Wealden Times | WT217 | March 2020 | Good Living supplement inside


Wealden Times - The lifestyle magazine for the Weald


AUGUST MARCH 2020 2019

WT Logo Kent and Sussex.indd 7 14/09/2018 14:10


Inspirational Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes

Designed to stand the test of time

The difference is in the detail

Please call for a brochure or visit our showrooms

Unit 9, Chart Farm, Seal Chart

Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0ES

Tel: 01732 762682

81 Calverley Road

Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2UY

Tel: 01892 520730


01580 291221 jminteriorsuk.uk

Please call to arrange an appointment at our Biddenden showroom









Welcome to to Heronden Veterinary Practice, Practice,

the the only only independent Veterinary Practice Practice in in Tenterden, owned owned

and and run run by a by local a local family family with with help help from from an amazing an amazing team. team.

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Veterinary Practice providing an an

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Pickhill Pickhill Business Centre,

Smallhythe Road, Road, Tenterden TN30 TN30 7LZ 7LZ


01580 763303



HerondenVeterinaryWT195.indd 1 24/04/2018 11:32

5 High Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3EB

01580 715144

Email: kld@kingsfords.net www.kingsfords-solicitors.com

We offer an excellent, swift and friendly service.

Conveyancing - Wills & Estates - Commercial Law -

Matrimonial Law - Prenuptial Agreements - Litigation -

Employment Law - Family Law - French Property

Conveyancing Services from £550.00+VAT

Wills from £220.00+VAT / Mirror Wills from £350.00+VAT

Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA's) from £250.00+VAT

(Initial fixed-fee appointments also available at our Cranbrook offices)

Litigation Solicitor from £200.00+VAT

Matrimonial Solicitor from £150.00+VAT

We will always try and match any quotation

Kingsfords Solicitors Limited registered office address 2 Elwick Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PD

Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority 621466



KingsfordSolicitorsWT208.indd 1 07/05/2019 11:00


March 2020









Maggie Alderson finds historical

treasures on the Wealden

property market now


This month take note of a

murder mystery, the new self

build and Women’s Day



Maggie Alderson tours the

home of acclaimed children’s

writer, Sally Gardner


Our guide to Sally’s

signature style


Take a look inside a cottage

with interiors designed by

Justine Hodgson-Barker


Imitate Justine’s fresh styling










Proof that preloved pieces

can be fashion forward


The star products of 2020’s

Beauty Bible awards revealed



How to ease or prevent



Sarah Maxwell puts an end

to exercise intimidation


Mums will love Nicci

Gurr’s beautiful bakes


Jo Arnell’s expert guide to

growing edible garden goodies


We celebrate biodiversity

Published by Priceless Media Ltd. Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street,

Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF | Call 01580 714705 | Email info@wealdentimes.co.uk

Visit wealdentimes.co.uk Copyright © 2020 Priceless Media Ltd. The views of

the advertisers & contributors are not necessarily those of Priceless Media Ltd.









Explore exciting extra curriculars


Hilary Wilce examines the significance

of learning environment


Find out about New Beacon School’s

child wellbeing conference


Get excited about March’s best events


Win a wardrobe edit, outfit building

or apersonal shopping service


Cooper’s Farm welcomes

this years’ calves



28 pages of

holidays, hobbies

and health for

over 50s. After

page 106.

Sponsored by


Fabulous 50+ fashion • Adventurous holidays • Exciting hobbies

‘Our Focus Determines Your Reality’




• Entrance hall • Three reception rooms • Kitchen/breakfast room • Five bedrooms (four ensuite)

• Annexe with kitchen/sitting room • Bedroom • Enclosed garden • EPC: n/a

Additional land available by separate negotiation

Sales & Lettings Team


The Cornerhouse, Stone Street, Cranbrook

01580 715400


Jane Emilie Chez Cathy Sara Debbie Debbie S Sharon Caroline Dianne



Welcome to Ambersey Green, a sought-after collection of 3 & 4 bedroom homes close to Hailsham.

• Beautiful 4-bed ‘Chicory’ and ‘Honeysuckle’ homes ready to move into, with stamp duty paid on selected plots!*

• Get the keys to your new home with 5% mortgage deposits from £18,750 with Help to Buy!**

• Inclusive finish as standard, meaning no need for expensive extras

4 bed ‘Honeysuckle’ from £375,000 | 4 bed ‘Chicory’ from £440,000

AMBERSEYGREEN.COM | 01323 459 744



*Offer subject to terms and conditions and available and only available on selected plots. **Deposit calculated based on a 5% mortgage deposit on a property valued at £375,000.

Ask a member of the sales team for more details. Information correct at time of print. Show home imagery is indicative only.





An impressive fi ve bedroom detached family home with just over 2,700

Sq Ft of accommodation, and located in a semi rural area with delightful

views, and close to Westernhanger which is a London mainline train

station, and the delightful town of Hythe. EPC E


This property is situated in the popular Village of Burmarsh on the sought

after Romney Marsh with popular country pub, picturesque village church

and many walks and rides in the vicinity. Close by is the seaside town of

Dymchurch with local shops, pubs and eating places. EPC: E

WAREHORNE £675,000

A striking three bedroom Grade II listed white weather boarded

detached cottage with a wealth of period features, three reception

rooms, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, bathroom and shower

room. EPC Exempt.


Smith Way is a PRIVATE collection of just 14 simply STUNNING

appointed FAMILY HOMES in the middle of the Kent countryside, but

with Headcorn Train Station less than half a mile down the road.






Weavers Park is an exclusive GATED development which offers an

EXCEPTIONAL range of 4 & 5 bedroom LUXURY homes built &

designed by Clarendon Homes.

MEET YOUR LOCAL Tenterden Team!


Over 150 independently owned branches across the UK. Jake, Andrew & Laura



01580 763 278

01303 261 557



01233 613 613

01303 210 335

Over 200 independently owned branches across the UK.




ORO £1.3 million

In an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with stunning countryside views, a

beautifully presented five bedroom house of almost 4,000 sq ft with a stylish

detached 3 bed holiday let, double garage with gym/office and a self-contained

summerhouse. In all about 1.06 acres (tbv) set on the edge of this historic town.


Located close to the village centre, a wonderful unlisted four bedroom period

property that offers accommodation of 2,200 sq ft, exuding warmth and character

with a contemporary, stylish interior making this a charming family home. Two

good sized gardens, off road parking and two single garages.


An attractive four bedroom detached property with spacious reception rooms

including a conservatory, in a small select cul-de-sac setting just a short distance

from the town centre. Attached double garage - ideal for car enthusiasts, large

terrace and well stocked garden. No chain.


A deceptively spacious individual detached property in tucked away setting just a

short stroll from the village. The accommodation comprises an open plan sitting /

dining room, conservatory, study and well-designed kitchen, 4 beds and 2 bath /

shower rooms. Double garage, parking and pretty south facing garden.


This stunning detached property was built to exacting standards 10 years ago

by the vendors being in a tucked away position close to the town centre. The

accommodation is light and bright, the epitome of low maintenance, contemporary

living and viewing is recommended to fully appreciate all on offer.


Standing in a wonderful plot of about 1.5 acres (tbv) this substantial and versatile 5

bedroom offers enormous potential for flexibility of use. Driveway with extensive

parking, double garage / pottery studio and covered heated swimming pool. Within

easy reach of the town centre.

Tenterden 01580 766044 | www.warnergray.co.uk | info@warnergray.co.uk



Have you got a large

garden or plot of land?

We are experts at working

with owners to maximise

the full value of their land

Industry leading experts

We take care of the planning permission!

The risk-free way to maximise your land

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What our clients say…

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in a professional manner. Their excellent

relationship with the local planning

department helped achieve a fantastic

result for us. We would have no

hesitation in recommending them to

anyone who wants to achieve planning".

Amanda and Robert Petch

June 2016

"The cost involved to try and

get planning on our land

were just not feasible for us.

Working with Country House

meant we didn’t have to risk

our money as they took care

of everything"

Mr C Partridge (Loose, Kent)

September 2016

For a free appraisal call 0843 557 4080



“Guy and team at CHH did a fantastic

job securing planning permission on

our rear garden plot. Although a fairly

problematic application (which took

over 18 months), they kept us informed

throughout the entire process.

I would certainly use them again”

David J (Oxted, Surrey)

January 2017




1 & 2 BED


2 & 3 BED














Beautiful homes surrounded by green open spaces and excellent local amenities just

400 metres from Tenterden’s boutique High Street. Church View offers an enviable

lifestyle that features the very best of town and country living.

Assisted Move Available | Help to Buy Available



Show homes open by appointment:

Visit dandara.com or call 01580 854076


Church View Sales & Marketing Suite, Recreation Ground Road, Tenterden, TN30 6RA

Specification may vary subject to house type and build stage. Full details available on request. Price and details correct at time of going to print. Computer Generated Images shown are indicative only.

Interior image shown is the 2 bed show apartment. *Part-exchange subject to availability and terms and conditions.

A.T. Palmer Ltd

Restoration Specialists Est.1949


| Employed Skilled Workforce

| Renovations & Extensions

| Conversions & Alterations

| Design & Build

T: 01233 770077

Smarden Business Estate, TN27 8QL





Hillside Park


Introducing the first ever Fernham Bespoke Homes collection. These luxurious four and five bedroom detached

houses can be internally customised to a buyer’s design needs, and may qualify for a reduced stamp duty benefit. *

• Hand-pick your specification • Alter the internal layout to suit you and your family

• Features include working fireplaces, bifold doors & double-height galleried hallways

• Authentic village setting for sustainable living • Community facilities within walking distance


01732 379947 | hillside.park@fernham-homes.co.uk | fernham-homes.co.uk

*Subject to the build schedule at time of reservation. Computer generated image.


For a brochure or home consultation call 01797 366895


Residential Sales


Estate Agents


Guide £1,250,000

A wonderful Grade II listed former Yeoman’s

House commanding fabulous far reaching views

across the Weald of Kent. In all about 8 acres.

EPC Rating NA


Guide £1,095,000

A lovely period farmhouse and superb separate

annexe in a charming North Downs location.

In all about 1.36 acres. EPC Rating NA


Guide £1,750,000

A quintessential Kentish farmstead with

development opportunity. Farmhouse, Kent

barn and Oast house. Also available in lots.

Land available. EPC Rating NA

Rolvenden Layne

Guide £845,000

A pretty Edwardian country cottage set in the

most beautiful location along a quiet country

lane, gardens, paddocks, woodland and outbuildings.

In all about 4.5 acres. EPC Rating E

High Halden

OIEO £695,000

A stylish Kentish oast house conversion set in

delightful garden with pretty duck pond, good

proximity to Tenterden/Ashford HS1.

EPC Rating E


Guide £875,000

A south facing rural farmhouse set in 0.75 acre

gardens with natural pond, electric gates, small

barn, space to build garaging or annexe, lovely

views. EPC Rating F

Hobbs Parker Estate Agents www.hobbsparker.co.uk

Ashford 01233 506260 Tenterden 01580 766766

Design & Planning


New Build

Barn Conversions



For a free consultation please contact: www.coxrestorations.co.uk

01233 714950




For a free consultation please contact: 01233 7


Established 1986



(Charing) Limited


Design & Planning


New Build

Design & Planning


New Build

Barn Conversions





(Charing) Limited

Barn Conversions



ENTS www.coxrestorations.co.uk




Established 1986




Hand-upholstered sofa, diamond bracelet, original artwork...

Whatever treasures adorn your home, our Bespoke Insurance

has it covered.

To discuss your high value home insurance, call the

Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield Agency on 01233 884109 to

speak with our Bespoke Insurance Consultant, Lee Phillips.

Agent of The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited.


Experience that allows us to design & build any project that you are planning.

For the past 55 years the Norton family have been involved in the timber and construction industry in Kent, with three

generations now working in the company. Our involvement in all the various layers of our industry enables Norton Timber

to offer a wide range of services. By building on our strengths and maintaining the high quality of our products and service

we are confident that Norton Timber will be able to help to make your dreams a reality.


Enjoy watching our case study films that perfectly show what we can offer you.

See how our skills using traditional construction techniques, encompassing a range of building designs, from

extensions, to wedding venues to turn-key home builds, come to fruition in buildings of the highest quality.

Our regularly updated media platforms will provide you with an insight into the design process, what goes on inside

the workshops where our frames are created and see the dream become reality as the frames are raised.

www.nortontimber.co.uk 01304 832525 nortontimber@hotmail.co.uk

We are the UK’s leading

restorer and repairer of

traditional, distinctive

oast cowls & kiln roofs.

WingGalleryWT217.indd 1 17/02/2020 11:55

New cowl construction. Painting

& cleaning. Repair & maintenance.

Also specialising in Kent peg tile

roof repairs and kiln tile repairs.

Trusted over four family

generations by royalty, businesses

& homeowners alike.

Oast owners

Book a no-obligation visit

01622 725 898 / 07973 332 790





Dude&ArnetteWT215.indd 1 10/12/2019 11:53


W W W. L O N D O N R O A D F U R N I T U R E . C O . U K


FarninghamPineOakWT217.indd 1 19/02/2020 11:38

Rett Syndrome is a creep.

A neurological condition mainly

attacking very young girls.

Leaving them unable to walk or talk.

Even eat or breathe without help.

Taking away their life before it has

truly begun.

We need your help to deliver a cure for

Rett Syndrome. To stop the creep.

reverserett.org.uk #StopTheCreep

Text RETT to 70331

to donate £3

Registered charity in England & Wales, charity number 1136809 and in

Scotland, charity number SC046735. In addition to any text donation, you will

incur your standard network message charge (based on your service provider

rates). For Terms & Conditions, see www.easydonate.org

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23 wealdentimes.co.uk

ReverseRettWT215.indd 1 16/12/2019 12:40


GET A QUOTE: 0800 611 8990


Oak Frame Buildings

Over 50 years’ experience making oak frame buildings

Free, no obligation quotation

Dismantle and reassemble service at no extra cost

Unplumb & replumb large kitchen appliances

No charge for key waiting

No extra charges for cancellations

01622 205738 l info@maidstoneremovals.co.uk

www.maidstoneremovals.co.uk @MaidstoneremovalsUK

• Garages

• Garden Rooms

• Complexes

• Gazebos

• Bespoke Buildings

01323 765410 Quality in its finest form


MaidstoneRemovalsWT216.indd 1 21/01/2020 MonarchOakWT147.indd 15:02

1 26/07/2018 12:30

Precision, your local independant Porsche Specialists.

Service whilst still under warranty?

At Precision Porsche Specialists we service and maintain all Porsche

models, using genuine Porsche parts to protect your manufacturer’s

warranty. Along with our Porsche trained technicians and the latest

diagnostic equipment, your Porsche is in safe hands.

We’ve got you covered...

• Modern Workshop

• Insurance Approved Bodywork Repairs

• Servicing, Repairs & MOTs • Tyres & Wheel Alignment

• Collection & Delivery Service • Vehicle Detailing

Address: Unit B1, Bluebell Business Estate, Sheffield Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3HQ | Phone: +44 (0) 1825 721 205

Email: info@precisionporsche.co.uk | Web: www.precisionporsche.co.uk



PrecisionPorscheWT213.indd 1 31/10/2019 15:35


If you think your land or property has development potential,

why not give us a call without obligation and in confidence.


Many of our clients retain our services and, in the majority of

cases, pay our fees saving property owners significant costs.

Commercial buildings for residential conversion, former public houses, redundant

buildings for redevelopment, buildings for conversion or replacement, houses

for improvement, large sites on the edge of town, barn conversions, large

gardens in residential areas and major regeneration projects.

Contact Stephen Donnelly on

07739 514350 or 01892 579937

website: sjd-projects.com

email: steve@sjd-projects.com

For regular updates, visit us at


SJDprojectsWT214.indd 1 01/11/2019 14:49

Repairs & Renovation I Building Maintenance

Loft Conversions I Extensions

A STEM accredited company

Creative Model Holly Person wears needed a dress

Cross Builders repair and renovate all kinds of





and their


team of highly



and exceptional


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If you have energy, ideas and vision then

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Telephone 01303 211 805 Mobile: 07966 496 911

Company Registration No 08268605 UTR 234474345 KCC Cert No 1001328

Free estimates with no obligation.

Detailed structural surveys and building

reports are available at your request.

We work in England and the South of France.

