for Children

In Need

New Partner at Buss Murton Law


delighted to announce the

appointment of Julie Taylor to

the role of partner based at its

Cranbrook office.

“Julie has worked

tirelessly over

the last three

years to grow

and develop

the firm’s


services across

the Weald as well as

continuing to strengthen and

expand the firm’s presence

and commitment within the

local community”, said Andrew

Linton, the firm’s managing


Commenting on her

promotion, Julie said: “I am

honoured and privileged to

accept the appointment of

Partner at Buss Murton Law

LLP. I would like to thank

the partners and my fellow

colleagues for their continued

support which has

helped me achieve

this promotion. I

look forward to

working with

the team in the

many exciting

opportunities for

the future of the


Buss Murton Law is based

in Tunbridge Wells with offices

in Cranbrook, Dartford and East

Grinstead. With nine partners

and 28 fee earners, the firm

works with commercial and

private clients across the South

East of England.

For further information go to

Parish CakeWinter 2018 11


Councillor Turns his

Back on Tunbridge

Wells’ Tory Group


claims the


the borough

has shown for

villagers he

represents forced

his hand.

In his letter of

resignation. Cllr Hannam, who

is TWBC’s member for Sissinghurst

and Frittenden, said his views on

the council borrowing £91million to

build a new theatre and office block

were well known.

He has also criticised the council

for going ahead with a new refuse

contract which sees householders

paying a starting price of £52 a year

to have their garden waste collected.

This, he said, is far higher than the

previous figure of £30.

The weekend refuse service, he

wrote, will be further restricted and

will not accept garden waste.

“The result of these new

initiatives will bring in £600,000

which will go to paying off the

interest payments on the new

theatre,” he said.

“I believe that this treats the

residents of Frittenden and

Sissinghurst with contempt, making

us cash cows to fund a vanity project

many miles away that few of us will

ever use.”

His attempts at finding ways a

new waste contract could serve

the needs of residents had been

“brushed aside” and he could no

longer sit with the Conservative


He said he would remain on the

council as an independent and will

not seek re-election in May. TF

Troy Scott Smith to Leave

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

AFTER 12 years at

Sissinghurst Castle – four of

them as head gardener – Troy

Scott Smith is to leave.

The announcement was

made just days after he

helped renowned garden

designer Dan Pearson present

a scheme to restore the Delos

garden to its former Greek


Mr Scott Smith had his first

encounter with Sissinghurst

more than 26 years ago

when he worked there as a


“I had no thought then that

one day I would return and be

responsible for the garden as

head gardener,” he said.

He returned to Sissinghurst

4 years ago and has been

heading up a seven-year plan

for the future of the gardens.

He will be leaving in July next

year to take up a job as head

gardener in a private garden.

Sissinghurst’s manager

Philip Barnes said: “Troy has

been an outstanding head

GP Hours Extended

AS PART of a nationwide drive to improve

access to GPs, Weald surgeries are now

opening for longer.

To combat long waiting times to see a

doctor, a new system has been launched

which will allow people to make an

appointment between 8am and 8pm

Mondays to Friday and on Saturdays,

Sundays and Bank holidays.

Appointments can be pre-booked for

routine matters or at short notice for less

routine needs. Nurses and other health

professionals will also be available in the

evenings and on Saturdays.

gardener and has helped

shape and set direction for

the garden by introducing

the renewal project which

commenced four years ago…

“To be in charge of one

of the finest gardens in the

world has I know been a huge

privilege and one that Troy

has done with a huge amount

of professionalism and

careful consideration.”

Hard on the heels of the

resignation of Sissinghurst

Castle Garden’s head

gardener Troy Scott Smith,

his assistant Wendy

Tremenheere handed in her

notice after 20 years’ service.

Wendy said:

“Unfortunately, purely

co-incidentally, my

announcement closely

follows Troy’s. However, I am

confident the garden will be

left in good hands with an

experienced, enthusiastic and

professional team. I will miss

all of them as much as I will

miss the garden.”

Working for the National

Trust in total for 30 years

she added: “I have loved my

time with the trust, working

in some fantastic gardens

with great people but I have

been thinking about making

a change for some time now

and decided my birthday next

year in March would be an

appropriate time to leave and

follow other ventures.”

Castle manager Philip

Barnes said it was hard to

articulate how important

Wendy’s contribution has


“Staff and volunteers have

a huge amount of respect for

her and a huge part of the

garden’s success must be

attributed to her dedication

and care.” TF

However, new appointments may not

always be provided at patients’ own GP

practices but full medical records will be

available at another surgery in West Kent.

Dr Bob Bowes, chairman of the NHS

West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group,

said: “We know that sometimes people

have a long wait to see their doctor and

we believe the new longer hours service

will be of particular help to commuters,

parents with young families and other

people who find it difficult to get to their

practice during normal working hours.”

Patients are being encouraged to tell the

group about their experiences of the new

system by emailing nelcsu.engagement@ TF

12 Parish CakeWinter 2018


Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) Update

ALL NDP groups have the right to

decide which sites are allocated for

development (housing, business etc),

but each site needs to be assessed by

the local planning authority and KCC

Highways. A Strategic Environmental

Assessment is also undertaken which

involves consultation with Natural

England, Historic England and the

Environment Agency. This inevitably

causes delays to the process, and we

worry that our neighbourhood plan will

lose momentum.

Our NDP Steering Group and parish

council must decide whether it is better

to proceed with our plan without these

allocations to enable us to move forward

to the public consultation of the first full

draft of the plan.

Through a series of workshops between

members of the Steering Group and

TWBC Planning Policy department

we are working collaboratively on

this allocations process to allow the

community to have the greatest input.

Based on the evidence gathered

through the engagement process, the

NDP will support development schemes

which best meet the needs of Cranbrook

and Sissinghurst parish. We identified a

need for more affordable housing and for

more smaller housing units for entrylevel

and downsizers. We recognise that

to enable these we need to encourage and

support alternative methods of housing

delivery, such as community land trusts,

co-housing and self builds. Cllr. Nancy

Warne, chair, Cranbrook & Sissinghurst

NDP Steering Group

For more information visit www.

Affordable Homes

with a Difference

The Crane Valley Land Trust doesn’t settle for the

ordinary, writes Mark Wade

THE NEED for affordability has never

been greater with a shortfall of at

least 300 affordable homes within the

parish. Our research shows a ratio of

1:19 of average incomes to average

house prices locally. This is one of the

highest in the UK, making it virtually

impossible for aspirant workers to

live and work here – unless we as a

community do something about it.

The Crane Valley Land Trust (CVLT)

was formed to help tackle this critical

need – and not just in an ordinary

way. We stand for affordability to

rent or own and run by building to

Passivhaus standards – almost zero

heating bills.

We are all local volunteers

who freely donate our time and

effort because we care. We are

one of more than 290 community

land trusts across the UK: www.

As a registered community benefit

society, we can do all the usual

things national developers do: buy

land and build homes. That is where

the similarities end. As a trust, we

can also accept donations, receive

government grants, access social

investment funds and attract

favourable financing.

Our directors work for free.

As a not-for-profit company, the

CVLT does not have to return a 20 per

cent profit to shareholders; unlike

its commercial counterparts. This

means we can afford to build to much

higher standards than commercial

developers, while offering discounted

ways for local people to rent or own

their own home. Homes that will

remain affordable and in community

ownership in perpetuity.

The CVLT and Neighbourhood

Development Plan (NDP) are

dedicated to environmental

enhancement, not just protection.

We are guided by the High Weald

Area of Outstanding National Beauty


A passivhaus

development of

affordable and

full market homes

in Norwich by

Broadland Growth,

design by Hamson

Barron Smith

more info

(AONB) and by the Committee for

the Protection of Rural England

(CPRE) to maximise economic and

cultural benefit by putting our people,

businesses and nature first – no

ordinary approach.

We are your community trust. We

are proud to be working with the NDP

to find ways of meeting the aggressive

housing targets for the parish in ways

that offer a real alternative to the

mass executive, dormitory estates

of risible quality and no community

value being foisted upon us.

For more information on the trust and how

to become a member visit:

Parish CakeWinter 2018 13


A round-up of news from

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst clubs,

groups and associations





Orchestra’s regular members are

drawn from Kent and

Sussex – some have

been playing for

many years, others

have taken up

an instrument

in later life - but

all have a passion

for rehearsing and

performing classical


Members rehearse on a

Monday evening during school

term-time at High Weald Academy

in Cranbrook with Michael

Hitchcock – a much sought-after

conductor and orchestral trainer

and a former Director of Kent Music


The orchestra performs two

concerts a year, and has raised funds

for local charities – Hospice in the

Weald and Kent, Surrey, Sussex Air

Ambulance. Concert programmes

have featured a wide repertoire

– violin, cello, piano and trumpet

concertos, and overtures and

symphonies from many different


Keen to encourage

young musicians,

the orchestra has

enjoyed performing

concertos with the

cellist Laura van

der Heijden, winner

of BBC Young

Musician of the Year

in 2012, and pianist

Martin James Bartlett,

winner in 2014.

Our last two winter concerts

have welcomed Freddie Flintoff,

Benenden School Music Scholar, as a

soloist performing the Mendelssohn

Violin Concerto. Jackie Bell

New members are always welcome,


It’s time to

think bigger

WHAT LIMITS you? What’s preventing you

from fulfilling your dreams? Often it’s not the


We were recently privileged to host Reinhard

Hirtler, an international speaker from Brazil.

Reinhard visits The Vine each year and

whenever he’s here he brings inspirational

stories and motivational Bible teaching. This

year was no exception.

In addition to his busy speaking schedule,

Reinhard and his wife, Debi, have a dream to

open 100 homes for street-children. In Brazil

there’s no state funding for orphanages, the

bureaucracy a maze and corruption is rife.

People said they were crazy, that there was

no hope and that they’d never get anywhere

with their dream. In spite of this they’ve just

started building the fourth home for another 30

children, and it’s already fully funded!

Whatever your dream, the naysayers will

tell you it can’t be done. There will always be

“insurmountable” problems and reasons you

shouldn’t pursue your dream. But, as Reinhard

reminded us from Matthew’s gospel, Jesus said,

“if you have faith as small as a mustard seed...

nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mt 17:20)

So, if “faith comes from hearing” what God

says, what does He say about your dream? Chris


For more information on the Vine Church, call

01580 712620 or visit

14 Parish CakeWinter 2018

club news



PLANS FOR a new clubhouse

on the Tomlin Ground have

been published.

We are now planning our

fundraising and preparing

to make applications to a

number of sources, including

the National Lottery, Sports

England and the local


Since the merger of the

rugby and cricket clubs

in 2012, we have worked

on improving the playing

facilities and now have

excellent rugby and cricket

facilities for our playing

members, including our ladies’

team, junior members and

their coaching programme. To

attract funding for clubhouse

facilities, we must show that

these are widely used and

needed so are looking to

involve more sports, especially

for mid-week users. We

already have regular use from

the Triathlon Club and various

exercise classes.

We would like to hear from

others who might want to use

the proposed clubhouse which

includes a bar and kitchen and

a function room able to seat

150 people. This area will have

a portable screen so the space

can be divided into two areas.

We also want to boost

our membership and

actively become more of a

community club. To this end,

we have introduced a new

social membership - annual

subscription £50 - which we

hope will encourage many

to join. There are matches to

watch and always a welcome

at the bar in the present

clubhouse – with discounted

drinks for club members.

Tim Fagg, chairman

Further information is on our

website – www.cranbrook Enquiries about

membership should be

made to Peter Jovanovic

(07720 260770). peter@

16 Parish CakeWinter 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

British-made gifts, art exhibitions &

creative workshops in Cranbrook

47b High Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3EE

Parish CakeWinter 2018 17




We asked some Cranbrook and Sissinghurst residents to share

the music they enjoy listening to during the festive season.


Good King Wenceslas – It provides

me with the vision of snow and winter

weather and charity to all people are

my thoughts of Christmas. Linda


Rockin’ Around The Christmas

Tree - reminds me of watching

Home Alone and being all warm and

snug indoors as a kid surrounded by

Christmas decs and presents! Julie


The Shepherd’s Farewell – I

particularly like the different choral

harmonies and the whole piece has

a wonderful calmness. I’ve enjoyed

singing it with the Cranbrook Choral

Society for over 20 years. Pat Stearns

While Shepherds Watch’d Their

Flocks (to the tune ‘Cranbrook’)

– It was written by Thomas Clark

of Canterbury for another hymn

altogether. You might know it as

“On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at”. It’s such

a joyous tune and the repetition of

lines emphasises ‘And Glory Shone

Around.’ Cranbrook is the tune for

Christmas. Rev. Peter Michell

Boar’s Head Carol – is a melodious

and haunting macaronic 15th century

English Christmas carol that describes

the ancient tradition of sacrificing

a boar and presenting its head at a

Christmas time feast. It brings back

memories of school when the boar’s

head is carried on a platter carried by

four Sacristans and preceded by the

mustard pot carried by a fifth. Peter


O Come All Ye Faithful – my first

memory of attending Midnight Mass

when I was all grown up and allowed

to stay up late was this carol! It was

the hymn in the middle of the service

and I noticed we started singing it

when it was still Christmas Eve. When

the final verse came and we sang ‘Yea

Lord we greet thee, born this

happy morning’… I looked at my

watch again and saw it was just past

midnight, it was indeed Christmas

morn. Rev. Ann Pollington

Good King Wenceslas – When we

were young, it was always snowy at

Christmas. We used to go out in the

dark singing this carol with torches

and explore the garden and the copse

and look for animal footprints like

rabbits and our chickens. Happy

memories. It was fun. Anne Marley

Fairytale of New York – by The

Pogues & Kirsty McColl, it takes

me back to when my oldest two

children were young, I have really

fond memories of them singing it

and the excitement of Christmas

coming! Lori Ham

Once In Royal David`s City – was

composed by HJ Gauntlett who was

my wife Sarah`s great, great great,

great grandfather; an opportunity

to reflect on past times, friends and

relations who have passed to the

other side before, of course, getting

stuck in to the turkey. Hugh Ellison

And from staff at the Buss Murton

Law offices in Cranbrook, Dartford,

East Grinstead and Tunbridge


Driving Home For Christmas I

just love the melody all upbeat

and happy. Winter’s Tale reminds

me of staying with my lovely Nan

during the Christmas holidays. Last

Christmas gives me wonderful

teenage Christmas memories.

Little Donkey reminds me when

my children were small. It Came

Upon The Midnight Clear such

beautiful words, so relevant. Jingle

Bells what’s not to love? Silent

Night a classic with beautiful


18 Parish CakeWinter 2018


Let There be Light!

Urgent work needed as fire hazard increases, writes Trisha Fermor

AS PART of plans to make St. Dunstan’s

Church safer a scheme has been launched

to raise £132,000 to completely overhaul

the wiring.

The present system was installed 40

years ago and has deteriorated, according

to a report made in 2009, and a further one

this year which noted the effectiveness of

the insulation has resulted in increased

fire hazard.

Parochial church council member Nye

Jones said the future of the “Cathedral

of the Weald” relied on making the

building safer, fit for purpose and ready

to accommodate future needs of the

community and congregation.