25 wealdentimes.co.uk











of the


Whole lot of history

Maggie Alderson tracks down historical treasures

Bleak House

The dream: If you have enjoyed the

recent film of David Copperfield,

maybe you would like to live where

part of it was written. Grade II-listed

Bleak House – or Fort House, as it

was known when originally built in

1801 – was once Charles Dickens’

seaside residence. With castellated

battlements and a tower, the house

has amazing character. It has been in

use as a B&B and a wedding venue,

with room to seat 65 inside, 200 in

a marquee on the lawn, but would

make a standout family home.

Where: On the cliff on the north

side of lovely Broadstairs.

Setting: Looking out to sea and

across the picturesque town over

the lovely curve of Viking Bay

and the Victoria Gardens.

Beds: 7 Baths: 5

Pleasing details: Charles Dickens’

study. From the desk, on a clear day,

you can see all the way to France.

Special features: On the

lower ground floor there is

a Smugglers’ Museum.

Outside: Large private

garden behind flint walls.

Time to town: From an hour and

twenty to St Pancras, also routes

to Victoria and Cannon Street.

Agent: Fine & Country, Canterbury

01227 479317 fineandcountry.com



Ulley Farmhouse


The dream: An adorable red brick,

quirkily chimney-ed Grade-II listed

farmhouse, with pretty outbuildings and

lovely original features. The spacious

kitchen/breakfast room opens into the

family room, for the modern living

ideal in a characterful old setting.

Where: In a hamlet of four houses,

on the edge of the village of

Kennington, just outside Ashford.

Setting: Lovely farmland and woods.

Beds: 5 Baths: 3

Pleasing details: The arched

‘Dery’ windows.

Special features: Beams, panelling,

inglenooks… the full monty.

Outside: Delightful cottage-style gardens,

with a stream, a tennis court – and a vineyard

planted with 3,000 vines: Reichensteiner,

Bacchus, Pinot Gris and Pinot noir, with

potential for 3,500 bottles of fizzy joy.

Time to town: Drive 15 minutes to

Ashford, then train 37 to St Pancras.

Agent: Savills, Cranbrook

01580 720161 savills.com

Little Tiffenden Barn


The dream: An exceptional barn conversion

that makes the most of the building’s origins,

rather than trying to force it to look like a

normal ‘house’. From the front the eaves

hang gloriously low, but from the back

there are huge windows onto the views. It

is currently divided into two (as a family

home/‘granny flat’) but there is planning

permission to knock through into one.

Where: On the outskirts of the village of

Woodchurch, a few minutes from Tenterden.

Setting: A long way off the main

road, with panoramic rural views.

Beds: 6 Baths: 4

Pleasing details: The vaulted space

of the kitchen/living room.

Special features: Oak-framed heaven.

Outside: Seven acres of beautiful

gardens and grounds.

Time to town: 15 minutes drive to Ashford

International and then 37 to St Pancras.

Agent: Weald Property

01580 242700 wealdproperty.net

27 wealdentimes.co.uk


Arrangements for children following separation

Parents are often confused about the effects of a divorce or separation on their

responsibilities for their children.

Hopefully it will be possible for parents

to agree on arrangements for their

children, but if this is not possible,

generally, it is advisable to take legal

advice on the issues in dispute. In

many cases, parents will be advised

to try to reach an agreement via

family mediation. This allows them

to discuss their concerns with an

independent third party who can

help them resolve any differences. If

an agreement cannot be reached in

mediation, either parent can make an

application to the Court for a Child

Arrangements Order, a Specific Issue

Order or a Prohibited Steps Order.

A Child Arrangements Order is the

order which replaces the old residence

and contact orders (which in turn

replaced custody and access orders!)

A Child Arrangements Order sets

out where the children are to live and/

or how much time they will spend

with the other parent. If both parents

want the children to live with them,

either can apply to the Court to make

a decision. If the parent who is not

the primary carer wants to spend

more time with them than the other

parent is prepared to agree to, again

he or she can apply to the Court for

an order setting out arrangements.

A Specific Issue Order can deal

with issues such as which school a

child should attend, or whether a

parent can take the child away on

holiday, relocate to another part of

the country or even whether they

should be allowed to move abroad

permanently with the child.

A Prohibited Steps Order on the other

hand could prevent a parent moving

with a child or from changing the child’s

name, from choosing a particular

course of medical treatment, or from

taking the child from the primary

carer without their consent. The good

news is that in most cases, parents will

be able to reach agreement without

applying to the Court, and most will

view such an application as a last resort.

However in those cases which cannot

be resolved any other way, parents

may need a Judge to decide on an

issue. In these cases a Family solicitor

can explain the process and provide

the advice and assistance needed.

If you would like further advice, we

offer a free 30-minute meeting with

one of our family lawyers. To make an

appointment at our Tunbridge Wells,

Cranbrook or East Grinstead Office,

please contact our team secretary

Louise Huxstep on

T: 01892 502 338 or

E: LHuxstep@bussmurton.co.uk and

quote ‘Wealden Times - March 2020

Please get in touch Please with our get Family in touch team with who our will Family be happy team who to help. will be happy to help.

Melanie den Brinker Margaret Evans Lora Grogan

Julie Taylor

Kristy Underwood

www.bussmurton.co.uk T: 01892 510 T: 01892 222 510 22


Buss Murton Law LLP is a Limited Buss Liability Murton Law Partnership LLP is a No. Limited OC345994 Liability Partnership and is authorised No. OC345994 and regulated and by is the authorised Solicitors and Regulation regulated Authority. by the Solicitors Regulation Aut

Delivering Permeable Perfection

Quality Installers Of Bespoke Resin Bound


Contact now for FREE design consultation

service & samples

01959 546208






Unit 6, Murray Business Centre

Murray Road





Just Fascias

Kent and Surrey’s premiere installers of

replacement fascias, soffits, cladding, bargeboards,

guttering and downpipes in UPVC.



Call for a free quotation 01233 664 302

Freephone 0800 048 8872

Mobile 07801 977 921


It’s time for the kitchen you’ve always wanted


01435 868611

Sunset Farm • Heathfield Road

Cross in Hand • TN21 0UJ

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3 29/06/2018 10:33

We pride ourselves on the fi nest craftsmanship.

Offering free expert advice, free site surveys, free

quotations. Let our experience and expertise

guide you through your next project.


The finest handcrafted joinery

Tel | 01959 522981

Mobile | 07501 725227

Web | www.newlandsjoinery.co.uk

Shoreham Nr. Sevenoaks



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6 Harvington Business Park, Brampton Road,

Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 9AF



0800 988 1066

Call for a Free No Obligation Home Visit

01323 509 661






visit www.krieder.com | for enquiries & brochures 01892 619721

© RG Studios






01233 840336


Local Company, ‘XL Pools’ Collect

Top National 2020 British Pool & Hot Tub Award

Only ‘

the ‘Best of the Best’

win a British Pool & Hot

Tub Award’ this is clearly

demonstrated by the

winners of this most prestigious awards

event held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

The combined swimming pool, spa, hot

tub and wellness industry attracts entries

from companies across Britain (and some

from overseas). These national awards

bring together members from SPATA

(Swimming Pool and Allied Trades

Association) and BISHTA (British and Irish

Spa and Hot Tub Association) to celebrate

the achievements and acknowledge the

best, boldest and most creative projects.

With ‘Oscar-Esque’ status in the

Water Leisure Industry, the 2020 British

Pool & Hot Tub Award winners were

announced in Coventry at the annual

Industry Gala Evening, held during

SPATEX (the annual industry trade

show on Tuesday 28th January 2020.

Presenting the top awards on the night

was special guest Jack Laugher MBE.

Local company XL Pools, based

in Kent, specialise in installing

luxury onepiece and bespoke

concrete pools across the county.

XL Pools were awarded a top SPATA

Award, as the overall winners of the Dick

Millward Pool Contractor of the Year

award. They also scoped a Gold award

in the Residential Outdoor Pools Under

£50,000 category, a Gold and Bronze

award in the Resi-dential Outdoor Pools

£50,000 to Under £75,000 category, a

Bronze award in the Residential Outdoor

Pools £75,000 to Under £125,000

category, A Gold award in the Residential

Outdoor Pools with an Enclosure

category, a Gold award in the Residential

Indoor Pools Under £100,000 category,

a Silver award in the Residential Indoor

Pools £100,000 to Under £125,000

category and a Gold award in the Special

Requirement Pool of the Year category,

taking home the most awards on the night!

Anthony Exell, Managing Director

of XL Pools, commented: “We joined

SPATA in 2010 and have won numerous

awards and accolades during our

time as members. We are proud to

be taking home nine awards this year

which includes one of the top SPATA

awards, the Dick Millward Trophy for

Pool Contractor of the Year, which we

also won in 2015 and 2018. We are

overwhelmed with our accomplishments

at this year’s awards and look forward to

celebrating with our amazing team who

we would like to credit for our success

as a multi-award-winning company.”

This is the most awards XL Pools

have taken home in one year, bringing

there total to 36 SPATA Awards, as well

as a silver award from each of the 2018

and 2019 European EUSA Awards.

01233 840336 | www.xlpools.com

0118 950 7125



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Common questions on disputing a Will

Challenging a Will can

be complex, and, at an

already difficult time, it is

a topic around which there

is a lot of confusion. Expert

Philip Youdan, from law

firm Cripps Pemberton

Greenish, answers some

common questions

about Will disputes.

Who can contest a Will?

Normally a person who wants

to challenge a Will would be

somebody who stands to benefit

from the deceased’s estate if

they succeed in their claim. They

might, for instance, benefit under

a previous Will which would

then come back into existence.

Alternatively, they might benefit

under the rules which apply when

somebody dies without a Will.

When is a Will invalid?

A Will is invalid if it has not been

executed in accordance with the

formal legal requirements.

In particular, the person making

the Will (the testator) must

sign it in the presence of two

witnesses, who must also sign it.

A Will is also not valid if the

testator did not have the required

mental capacity to make the

Will. As people are living longer

and making Wills later in life,

assessing their capacity to make

a Will is increasingly important.

If it can be shown that a Will was

made in circumstances where the

testator did not have knowledge

of the contents of the will, or was

pressurised into making the Will

by somebody else, this can also

be grounds to overturn it. This

stands to reason – if someone

has exerted pressure to secure

a benefit from a Will it is not

right that a Will made in those

circumstances should be permitted.

Are there any other grounds

for contesting a Will?

Claims can be made seeking to

benefit from an estate without

challenging the Will itself.

Under the Inheritance (Provision

for Family and Dependants) Act

1975, ‘eligible claimants’ can

bring a claim seeking a share or

an increased share of an estate

if they have not been properly

provided for. Eligible claimants

include spouses and civil partners,

or children of the deceased, those

who lived with the deceased for at

least two years prior to his or her

death and persons being provided

for by the deceased immediately

prior to the deceased’s death.

Another situation where a claim

may be made is in cases where

the deceased made promises to

somebody that they would be left

something in the deceased’s will

and that turns out not to be true.

The person to whom the promise

was made might be able to bring

a claim if they had acted to their

detriment because of the promise.

What do I do if I think I

can make a claim?

Act promptly. There are time limits

and delaying can materially affect

the prospect of succeeding with

a claim. Legal advice should be

sought at the outset to investigate

the merits of a claim, which will

normally involve obtaining relevant

documents and evidence. The

purpose of early advice should be

to establish the merits of a claim

and your options for pursuing

this to a successful conclusion

by agreement or at Court.

Philip Youdan


If you would like more information

on challenging a Will, please contact

Philip Youdan on 01892 489 588 or at


www.crippspg.co.uk @crippslaw This article gives examples and is intended for general guidance only




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Celebrating 450 years

of legal excellence.

The oldest law firm in

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A reputation built on

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1 20/11/2019 15:06


What to do and see near you this month

Step UP


Sunday 8 March is international women’s day

and that means it’s time for POW!’s annual

festival. POW! stands for Power of Women

and they work all year to organise events and

community projects in Thanet, but this is the

time of the year that they really shine. There are

so many ways to celebrate the power of women,

and recognise female achievement and progress,

so it’s no surprise that this is a multi-faceted

diamond of a festival. Flex your grey matter in

a pub quiz. Create feminist slogan art. Take in

a cabaret. Try a beer tasting. Go roller dancing.

Support females in all the many ways they are

brilliant – as actors, singers, artists, comedians,

dancers, storytellers and just as people who deserve

rights, admiration and equality. powthanet.com

The renowned graduate performing

company of the Central School

of Ballet returns to Tonbridge on

Saturday 28 March as part of their

UK wide tour. The annual Ballet

Central tour offers the chance

to see the company’s young and

dynamic dancers showcase the

best dance theatre from current

industry professionals alongside

newly commissioned work and

refreshed classics from the world’s

top choreographers. Ballet Central’s

graduates go on to join the world’s

premier dance companies, so this

is a fantastic opportunity to see

these hugely talented dancers on the

cusp of their professional careers.


Dog Days

Bewl Water in

Lamberhurst is hosting

their Big Dog Day Out

on Saturday 28 March – a

fabulous day for four-legged

friends and their humans.

There will be a doggy treasure

trail, agility course, professional

photography opportunities, a

number of stalls and experts and

plenty of refreshments at the

Waterfront Café. bewlwater.co.uk

41 wealdentimes.co.uk



Have you got what it takes to be a Peaky Blinder? Leeds Castle is taking its guests back in

time on Saturday 28 March with their Peak or Blinded 1920s Murder Mystery House

Party. Get your flat caps and flapper dresses ready for a thrilling night of drinks and music

before The Derby, but look out, a gang has sent someone to throw a spanner in the works.

Actors will set the scene, for an interactive evening of dinner theatre. It’s a night to solve a

crime, eat three-courses of delicious food, try some cocktails, and

all whilst living your best 20s gangster life. Tickets are £109,

and you can also get accommodation from £275. leeds-castle.com


with Mum

In a slight twist on the

traditional Mother’s Day cream

tea, The Kent Cookery School

is offering a day of baking over

some Buck’s Fizz. Put a smile

on Mum’s face as you learn to

bake some delightful macarons

by first making a paste, piping it

and then learning about

some wonderful fillings.

The price is £125 for two

people, and there are two

time slots 10am-12.30pm

and 2.30pm-5pm on

Sunday 22 March.


The new-self build

Self-builds can be

stressful and new-builds can

be impersonal. It’s time to find a

middle ground and Fernham Homes

may have the solution. Early this spring they

will be launching Fernham Bespoke Homes.

In their first scheme, Hillside Park, in Linton

village near Maidstone, you can purchase one

of 13 plots of land, which already has planning

permission to build a four- or five-bedroom

home. After that you simply enter a separate

contract with Fernham and they will

help you to build your perfect family

home. fernham-homes.co.uk.

Care of



Bedgebury Pinetum is filled with

dragon and damselflies in the summer,

so, before the season starts, they are

teaching visitors all about these magical

creatures. Odonata specialists John and Gill

Brook will lead an illustrated talk covering dragon and

damselfly habits, identification techniques and lifecycle, as

well as information about some of the very special species

that can be seen at Bedgebury Pinetum. The

talk will run from 2-4pm and costs £8 per

person for members, or £10 per person for

non-members. bedgeburypinetum.org.uk


Next month we are thoroughly looking forward to the Cadbury Easter Egg hunt with National

Trust. Wealden National Trust locations including Bodiam Castle, Scotney Castle, Chartwell,

Bateman’s and Ightham Mote will be stocking up on Cadbury goodies and hosting quests, trails

and adventures to celebrate Easter in delicious style. The only question is which National Trust

location to choose. Will you help Princess Acorn and Knight Sir Oakley find baby animals

at Bodiam Castle? Explore Churchill’s childhood with maps and compasses at Chartwell? See

Kipling’s poetry brought to life in an interactive sensory experience at Batemans? Whatever you

choose there is bound to be chocolate involved so there is really no losing. cadbury.co.uk/easter






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Visit our Maidstone showroom

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Hip, hip hooray! Benenden

Hospital – experts who

get you back on your feet

quicker after hip surgery.

Is the fear of a long

hospital stay stopping

you from booking

your hip replacement


Benenden Hospital is now offering

shorter stays of just one night for hip

patients, compared with the normal

2-3 days.