He said: “Our plan is for the unique

asset of St. Dunstan’s…to engage more

with culture and the arts, to create

enterprise and to be

more sustainable


The vicar, the Rev

Ann Pollington said:

“We have been told

that people going

out to various bodies

to raise grants can

expect only 29 per cent of the total which

leaves us with £71,000 to find.

“Recently I asked the congregation

if any of them had made a will leaving

money to the church would they consider

donating it now so they can see how it is

being spent.”

The Let There Be Light campaign

aims to raise the money in 2019 and is

looking to the generosity of the Cranbrook

community, the worshippers, local and

national businesses as well and charities

and grant making bodies.

Anyone who would like to donate can

make out a cheque to St Dunstan’s PCC

and send it to the vicar at The Vicarage,

Waterloo Road, Cranbrook TN17 3JG.

7 High Street,

Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3EB

Phone: 07917 252 585

07786 707 476

b Larkins’ Alehouse a @larkinsalehouse


Cranbrook’s first Micropub

It’s a place to meet up with friends, chat

and enjoy a pint of real ale straight from

the cask. Local ciders and wines are also

available, as are soft drinks. Free from TV,

music and mobile phones.

We now have our back garden open for


Check out the daily updated Webpage,

Facebook or Twitter pages to see which

ales and ciders are currently available.

Opening Times:

Mon and Tue 14.00 - 21.00

Wednesday 12.00 - 21.00

Thur to Fri 12.00 - 22.00

Saturday 12.00 - 22.30

Sunday 12.00 - 18.00

Calling all Stall Holders!

We are looking at holding an outdoor

Market in The White Horse Car Park,


If you’d like to join us - please call either

Wendy – 07786 707476

Julie – 07717 252585 or

Elaine – 07803 340682

Or email:

Parish CakeWinter 2018 19



of the great events

we are rightly proud of!

Second Literary

Festival a Huge Success

CODS - Guys and Dolls Review

OVER A four-show run Cranbrook Operatic

and Drama Society (CODS) played to

packed audiences at the Queen’s Hall

Theatre in Cranbrook. Often described as

the best-ever American musical, it was

directed by Annie Hatcher with support

from her musical director John Williams.

The show opened with a great overture

played by the in-house 10 piece orchestra.

Cleverly placed at the rear of the stage

both in view and then hidden behind

a tasteful white curtain when scenes


This production had strong

performances from leading roles, including

in pictures



debut CODS performances for Duncan

Fryer as Nathan Detroit, Monika Green as

Sgt. Sarah Brown and Louise Franklin as

Miss Adelaide. Simon Tomlinson starred as

the smooth Sky Masterson.

The famous number, Sit Down, You’re

Rockin’ the Boat was superbly delivered

by old favourite Robin Harrison playing

Nicely-Nicely Johnson. An encore ensued

mid-show which is a rarity in any theatre.

The whole cast clearly enjoyed

performing and a packed house left into a

cold night chattering about another great

CODS autumn musical.

Andy Fairweather

THE TOWN was buzzing for two days with all

things “booky” when the second Cranbrook

Literature Festival was held in September.

It was a real community event and the aim

of the organisers was to promote the joy of

reading and the written word to people of all

ages, said founder Christine Newman.

The not-for-profit festival sees all the

money raised from ticket sales being ploughed

back into events for schools in the area to

provide them with an author to spend time

with pupils.

This year, six local schools benefited from

visits by authors Sarah Driver, Jonny Duddle,

Kevin Brooks and Natasha Farrant. Festival

founder Christine Newman said: “They

all thoroughly enjoyed their time with the


Events for adults included an evening with

BBC presenter, journalist and writer Jeremy

Vine, a talk about her recipe books from TV

celebrity Davina McCall, and poetry theatre

with renowned performance poet Luke


The festival also ran creative writing

workshops, poetry sessions and talks from

authors including Alison Weir, Ann Morgan,

Louise Dean, Jane Thynne and Mimi

Anderson. There were also competitions for

children of all ages, including writing short

stories and creating book mark designs.

Twenty four shop owners took part in

creating a Guess the Book Title design in their

windows. James Steel was the winner with 23

correct answers, Debbie Bell second and the

Lock family third.

Mrs Newman said: “All in all, a

terrific community event, all

organised by hard working

The event

was joint runner up

volunteers to help promote

with the Weald Literary

the love of the written word

Festival in the Cultural

– and hopefully keep people Event of the Year

of all ages off their electronic


devices for a while!”

20 Parish CakeWinter 2018


Sissinghurst Flower Show

Success – Again for Beryl!

THERE WAS strong competition

in some classes, not least the

children’s efforts to raise a few

laughs at the village’s autumn

flower show.

The long and very hot summer

led to problems with many

flowering plants being past their

best but entrants still managed

to find plenty of colourful plants

to fill the primary school hall.

The children, however,

managed to create some of the

most intriguing offerings from

vegetables and fruit to decorate

several tables.

Vegetable growers produced

some prize winning specimens.

A giant pumpkin, which

needed two men to carry into

the hall, was produced by the

Sissinghurst Scout Group.

Its leader Jan Ashley proved

how big it was by trying to get

her arms around it. Charlotte

Crabtree showed off her weird

looking Trompeta de Albenga,

which looked more like a snake

than something to eat.

Stalwart member Beryl

Bancroft was delighted to be

the first recipient of the Nancy

Congreve Memorial Trophy for

the most points in the three

shows of 2018.

She said: “I was so pleased,

I did want to win the trophy

because I was very fond of

Nancy, she was like family.”

In her later years, Mrs

Bancroft cared for Mrs Congreve

along with Deirdre Robb.


in pictures


Apple Fair


Parish CakeWinter 2018 21


500th Anniversary

Talks at



Headmaster Dr. John Weeds reports on two of

the talks given by Old Cranbrookians this year

in celebration of the school’s quincentenary.


A packed Queen’s Hall Theatre

was treated to an excellent talk

by BBC weather presenter Sarah


The former head of Scott

House gave a highly-informative

talk focussed primarily on her

scientific background and career

path at the Met Office and then

the BBC. The audience was

treated not only to a nostalgic

glance at the school in Sarah’s

time at Cranbrook, when she

was taught geography by current

assistant head David Swinburne

and, now sadly deceased, Tim


Clearly both had a big

impression on Sarah as she

went on to read the subject

at university, specialising in

the meteorology which has

formed the basis of her highly

successful career. In addition

to the scientific insights, Sarah

gave a real flavour of life on the

other side of the cameras.

In particular we got to know

of some of the unsociable

hours, including 3am starts, the

unscripted nature of weather

broadcasts and the technology

behind the satellite-style

weather maps which were

introduced recently by the BBC,

apparently causing quite a bit of


The mixed audience of

students, current and former,

teachers, parents and other local

people also had an opportunity

to ask Sarah a whole range of

questions. One such revealed

that, according to Sarah and

the scientific data, Gravesend

is officially the driest place in

Britain. All in all, a fascinating

and hugely enjoyable evening

– another wonderful example

of Old Cranbrookians stepping

up to the national stage in their

chosen field.


Ptolemy Mann studied at

Central St Martin’s and the

Royal College of Art after

her secondary education and

A-levels at Cranbrook School

and a foundation art course in


She has gone onto create a

myriad of stunning images in

textiles and position herself a

leading textiles designer and

entrepreneur. A good sized

audience of students, staff,

parents and people from the

local community were treated

to a highly absorbing slide show

of the most beautiful pieces of

Ptolemy’s work.

At the root of her artistic

philosophy is a deep-seated

love of weaving, in which craft

she has developed outstanding

technical skills. Secondly,

Ptolemy is a great advocate

of colour and illustrated her

talk with sumptuous images of

gloriously colourful building

designs, wall coverings, carpets,

Bauhaus-style furniture and

even the odd John Lewis cushion


She spoke glowingly of the

influence Cranbrook School had

had on her artistic development,

especially the expedition to


She provided inspiration to

students by stressing the need

to marry “art” with “craft” in

their artistic pursuits. Equally

telling was her candour about

the ups and downs of the

business world and her major

influences – Bauhaus, Anni

Albers and the Ikat school of

fabric design. The talk was a

very worthy addition to an

outstanding series of lectures

by Old Cranbrookians this year

on a stunningly diverse range of


22 Parish CakeWinter 2018

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Parish CakeWinter 2018 23

short story

The Battle of Brian

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

THE LOCAL obituaries have just

informed eighty-three-year-old

Brian Pilpott that his best-friend

from childhood, Laurence Ledger

has died on September 20th. The

exact date that in 1943 both he

and Laurence were nearly killed.

Laurence emerged from that day

a local hero; inwardly Brian felt

second best. But did Laurence

die on that specific date by

coincidence? Lost in memories

of the past, Brian finds he has

wandered to the Cranbrook High

Street shop, with the cement step

that is so old it is sunken in the


Brian peered down at his

orthopaedic, brown leather shoe

that rest in the groove of the

sunken-step. For so long, he had

actively tried to avoid this shop

and the memories it held. But

not today. Brian placed a shaky,

swollen jointed hand on the silver

doorknob, took a breath and then

burst inside.

He took in his surroundings. As

an eight-year-old, this had been

Brian’s favourite shop mainly due

to the selection of Beano comics

and the pick and mix lolly jars. So

to see nothing had changed, at all,

was, well –disconcerting. Even the

lolly jars, due to sugar rationing,

were mostly empty or just a quarter


He turned his gaze to the bay

window. Outside on the High Street,

men wore hats, women wore victory

roll hair-styles and ragamuffin

children wore hand-me-down

clothes. I’m back. So I’m…

“Not dead,” said a female voice.

He looked up to see a painfully thin

and pale woman, standing behind

the shop counter. She smiled at him

without warmth and then loftily

declared: “How often do you hear

about elderly people wandering

off appearing upset or confused or

both? Patronisingly family deem

them lost. Are they? Or have they

been found? By me.” She tilted her

head. “I, mercifully, take them to

the exact moment of their precious

past that they obsess, I mean,

reminisce, about the most.”







“Who are you,” Brian demanded

in a shaky voice.

“I’m the string in the music of

time, Brian.” She pointed a long,

bony finger to the clock. “At elevenpast-three

precisely, you know what

happens.” Brain saw it was now

nine-past-three. She pointed to the

door. “You can open that door, step

outside and re-enter September

20th, 1943. Become a child again.

Become the local hero. You can

change your fate,” she keened.

This feels wrong! Brian’s stomach

bubbled with fear.

“Brian? Do you ever wonder if

your wife, Clementine, wished that

Larry-Lovely-Ledger, as the girls

used to call him, had of proposed,


I won’t hide this time, thought

Brian as he strode to the door and

placed a trembling hand on the

doorknob. Just then, the sound

from a low flying plane, filled the

air. The people outside stopped

what they were doing and looked

up. “It’s not one of ours,” Brain

whispered, tragically.

No, it was is a German Focke-

Wulf 190 flying level with the

buildings on the Cranbrook High

Street, preparing to perform a ‘tip

and run’ on the local residents

below. ‘A hit ‘n’ run,’ Laurence

had savagely named these

spontaneous, pilot-initiated


The locals outside began to

scatter in panic. Like an explosion,

the rolling-roar of cannon fire

filled Brian’s ears. The street

below burst open with spraying

asphalt, flying glass and screams.

Determined, Brian flung the door

open. The window of the shop

exploded and the noise of war

filled the world.

Two young boys, sprinting for

their lives, barrelled towards the

shop. It was Laurence and Brain.

Boy-Brain unseeing of the elderly

man on the stoop, dove into

the sunken groove of the shop

doorstep and folded himself up

into a ball. Brian looked down on

himself and wanted to scream: ‘get

up and be a man!’ But the littleboy

was shaking and crying so

ferociously, Brian was surprised

by a sudden surge of compassion.

Poor wee thing! Brian reached out

to place a reassuring hand on the

boy’s shoulder. But the boy was

24 Parish CakeWinter 2018

short story

gone. That was when Brian noticed

his reassuring hand was now small,

with unblemished skin and that of

an eight-year-old. The tiredness of

age lifted from Brian like a weight.

I’m young again! His knees no

longer hurt and he bent them

in readiness. It would be Brian

who would see that a young

mother pushing a bucket pram

had frozen statue-still in shock

with her eyes bulging impotently

at the approaching plane. Just as

Brian began his launch a terrified

looking Boy-Laurence pushed

him backwards, then pelted past.

Cannon fire stabbed the pavement

in his wake. An explosion of

asphalt sent Laurence flying into

the mother knocking her down

and tipping the pram onto its side.

The German plane whizzed over

Laurence and the now screaming

mother and child beneath him

and soared up into the air, then

disappeared. And just like that, it

was over.

A moment of horrified

silence before the shocked and

traumatised locals began to peer

around owlishly. Those who could

stand, did so. Some could not and

others…they did not move at all…

“You COWARD!” shrieked the

woman behind him.

“There are no cowards in war,”

Brian roared and heard his voice

was old again. He turned around

and was surprised to see the shop

now contained modern women’s

clothing. But outside, it was still

1943. Then Brian noticed the

dejected looking young-Larry,

staring wistfully at the elderly-


“Larry!” yelled Brian, holding out

a gnarled hand, “now let me save

you, my friend.” Hope washed over

Larry’s young face as he sprinted

then leapt up into Brian’s open

arms. Brian stumbled backward as

he pulled Larry over the threshold.

There was a flash of the elderly

Larry who mouthed ‘thank you’

before he faded away.

“Weren’t we two old fools?”

Brian whispered to thin air.

“Pardon?” asked a nervous voice

he didn’t recognise. A woman, sat

behind a small desk clutching a

mobile phone.

Brian’s face split open into a

large and happy smile, as he strode

to the door. “I said, I’m going


They took a step.

Sutton Valence

Preparatory School

New 50-week


From January 2019, Sutton

Valence Prep School will be

offering high-quality nursery

provision for 50 weeks a year.

Wrap-around-care from 7.30am to 6.00pm

Exceptional nursery care in stunning surroundings

Morning transport service from Headcorn Station

15-hour free entitlement sessions available

Limited number of 30-hour free-entitlement sessions

Children can join in the term they turn three

Please contact Abigail Betts for further information:

T: 01622 842117 | E:

Parish CakeWinter 2018 25


Our new service is now available, so why

not get in touch to find out more.






Whether you’re an athlete, sporty or just like

to be able to indulge in a bit of shopping or

walking the dog, it’s easy to forget how much

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Tinker, Tailor,

Soldier –


Our parish’s firefighters are a closeknit

team. Trisha Fermor reports

THE ROLE of firefighters has

changed dramatically since

the days of horse drawn water

pumps and hand-rung brass

warning bells.

Cranbrook Fire Station has

been in the town more years

than anyone can remember –

once housed in what is now the

parish council’s office at the

Vestry Hall. Then there were

moves to sites at Baker’s Cross

and the Regal Car Park.

Since 1988, the 13 men who

make up the team have had a

purpose-built station to house

the appliance at the top of the

High Street. It carries all the

latest equipment to tackle jobs

from fighting fires to cutting

crash victims out of vehicles

and saving heart attack victims

with a defibrillator.

According to Andy Parkes,

watch manager, between 1

April and 2 October this year,

the crew has been called out

323 times, the majority of calls

having nothing to do with fires

or car crashes.

He said: “Seventy per cent

of call-outs are for medical

problems. It is not uncommon

for us to turn up at someone’s

house before an ambulance.”