It is the first private hospital to be

using a new anaesthetic that has

patients up and walking just two hours

after surgery. Benenden will have you

starting your road to recovery with

physiotherapy the same day as surgery.

Plus, you won’t need to take strong

opioid painkillers which can make you

feel drowsy and unwell.

This is all down to the Pericapsular

Nerve Group (PENG) Block, an

innovative technique carried out by a

team of anaesthetic specialists. It is

safe and effective and provides relief

from post-operative pain.

Andy Chandler, from Kent, was the

first patient to have the (PENG) Block,

just before Christmas.

He’s now back at work as a project

manager and planning to get back on

the golf course in the Spring.

Andy, 69, said:

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I’ve ever stayed in hospital,

so I was very nervous

about having quite a big


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about walking in

no time at all.

To be allowed

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night was totally

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there’s no place

like home.”



just two hours

after surgery

Naj Bhaskaran, Consultant

Anaesthetist at Benenden Hospital,

explains: “We want to adopt the most

innovative and up-to-date anaesthesia

techniques that lead to shorter

hospital stays, patient satisfaction and

an overall great outcome from their


Tired of playing the waiting game?

Then it’s time to take control of a

better you.

Benenden Hospital can get you fast

access to the treatment you need with

leading consultants, so you can get

back to the important stuff.

For more information, call

01580 230658

or visit us at:


For more information about our treatments and services visit benendenhospital.org.uk

The Benenden Hospital Trust is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England, number 3454120.

Registered charity number 1065995, Registered Office, The Benenden Hospital Trust, Goddards Green Road,

Benenden, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 4AX


Milbourn Equine Vets is a local

100% equine practice spanning

Kent and East Sussex. We also

have a sister company, Cinque Ports Vets

which has been providing small animal

services since their first branch opened (at

that time a mixed practice) in Rye in 1930.

We both aim to provide gold standard

care and a compassionate service,

and hope to achieve personal trusting

relationships with our clients. We have a

practice ethos of a happy team, healthy

horses and pets and satisfied clients!

We have a large equine team at Milbourn

Equine helping us to achieve this. It

consists of 10 equine vets with a broad

range of interests, all of whom are

committed to providing excellent care

for your horse, pony and donkey (or

even the odd alpaca!) Whether you are

a happy hacker or international eventer

we offer a high standard of care with

our range of services. Our vets are ably

assisted by our clinic and support team

who make sure we stay organised!

Depending on your requirements

we offer a range of services to help

provide you with the best care.

Whether you require an annual

booster for your horse, you are

planning on breeding from your

mare or have a horse which requires

a poor performance investigation

we are happy to help!

Our new office at Unit 1B Denne Hill

Business Centre, Canterbury is now

open. This new office complements

our existing sites at Hawkhurst, Rye

and our Clinic at Sevington, Ashford.


Tel: 01233 500505


Tel: 01227 200992



Tel: 01580 752301


Tel: 01797 208128

Cinque Ports Vets have a

dedicated small animal practice

team working across our 6

branches. We offer a range of services

from your pet’s annual booster and

health check to endoscopy and

echocardiography. Our Rye branch

is also able to offer the advanced

technique of keyhole surgery for

your dog’s neutering procedure.

Our Ashford RCVS accredited Hospital

is proud to hold Gold ISFM Cat

Friendly status with all our branches

implementing a cat friendly approach

to our feline patients. You can find out

more about what this means for your

cat on our website. Our nurses also

provide free nurse appointments for a

range of services from senior clubs to

administering worming tablets (for when

you cat becomes all teeth and claws!)



Tel: 01233 640022


Tel: 01580 763309


Tel: 01797 222265


Tel: 01797 321771


Tel: 01580 752187


Tel: 01233 813003

Don’t forget our branches offer a range of convenient appointment

times until 7pm as well as Saturday appointments.

We look forward to welcoming you soon!

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Studio Open by


Etchings, watercolours, posters, books, cards

See also works by Jason Clarke

Up the Garden Studio, Green Lane,

Boughton Monchelsea, Kent, ME17 4LF

01622 743938 wendy@grahamclarke.co.uk


Where there’s a Will

there’s a way

Your Will can be a very powerful tool to help your loved

ones. It can:

• Ensure your assets are left to the people you choose

• Protect your family - appoint guardians for your children

• Save your family tax

• Give you peace of mind, a very valuable commodity

Just as you take expert advice when buying a new house

or investment plan, it’s even more important to take expert

advice regarding your Will.

If you don’t have a Will – now is the time to discuss your

wishes. If you have a Will – does it still reflect your wishes

and in a tax efficient way?

To review your current Will at no charge contact us today.

Canterbury 01227 643250

Maidstone 01622 698000

Tenterden 01580 765722


Whitehead Monckton Limited (no. 08366029), registered in

England & Wales. Registered office 5 Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne

Road, www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk

Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN. Authorised and regulated by the

Solicitors Regulation Authority under no. 608279.

WT 10/18

47 wealdentimes.co.uk

GrahamClarkeS64.indd 1 21/01/2020 WhiteheadMoncktonWT216.indd 12:36

1 24/01/2020 15:00


Greener Pastures

Veterinary Surgeon, Amy Baskerville BVSc MRCVS, explains how

seasonal and dietary changes can effect equine health.

With the days getting longer

and the grass growing fast,

winter is nearly over. However,

as much as we all love spring, the new

flush of sugar rich grass can have serious

implications for some of our equine friends.

Laminitis means ‘inflammation of

the laminae’. These are the tubular tissues

which support the pedal (coffin) bone

within the hoof to the hoof wall. When

these laminae become inflamed,

it can be incredibly painful. The

typical laminitic clinical signs are; leaning

back to reduce weight load through

the front feet, reluctance to move,

depression and inappetence, lying down

more or a reluctance to pick up feet. Some

horses can be more subtle, simply seeming

‘pottery’ on their front feet and painful to

turn tightly. The front feet are more affected

as approximately 70% of a horse’s weight

is carried through the forelimbs. But the

hind feet will be affected too.

With acute laminitis, it is important to

remove the horse from the pasture, stable

on a deep, bed of shavings (shavings pack

into the foot better and provide more

support) and call your vet. It is important to

restrict movement in this acute stage. With

the laminae inflamed, there is a possibility

the pedal bone may sink and rotate within

the hoof capsule, this has more serious longterm

implications and a poorer prognosis.

Your vet will use indicators such as

clinical signs, increased pulses to the feet

and reaction to gentle pressure to the sole

using hoof testers to diagnose laminitis.

Anti-inflammatories will be administered

to try and counter the changes within the

laminae and to provide pain relief. Foot

padding and frog supports can provide

elevation of the heel to reduce the pull

of the flexor tendon on the pedal bone.

We may suggest taking some

radiographs of the feet. This will give us an

idea whether there has been movement of

the pedal bone and give you a better idea

of what to expect in terms of rehabilitation

and prognosis. These radiographs can

also aid your farrier. Once the initial

pain has eased, your farrier and vet can

work together to discuss trimming the

foot as well as specialised shoeing to help

your horse feel more comfortable.

Box rest is important, even if your

horse appears better, it is important to be

guided by veterinary advice as to when

turn out is allowable. Movement increases

the risk of the pedal bone rotating and

sinking. Feeds must be reduced and

adapted to contain low non-structural

carbohydrates, look out for the laminitis

trust approved sticker on the bag. Access

to well soaked hay is important. Although

rations need to be reduced and weight

loss is a key factor in recovery, starving a

horse can lead to other complications.

It is about finding a happy balance.

Traditionally it was thought of as

simply fat horses having too much good

grazing. There is an element of that, but

we now know that laminitis is not just a

foot issue and is not that simple! There

are three main underlying causes:

Diseases and conditions that lead to

whole body inflammatory conditions such

as severe diarrhoea and lung infections.

Hormonal disorders like ‘Cushing’s

disease’ and Equine Metabolic Syndrome

(EMS) and the resultant insulin resistance

these conditions create. These horses cannot

control their blood glucose effectively,

leading to a range of side effects.

Uneven weight bearing after an injury

on a different limb for instance, can cause a

mechanical laminitis in the supporting limb.

Prevention is better than cure. Once a

horse has had laminitis, they are at a higher

risk of being affected in the future. Keep

your horses ‘fit not fat’. Restricted grazing

and grass muzzles are good methods of

reducing grass intake. Remember, a clever

horse can learn to eat as much grass in a few

hours as they can eat in a day. So simply

reducing grazing hours is often not enough!

Winter time is a good time of year to try

and get the weight off the more rotund!

The Subtle signs of laminitis

If you’re concerned about your horse contact your vet

• Reluctance to turn

• A shortened stride / a stiffened gait

• Shifting weight from foot to foot

• Being careful on hard ground

or preferring soft ground

• Change in behaviour / temperament

• Reluctant to pick up their feet

• Abnormal heat at the hoof wall or coronet

• A strong pounding digital pulse

Ashford - 01233 500505

Canterbury - 01227 200992

Hawkhurst - 01580 752301

Rye - 01797 208128




We’re proud to introduce a brand new Supplement

this issue, centred around making the most of a wellearned

retirement with a focus on luxury living. Take

a break with stunning holiday destinations – both home and

away – get in shape with tips from fitness guru Sarah Maxwell

and get the low-down on buying a property in France.

Every month we’re lucky to get to explore stunning homes

and gather info. on decorating tips, tricks and bargains that we

wouldn’t necessarily have happened upon had we been researching

the conventional way. See how children’s author Sally Gardner has

projected her writer’s imagination onto the décor of a Georgian

Cottage in the heart of Hastings and find out why Andy and

Ran turned to interior design friend Justine Hodgson-Barker to

transform their run-down Brighton house into a family home.

If vintage is your bag when it comes to fashion, you’ll love

Kate Liz Watts’ round-up of premium pre-loved. Beauty addicts

take note as Josephine Fairley reveals the winners of the 2020

Beauty Bible Awards, sharing her ‘Beauty Bible Superstars’

– outstanding skincare with the highest reviewer scores.

Plus, don’t forget Mother’s Day! In celebration of

lovely mums across the Weald, Nicci Gurr from Home

Gurr’Own has shared three sensationally tasty cake

recipes to treat them on Sunday 22 March.





Enjoy your Wealden Times!

Wealden Times Team

Editor ............................................................................................ Lucy Fleming

Deputy Editor ..................................................................................Emily Pavey

News & Features Editor ...............................................................Rebecca Cuffe

Fashion Editor ............................................................................. Kate Liz Watts

Design .........................................................................................Powerful Pierre

Design Director ..........................................................................Anthony Boxall

Design Team ................................................................................ Ryan Huggins

Phoebe O’Leary

Tanya Goldsmith

Executive Chairman ...................................................................... Julie Simpson

Managing Director .............................................................. Vivien Cotterill-Lee

Sales Manager ................................................................................... Jen Shearer

Senior Account Manager ................................................................ Sara Henslow

Maria Hurley

Rachel Norrie

Distribution ................................................................................. Kate Liz Watts

Wealden Times Events Team

Sales Account Manager ...................................................................... Joy Adams

Jude Brown

Show Director ................................................................................. Flo Simpson

Events Assistant .....................................................................................Ed Steele

Experience the latest

in contemporary design

and timeless quality from Ercol

at our Maidstone showroom.

01622 753073 | clarkesfurnishers.co.uk

Visit us at Sandling Road, Maidstone, ME14 2RF

* ask in store for terms & conditions

49 wealdentimes.co.uk

LenleysWT217.indd 1 04/02/2020 15:11

Quality. Style.


Wealden House, Cross In Hand 01435 863921 116 South Street, Eastbourne 01323 722921



© 1996 Forest Stewardship Council A.C.

Where to find your copy of

Call 01580 714705 to find your nearest distributor of

Wealden Times or to have your free copy delivered

for 12 months for just £22 postage

Distribution of Wealden Times published in Cranbrook for Kent & Sussex.


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51 wealdentimes.co.uk

ThomasMansfieldWT216.indd 1 16/01/2020 14:11

Words: Maggie Alderson

Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Holly Levett



The House of

Magical Objects

Maggie Alderson takes a step

through the looking glass into

this Hastings writer’s home

53 wealdentimes.co.uk


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Above left: The gilded mirror over the fireplace with ferns,

candles in place, came from Norman Road in St Leonards

Above right: The bear cubs holding up a slice of a tree trunk are

from Graham & Green Left: The sitting room is painted in a

dark rich purple (Farrow & Ball’s Pelt)

Sally Gardner writes award-winning children’s books of

extraordinary imagination – and has the house to match.

Some houses are family homes, some are private havens,

others are works of art, displays of status, or expressions

of lifelong dreams. Cuckoo Cottage is a fairy tale.

The sense of something special begins in finding it,

tucked away in a central part of Hastings near the chainstore

shopping hub, in what feels like a secret little row of

Georgian cottages, that has somehow escaped 200 years of

wrecking balls and bulldozers, up some steps and along.

Tucked windward of the castle, it has the air of a pocket

of the town that you might stumble across by accident

one day – then never be able to find again. Which is just

the sort of thing that happens in one of Sally’s books.

Her most recent release, Invisible In A Bright Light, is

so intriguing and gripping, I was awake most of the

night finishing it – and it’s aimed at ages 10 and up.

It’s set in a theatre in a city resembling Copenhagen,

55 wealdentimes.co.uk



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57 wealdentimes.co.uk

This page: The classic woven plastic Swedish rugs in the dining room are by Pappelina

which has a huge crystal chandelier in the shape of a galleon

hanging in the dome over the auditorium. When you walk

into the sitting room of Cuckoo Cottage, there is just such a

crystal galleon, but it’s inside a bottle on the mantelpiece.

Any ship in a bottle is a thing of wonder – but a crystal

galleon takes it to another level. It’s the kind of object that

exerts a magnetic pull on the viewer. You have to go and have

a closer look, to be sure you are seeing what you think you are.

Sally grins at such a reaction. “There is a crystal galleon

chandelier at the Royal Opera house in Copenhagen, which

I discovered when I was designing The Mikado there in the

late 1970s, when I was a theatre designer, which was my first

career. I have always wanted to put it in a book. When I saw

this one in the auction in Essex Road I had to have it.”

Sally’s life in the theatre is as apparent in the house

as her writer’s imagination. Starting with the red velvet

curtain hung in the hallway to block draughts from

the front door which is romantically hooked back



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This page: In the dining room, varied lengths of bright orange corded cable stretch out from the central

ceiling rose with bare bulbs hanging from hooks

against the wall, in a style reminiscent of stage curtains.

I’m sure that curtain wasn’t there the last time I

visited Cuckoo Cottage and the hallway is one of many

elements in the house that contribute to my feeling

– and I am lucky to be a regular visitor here – that

every time I come to the house, it’s a bit different.

In this case it’s because Sally is gradually studding

the soft green hall walls with seven-point gold stars and

a few more have been added each time I drop in.

Another new development since my last visit are the

wall hooks, used for hats and leads for Sally’s adorable

Yorkshire terrier, Sparrow, which are in the shape of

three classic chairs – a Thonet bentwood, a school chair

and the Emeco 1006 Navy chair – in miniature.

These objects of wonder turn out to be from IKEA,

painted by Sally to match the walls. With a stand containing

umbrellas and fox-headed walking canes worthy of Mary

Poppins – and a feather duster for good measure – the tone

of the house is set the moment you take two steps inside.

And two steps does take you quite a long way into this

cottage, which really is very modest in size – Thumbelina

would feel very much at home – but the Georgian

proportions, combined with Sally’s wonderfully bold

décor, stop it feeling in any way cramped. Thinking big,

as she does with such aplomb, makes a space feel bigger.

The sitting room – one of those very special rooms, which

I never want to leave once I sit down there – is painted in a

dark rich purple (Farrow & Ball’s Pelt), a colour so bold only

someone with Sally’s professional design confidence might

have dared to choose it for such a small room. Certainly,

her painter and decorator tried to talk her out of it.

“The painter said: ‘I think you are making a big mistake

painting with this colour. It’s going to make it very small and

claustrophobic…’ Then he painted it and said, ‘Bloody hell!

How did you know it was going to look this good?!’”

It looks simply wonderful, creating a cocooning

61 wealdentimes.co.uk



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Above: In the kitchen, Sally has found room to pack in plenty of her magical objects, including some lifesize

wooden ducks and a large metal orange squeezer, that she brought back from Mexico

atmosphere and the perfect backdrop to set off

all the fascinating objects in the room. Wherever

your eye falls, it lights upon something which

looks as though it could tell you a story.