This new role as first

responders has helped




a wide area

covered by


to be treated

quickly especially

when an ambulance with

paramedics was too far away or

already treating someone.

Mr Parkes was keen to stress

that the crew was a closeknit

team with the emphasis

on supporting each other

particularly after incidents

involving fatalities.

“If someone is a bit down or

very quiet after an incident we

support them. There is good

camaraderie and much more

support now than before about

mental illness and trauma

training,” he said.

Tuesdays is training night

and jobs can include cutting up

cars with the latest equipment

or covering the high tower in


The crew all live within

five minutes of the station

and there is always room

for more to join. The latest

recruit is Scott Spencer, 27,

who said: “Being a firefighter

was something I have always

wanted to do.”


team at



from a


to a window

cleaner and a

transport manager to

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Nail clipping spa treatments hair styling bathing

teeth treatments and hand stripping.





a shop manager. They are Phil

Gower, Scott Spencer, David

Howell, Steve Mummery, Paul

Munday, Ben Neal, Mike Bailey,

Fred Lineham and Tom Snell.

Anyone wanting to become a

firefighter can go to the Kent

Fire and Rescue website (www. and apply.

2b Carriers Road, Cranbrook, TN17 3JU

07596 911331

Parish CakeWinter 2018 27

in bloom

Awards Double

For Cranbrook


Gold and Silver Gilt for green-fingered

enthusiasts, writes Trisha Fermor

THERE WERE two very good

reasons for celebrating

Cranbrook in Bloom’s successes

this year.

Not only did it win gold again

in the South and South East in

Bloom competition for making

the town look so stunning

but also a silver gilt in the

invitation-only nationwide

Britain in Bloom


Only seven small towns

in Kent were invited to take

part in the latter competition

with Tunbridge Wells and Deal

also awarded silver gilt.

The judges were bowled over

by the hard work people in

Cranbrook had put in to make

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the town look colourful and

clean. Among the judges’

remarks were “no sign of dog

mess, graffiti or litter seen”.

They were also impressed by

the windmill and commented

on the “innovative idea” of

sculptures around the town.

CiB chairwoman Linda Page,

speaking at the October

presentation night, praised

everyone who had worked so

hard. Certificates were given to

adults and children alike who

had joined in the community

effort. She also praised those

who had supported CiB’s

fundraising events, the garden

safari, apple fair and the

Chelsea fringe Nuts in May.

Among those at the celebration

evening were the mayor of

Tunbridge Wells Cllr. Len

Horwood and Cllr. Bridget

Veitch, chairman of Cranbrook

and Sissinghurst Parish

Council, who presented some of

the many awards.

Eleven certificates of excellence

were given to clubs and

businesses, as recommended

by the judges of South and

South East in bloom. The Cubs,

Rainbow pre-school, Cranbrook

Primary School gardening club

and forest school also received


Other winners were

Travis Perkins, Hurstways

Construction, Food for

Thought, White Horse, George

Hotel, Cranbrook School

Combined Cadet Force, and

Cranbrook Guides.

Linda and Brian Swann won

a silver gilt for their front

garden entry and 42 were

entered altogether. Eleven

gold awards were presented, 16

silver gilt and some silver and

bronze. Eight certificates of

appreciation were also given.

28 Parish CakeWinter 2018



How Wind-mill Lane

Became Quaker Lane

Cllr. Robin Beck

on the history of Quaker

Lane in Cranbrook


QUAKERISM IN Cranbrook began in 1655

with the arrival to the town of William

Caton and John Stubbs, two prominent

Quaker leaders in Kent.

Folklore tells of gatherings of the

converted beneath a large oak tree at

the top of Whitewell Lane and at private

dwellings including John Colville’s house at


In 1659 Andrew Rimmington of the

Cranbrook Quakers purchased land to

provide a burial ground as the clergy had

refused to bury those who had taken to the

Quaker beliefs. The quarter acre plot was

located on what is now the Ball Field.

However, any dissident groups that had

separated from the established church

suffered intolerance, animosity and legal

persecution. As the site was considered

to be too public a location for burials, the

vendor of the land was persuaded to retract

the sale.

A site was then located at Courtstile in

1672 which is still called the Quaker Burial

Ground, located at the corner of Quaker

Lane nearly opposite the Long Field


By 1722, the ground was

nearly full and the owner of the

Glassenbury Estate, was asked

for an extension to the plot

which was granted in November

that year. But by this time

Quakerism was beginning to decline

and the last meeting was held in 1751.

Local records denote that well over 100

Quakers were buried over the two sites, with

last ceremony in 1807 of Thomas Brown.

The Courtstile site remained the property

of the Quaker Society but in 1922 it sold

the freehold to Walter Horsley

of Wilsley. In 1946 the site

and surrounding plots were

auctioned, without any mention of

the burial ground being the final resting

place of many believers.

It appears the name changed from The

Wind-mill Lane to Quaker Lane around

1900, according to the memories of Charles

Kennard, a local octogenarian.


Parish CakeWinter 2018 29

In the


GARDENING IN the tremendous heat

of this Saharan summer must have

affected people in different ways. I

am sure I am not alone in coming

up with some bizarre thoughts while

trying to eradicate unwanted weeds

and pests and avoiding sunstroke.

Looking back on this particularly

difficult growing year I found my

mind wondering to remedies (rather

than brute force or poisons) for such

annoyances as slugs, ground elder,

bind weed, and other nuisances

which have plagued us for years.

Top of my “most unwanted” list

would be Aegopodium podagraria

– a rather grand sounding Latin

name for an irritating plant which

can spread faster than Mo Farah

can run.

One day when temperatures again

hit 33C, I was doing battle with this

interloper, pulling out handfuls of

long white roots and wondering

what other use they could be put to.

Well, foraging is now the trendy way

to go.

With more and more people

turning their backs on conventional

food, perhaps these white wonders

could find their way as a substitute

for spaghetti or noodles?

This led me to wondering how

else we could avoid trips to the

supermarket for comestibles. Snails

were pretty annoying this year

and rather than buying prepacked

molluscs from trendy fooderies

we could start our own snail farm,

especially if we grow lots of dahlias

which seem to be their favourite

food. We would obviously have to

grow our own garlic and parsley as

the traditional garnish.

But it’s not just snails which

are sent to try us. Slugs are a huge

Aegopodium podagraria (Ground Elder)

problem too but I am at a loss as to

what culinary purpose I could put

these irritants who make their home

in my borders, under pots and in the

cold frame. I have yet to find a recipe

for these fiends and to be honest I

am not sure how I could make them

exciting enough to serve. Then there

are the earwigs…

Perhaps the idea of eating

unwanted creepy crawlies to our

gardens is not the way forward

but foraging plants is certainly the

culinary trend of the moment.

Just imagine - flower beds alive

with nettles, docks, dandelions, wild

garlic, heartsease and countless

other nibbles waiting to be


No more scrabbling around with

“broken dinner knives” but the

sheer bliss of cutting and snipping

among the roses and lavender before

harvesting another handful of tasty

Aegopodium podagraria for dinner.

Happy Christmas!

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Christmas in a


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Makes 30 biscuits

225g brown sugar

225g honey

225g light molasses

250g sour cream

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp bicarbonate of


1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp cloves

1 tbsp cocoa

200g candied mixed peel

100g slivered almonds

225g flour.

Juice of 1 lemon

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4 Mix half the lemon

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Frohe Weihnachten and

a Happy Christmas!

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Parish CakeWinter 2018 31


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Views are


Peter Mellor explains how to add your opinion

about developments “bombarding”the parish


and their surroundings

are experiencing an

unprecedented bombardment

of planning applications by

various housing developers.