To the side of the purple velvet-upholstered, canesided

armchair that I sit in to chat to Sally is one

of two side tables in the form of bear cubs holding

up a slice of a tree trunk, complete with bark.

They are from Graham & Green, but seem

like something right out of the Brothers Grimm.

Sally is delighted at the idea – fairy stories are her

passion and the inspiration for her writing.

She collects volumes of them, along with other very specific

and fascinating books about folklore in Transylvania and the

like. The bookcase to the left of the fireplace – one of two

glass-doored IKEA Billys, which she had painted dark blue –

contains part of her book collection and another she inherited.

It also displays a collection of china parrots that

belonged to her mother. The symmetrical cupboard

in the other recess contains a collection of Pollocks

toy theatres and a chess set of Chinese figures.

Sitting on top of the bear table next to me, in his

own little chair, is a wooden figure of a naked man,

with articulated arms and legs, like one of those artist’s

manikins, except this one has a very characterful face,

with hair and a beard (and shoes). “He is Joseph from

a church display in Italy. I bought it in an antique shop

there and brought it home. I have to save these things.”

In a similar spirit there is a Dutch figure of

the Madonna that Sally came across in France.

“I brought her home on the plane.”

From closer to home, the gilded mirror over the fireplace

with ferns, candles in place, came from Norman Road

in St Leonards, around the corner from the cottage Sally

rented when she first moved down from London. “It

was broken when I found it and I had it restored by

63 wealdentimes.co.uk



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Sally found her cottage –

her next challenge was to

find furniture to scale with

it. “All my furniture was

really big, I thought ‘what

have I done? I’ve bought

a little mouse house…’”

Thinking big, as she

does with such aplomb,

makes a space feel bigger

This page: There are pillars on either side of the kitchen entrance – where Sally plans to add a theatrical curtain,

currently drawn on the wall with pencil – and three working cuckoo clocks

people in St Leonards who do restoration for the V&A.”

As for what prompted Sally to rent that first cottage

– similar in feel, if slightly later in period, than the

one she now lives in – I can claim a small part in it.

I was coming down for a writers’ lunch club, which I

was one of the organisers of, which made Sally think

that St Leonards-on-Sea really was the place to be.

“I was living in a 1930s flat in Stoke Newington and the

freeholders decided to renovate the building and there were

suddenly massive fees, so I started to think about moving.

I knew Hastings because I went to boarding school here for

two and a half years. I hated the school, but every weekend

I would run away to St Leonards beach and I still had happy

memories of that.

“When I came down to that lunch I immediately

thought, ‘I could live here’. I started browsing Rightmove,

saw a house to rent in Burton St Leonards and took

it on the spot. After that it was a no brainer.”

There was a brief sidestep to possibly moving to

neighbouring Bexhill-on-Sea, when Sally took part in an

episode of Homes by the Sea, with fellow author Jane Harris

– who had also been at that now rather legendary writers’

65 wealdentimes.co.uk

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Above left: Sally is gradually studding the soft green hall walls with seven-point gold stars Middle: Sally has emphasised

the steep staircase by positioning a tiny wardrobe and a top hat on top of a cupboard beneath it Right: A large portrait of

Lillie Langtry by Richard Jack hangs on the landing below another striking Ikea paper lampshade

lunch – and decided she wanted to move down too.

The researchers found Sally a very nice house in

Bexhill, but for various reasons it fell through and

she decided it had to be St Leonards or Hastings.

“There are so many interesting people living here.

People speak to you. I thought they might be snotty

about Londoners ‘moving down here, taking our

houses…’ but you couldn’t find nicer, kinder, genuinely

pleasant people, once they know you are moving

down to live here, not buying a place to Airbnb.”

After a search, at times nail biting, Sally found her

cottage – her next challenge was to find furniture to

scale with it. “All my furniture was really big, this

room would have died and I thought, ‘what have

I done? I’ve bought a little mouse house…’”

But after finding the armchairs at Ben Southgate

(formerly in Kings Road, St Leonards, now online) and

a small sofa on eBay, she was set up. The finishing touch

was to add a very large chandelier, from Norman Road.

“Part of it is Georgian and it has the original crystals.

It’s not connected to the electricity, it’s purely ornamental

and pulls the whole room together. It’s magical with tea

lights lit in it. I love chandeliers, they are like dreams.”

Stepping back through to the dining room – along classic

woven plastic Swedish rugs, by Pappelina, in their bold

geometric designs – there is another example of Sally’s

skill with lighting, learned from her theatrical days.

Multiple and varied lengths of bright orange corded

67 wealdentimes.co.uk

Above: The Goldilocks bedding of red and white gingham is from Debenhams and the black Afghan

sequined bedspread is from Shop in Norman Road

cable stretch out from the central ceiling rose, over the

round dining table, with bare bulbs hanging from hooks. It

brilliantly brings together a space that is almost like a square

corridor, with a door going off each corner, into the hall,

pantry, courtyard and kitchen. “If you have good lighting you

can get away with anything. I hate central ceiling lights.”

She has done the same dangling lights in the kitchen

– a space for which the term ‘galley’ is almost an

overstatement. Yet, with the sink and cooker on one side,

looking out to the courtyard, and a dresser built on the

back wall, it’s a brilliantly efficient space to cook in.

However, even in such a compact area, Sally has found

room to pack in plenty of her magical objects, including

a witch’s ball, an angel hanging from the pan rack, some

life-size wooden ducks and a large metal orange squeezer,

that she brought back (in the cabin) from Mexico.

Also, in this spirit of not everything needing to have a

purpose, apart from being interesting, on the end wall of the

kitchen she had the carpenter build a kind of altar piece, that

they have in houses in Romania. “It doesn’t do anything,

but it provides a focal point, gives the space a personality.”

Adding to that are the pillars on either side of the

kitchen entrance – where she plans to add another

theatrical curtain, currently drawn on the wall with

pencil – and three working cuckoo clocks. “They are

my new obsession. I’m writing a book about snow that

has a cuckoo clock in it. I want more, at least five…”

Upstairs, the fairy tale references continue, with the



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This page: Sally’s bedroom. An oversized

wall hanging of flowers, from which a swan

protudes, adds to the fairytale feel

very large brass bed, in the very modestly-sized main

bedroom, made up with Goldilocks bedding of red

and white gingham (from Debenhams) and a black

Afghan sequined bedspread from Shop in Norman

Road. Keeping up Sally’s love of juggling scale, there

is an oversized wall hanging of flowers behind the

bed. “I think it looks like a Dutch still life,” says

Sally. Which it does, but as seen by Tom Thumb.

The huge handkerchief light fitting over the bed

is another of her IKEA finds – but it’s never turned

on. The room is lit instead by more dangling light

bulbs hanging from hooks on either side of the bed.

“I like them, because you can move them around…”

Heading back out onto the landing, the house seems

to sprinkle a little magic of its own, in the wonderfully

characterful steep staircase heading up to the attic

guest room, its curved undercarriage creating lovely

shapes at eye level, which Sally has emphasised by

71 wealdentimes.co.uk

This page: Sally’s workroom complete

with teddy on his own chair, a crow in a

snow dome and a pair of cornflower blue

button boots

positioning a tiny wardrobe and a top

hat on top of a cupboard beneath it.

From this spot you step into Sally’s

workroom, where again your eye hops

from the teddy on his own chair, to a

snow dome containing a crow, a pair of

cornflower blue button boots and, on

the desk itself, bookends in the shape of

a little mermaid. All part of the fairy tale

setting, where magical stories are made.

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The Forever Home

When it came to renovating their dream house, Andy and

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Justine Hodgson-Barker to ensure they ended up with a home

fit to start the next chapter of their life

Words: Antonia Methuen

Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Lucy Fleming

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“It looked a bit like an old

pub. We needed to keep the

sense of natural wood and

texture but get rid of the

faux-Tudor look. As soon as

we did that it immediately

changed the entire

atmosphere of the house”

Above: Justine restructured the interior, taking out internal walls and replacing windows with French doors and tri-folds to let

light flood in from the front, the side and rear of the house

Andy Clark and Ran Bradu were looking for

their forever home when they first arrived in

Rottingdean, near Brighton. Leaving their life

in East Dulwich of 22 years behind, the journey that

took them to the East Sussex coast had actually started

thousands of miles and several continents away. Andy

had spent his formative years living in Australia and

Ran was born in Israel and grew up in South Africa.

However, it was the lure of dog ownership that finally

made the couple take the plunge, packing their bags and

leaving their south-east London home behind them.

Nestled on the edge of the South Downs, one look at

Andy and Ran’s 19th century cottage and you can see why

the couple jumped feet first into their new life. We are sitting

in their living room, the rest of their four-legged family are

firmly in place, dogs Dylan and Alfie are curled up on the

sofas beside us. “I grew up by the sea,” explains Andy. “I

missed it living in London and so it’s nice to be back.”

Indeed once Andy and Ran made the decision to leave

London, it took them only six weeks to find the house

83 wealdentimes.co.uk

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and get their offer accepted. “I looked in central Brighton,”

says Andy “but the estate agent suggested Rottingdean.

As soon as I saw it, I just knew it was the one. I fell in

love and I knew we would buy it. Well, at least from the

outside… the inside was another matter entirely.” Andy

slightly winces at the memory. “The former owners were

lovely but they had done much of the DIY themselves over

the years. There was an ageing conservatory that had rickety

windows with ivy growing straight through them. There

were radiators halfway up the wall and there seemed to be

steps, walls and doors where they had no right to be! It

really was a bit of a mess, so that’s when I called Justine.”

Andy and Ran tasked the renovation to friend and interior

designer Justine Hodgson-Barker, based in Tunbridge Wells.

Justine had helped re-model the couple’s apartment in

East Dulwich, so she already knew their taste, their likes

and also their dislikes. She jumped at the chance to help

them re-model and bring much-needed light into what

had become a rather dark interior. All the timbers had

been painted dark brown, so one of the first jobs Justine

did was to get the beams, the doors and the woodwork

sandblasted. “It was pretty oppressive with that dark colour

everywhere,” says Justine. “It looked a bit like an old pub.

We needed to keep the sense of natural wood and texture

but get rid of the faux-Tudor look. As soon as we did that it

immediately changed the entire atmosphere of the house.”

Justine then worked on the restructure of the interior,

taking out internal walls and replacing windows with French

doors and tri-folds to let light flood in from the front, the

side and rear of the house, opening the inside to the

85 wealdentimes.co.uk

“Even when elements were entirely replaced like the floor, we

tried to find something that felt authentic, so we went for an

aged and tumbled wood floor by Antares in Lewes.”



Martin Gurr

Tennis Courts


and all weather garden play areas

Martin Gurr Tennis Courts is a family business with over 40 years’

experience in building tennis courts and sport areas. The company

provides free surveys & quotations. All courts are constructed to

high specifications and are supported with a long guarantee.

Please contact us for further information:

The Whym, Manchester Rd, Ninfield, East Sussex TN33 9JX

01424 892265 07831 643835 Martin@martingurr.co.uk


Martin Gurr Tennis Courts

Specialise in Swedish & French interiors,

original antique beds & furniture,

Bespoke Zinc Top Tables.

Forstal Farm Goudhurst Road Lamberhurst Kent

Tel: 01892890769 www.tashainteriors.co.uk

Extend your Living Space this summer with a

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traditional handmade






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George & James Architects is a

design-led architecture practice

specialising in bespoke homes

and residential refurbishments.

We have completed projects

across London, the South and

South-West. Our work includes

architecture, interior design and


We enjoy working

collaboratively with our clients,

with each project receiving

expert attention from our

founding Directors.

We are proud to be an RIBA

Chartered Practice and as such

we are committed to excellence

in design and service delivery.

Unit 315, Cocoa Studios,

The Biscuit Factory,

100 Drummond Road,

London, SE16 4DG

020 7231 7495





GeorgeandJamesWT217.indd 1 18/02/2020 14:40

Right: Sassy Luke’s image of the Queen blowing

bubble gum casts a gaze over the main bedroom

Below: Large-scale artworks line the stairway walls.

The sisal-style carpet continues the natural theme

outside and offering views over the terraced garden and side

deck. The kitchen was also opened up, the downstairs loo

(now with under-floor heating) was moved to under the

stairs, enabling a kitchen island and another set of French

doors to be installed. The kitchen, which was once small

and dark, is now the heart of the home. The old fireplace

now houses the large Rangemaster oven, new ceiling beams

were created to match the newly sandblasted beams in the

rest of the house. A kitchen, by Krieder, was given a sense

of texture with leather handles from Turnstyle and yet

more texture in the worktops which Justine’s contractor

created from scaffolding boards stained with Osmo oil. A

dresser from Designer Vintage, rattan baskets and hand

made spotlights create a space that is functional yet tactile.

Justine also kept a sense of industrial in the wall lights by

Industville and the lights above the island by Trainspotters.

“I’m an ex-chef,” says Andy, “so I needed all my gadgets

and spices, the Kilner jars and the crockery, Justine has

89 wealdentimes.co.uk

Above: The staggering gold portrait hanging above the bed was accidentally cut in two by the builder, then thankfully salvaged by the artist

created the perfect place for everything. It just works so well.”

Another room that had previously been the garage for the

house, was further opened up to create a spacious dining

area and the wall of the staircase was removed to again

create a sense of space and flow. “We stripped out anything

that felt inappropriate, like the really dark joinery, but kept

everything that had integrity,” says Justine. “Even when

elements were entirely replaced like the floor, we tried to

find something that felt authentic so we went for an aged

and tumbled wood floor by Antares in Lewes.” The entire

house has now been transformed into a working, connected

family home with a sense of flow from one area to the

next. Rooms that had once been redundant are now used;

spaces that were once dark and uninviting are flooded with

light and purpose. “It’s not the most massive of houses

and yet there were entire areas we ignored, which seems

crazy,” says Andy. “Now every space has a function.”

Being so close to the couple, Justine was able to work with

Andy and Ran to create an overall colour palette that they

could work off, setting the foundations and specifying



IH. 131

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Specialist mess free beam

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alternative to blasting.

01424 259733




Beautiful bespoke shop in a gorgeous setting. Full of quirky

items including gifts & cards, furniture, ladies’ clothing,

jewellery, handbags, scarves & much more.

A warm welcome is guaranteed.

Open six days a week Monday- Saturday inclusive.

Complimentary coffee & wrapping.

Visit soon - you won’t be disappointed.

07503 287632

The Granary, Potten Farm, Main Road, Sellindge, Nr Ashford, TN25 6EQ

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EnsorInteriorDesignWT217.indd 1 10/02/2020 12:31

“Justine was also really

helpful with the furniture.

We like to repurpose pieces,

wherever possible,” says Andy

Above left and right: Justine has turned the small bathroom into a hotel-standard space, with a vintage free-standing vanity unit

and brushed brass taps that perfectly reflect the aesthetic in the rest of the house. More houseplants lend a vibrant feel

the furniture. Colours from Little Green and Mylands,

including Pearl Colour Dark, Normandy Grey and Stonelime,

effortlessly flow from one room to the next. “Justine was

also really helpful with the furniture. We like to repurpose

pieces, wherever possible,” says Andy. “This coffee table was

originally a dining table but we took the legs off and had

the table shortened with pin legs. The benches have the

old table legs on them and we now use it as a console table

in the summer house.” A sense of mindfulness is apparent

throughout the interior, both in the upcycled and recycled

pieces that the couple have created as well as in the overall

Scandinavian aesthetic, which is both clean and uncluttered,

mirroring the couple’s lifestyle as vegetarian/vegans. Natural

fibres are visible throughout the house in curtains, rugs,

cushions and throws as well as indoor planting that adds

vitality in every area. “We needed the house to be practical,”

says Andy. “We have dogs, who have muddy paws and

sit on the sofas, so we couldn’t be too precious. The stair

carpet is a polypropylene that looks like sisal and we had

to source items that would last, these are incredibly comfy

sofas, although perhaps a pale chenille and two dogs wasn’t

the best idea so we always have covers on them now!”