They are all jumping in

prior to our Neighbourhood

Development Plan (NDP) and

the borough-wide Local Plan

being determined.

Both Cranbrook and

particularly Sissinghurst

have never faced such huge

expansion that will affect all

our lives and the resulting

consequences on the local


It is extremely important

that when a planning

application is submitted to

Tunbridge Wells Borough

Council (TWBC), particularly

by a developer who will likely

affect the quality of life in

your own surroundings and/or

that of the local community,

that you take the time and

trouble to write or email your

views to TWBC.

The yellow planning notice

placed adjacent to the possible

development site will give

basic details and the planning

reference number – which

should always be quoted in

any written response.

For those on the internet -

search for our borough council

website and select Search

for Planning Applications,

read Comment on a Planning

Application and then carry out

a Simple Search to bring up

the details of the application.

To comment online you will

need to register with the


It is important to download

and read the useful TWBC

leaflet Having your Say before


For those not on the

internet - write a letter to the

borough, quoting the planning

application reference number

and the site name, and

send to: Planning Services,

Tunbridge Wells Borough

Council, Town Hall, Tunbridge

Wells TN1 1RS.

Your views are important

and are taken into

consideration by the borough

council – every comment,

email or letter counts - so

please just don’t leave it to


Don’t let developers do

what they want; if land has

to be developed, it should be

what we want!

ABOVE: The yellow planning notice placed adjacent to possible

development sites will give basic details and the planning reference



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34 Parish CakeWinter 2018


Vita and Harold’s Delos Replica

to be Restored

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens’ latest project

recreates a landscape from the Greek island

of Delos. Trisha Fermor reports


designer Dan Pearson is

behind an ambitious plan

to re-create an historic part

of Greece in the grounds of

Sissinghurst Castle.

The section of garden, named

Delos after the World Heritage

site, was originally laid out by

Vita Sackville-West and her

husband Harold Nicolson in

1935 after a visit to the island.

Mr Pearson, who has designed

gardens all over the world, has

offered his services free to the

National Trust and presented

his ideas to invited guests at

the castle in October.

He explained the plan – which

includes tons of Kentish

ragstone to replicate the

landscape and ruins of Delos

- was ambitious, but added:

“You have to break a few eggs

to make an omelette.”

He went on: “The garden is a

piece of theatre, a creation.

Delos is one of the most

important archaeological,

historical and mythological

sites in the world.”

The current garden, said Mr

Pearson, had lost its way

over the years and bore no

resemblance to what had been


Some trees will be removed

while others will be replaced

so the area can be opened up

to maximise light and sun.

The plan is to create terraces

of stone and planting will

be “ephemeral” to include

grasses, euphorbias, Judas

trees, columnar junipers and

even pomegranates. Muchneeded

drainage will also be

installed. It is hoped work can

start in February and take up

to two years.

At the end of Mr Pearson’s

presentation he was asked if

the garden would sit uneasily

next to the ancient castle


He said: “We need to be

confident about what we do.

We don’t want to be tentative.

It will work because it is


“It is not going to be a Chelsea

show garden in the wrong

place. I am sure we can get it




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36 Parish CakeWinter 2018


Update from

Cllr. Tracy Moore

Councillor Tracy Moore, cabinet member for

economic development, on Cranbrook as a

unique asset

I AM very aware that I have

responsibility for healthy local

economies across our beautiful

borough. Although Royal

Tunbridge Wells is the largest

town, and gets a proportional

share of attention, the borough

has other unique assets which

should not be forgotten.

This is something that’s been

in the forefront of my mind in

recent weeks as I’ve had the

pleasure of attending not one,

but two, networking events

in beautiful Cranbrook. I was

delighted to be present for news

of the launch of The Hive, a

new co-working space opening

in early 2019. This was closely

followed by my first Pudding Club

lunch hosted by Buss Murton.

Speaking to local businesses was

very informative and, I hope, the

beginning of a closer working


The borough council is

strategically focused and the

vision of the Five Year Plan

2017-2022 can be distilled into

‘Shaping the borough, making

a difference’, encompassing

the day to day services the

council provides and also eight

big projects. The Cranbrook

community centre is one of

these strategically important

projects where we are shaping

the borough.

The hub presents some

complex legal issues and the

council has been working with

the parish council to find a way

forward. It looks like we now have

an agreement, a project board

has been set up and a project

manager will be recruited shortly

– progress indeed.

The planning department

has been working very closely

with the parish council on

the Neighbourhood Plan.

The cooperation between the

















two is really productive, and

demonstrates a much more

collaborative approach to

planning policy formation for

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst than

has existed in the past.

There’s day-to-day interaction

between the council and

the parish and residents of

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst,

through planning decisions and

interventions, conservation

advice and more, which all leads

to ensuring that Cranbrook

retains its unique qualities while

remaining part of the wider



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Parish CakeWinter 2018 37



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38 Parish CakeWinter 2018


Droning On...

Drones – their uses, some myths

debunked and a look to the future.

Lance French reports

area of great excitement and

development and there is even

talk of creating a new flight level

for drone-only traffic. Given

the current rules and battery

technology, it may be a while

before the skies are full of them,

but drone delivery will come.

The CAA is working with the

industry to prevent chaos over


Do not expect to see the skies

full of drones spying on us in the

foreseeable future although they

will certainly be part of our lives.

There will be drone delivery of

urgent medical supplies, search

and rescue services, filming,

and maybe even personal flying

taxi drones, all in the name of


Remember – most drones are

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are not interested in spying on


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ever-growing market for these

must-have gadgets.

Flying drones is made easy

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much of the flying for the pilot.

The modern technology is wellproven

and reliable and while

accidents do happen, they are

thankfully very rare.

Most drones are electric

powered, relatively quiet

compared to aircraft and are

very small. It is hard to imagine

that the noise and sight of

them can really be considered a


All non-military UK airspace

is controlled by the Civil

Aviation Authority (CAA) and

no matter what you might be

told, they make the rules which

are enforceable by the police.

Pilots need the landowners’










permission to take off and

land. There is no such thing as

private airspace. What drones

photograph and film is covered

by privacy laws and it is no

different to using a camera

in the street – the same rules


The CAA’s remit is limited

to safety and does not include

concern over privacy or

broadcast rights. Privacy issues

are covered by the Information

Commissioners Office, not the


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Parish CakeWinter 2018 39

out & about

Helen Grant

Helen’s update on her work as MP for

Maidstone and The Weald

HELLO AGAIN everyone.

2018 has, inescapably, been

the year of the ‘B’ word for

us all and it seems certain

that the Brexit saga will run

for many more episodes, all

the way into the next decade.

This is a sea-change for our

country and I will continue

to work with local authorities

and the business community

to ensure that we minimise

the threats and maximise the

opportunities for our county.

Arterial highways after

Brexit is a work in progress,

but there’s also been a huge

amount of effort targeted

at restricting HGVs from

traversing our rural lanes and

bridges. A new multilateral

committee has been convened

for this purpose and I am very

pleased to be a member of the

team. I thank John Wilson and

Councillor Sean Holden for

their leadership in this task.

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E |

High Weald I have been

lobbying continuously for

improvements in our mobile

phone and broadband

communications. Alongside

copious correspondence I

also met with the Minister of

State for Digital to progress

that agenda. Some major

strides have been made with

the provision of fibre services

in Cranbrook but there’s still

much to do in and around

villages such as Sissinghurst

and Frittenden and I continue

to push for faster and more

consistent services in these


On a recent visit to Cranbrook

Rugby and Cricket Club,

to watch the ladies rugby

match, I learned of planning

permission success for a grand

new clubhouse. It will provide

the town with marvellous

new facilities, complimentary

to the proposed Community

Centre, and I was pleased

to be asked to get involved

in the fundraising effort by

Chairman Tim Fagg. Turning

to the action on the pitch, I

watched the number 14 player

with particular interest; Katy

Allen is my wonderful diary

secretary, a longstanding

Cranbrook resident and a

former Benenden school

student. I am proud to report

she was cited for her sterling

efforts after the match!

As we look toward 2019, if you

think I can help you, please get

in touch - I am at your service.

Call my constituency office

on 01622 669623, my London

office on 020 7219 7107 or


I wish you all a very happy



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Parish CakeWinter 2018 41

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42 Parish CakeWinter 2018

sponsored feature





Festive treats for everyone this

Christmas at Scotney Castle



something for everyone

at Scotney Castle.

Join in a traditional

Victorian Christmas

inside the house, let

someone else do the

cooking and treat

yourself to a traditional

two or three course

festive lunch in the cosy

tea room, or simply enjoy

a hot chocolate and

mince pie after a winter

stroll in the garden. Don’t

forget to avoid the busy

high streets and finish off

your day with a visit to

our gift shop for all those

last minute Christmas

goodies you need.

If you are visiting with

the kids then why not

complete our festive

family Noah’s ark trail in

the garden, visit Father

Christmas and Mrs Claus

for storytelling in the

Old Castle or wrap up

warm for a visit to our

children’s play area.



Saturday 1 Dec- Sunday 6

Jan, 11am-3pm.

Celebrate the Victorian

Christmas that the

Hussey family would

have enjoyed. Play with


toys under

the Christmas

tree, enjoy



sparkling in

the low light,

dance in the

hall and see the

dining room set

up for family







Saturday and Sunday 1,

2, 8, 9 & Saturday 15 -

Sunday 23 Dec, 9.30am &


Father Christmas will

be visiting Scotney and

helping families feel even

more festive this season.

There’s storytelling and

gifts to add a sprinkle

of magic to all who

visit (child £9, booking

essential - please note a

customer booking fee of

5% applies).



There are plenty of

options available in our

tea room, from light

snacks, hot meals or just


For more

information and

to book Christmas

experiences, please

call 01892 893869

or visit www.



mince pies. We have got

plenty of indoor seating

and a cosy log burner to

warm you up after your

visit to the garden. If you

are looking for something

more traditional you

can book a two or three

course Christmas lunch

in our tea room between

26 November and 21

December (Monday-

Friday only). Two

courses £22.95, three

courses £25.95. Booking




Saturday 1 - Monday 31

Dec, 10am-4pm.

Take part in our festive

family trail around the

garden inspired by our

Victorian Noah’s ark,

which will be on display

in the mansion. £2 per



Monday 5 Nov onwards.

Your Christmas shopping

is made easy with us.

Don’t battle the busy high

street but instead enjoy

the relaxing atmosphere

we can offer with a visit

to our exhibition inside

the collection followed

by lunch in our tearoom,

before buying all you

need with our fantastic

range of Christmas


Parish CakeWinter 2018 43


WOW What

an Evening!

MULTI-MEDIA events promotion company, The Big

WOW, held its first social networking event in the former

Wilsley Hotel, once the studio and gallery of the Royal

Academy and Cranbrook Colony artist John Calcott


Geoff Rabbatt (Direct

Electrical) and Tracy Moore

(cabinet member TWBC)

Joe Mallion (Engine Room), Jo

Pearce (Angel Fish Travel) and

Dan Jones (Angel Fish Travel)

Mark Ellis (Federation of Small

Businesses and TWBC) and Julie

Taylor (Buss Murton Law)

ABOVE: (left to right) Julie Taylor

(Buss Murton Law), Roger Keech

(Let’s Do Business and Start Up Loans

Company), Deborah Martin (Lloyd

Martin), Dan Jones (Angel Fish Travel),

Laura Clarke (Lloyd Martin) and Judy

Bishop-Lund (Arctic Fox)

David Northcroft (finance

director – retired) and

Tracy Moore (cabinet

member TWBC)


Bespoke framing services

Now open in Cranbrook, providing bespoke framing of original artwork,

prints, photography and memorabilia. Visit us at the workshop on Dorothy

Avenue for an estimate to create the perfect frame for whatever you want

to display, wherever you’re displaying it.

Bottlers, The Old Brewery, Dorothy Avenue, Cranbrook. TN27 3AL.

(t) (01580) 714220; (e); (f) @FramePlaceCranbrook;

ABOVE: Roger Keech (Let’s Do Business and Start

Up Loans Company) with Liz Goodfellow-Williams

(Wonder Women Network).

Designed to create a buzz around

business at the heart of the Weald, the

evening attracted many active and

influential members of the business


Among those that attended were

representatives from the Federation

of Small Businesses, Let’s Do Business

Group and the Start Up Loans Company.

Parish and borough councillors together

with many business people also



44 Parish CakeWinter 2018


The Hive business hub

to open in Stone Street

THE WAY people work and where has

changed in the past few years. Technology

and changes to employment laws have led

to a rapidly expanding workforce that is

more flexible and often functions remotely.

There is also a record number of new,

small companies being registered and

feedback shows they feel inadequately

supported. This is evident in areas such as

the Weald.

In 2016 Emma Wood and Stuart Smith

started looking for premises to launch a

hub to serve the business communities

bridging the Kent and Sussex border.

The aim was to create a centre offering

co-working, business support services

and a place for those running their own

businesses to be able to socialise and


New Hub to

Create a Buzz

The couple formed Flexi-Hubs and

have secured premises in Stone Street,

Cranbrook, to launch The Hive.

Due to open next month, (January) it

will offer a wide range of choices including

guest hot-desking, a confidential business

booth, a meeting and presentation suite

and an Anglo-Greek eatery. The centre will

be a Smartzone providing members with

their own secure IP, hyper-fast symmetrical

service and integrated telecoms.

Emma explained: “Our aim is to create

a vibrant and friendly hub, where anyone

starting or running their own business

can come for interaction, advice, support,

funding, solutions to problems and

company. Many who work at home alone

are in need of interaction with others. It

will also be an advantage to be able to work

in a way that suits them knowing they can

connect to a superior internet service.”

The couple worked hard building

relationships with organisations including

banks, enterprise-funds, investors and

advisors to build a support network for

members. The Hive will also offer help

to sixth form students to give them

experience of a co-working environment,

and exhibit art by Wealden artists.

For more information visit www.flexihubs. and hivehubs on Facebook and


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Parish CakeWinter 2018 45

Ask our



Buss Murton’s solicitors offer their expert advice


Private Drainage Systems –

Matters to Consider

Many rural properties are not

connected to mains drainage

for foul and surface water

drainage and instead have a

cesspool, septic tank or sewage

treatment plant in place. The

Environment Agency have in

place ‘General Binding Rules’

which must be followed if you

own a property with a septic

tank or sewage treatment

plant. Changes imposed by

the Environment Agency to

septic tanks discharging to a

watercourse may leave many

homeowners with a large bill to

upgrade their systems.

A septic tank is an

underground tank made of

two chambers where solids

sink to the bottom and

liquids flow over the top into

a drainage field. These tanks

are not permitted to discharge

into any watercourse. If the

existing system does drain to

a watercourse then under the

General Binding Rules, you

must replace or upgrade your

septic tank treatment system

to a sewage treatment plant

by 1 January 2020, or when

you sell your property, if it

is before this date. This may

therefore prove expensive to

the homeowner.

On the sale of your property

you must inform the new

owner in writing that they are

responsible for a septic tank

discharge, providing records

for maintenance and other

information about the tank, its

location and any changes made

to the system.

When buying property, you

must also consider (if the septic

tank or treatment plant is not

on land you will own) what

rights you have to use, maintain

and access the system. If the

system does not meet the

General Binding Rules then

you would also need to enquire

whether an Environmental

Permit is required.