The artwork in the house reflects Andy and Ran’s travels:

Thai brass rubbings, photographs from their travels and of

93 wealdentimes.co.uk

Above and left: The dressing room

houses a trundle bed for guests cleverly

concealed behind louvred doors

their families, South African tribal art

and various souvenirs and mementos

are all subtly on show, showing off

the couple’s past. A chubby Balinese

Buddha sits on the stairs that lead

up to the bedrooms. In the master

bedroom, a staggering gold portrait

of a woman in red overlooks the bed.

“That is the most expensive piece

of art I have ever bought,” says Andy.

“So you can imagine my horror when

the builder cut it in two!” Luckily,

the tale has a happy ending and the

artist, based in Tunbridge Wells,

was able to repair and repaint over

the damage. Indeed, the size of the

painting is such that to hang it in the

bedroom was only made possible by

yet another of Justine’s ingenious



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Tunbridge Wells . 79 Calverley Road . TN1 2UY . 01892 548111

Oxshott . 1 High Street . KT22 0JN . 01372 841730

Left: The kitchen by Krieder, was

given a sense of texture with leather

handles from Turnstyle

ideas. Where once there was a

small and faceless room there

is now a soaring spacious

and deliciously theatrical

bedroom, the ceiling having

been removed all the way to

the eaves. It is a bedroom

worthy of any boutique hotel.

One thing not visible in the

bedroom is any cupboards.

That is because the couple’s

clothes have in fact been

given their own room entirely.

The third bedroom has been

generously converted into a

dressing room, a trundle bed for

overnight guests cleverly hidden

behind wooden louvered

doors, a look that was big in

the 1970s and well overdue a

comeback. A series of stunning

smoked ceramic handles

on the doors, from Granby

Workshop, offer another touch

of detail and a wonderful

sense of texture. A spacious

second bedroom will shortly

be taking in the couple’s first

foster child whilst Justine has

once again worked her magic,

turning the small bathroom

into a hotel-standard space,

with a vintage free-standing

vanity unit and brushed brass

taps that perfectly reflect

97 wealdentimes.co.uk

The kitchen, which was once small and dark, is now the heart of the home



Let’s design together

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second item

The Estate Yard, Eridge, Nr Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 9JR

01892 572309 www.sofasandstuff.com

Discerning Homeowners

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SofasAndStuffWT217.indd 1 03/02/2020 15:07

Specialists in Timber, Aluminium, Composite Windows & Doors

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Directly employed teams of fitters | Free no obligation quotations

Call 01959 565343 or visit www.thewindowsanctuary.com

99 wealdentimes.co.uk

WindowSanctuaryWT216.indd 1 14/01/2020 10:06

Wood Floor

The International Tile Store

The Warehouse, Tunnel Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2BT

T : 01892 514004 | W : www.tilematesgroup.com


- Family Business -

We also restore

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call any time



n Experienced & professional

n Extensive showroom over two floors

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From Passmores - Est 1909

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The ideal home for your

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Tenterden Roofing Co.

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View our picture gallery on line

for ideas and inspiration.

Excellent range and service.



Est 1909

Tel: 01634 290033

For further information visit : www.passmores.co.uk

email: tenterdenroofingcompany@gmail.com

call: 01580 241000 / 01233 860301 • mobile: 07921 509 564




PassmoresWT171.indd 1 11/04/2016 TenterdenRoofingWT202.indd 10:53

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Above: The loo has moved under the stairs, freeing up space elsewhere and is now blessed with underfloor heating

the aesthetic found in the rest of the house.

It can be seen in every room and is the backdrop

to their new life, so it was no surprise that when

Andy and Ran came into an inheritance last year,

they chose to invest in their garden, which rises

steeply from the back of the house. “We used to be

perched on the edge of a terrace and could hardly get

the barbecue on it,” says Andy. “Look at it now!”

Larch timbered decking, weathered steel panels

and evergreen planting has created a vista from

every room at the back of the house. “I spend so

much time outside now, I am out there every day

during the summer which is having an amazing

effect on my mood – I always have a smile on

101 wealdentimes.co.uk


Specialist litigation solicitors

Tunbridge Wells - Maidstone - London

Jill Thomas : 01892 765012


ThomasHaywoodSolicitorsWT208.indd 1 15/05/2019 17:48

Managing woodland and forests

for future generations

Specialising in restoring unmanaged

and neglected woodlands

Our woodland rejuvenation

services are as follows:

Woodland coppicing | Woodland thinning | Ancient woodland restoration

Woodland ride creation and management | Invasive species removal | Ash Dieback felling and removal (large amounts only)

Vegetation and scrub clearance | Rhododendron clearance | Wildlife management

Managed woodland captures more carbon dioxide than unmanaged woodland. Active management

ensures a wide range of species, genetic diversity and age structure. By using locally

sourced sustainable timber a smaller carbon footprint is created than imported timber.

Managing woodland also creates employment in the rural economy.

01580 819179 07759 567801 www.southeastforestry.co.uk



SouthEastForrestryWT217.indd 1 13/02/2020 10:45

my face. I have no stress now, my life is completely calm.”

Designer Tina Vallis has created a masterpiece of

wide terraces that lead you from the house up towards a

summerhouse that is perched high above the roofline of

the house, overlooking the south It’s not surprising that the

garden will soon be providing the backdrop to the couple’s

latest great production, their forthcoming summer wedding.

As Andy and Ran start the next chapter of their life,

getting married and offering a family home to children,

many of whom will not have experienced positive family

life before, one can only think how lucky they will be to

come to a space so full of love, calm and serenity, in the

heart of the Sussex coast. I for one, wish them all well.

Address Book:

For more information on Justine Hodgson-Barker

please visit barker-design.com

Antares antareswoodfloors.com

Granby Workshop granbyworkshop.co.uk

Industville industville.co.uk

Krieder krieder.com

Tina vallis tinavallis.co.uk

Trainspotters trainspotters.co.uk

Turnstyle turnstyledesigns.com

Above: Evergreen planting schemes and wide terraces designed by Tina Vallis lead up towards the summerhouse

103 wealdentimes.co.uk

Classic interior design for contemporary living.

From single rooms to whole house projects.

Supply of an extensive range of

designer fabrics and furnishings.

Specialist Bespoke Planning Advice

Assist – Develop – Growth – Care – Opportunity

Start your planning

journey with us


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Tel 01233 513878 07789 863488


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Affordable Kent Wood Floor Restorations.

Fully trained, qualified and affiliates of the ultimate floor sanding company.

If you’re looking for a floor sanding expert, look no further!


EST. 1975

01732 872199

07860 100295

Family run business

Family run business

E: info@rolincleaningservices.co.uk W: www.rolincleaningservices.co.uk



RolinCleaningWT215.indd 1 11/12/2019 14:45

Get the


Freshen Up

1 Como wall storage system, £2,030.65, BoConcept boconcept.com 2 Let’s Get Naked Print, £19, Rocket

Jack, rocketjack.co.uk 3 Remy Tripod Floor Lamp, £94.99, MY Furniture my-furniture.com 4 Trailing Plant in

Ceramic Pot, £19.50, M&S marksandspencer.com 5 Bubblegum Queenie by Sassy Luke, price on application,

Etsy: sassyluke sassylukeartworks.com 6 Set of three Japanese Kokeshi dolls, £803.97, 1stdibs 1stdibs.co.uk

7 Teak Side Table, £145, Trading Boundaries tradingboundaries.com 8 Coral Velvet Footstall, £49, Cult Furniture

cultfurniture.com 9 Scintilla Sapphire Star Pattern Tiles, £24.95, Walls and Floors wallsandfloors.co.uk 10 Artificial

Cheese Plant in Ceramic Pot, £39.50, M&S marksandspencer.com

105 wealdentimes.co.uk

For Sale


intelligent seating

Rangemaster Classic Duel

Fuel Cooker 110 cream in

pristine condition - £670

Rangemaster Classic

Extractor Hood and

Chimney - £75

Service instructions available

Selling due to move - Collection only from St. Leonards.

07533 940441





T: 01892 510202 SALES@SITSMART.CO.UK


What is Eating Your Roof?

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Bacteria in the form of mosses, lichens and moulds are

feasting on our roofs and render. How do we remove these

pests and ugly stains?


SoftWashing is an alternative

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Fabulous 50+ fashion • Adventurous holidays • Exciting hobbies

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PegasusLife is delighted to present a collection of 31 one and two

bedroom apartments in the meticulously refurbished historic Grade II listed

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Prices start from £610,000 (Mews Houses) and £900,000 (the Main House).*

To find out more about Wildernesse House or to book an appointment, please call 01732 608 144.

*Price correct at time of going to print.



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From a railtrail in India to a golfing getaway

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3 wealdentimes.co.uk

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Holiday Dreams

Relax, unwind and take in the sights with

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Book early for a new (and totally unique) Indian

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Numbers on this tour are limited and early

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5 wealdentimes.co.uk

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Visit kentandsussexcottages.


for more information and to book



Equity Release: Good or Bad?

Sarah Ferrell, local Equity Release Adviser,

spends much of her time talking to people

who are retired, or approaching retirement,

and are considering their financial options.

Despite lots of television and newspaper

coverage there is still confusion as to whether

Equity Release is a “good thing” or not.

Over the years there has been a significant

amount of bad press on the subject, yet

now adverts are encouraging people to use

the equity in their homes to help finance

their retirement….so which is right?

Why do so many people still think Equity

Release is a “bad thing”

The schemes of 40+ years ago were

predominantly “Home Reversion” schemes

which involved selling the property to the

finance company in return for a lump sum.

This meant that any potential inheritance was

immediately lost. Whilst there are still some

schemes of this nature available today, most

people opt for schemes where you retain the

ownership of the property, with the lender having

a first charge - just like any other mortgage.

I have heard I could lose my house

or leave a debt to my children

With the “no negative equity” guarantees

available today, there is no fear of any onward

debt. Equally, as you still own the property,

there is no fear of losing your home.

What if I want to move house?

Most of todays’ scheme are “portable” so

they can be transferred. There are a number

of factors, and potential costs, if somebody is

considering moving, however most schemes are

flexible and can be moved to another property.

Sarah says, “There are massive benefits to

Equity Release in the right circumstances,

however there can be long term implications

that clients need to be aware of. It is important

to be clear about all the factors so we can

choose the RIGHT option for them.”

“I am a great advocate of Equity Release as

it has changed people’s lives when they have

been able pay for Home Improvements that

would have been otherwise unaffordable. It has

kept people in their homes when they felt the

only option was to sell and I have also helped

parents release equity to help their children

buy homes or help family in other ways.”

In Sarah’s opinion, somebody considering Equity

Release needs advice, guidance and information

that is relevant to their particular situation.

“There are so many different schemes available

that it can be confusing without the right advice”.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Equity Release can reduce the value of your estate and can affect your eligibility for means tested benefits.


With 27 years’ experience in finance and over

6 years specialising in Equity Release, Sarah

takes pride in the time and care she takes

with her clients. She is happy to visit your

home and she is not just available 9-5 but

will offer flexible times to suit her clients.

Call Sarah on

07789 007447 / 01622 631372








SarahFerrellWT217.indd 1 11/02/2020 15:00







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7 wealdentimes.co.uk

KentAndSussexHolidayCottagesWT217.indd 1 05/02/2020 11:14


generation to


We look after your

wealth so you can

nurture your passions.

Call us to learn how we can help

build the future you want to see.

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The value of investments and the income from

them can go down as well as up and investors

may not get back the amount originally invested.

JM Finn and JM Finn & Co are trading names of J.M. Finn & Co. Ltd which is registered in

England with number 05772581. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

WT Good Living Supplement sponsored by

It’s good to talk

With the baby boomer generation set to pass on a significant

amount of wealth, discussing plans and goals with beneficiaries

can give everyone a head start, as Anna Murdock explains

In my 15 years of giving individuals

advice on their wealth and financial

wellbeing, one of the biggest issues

I experience is the surprise, shock and

disappointment that can come following

a death in the family. The one piece of

advice that I try to hammer home is to

discuss your inheritance

plans with your family; the

last thing you want is to

be embroiled in conflict

at a time when you want

to be left to grieve.

Communication is

something we as a nation

have always been good

at, but not when it comes

to airing our views or

concerns about money.

I believe that it’s a generational

thing, as in my experience baby

boomers often adopt the view

that having a conversation with

someone about wealth and money


is something we

as a nation have

always been

good at, but not

when it comes

to money”

is definitely one of life’s taboos.

Many believe that leaving a will

counts as communicating with one’s

beneficiaries. I know that when

imparting my advice on someone’s

pension options, for example, it is far

better to do so on a face-to-face basis.

You learn so much more

about someone’s reaction

to your decision whether

it be in their facial

expressions or their verbal

response; it is human

nature to scan faces and

look for reactions.

Ask anyone in business.

All (successful) CEOs

will tell you, and their

staff will tell you, your

children, your spouse, everyone will

tell you that communication is key. If

you put communication into the books

section of Amazon it will return over

70,000 results on self-help books, all

teaching you to



With a huge

amount of wealth transfer on the

horizon, my advice would be to discuss

your requests and bequests and explain

to your children, grandchildren and any

other beneficiaries what your plans are.

You may not be able to pay for a deposit

for a house, or you may not want to, but

either way it is not worth letting that be

a disappointment once you have gone.

As a wealth planner who advises on

all aspects of individuals’ wealth, all

the advice I give is on a personal basis.

I strongly encour age families to learn

more about each other’s individual

attitudes to money and wealth and,

if appropriate, set expectations for

any inheritance while you still can.

Anna Murdock is Head of Wealth

Planning at JM Finn jmfinn.com

9 wealdentimes.co.uk




The experts at Fitness Superstore educate

us on the importance of physical activity.

Right: Bowflex Max Trainer M8.

Our price £1,999 | Save £700

As we all grow older and gradually slow down, it’s likely a

sedentary lifestyle takes hold and our physical activity

takes a backseat. But when it comes to fitness, it’s never too

late to start, no matter your age. In fact, an active lifestyle is more

important than ever to your health in your senior years.

Naturally, our metabolism slows down with age, meaning

maintaining a healthy weight can become a challenge. By adding

exercise into your daily routine, your metabolism can increase,

while building important muscle mass and burning calories.

In turn, the impact of illness or chronic disease can reduce, and

you will see improvements in your mobility, flexibility and balance.

And the benefits are not just physical! You’ll find that your sleep

improves which is vital for your overall health, meaning you wake

feeling more energised, confident, and ready for the day.

You should aim

for 30 minutes

of exercise, five

times a week.

The NHS suggest aiming for at

least 150 minutes of moderate

activity a week. This may sound

daunting at first, but when broken

down equates to just 30 minutes

of exercise, five times a week.

Remember, it’s important to start

slowly, making sure you’ve warmed up properly before each workout.

If you haven’t trained for a while it may take a little longer to get

into the swing of things, and the last thing you want is to injure

yourself in your first session!

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impact away from your joints and bones. On the Max Trainer, 14

minutes a day is all it takes to see results.

Recumbent Bikes: Benefitting from a lower seat position, a

recumbent bike is much easier to get onto and ride than its

upright counterparts. They offer unbeatable comfort thanks to the

chair-like seat that supports your back throughout your workout,

meaning you can ride for longer and burn more calories.

Free Weights: Preserve bone density, independence and vitality by

incorporating some resistance training into your routine. All you

need are some light dumbbells or a barbell set and some simple

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Not sure which type of product will suit you?

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local showroom in Tunbridge Wells. Find us at 30/34 Grosvenor

Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2AP, call us on 01892 883747.

Or you can shop our unrivalled range of fitness products online at


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Fit over 50!

Sarah Maxwell explains how it’s time to ramp things up when it comes to exercise

Are you 50+ and think it’s about

time that you slowed down

and took things easier?

I’m going to disappoint a few

of you now because, 50+ is the

time to speed things up!

We lose muscle mass, bone density,

mobility and flexibility naturally as we

age, belly fat becomes an issue as we

start thickening around the middle.

Even if you are naturally slim,

you could have excess visceral fat.

Visceral fat is fat that you can’t see,

the fat wraps around the vital organs,

heart, liver and underused muscle.

An excess of visceral fat

greatly increases the risk of:

• Heart attack and

heart disease

• Type 2 diabetes

• Stroke

• Breast cancer

• Alzheimer’s

The link below will show you how to go

about measuring your level and give you

an indication of your visceral fat levels.


Now let me tell you the good news!

Regular exercise, combining

aerobic activity and weight

bearing exercises will go a long

way to reducing your fat levels.