If you would like to discuss

any aspect of selling or buying

a property then please do get in

contact with us.


Partner, Property and Private


We are happy

to assist with

any questions

– please

feel free to

contact me

on 01892

502 304 or by email kcarter@


Tips: How to Prepare For Your


The Christmas holidays will

soon be here. It is this time of

year when people re-evaluate

their lives and the New Year

can bring an increase in

the number of new divorce

applications. If you find

yourself considering making an

appointment in January here

are points to consider:

• Gather your Financial


Before your appointment

gather details of your

financial information.

Include estimates for

the value of your home,

mortgage, bank accounts,

savings, credit cards, loans,

pensions and earnings.

• Take care of yourself

It is extremely important

to take care of your mental

health. Your friends will

be able to support you

especially when frustrations

arise but consider

obtaining the support of a

professional counsellor or

psychotherapist to help you

through the process.

• Communicate with your



communication tends to

break down and it will help

the process if you can both

still discuss matters. If

you are going to find this



Find Buss

Murton Law at

31 High Street,


01580 712 215

difficult, consider engaging a

family counsellor

who will be able to provide a

safe environment for you to

do so.

• Consider alternative

methods of resolution.

Consider the alternative

methods of resolution,

such as mediation or a

collaborative approach which

is likely to result in lower


• Compromise

The outcome of divorce is

compromise. Being prepared

to discuss matters openly

will simplify proceedings and

reduce costs. If you can both

maintain this frame of mind

it is likely you will be able to

agree a resolution acceptable

to you both.

If you would like further legal

advice we offer a free 30 minute

meeting for initial enquiries on

any family law matter.


Partner, Family and


If you would

like to

discuss any

family or



then please

feel free to

contact me

on 01892 502 354 or by email


Parish CakeWinter 2018 47



and views from Cranbrook

& Sissinghurst Parish Council

Do you Know a

Community Hero?

THE PARISH Council has

been invited to put forward

nominations for the Kent

Association of Local Councils

(KALC) 2019 Community

Awards established to

acknowledge and give

recognition to those selfless

individuals from across the

county that have made a

significant contribution to

their local community.

Local Councils make their

own decisions about how

they want to identify those

who have made a significant

contribution to the local

community and there are no

pre-determined criteria for

what the contribution to the

community might be. The

High Sheriff of Kent, Jane

Ashton said: “There are many,

many unsung heroes in Kent

doing remarkable work for

the benefit of others in their

communities.” She added “The

KALC Awards give recognition

to those individuals and it

gives me real pleasure to

support them.”

Originally launched in 2013,

among last year’s winners

included volunteers who had

spent many years organising

village activities, fundraising

for good causes, keeping

villages clean, caring for the

elderly and lonely people, and

a bell-ringer who maintains

the bells and winds the church


Anyone that the parish

council thinks merits an award

can be nominated - the person

must live or work within the


The closing date for entries

is Thursday 31 January 2019.

Cllr. Brian Clifford

Parish Council

Meetings –

You’re Welcome!

THE PUBLIC are welcome

to all meetings. The

next Full Parish Council

meetings are on the 13

December, 10 January

and the 14 February in

the Council Chamber at

7.30pm. The March and

September Full Parish

Council meetings are held

in the Parish Room in

Sissinghurst at 7.30pm.

Our Committee Council Members




Cllr. B Swann


Cllr. Alison Bunyan

Cllr. Brian Clifford

Cllr. Andy Fairweather

Cllr. Kim Fletcher

Cllr. Bridget Veitch

Cllr. Nancy Warne




Cllr. Alison Bunyan


Cllr. David Cook

Cllr. Trisha Fermor

Cllr. Tim Kemp

Cllr. John Smith

Cllr. Nancy Warne.



Cllr. Brian Clifford


Cllr. Alison Bunyan

Cllr. David Cook

Cllr. Andy Fairweather

Cllr. Graham Holmes



Cllr. Andy Fairweather


Cllr. Robin Beck

Cllr. Brian Clifford

Cllr. Trisha Fermor

Cllr. Andy Fletcher

Cllr. Graham Holmes

Cllr. John Smith

Cllr. Brian Swann



Cllr. Nancy Warne


Cllr. Kim Fletcher

Cllr. Matt Hartley

Cllr. Tim Kemp

Cllr. John Smith

Parish Council Tree

Warden – Cllr. Trisha


Parish Warden – Ivor


(Cllr. Linda Hall is

not a member of a


48 Parish CakeWinter 2018




IT IS the individual responsibility of every

parishioner to take due care and attention

in adverse weather conditions.

The Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish

Council has made no arrangements this

winter for snow and ice clearance, salting

or gritting of the Regal, Tanyard or Jockey

Lane Car Parks.

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish

Council will not undertake clearance of

pavements within the parish. Residents

and businesses are encouraged to clear

the areas in front of their own property,

although this will be entirely at their own


There are salt and grit bins throughout

the Cranbrook and Sissinghurst parish for


use by parishioners. Spreaders are available

from the Parish Office at the corner of

Stone Street, under the Vestry Hall.

Throughout the winter season all

residents and visitors to Cranbrook and

Sissinghurst must use the roads, car

parks and pavements with due care and

attention. It must be clearly understood

that all users of the car parks do so at their

own risk.



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Nick: 07746 672946 Rob: 07961 637275



Parish CakeWinter 2018 49

local legend



A Q&A with racehorse owner and

former parish council chairman.

As told to Trisha Fermor


Bettenham in the parish

of Sissinghurst and then

I progressed across the

parish and went to live

in Sissinghurst Castle

Farmhouse. I now live in our

present house on the estate.



Little Stream Girls’ School

and then Coursehorn which

became Dulwich Prep School.

I was one of the first girls to

go Little Stream. Later I went

on to Walthamstow Hall and

then Sheffield University

where I read sciences. I

wanted to go up north. I was

brought up in an area where

everyone votes Tory but at

heart I am a socialist.


Working for the Royal

National Institute for the

Blind. I wrote their weekly

newspaper which was also

available in Braille. I then

went into publishing working

for David and Charles and

ended up as paperback

commissioning editor for Cape

Chatto and Bodley Head. That

was when I met my husband







Brian in London at the BBC.



When we came back to the

village in 1976 we lived near

the Three Chimneys and then

moved into our present home

on the Sissinghurst Castle




My grandfather Captain Beale,

who farmed at Sissinghurst,

was a magistrate with Vita

Sackville-West and my father

Stanley Stearns was chairman

of the Kent National Farmers’

Union. James, my brother,

was on the parish council

and public service was in the


Jack Moss encouraged me to

take his seat on the Cranbrook

and Sissinghurst Parish

Council and suggested I carry

on in the family tradition. I

was a member in the 90s and

chairman from 1999-2002.

I was also a governor of the

village primary school for 17

years (chairman for three) and

was involved with planning

the building of the new school.

I was also on the committee of

St George’s Institute. I am very

fond of the old building.



Oh dogs, particularly

Labradors. I have had many

happy days beating and



I was involved in a car

accident at Castleton’s Oak

which wrote off two antique

Belgian cars. The ambulance

came and I said I was OK but

the next two days I was in a

lot of pain.



Winning my first

steeplechase! I bred

thoroughbreds and was

lucky enough to have

two wonderful horses,

Sissinghurst Flyer and

Sissinghurst Storm who did

well. They were in training

with Robin Dickin in

Stratford-upon-Avon. When

I was younger Vita Sackville-

West named my horse




Coronation Street, I quite like

it and it reminds me of my

time up north [in a Yorkshire




Read, history and biographies,

I am not very keen on novels.



The sports bit of the Daily

Telegraph and the Guardian


50 Parish CakeWinter 2018

01580 852 727

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