A well balanced diet, reducing

sugar, processed food and upping the

vegetables is the way to go. Reducing

stress levels, regular exercise, relaxation,

a good sleep pattern, meditation and

me-time are all essential ingredients.

Regular exercise will make a huge

difference to your mental health

whether it is a steady walk with friends

or a training session at the gym or

class. You will

build muscle, lose

fat, increase bone

density, mobility and

flexibility – there is

no reason why in

your 50s and beyond

you can’t be as strong

and flexible as you

were in your 30s!

People who take this approach

will look younger, have better

skin, more energy and a much

more positive outlook along with

an increased quality of life.

“We lose muscle

mass, bone

density, mobility

and flexibility

naturally as

we age”

Here is my recipe for being fit

and fabulous at 50 and beyond:

Regular aerobic exercise:

2-3 times a week

This can be walking, dancing, climbing

the stairs (anything that gets your heart

rate up). Try to get outside as often as

possible for around 15 minutes a day

to boost your vitamin D levels and to

make you feel good inside and out.

Strength training/interval training:

2-3 times a week (this doesn’t have to

take long, 10-15 minutes is good)

You don’t need to use weights,

your body weight is just fine.

Stretch and mobilise every day (I do this

before my morning shower every day)

Exercise can be done in stages

throughout the day and is just as

effective. If you don’t have time for a

20-minute walk, do 10 minutes and

some more or something different later

in the day. Dance around your kitchen,

walk around the supermarket instead

of shopping online. It all helps.

You don’t have to be a gym bunny, but

if you want to bounce now and through

old age, the time to think about your

physical and mental health is now!

Sarah is running a free two-day 10-minute fitness course – you can sign

up at sarahmaxwell.teachable.com/p/free10minutefitness

11 wealdentimes.co.uk

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Midsummer Fair

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Third Row: J Brand Josie trouser, £230, Hall & Co. halland.co; Modern Rarity silk slip skirt, £120, John Lewis & Partners johnlewis.com;

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Bottom Row: Juliana loafers, £139.99, Blue Velvet Shoes bluevelvetshoes.com; gold lightening bolt leather trainer, £65, Oliver Bonas

oliverbonas.com; black Hudson boot, £120, The Gate Boutique thegateboutique.co.uk; Andina courts, £80, Dune London dunelondon.com



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Try something


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Dundale Farm, Dundale Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 9AQ • 01892 826004 • info@curlinginkent.co.uk • www.curlinginkent.co.uk

M arden Sports Club

FentonsRinkWT163.indd 1 18/08/2015 16:33

Welcome to our wonderful new club with sports for all

a bilities and all ages. We offer hockey, cricket, tennis and

netball in a fun, supportive environment where everyone

c a n find a level that suits them, regardless of experience.


01622 822656 I Search 'Marden Sports Club'



MardenSportsClubWT217.indd 1 12/02/2020 14:19

WT Good Living Supplement sponsored by

Photo for Lucie Bennett by Claudia Goedke

Courses &


Our rundown of five of the best

from across the South East

Cook Smart...

Last month, The Limpsfield Cookery

School in Surrey opened its doors

for the first time to provide a

range of classes focusing on various

culinary skills, taught by top chefs.

The brainchild of Jacqueline

Derbyshire, the School’s aim is to

provide pupils with the tools and

knowledge to create dishes with a huge

selection of courses throughout the

year, from bread and cake making, to

mastering international cuisines. “I have

always considered myself proficient

in the kitchen,” says Jacqueline, “and

indeed have usually been the go-to

person to cater for family parties and

events. However, after my daughter

married a Michelin-trained chef, I

was made very aware that there was a

huge range of skills and dishes that I

was lacking. I found that there were

either no courses available to help

me learn, or those that were available

were more geared to professional chefs

and felt cold and unwelcoming. This

is where the idea for The Limpsfield

Cookery School was born!”

Alongside the courses, once every

month, Jacqueline will be hosting a

Friday night Supper Club where up to

35 guests can enjoy a casual, informal

buffet-style gathering, focused on

fresh, seasonal produce – the perfect

way to kick-start the weekend.


Wonky waltz..?

(or never even tried?)

We tracked down Jack from

jackdavidson.co.uk to ask him

about his popular ballroom classes:

What can you expect from a

Jack Davidson dance class?

“Well, firstly, great dancing

technique, followed by lots of

fun and a whole new social

community you never expected

to meet! Our aim is to add some

Strictly magic to your dancing. We

cater for beginners to advanced

and beyond. Our dance classes

in Tenterden and Rolvenden

teach so much more than just

ballroom and latin dancing – the

steps are just the beginning of

the journey, technique along

with fun and socialising are

at the core of what we do.”

Why do people seem to

like dancing so much?

“We all lead busy and stressful

lives but dancing can be such

an immersive experience and

benefit you in so many ways.

For instance, helping you

to stay active both mentally

and physically, meeting new

people, pushing yourself out

of your comfort zone (gently)

and providing an environment

with like-minded people all

sharing the joy of dance.”

Do I need a partner?

“They say it takes two to tango

but at a Jack Davidson dance class

it doesn’t matter if you come as

a couple or by yourself, we are

accessible to all. We understand

that it can take a lot of courage

to try something new or just start

dancing again, but we aim to

put all your worries at ease and

help you leave class smiling and

wanting to come back for more.”

You can visit jackdavidson.co.uk

for class times and more info or

call him on 07863 132920.

15 wealdentimes.co.uk

Ashford Golf Club

Special 2020 Open Package

The 2020 open will return to

Royal St Georges in July for

the fi rst time since 2011.

Celebrate in style with a game

of golf at Ashford Golf Club, a

beautiful Parkland Course just

minutes’ from the M20 (Junction

9) either on your way to the

Open or on your return having

seen some entertaining golf.

Want to dance...

well here’s your chance!


Adult Ballroom, Latin

and Argentine Tango

With many local hotels within

easy reach, this venue is

ideal for those wishing to

play a challenging course in

the Heart of Kent to add to

their overall experience.

Golf Package

Just £55 per person for 18

holes of Golf (including bacon

roll and coffee on arrival).

To book a tee time and any

further catering requirements,

phone the Pro Shop on

01233 622655 - Group

bookings welcome.

Sandyhurst Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4NT


Our dance school based in Tenterden, Kent offers adult

dance classes in Ballroom and Latin and Argentine

Tango. Whether you're a beginner, an improver, coming

back to dance or just think you'd like to give it a go,

we have a range of classes to cater for all levels.

All of our beginners classes are just £7 per session

per person and offer a no pressure introduction.

07863 132920




Dance Teacher

AshfordGolfClubWT215.indd 1 16/12/2019 WonkyWaltzWT217.indd 14:43

1 10/02/2020 14:23



Everyone wants to get what they paid for. Wealden Times is independently

verified by ABC, because we want our advertisers to know they’re getting the

exposure they’ve been promised.

ABC. See it. Believe it. Trust it.


Gardening Courses



Join Jo Arnell at her garden

in Woodchurch for the 2020

gardening courses

- booking now

Contact Jo 01233 861149


2018_be wise when you advertise_full A4.indd 2 08/11/2018 11:31:31



ABC.indd 1 12/12/2018 HornbrookManorWT216.indd 17:15

1 14/01/2020 09:49

WT Good Living Supplement sponsored by

The Pro Approach...

This spring, tennis fans should check out the Château

Lou Casteou and Rose Tennis Academy, which will

be running from 14-19 April in a stunning château

set in the beautiful Côte d’Azur countryside. It is

structured to welcome all levels of tennis players – from

beginners to advanced – with coaches James Rose and

Richie Baker leading an experienced team of tennis

pros. Six hours’ daily coaching and tournaments,

luxe all-inclusive accommodation and a ticket to the

ATP Tournament in Monaco is priced at £1,998

single occupancy, or £1,750 pp for two sharing.

If you’re after something more fitness-orientated,

you could try Body Tonic at Lou Casteou, a

luxurious, four-night all-inclusive fitness retreat,

which provides energetic training classes, vibrant

Latin dance parties, stunning coastal treks, a tennis

workshop, private chef and pampered chateau

accommodation. Upcoming retreats are 27-31 May,

24-18 June or 16-20 September. loucasteou.eu

Fun with Fitness...

If you’re keen to up your fitness levels and enjoyment of

exercise, but are daunted by the gym or just lacking in

motivation, Wealden Times columnist Sarah Maxwell runs

a series of online fitness courses alongside ballet barre and

personal and group training classes at her studio in Cranbrook.

Sarah’s fun, action-packed sessions are filled with laughter and

positivity and offer the perfect chance to reap the benefits

of a whole body workout under her expert supervision.

Sarah will be hosting a very special health and fitness retreat

with a difference in Palermo, Sicily (European capital of

culture 2018) from 9-13 September. The retreat will be for a

maximum of eight people and will be based in elegant and stylish

accommodation with a wide variety of room options (your own

room and bathroom as standard). Sarah’s private air-conditioned

fitness studio is ideal for Pilates, barre, Ariel fitness and yoga.

Enjoy a few days surrounded by wonderful people, great food

– “No starvation juice here,” says Sarah – and fabulous wine,

“Yes, that too!” It’s suitable for all abilities. Contact Sarah to be

one of the first to receive full details about this retreat and future

dates. sarahmaxwell.com / Instagram @sarahmaxwelllifestyle

Fancy Broomwork...

England’s first ever dedicated curling rink is

tucked down a country lane, just three miles

from Tunbridge Wells. Fenton’s Rink welcomes a

wide range of people, all keen to try their hand

at this fascinating Winter Olympic sport.

The 50-metre ice rink has been specially

designed for curling, so everyone gets to try the

real thing, complete with curling stones, brushes

and shoes – as you would see on televised games.

Beginners can use rubber-soled shoes to get the

hang of throwing the stone before advancing to

sliding on the ice – if you want to try that, too.

For elderly visitors, or those with a bad back, you

can just push the stone along with our specially

designed cues, so everyone can have a go!

The season runs until the end of April, so there’s

still plenty of time to try something really different.

Check out Fenton’s website and online booking

system at fentonsrink.co.uk for current availability.


Benenden Hospital –

The Weald’s Hidden Jewel

Visit the Benenden

Hospital stand

at this June’s

Wealden Times

Midsummer Fair

Possibly one of the best kept secrets, Benenden Hospital

has been caring for the Wealden community and those

across the UK for over 112 years. So it’s with great

pleasure that Wealden Times is proud to announce

this award-winning Hospital as our Midsummer Fair

sponsor and a valued partner throughout 2020.

AHistory of Benenden Hospital

Founded in 1907 as a mutual

organisation to help others,

Benenden Hospital was originally a

sanatorium for Post Office workers

suffering from tuberculosis.

At the turn of the last century, about

300,000 people nationally were suffering

from the illness but only 22,000 a year

could be treated. At the time, there

were only 500 beds in England and

Wales where treatment was provided,

so a new sanatorium was needed.

Ideal location

Benenden, near Cranbrook, located in

the High Weald of Kent, was chosen

because of its rural location in the

beautiful open countryside, a location

that today is a designated Area of

Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

It was ideal for TB patients for whom

it was thought fresh, clean air and

bed rest were key to their recovery.

Changing with the times

The Society evolved into Benenden

Health, offering a range of discretionary

healthcare and well-being services to

individual and business healthcare

members, now numbering over

817,000 across the UK.

Whilst Benenden Hospital continued

to provide quality care for Benenden

Health Members, in the 1970s it

also opened to the public, providing

a wide range of surgical services.

In 2017, the Hospital completed a

multi-million pound redevelopment,

including two new wards, luxury private

rooms with ensuite bathrooms, new CT,

MRI, and diagnostic imaging facilities,

a new physiotherapy suite, and an

award winning waiting area (designed

and built around patient experience).

Benenden today

Benenden Hospital today is an

independent not-for-profit hospital with

charitable status, which continues the

principle of providing first-class treatment

for a wide range of specialties. The

Hospital provides treatment to patients

whether they self-pay, are privately

insured, or those referred through the

NHS or Benenden Health Members.

The Hospital continually extends

its services and now has over 140

treatments and services, including

hip and knee replacements, cataracts

treatments, weight loss surgery, varicose

vein removal and breast reduction.

Recognition of outstanding care

Benenden Hospital is the only

private hospital in Kent to be

rated “Outstanding” by the Care

Quality Commission (CQC), the

independent regulator who ensures

that health and social care services

provide people with safe, effective,

compassionate and high-quality care.

Not only does the hospital benefit

from numerous awards, it boasts high

levels of patient satisfaction with more

than 98% saying they would recommend

the hospital to family and friends.

It is the first and currently the only

independent hospital in the UK to be

awarded the prestigious Anaesthesia

Clinical Services Accreditation

(ACSA) from the Royal College of

Anaesthetists (RCoA), providing

additional peace of mind for patients.



WT Good Living Supplement sponsored by

‘Patient-first’ experience

‘From the moment a patient walks

through the door everyone will go

the extra mile to ensure people feel

cared for, valued and special as we

recognise this is often a time of anxiety

and tension and we want to give each

and everyone the best experience we

can. Our culture is one of openness

and transparency where we live by

our values and recognise everyone

makes a valuable contribution to the

experience of our patients.’ Jane Abbott

– Hospital Director and Chief Nurse

Achieving excellence

Benenden Hospital is one of the

leading private hospitals for hip and

knee replacements in Kent and Sussex.

The Hospital is also one of the largest

providers of cataract care in the

South East, and has extensive clinical

expertise in Weight Loss Surgery.

Reassuringly for patients, Benenden

Hospital is proud to have exemplary

infection control rates, with no

cases of MRSA and very low rate of

postoperative infection (1% or below

– the national average is 6.4%).

Benenden Hospital and Wealden Times

Watch this space for lots more from

this special partnership in 2020.

To find out more about Benenden

Hospital visit benendenhospital.org.uk.

‘Benenden Hospital is located

in a truly beautiful area in the

Weald of Kent which creates

a therapeutic environment

for both patients and staff.

We are very proud of our rich

heritage as a hospital which

pre-dates the NHS by 40 years.

We have a strong history of

delivering high-quality care

which has evolved to meet the

changing healthcare needs of

our patients moving us from

our origins as a TB sanatorium

to a hospital primarily focused

on delivering surgical services.’

Jane Abbott, Hospital

Director and Chief Nurse

19 wealdentimes.co.uk



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The Evolution of Beauty

How does the way we look after our skin and hair change as we age? We go straight

to the experts for tips, tricks and treatments to maintain optimum condition


Russell Barradell, owner of

William Charles Hair, Tenterden

How does our hair

change as we age?

As we age our hair ages too.

There are many changes in our

hair over different periods of

our lives. The most common

change in our hair is that it

can go grey. Hair goes grey

due to the lack of melanin

production, which gives hair

its colour. The texture of the

hair can change as well, due

to the lack of protein. Grey

hair will feel a lot coarser and

drier than natural coloured

hair. Thinning hair is another

major concern as we get

older due to the density and

volume of the hair decreasing.

Are there any styles or

colours I should avoid

once I reach 55+?

There are not any specific

rules on styles for the over 55s.

It depends on the individual

guest. At William Charles Hair

we offer a full consultation

to our guests to determine

their desired style and colour,

which they will be able to

manage within their lifestyle.

Does ageing hair need

more maintenance?

Ageing hair will need more

maintenance especially if the

guest wants to colour their

hair. At William Charles

Hair we would recommend

repeat appointments every

4-6 weeks to maintain your

hair colour and style. Visits to

the salon to have treatments

is also recommended as this

will help drier/coarser hair to

feel softer and look shinier.

Could you recommend

an essential hair care


At Aveda we have a whole

range of home care products

to manage all hair concerns

i.e. colour, dry, and damaged.

Some great examples of the

products we have are: Invati

advanced system, to help guests

with thinning hair solutions;

Damage remedy range which

will reduce breakage by 90% in

just 1 week, plus our new Nutri-

Plenish range which hydrates

the hair for 72 hours after using.

01580 762564



Uma Jeyanathan


Skin Health & Facial Aesthetics

at Bella Vou, Pantiles Clinic

What changes as your skin

ages? The skin loses collagen

and elastin as we age, this

means the plumpness and

bounce we see in younger

skin diminishes. The skin

gets more fragile and thin

over time and pigmentation

can be more apparent.

Will this affect my skincare

regime? We need to tailor

our skincare routine to the

changes that are happening in

the ageing skin. We can use

products that will improve

collagen stimulation, help

thicken the skin and build

resilience. There are also

skincare products which

reduce pigmentation and

protect from solar radiation,

which contributes to 90%

of premature ageing.

Are there any treatments

that are particularly

beneficial for over 50s?

Skin health treatments, which

improve collagen content

dramatically, are Profhilo®,

a pure hyaluronic acid skin

booster, which bio-remodels

skin cells. This is a true

investment in the skin.

Micro-needling is also a great

way to rejuvenate collagen

within the skin. This can be

repeated monthly to start with

to produce the optimal results.

How can I keep my skin

in optimum condition?

The best course of

action is prevention, so

where possible protect

from sun damage, eat

a balanced healthy diet

and hydrate well.

I would advise an effective

SPF cream daily, with a

tailored skin care regime.

Light facial peels and microneedling

are a great start on

your skin health journey.

Call Bella Vou’s Pantiles Clinic

on 01892 257357 to arrange a

complimentary consultation with

Uma. bellavou.co.uk

21 wealdentimes.co.uk


Hair & Makeup

Artist, Nina Gregory

Now I’m over 50,

can I still wear the

same makeup as I

did in my 30s and 40s? Do I need

more? I wouldn’t say you need more

coverage, but you do need the correct

products and the know-how in product

application. Getting the application

right will make a huge difference to the

way you look. If you’ve always had a

signature look like a red lip, black liquid

liner, nude lip, smudgy 60s liner… these

can all be adapted to suit more mature

looks without losing your personality.

You need two looks, one for

daytime and a more evening look

with a bolder lip or accent of the eye.

Stay away from shimmers or glittery

products at all costs. These will only

sit in the creases and lines we all try

so much to hide and look dated.

What should I be filling my makeup

bag with? Heavily invest in a good

skincare regime for more mature

skin then your products should

really consist of the following:

Tinted Moisturiser / Water Light

Foundations, these are new to the market

and the colour matching for these are so

much easier than typical foundations.

A lighter tone concealer – but not

too pale. Choose your usual skin

tone colour and apply it to any slight

imperfections, dabbing it on with a

fluffy brush or lightly with your finger.

A great liner pen in brown or

navy blue. Opt for a soft twist up

rather than a sharp pencil as these

are harsh on the skin to smudge

into the eye socket for definition.

A great blush and bronzer duo,

these are great for subtle colour

or more colour for evenings or

holidays if you tend to tan.

Cream blush and bronze are

great and easy to apply. Stay away

from the glittery blushes – use a

slightly more matte version.

Always get an eyebrow pencil that

will accent your brows rather than

make a focal point of them. Choose

one with a brush at the end so you can

keep brushing through your brows to

soften the colour but still give your face

definition and accent your features.

Invest in a good waterproof

mascara, this will last all day and not

transfer to lids or under the eye. I’m

a great lover of black mascara for

all ages, but if not a dark brown.

Lip colour should be either satin finish

or a creamier consistency. Steer clear of

matte shades as these sit in lines and bleed

and are hard to upkeep during the day.

For the more daring of you, investigate

treatments such as eyelash extensions or

microblading for your brows. Always seek

professional advice and take in pictures




Private Care Service

50 High Street, Tenterden 01580 762 564

Book online at www.williamcharleshair.co.uk

or through our facebook page

Our Private Care Service offers

tailored packages of personal care

that can help people stay in their

own home for as long as possible,

rather than going into a care home

before it’s really needed. We assist

those who need help due to

fraility, disability or illness to live

as independently as possible, with

comfort & dignity, in their own home.





per hour

For a free assessment

of your care needs or to

receive your brochure

Call us on 01580 762244

Town & Country Homecare Limited

102a High Street, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HT



WilliamCharlesWT216.indd 1 06/01/2020 TownCountryHomecareWT133.indd 16:50

5 04/02/2013 16:20

WT Good Living Supplement sponsored by

of how you want your treatment to

look that will suit your individual needs.

These treatments are great and very easy

for mature looks, not just youngsters!

Finally… the tools of the trade.

Invest in a great set of brushes, you’ll

notice the difference immediately.

What should I be steering clear of at

the makeup counter? Anything that

says matte or full coverage. Trust your

own judgement and try products on

the back of your hand for an hour or

so before you buy. See how the product

feels, how the air has oxidised the

colour – it’s a good indication of how

the colour will transfer on your face.

Skin tends to become slightly drier the

older we get so go for nourishing, light

reflecting or moisturising products. Avoid

facial powders in any format – these

will be appearing chalky and ageing.

I would also browse all the products

in the store, just because you like one

brand, or have used it for years, it doesn’t

always mean it’s the right one. There

are so many brands on offer which can

be daunting, but ask some advice from

some of the newer, ‘younger’ brands.

All makeup companies will make

something that will be suitable for all

age ranges. Be brave! You really don’t

have to spend a fortune either, high

street brands are amazing these days.

How can I keep my look fresh and on

trend? Don’t be stuck in a rut! There

is such a variety of images, advice,

online tutorials, products, magazines,

advertisements etc. to take inspiration

from and explore trends at any age. Try

one of the many online tutorials on

YouTube and other social media outlets.

Use the consultants on the counters

for advice, book a makeup lesson, book

a shopping lesson, too. Lots of makeup

artists offer a shopping service. They

will meet you for a coffee and take

you through an informed shopping

list – whatever your budget – to work

out a great list of cosmetics that work

for you. You can also pay to have a

lesson with your own makeup bag

contents – take notes, look and learn.

Be open minded and practise new

looks, you’ll soon find out what works

and doesn’t work for you. Have a few key

products that you use all the time instead

of hoarding a makeup bag of products

that haven’t seen the light of day in years.

We all love making the best of

ourselves and keeping

up with the latest trends

including make-up.

Remember knowledge is

power in the vast world

of makeup and skincare!

Nina is an award-winning

international freelance

Hair & Makeup Artist.

To see more of her

work, and to find out

about booking her, visit


We invite you to a

Masterclass in Skincare

£25 including Champagne afternoon

tea, complimentary Goodie Bag

and a £10 product voucher

London has arrived

in the Weald...

March 26th, 31st & April 2nd

11.30-2.00 & 3.00-5.30

Gift Vouchers for Mother’s Day now available online at


Please book in advance by calling 01892 750055

Email: enquiriesknowle@gmail.com

Gillian Spooner, a senior Sassoon trained

stylist currently working at the Josh Wood

Atelier in London, is now based in your area.

Gillian’s superb level of expertise in cutting

and styling for ladies can be brought to you

by private appointment, with the benefit of a

free, no-obligation consultation beforehand.

For more information visit

www.gshair.co.uk or call to arrange a

free full consultation on 01622-862735

GS Spooner


23 wealdentimes.co.uk

KnowleGrangeHealthWT217.indd 1 19/02/2020 SteveCarmoWT140.indd 16:32

1 18/09/2013 14:50



You’ll want to enjoy your retirement that you’ve worked hard

for and not have to worry about the upkeep of the house, garden

and all the cooking and cleaning chores. So downsize on all those

responsibilities and give yourself the time to upsize your retirement!

All-inclusive living • Great amenities on site • Safe and Secure

Restaurant quality dining • Free all day café

For more call 01323 644111

Search ‘Hawthorns Eastbourne’ online or on

The Hawthorns Eastbourne | 4 Carew Road | East Sussex | BN21 2BF



1 05/02/2020 11:20



of Later


Join us for our Discovery Day.

Monday 2nd March, 11am-3pm, at the

Hilton Hotel Maidstone, ME14 5AA to:

• View the village layout and

floor plans of apartments

• Learn about the ‘inspired way of life’

• Speak to our friendly sales advisers

• Reserve a new home and benefit

from our early bird incentives

To book your place visit:


or call: 01622 805 943

Later living community coming soon near Leeds Castle, Maidstone



InspiredVillagesWT216.indd 1 10/01/2020 10:31

WT Good Living Supplement sponsored by

Retire in Style

Our retirement living picks

Sell for all feature pages

Stunning Surroundings at Wildernesse House

collection of 31 one- and twobedroom

apartments in the A

historic Grade II listed Wildernesse

House, and eight new mews houses set

in the sprawling Wildernesse Estate,

Sevenoaks, are now available from luxury

retirement home specialists PegasusLife.

Each apartment has been meticulously

renovated, with impressive details and

little luxuries that make these homes

so welcoming. The newly built twobedroom

mews houses offer large, light

living spaces, with peaceful outdoor areas

to be enjoyed throughout the season.

The Wildernesse Estate offers a wealth

of enriching activities and facilities

literally on your doorstep; from a

pleasant stroll through the surrounding

parklands, or a visit to the luxurious

wellness centre, spanning the lower

ground floor of the house, offering a

pool, sauna and steam rooms, treatment

rooms, fully equipped gym and studio.

The affluent town of Sevenoaks is

less than two miles away, and has so

much to offer all year round, including

a variety of independent and high

street shops and dining. With easy

transport links to London and beyond,

and surrounded by stunning Kentish

countryside, Wildernesse House

offers the very best in later living.

Prices start from £610,000. To

find out more about Wildernesse

House or to book an appointment,

call 01732 608144. pegasuslife.co.uk

Holistic wellbeing at Inspired Valley

Work has just begun on the

first of ‘Inspired Villages’

retirement villages in Kent, just

up the road from the picturesque

Leeds Castle, near Maidstone.

Inspired Villages are so-called for good

reason: their plush, quality interiors are

designed to ensure your retirement years

truly are the best years of your life.

The Inspired philosophy is centred

around each and every resident’s

holistic wellbeing – looking after

both their physical and mental health

and encouraging them to enjoy a

healthy, happy and independent life.

Moving to an Inspired Village has

been compared to living permanently

in a 5-star hotel – but with your own

front door. This is not downsizing

– it’s rightsizing. Does your present

home have its own fabulous

restaurant, bistro, library, beauty

room, swimming pool and spa?

All apartments offer plenty of storage,

with carefully thought out kitchens and

bathrooms using only the finest fixtures

and fittings, while the easy maintenance,

landscaped gardens are all taken care

of, enabling you to make the most

of every minute of your later years.

For more information, visit inspiredvillages.


25 wealdentimes.co.uk

Emerson Park Retirement Village

and Care Home Open Day

Saturday 28th March (10am - 4pm)

Join us at our Open Day to find out more about Emerson Park - luxury retirement

apartments with a range of high class facilities alongside an exclusive care home.

View the stunning show apartments and unrivalled on-site facilities including Clubhouse

Lounge and Restaurant, Bar, Fitness Suite, Hair & Beauty Salon and Cinema. Take a tour of

the impressive Emerson Grange Care Home and talk to the Manager and his dedicated team.

Speak to our Events & Activities Manager and hear about the various daily social events at

Emerson Park and, while you’re there, enjoy the refreshments prepared by our chef.


Emerson Park, Rowhill Road, Hextable, Kent BR8 7FP

tel: 01322 515417 www.cinnamoncc.com/emersonpark

WT Good Living Supplement sponsored by

Retirement Luxury at Emerson Park

Emerson Park in Hextable, Kent,

offers an exclusive collection of

47 luxurious retirement apartments,

accompanied by a range of first-class

retirement village facilities and services.

Hextable is a thriving, traditional

English village with the benefit of great

transport links – central London is just

over half an hour’s train journey away.

Paul Hart, manager at Emerson

Park, comments: “Many people have

the preconceived idea that retirement

apartments are small, pokey flats

with very little or no support or

facilities. This certainly isn’t the case

at Emerson Park; large well-designed

apartments with the very highest

quality specification are complemented

with luxury amenities, such as the

Club House Room where you can meet

friends for a coffee or enjoy a threecourse

meal, obviously after enjoying a

G&T in the bar first! You can keep in

shape in the gym, be pampered in the

hair and beauty salon or enjoy a good

film in the cinema. Or why not take

up a new hobby? Our dedicated Events

& Activities team arrange a whole host

of social events tailored around the

interests of the people living here.”

As well as having all these

facilities on your doorstep a move

to such a retirement community

not only means you can enjoy the

independence of a new home but

also live without the worry of the

ongoing upkeep and maintenance

associated with an older property.

The exclusive apartments feature a

spacious, flowing layout and the finest

quality materials, finishes and fittings

creating an elegant, contemporary

ambience with all the mod-cons.

“It’s not only the apartment and

facilities which people are buying

into at Emerson Park,” continues

Paul, “but also the services. Our

driver will provide scheduled trips,

either to the local supermarket or to

places of interest, such as National

Trust properties, or a theatre trip.

The Good Life at The

Hawthorns Eastbourne

This gem of a retirement

community offers a unique

approach to all-inclusive retirement

living. It’s all done for you, with no

housekeeping, garden maintenance,

or cooking, so you get to focus on

enjoying life. There’s quality dining

three times daily, exercise classes

and trips out in a private minibus,

plus a wonderful range of on-site

amenities. Staffed 24/7, this friendly,

safe and secure village has studio,

Our gardeners and maintenance

team will ensure the site looks its

best throughout the year. Plus, all

apartments have the reassurance

of an emergency call system which

are answered by members of staff

who are on-site 24-hours.”

For further information on Emerson

Park call 01322 515415 or visit


1-bed and 2-bed apartments, plus

bungalows in the landscaped gardens.

Resident, Valerie Stokoe, explains

why she chose Hawthorns Eastbourne:

“If I could speak with potential

residents who aren’t sure if they are

ready, I would advise them not to

leave it too late, make the move whilst

you are still able to enjoy all that is

on offer! I’m glad that I moved here

when I did. I love my apartment and

all the activities that are provided.”

For more, search ‘Hawthorns

Eastbourne’ online or call 01323

644111. hawthornsretirement.co.uk

27 wealdentimes.co.uk

Dreaming of a

French Escape?

Are you lusting after the idea of owning a rural property in France,

but not sure how and where to start your search? WT asks the

advice of French property finders, Country Homes France

How does Country Home s France work? “Country

Homes France work in partnership with a network

of independent French estate agents, built up over

many years and mostly family run, this enables us to provide a

personalised service to our clients. Our service starts from the

initial contact to discuss property search requirements, advice

with property selection, arrange viewing appointments, assist

with offer negotiation, through to the purchase completion.

We have extensive knowledge of French regions and are happy

to share this with our clients to provide them with as much

information about properties and their search criteria.”

What do you specialise in? “Country Homes France

specialise in country and village property from barns and

houses to renovate, through to fully renovated country

houses, manor houses and small chateaux. Our clients

may be looking for a second home, retiring or making a

permanent move to France to enjoy the French lifestyle and

climate. Many of those looking to relocate to France are

seeking a home with income potential and a house with gite

accommodation is often the first choice – we have helped

many clients who are now running successful gite businesses.”

Which regions prove the most popular? “The most popular

regions to purchase a property in France fall into two

categories. For those who want to have easy access or be close

to the UK, then the regions of Normandy, Brittany, Picardy

and the Pas de Calais are the natural choices and where it

is still possible to buy a renovated 2-4 bedroom home for

€125,000. For those looking to be further south, the most

popular regions are the Charente, Charente-Maritime,

Dordogne, Garonne, Lot and Lot et Garonne areas that

enjoy a good year-round climate and which currently offer

very good value for money and regular flights to the UK.”

The National Trust offer senior

members a concession of 25 per

cent off their adult rates. If you’re

60 or over and you’ve held an

individual or joint membership for

at least five of the last ten years,

you’ll be eligible for the reduced

fee. nationaltrust.org.uk

English Heritage offer a variety of

reduced rates – Adult & Senior (1

adult under 65 and 1 senior over

65), Joint Senior (2 adults aged

65+), Senior Individual and Senior

Lifetime. Plus, membership includes

six accompanying children per adult

member english-heritage.org.uk

✁Cost Cutters – Discounts for over 60s



Do French properties tend to hold their value?

“French properties tend to hold their value and have

always appreciated over a longer period than in the

UK. Prices in France did suffer following the global

financial crisis in 2008 and have remained level since.

However last year there were a record number of property

sales in France and we continue to see an upturn in

confidence and property demand from both French

and UK buyers which will ultimately have a positive

effect on property values. At the present time prices

in France still represent very good value for money.”

How do you go about getting a mortgage for a

property in France? “Country Homes France have

worked in partnership for many years with a Paris-based

mortgage broker who works with the major French banks

and lenders (UK banks will not lend against a property in

France) and who we are happy to recommend to clients.

Mortgages are available for both permanent and second

homes and interest rates are comparable with those in

the UK. Our partners are English speaking and are able

to give pre-agreement indications before you make a

viewing trip so that you are in a position to offer on your

new home in France during your visit if you wish.”

Has Brexit affected the rules and regulations

surrounding buying a property in France? “Buying

a property in France will always be possible, and the

French have no wish to place unnecessary obstacles

in the way, however some of the rules and regulations

will change with regard to owning property in France

following Brexit. For a permanent move to France, UK

passport holders will need to obtain a residents permit

which we understand can be applied for online from

July 2020 and before July 2021. For second home

owners using their property less than 90 consecutive

days per year there are no changes. For those wanting to

use their property for more than 90 days and less than

180 days it may be necessary to apply for a visitor’s visa

similar to the ESTA form when visiting the USA.”

Brighten up your winter with the International Garden

Photographer of the Year exhibition, open every day between


Sissinghurst Castle Garden

4 January—8 March 2020

©Richard Bloom

©Manuela Göhner

TN17 2AB / 01580 710700 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle

©Claire Takacs


SissinghurstCastleWT216.indd 1 15/01/2020 10:45

Find your dream home in France

Follow this website link for information:


Get in touch with the Country Homes

France team at countryhomesfrance.co.uk.

Over 60s can claim a large chunk

off the cost of lifetime membership

of Royal Horticultural Society

at £835 for Individual (usually

£1,395) and £1,255 for Joint

(usually £1,945) rhs.org.uk

Kino Hawkhurst & Rye: Seniors

60+ can save £1 per ticket on the

regular adult price kinodigital.co.uk

Everyman Cinemas offer off-peak

senior citizen concessions for 60+

at all their cinemas. Silver Screen

is a weekly matinee screening of a

current release for film fans aged

55 and over. Ticket prices include

a free hot drink and a slice of cake!


+44 (0) 1233 800 200


29 wealdentimes.co.uk

CountryHomesFranceWT217.indd 1 14/02/2020 16:57

This page: 1970s silk dress,

£145, vintage earrings, £25,

Kathryn Vintage; Nine West

leather boots, £32, Déjà Vu.

Next page: Aquascutum Trench,

£85, Betty Jackson for Autograph

linen suit, £60, Ghost silk ruffle

blouse, £45, Déjà Vu; vintage

earrings, £25, Kathryn Vintage

Sustainable Style

Shop sustainably for your new season spring/summer wardrobe.

Kate Liz Watts styles this season’s trends using preloved and vintage pieces

Photographs: David Merewether Styling: Kate Liz Watts

109 wealdentimes.co.uk

Who’s Wearing What


The independent boutique

in the heart of St Leonards-on-Sea

Understated womenswear

in natural fabrics


A new collection of striking

fashion for any occasion

Noted for quality, style,

comfort and fi t

Who’s Wearing What boutique

34 London Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN37 6AN

01424 272925 Open 7 days a week




Aquascutum Trench,

£85, Betty Jackson for

Autograph linen suit,

£60, Ghost silk ruffle

blouse, £45, Zara silver

flatform shoes, £20, Déjà

Vu; vintage earrings,

£25, Kathryn Vintage


whoswearingwhatboutiqueWT217.indd 1 06/02/2020 11:31


Munthe blush blazer, £220,

Hermes silk scarf, £105, Bond

Street to Your Street; Ines De La

Fressange x Uniqlo Polka Dot

shirt, £10, Zara leather mules,

£22, One Scoop Store; House of

CB velvet trousers, £50, Déjà Vu

dressing undeniable beauty

35 High St,



01580 714907

Hawkhurst - Rye - Lewes


Untitled-6 1 10/02/2020 OdylWT217.indd 10:35 1 13/02/2020 16:33

Affordable Dental Plans Now Available

Affordable Dental Plans Now Available

for Adults for Adults and Children and Children

Dr Kaumudi Dhutia BDS

Opening Times:

Mon, Wed & Fri 8.15am - 6.00pm

Tues & Thurs 8.15am - 8.00pm

Sat 9.00am - 1.00pm

Emergencies seen on the day


Zoom Whitening, Facial Aesthetic

(fillers) and Invisalign

T: 01233 502 231

37 Avocet Way



Kent | TN25 7FR







on Registration

on First Visit on Registration Children

on under First 18, Visit get

FREE check up

with a registered


07843 204544



Hourly & Day Rates - Quotation on enquiry


113 wealdentimes.co.uk

StarliteDentalFinberryWT217.indd 1 18/02/2020 NinaGregoryMakeUpWT217.indd 11:54

1 17/02/2020 11:12

Stripe pussybow blouse, £35,

original 1970s jeans, £55, vintage

waistcoat, £30, Hawk & Dove;

Mulberry shoe boots, £200, Bond

Street to Your Street; vintage ring,

£38, Kathryn Vintage

Selkie polka-dot crêpe tea dress, £60, Zara leather mules,

£22, vintage Art Deco inspired earrings, £10, One Scoop

Store; red original sombrero cordobés, £69, Déjà Vu

Vintage waistcoat two-piece, £25, Déjà Vu; volume sleeve

blouse, £40, silver necklace, £30, Kathryn Vintage

A special thanks to Sissinghurst Location House for letting us

shoot in their beautiful grounds. Sissinghurst Location House

is a 16th Century Farmhouse with Edwardian and modern

additions. The location is situated in 4 acres of gardens,

which include a stunning 60ft derelict Victorian greenhouse,

brick courtyard and two large weatherboard buildings.

The spacious house and garden can easily accommodate a

large crew, and is a versatile shoot location for a variety of

photo, TV and film requirements. For more information

contact Sally Littlestone on 07813 856361/ Instagram @

sissinghurstlocationhouse / sissinghurstlocationhouse.co.uk

A huge thank you to both Emma Garrow and Village Vintage

Hire for the floral arrangements and props. Emma grows seasonal

natural flowers and styles them for any occasion, runs creative

workshops and offers fresh flowers for door delivery. Village

Vintage Hire holds a beautiful collection of rustic and vintage

furniture and accessories available to hire for any location or event.

Address Book:

Bond Street to your Street

Cranbrook 01580 712900

Facebook @bondstreettoyourstreet

Déjà vu Instagram @dejavu_reloved,

dejavu_reloved@outlook.com, 07787

148783, also available to buy in

Pearl & Queenie, 10 Marine Court,

St Leonards-on-Sea TN38 0DX

Emma Garrow 07967 087165

Instagram @emmasflowerdesign,

Fresh Agents freshagents.co.uk

Hawk & Dove Hastings Old

Town hawkanddove.shop, Etsy:


Kathryn vintage Instagram @


Nina Gregory Make up 07843 204544

ninagregorymakeup.com / Instagram


One Scoop Store London


village vintage Hire

Sarah Andrew 07976 359344

Instagram @villagevintagehire

115 wealdentimes.co.uk


Josephine Fairley reveals the winners of the 2020 Beauty Bible Awards

For the past 25 years, bobbing

alongside everything else I’ve

ever worked on, my Beauty Bible

co-author Sarah Stacey and I have

organised The Beauty Bible Awards,

sending real products to real women

to trial in real life. Astonishingly,

we’ve now had almost 30,000 women

testing products for us, the results of

which initially appeared in our series

of books, and are now available for

all to see online at beautybible.com.

(There are skincare, haircare, make-up

and bodycare categories to peruse.)

We have literally just unveiled

the latest line-up of winners, from

thousands of products trialled. We give

Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards – and

in many cases, more than one, because

we just get such darned great scores.

The reason, we’ve always believed,

is because when women are taking

part in our trials – over a period of

three to four months – they are really

asked to use the products in line with

the beauty companies’ instructions.

And it’s that regular use and diligence

which, we think, delivers really mindblowing

average scores and comments

about effectiveness. (We ask women

to use treatment products on one

side of the face, for comparison.)

Fact: when you chop and change

your regime all the time, nothing gets

the chance to work properly. (And a

few days or a week isn’t enough; you

really need to leave it for an entire

skin cycle – around 28 days – to

see the longer-term benefits.) Fact:

neck creams and eye creams can be

super-effective and deliver impressive

results – but again, they need to be

used daily/nightly, not whenever you

can be faffed. This year, for whatever

reason, we had the highest-ever scores

we’ve ever seen, with many notching

up 9/10 average (or above) across a

panel of 10 women. We’re calling them

the Beauty Bible Superstars – and

I’m delighted to share some of these

ultra-high-scoring products, below.




Body loTion

D’Alchemy Essential Body Balm,

£58.60 for 200ml dalchemyskincare.

uk. With an average of 9.14/10,

an outstanding score for an allnatural,

pump-action body lotion

blending shea and shorea butter,

hop extract, acerola, cranberry and

guarana, argan and almond oils,

with a fab uplifting scent of sweet

orange, grapefruit and tangerine.

Comments: ‘Applying it felt

like soft silk – I could hear

myself saying “ooooh” and

“aaaahh.”’ • ‘Whenever I use

it I feel a million dollars.’

‘My skin over the

weeks has improved

so much in appearance.

I was even told I look

younger, and my skin feels

really soft and fresh’

Body oil

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

All Over Miracle Oil, £29 for 100ml.

A stonking 9.14/10 for a body oil

that’s higher in natural ingredients

than most of Elizabeth Arden’s

creations, including rice bran,

grapeseed, camellia, sunflower, olive,

avocado and castor oils, spritzed

onto the body as a nourishing mist.

Comments: ‘Great product; I

usually hate using body oils but

this is the lightest I’ve ever come

across. It’s gently scented, easy to

dispense, absorbs well and is so

versatile. Just about perfect!’ • ‘Skin

felt much more moisturised, softer

and smoother, less tight. I loved

the pleasant, subtle fragrance.’

‘If you love soft,

smooth, beautifully

clean skin then

you will love this


cleAnSing milk

Beauty Pie Jeju Daily, £28 for 190ml. By sourcing direct from

factories and selling direct to the beauty-hound, Beauty Pie founder

Marcia Kilgore keeps prices lean and keen. The £28 price is the top

price you’d pay for this high-scorer – which notched up 9.57/10

– but if you sign up to one of the different tiers of membership,

starting at a fiver a month, the price drops dramatically.

Comments: ‘I was blown away by this formulation. It felt super

gentle yet totally effective a.m./p.m. on my combination skin –

shiny T-zone, with open pores and comedones, then drier and red

across cheeks and neck. Makeup was removed quickly and easily,

and it was delightful to use’ • ‘Talk about cult beauty; this product

deserves to be worshipped and I would be a dedicated preacher.’

‘My skin felt more

supple and healthy

within days. It’s very easy to

spread and absorbs quickly.

All in all it’s amazing. I

would definitely buy and

recommend to others’

117 wealdentimes.co.uk

BrigHTening fAce mASk

Rituals Renewing AHA Glow Mask, £29.50 for

50ml. Rituals – probably better known as a home

fragrance/fragrance line – scored super-high

marks for several entries in this year’s Beauty

Bible Awards, here for a peach-toned mask with

natural alpha-hydroxy ‘fruit’ acids, including

lactic acid, to dissolve pore-clogging dead cells.

Comments: ‘A winner for me leaving my normal

skin with a “just out of the spa” freshness and

glow, which gets compliments from friends.’

• ‘I love this mask, which smells delicious

and leaves my combination skin visibly

clearer and glowing. My make-up goes on so

much better in the days after using this.’

‘A noticeable

difference in brightness and

radiance, which lasts a couple

of days. Softness is improved as the

mask is slightly exfoliating, and also

plumpness. It promised radiance

and illumination with smoothed

skin and absolutely delivered

on all counts. Love it!’

‘I couldn’t believe

how soft my feet felt after

one application. My feet

touched when I woke up and I

almost felt like they were someone

else’s feet as the skin was so soft

and supple and the overall

condition improved’

fooT TreAT

Margaret Dabbs Foot Hygiene Cream, £20 for 100g. The

cornerstone of award-winning foot expert Margaret

Dabbs’s range, this is described as a ‘miracle in a

jar’, whose effects go way beyond the cosmetic.

Comments: ‘10/10. I have really dry feet and have

used two products recently, each for over a month;

neither gave any real results, but this is fantastic.’ •

‘My job entails me being on my feet much of the day

and I have a baby. This left my feet feeling amazing

after application especially if they had a tough day, the

main thing was how soft my skin was and how easily

my toes glided when I rubbed them together. My

feet were very soft, refreshed and smelling lovely.’

nigHT TreATmenT

Tropic Skin Dream Age-Defying Firming Cream

Concentrate, £42 for 50ml. A truly incredible score,

here – an average of 9.75/10 across the 10-strong panel

– for a luxurious, skin-plumping formula which, as

Tropic put it, is ‘supercharged with intelligent plant

ceramide complexes and a blend of exotic butters.’

Comments: ‘A few people have already asked what I was

using and I have had compliments on how well I look.

This is a fantastic product, which I loved

immediately. After two weeks, then four, the

reduction in fine lines is very noticeable.

The best night cream I‘ve ever tried;

massive improvement in tone, lines and

wrinkles. I can’t fault this in any way it

made me feel fantastic. My skin looked

like I‘d had a salon treatment. It was

bright and soft and a lot of my fine

lines had all but gone; even my “11”

frown lines looked filled out.’

‘After the first use

I noticed that the treated

side of my face appeared more

firm and taut with less lines. It

was visibly firmer that the other

untreated side. After two weeks, there

was a marked difference between

the two sides with definitely

fewer lines and wrinkles

on the treated side’

‘Brilliant for my

lips, which can be dry and

chapped at times. It smooths

on beautifully from the tiny tube

and you only need a tiny amount.

It doesn’t absorb immediately which

I like because it looks like a nice

lip gloss; in fact I stopped using

lipstick because my lips

look nice without’

lip BAlm

Weleda Skin Food Lip Balm, £6.95 for 8ml.

This all-natural high-scorer is so affordable

you could pop one in every coat pocket

and never be without its protective blend of

glycerine, beeswax, sunflower oil and lanolin.

Comments: ‘I loved this product and will be buying

it again. There is a definite improvement in the

condition of my lips after using for a fortnight.’

• ‘Over two weeks the condition of my lips has

definitely improved. I’m addicted to this now!’

Put your best




Advanced Wrinkle Reducing Treatments

•• Dermal Filler Treatments ••

•• Lip Enhancement ••

www.drchristine.co.uk christine@drchristine.co.uk

07928 971683 17 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1UT




Year 2016

DrChristineWT217.indd 1 19/02/2020 10:41

10% off new private

patient check-ups





Join Bupa Dental Care Cranbrook today

Call 01580 715 786 and quote “New10”


*Terms and conditions: 1. Offer only available at Bupa Dental Care Cranbrook between 01/01/2020 - 31/03/2020 inclusive to new private patients

only. 2. Discount is made to the full price of a private check-up. 3. Appointments subject to availability. 4. Patients must be 18 years of age or over

and quote “New10” at the time of booking. 5. One offer per eligible patient. 6. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. 7. Offer may be

withdrawn or amended at any time. 8. No cash alternative is available.

Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Healthcare Limited. Registered in England and Wales, no: 03257078. Registered office: Bupa Dental

Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom, BS16 1GW.

DUK03226 | Dec19

119 wealdentimes.co.uk

BupaUkWT215.indd 1 11/12/2019 14:50


Tried Everything

to Lose Weight?

An Interview with Rachel Ricketts, a Leading Weight Loss Consultant.

Rachel is delighted to be celebrating

her 17th year as a weight loss consultant,

having helped thousands of people

to successfully lose weight. Owing to

the outstanding success of Rachel’s

approach and her highly workable

Metabolic Weight Loss Programme, she

has become a leading UK weight loss


Rachel, what does it feel like

having helped so many people?

“My job satisfaction is more than I could

ever have expected - I see daily just how

life changing it is for someone when they

have finally lost their weight. As I had a

weight problem myself in the past, I am

only too aware of how being overweight

can affect one’s life.”

What is the typical type of

person that comes to you?

“By the time most of our clients reach

us, they have done faddy diets, been to

diet clubs, lived off diet shakes, taken

slimming pills etc., and gone from one

diet to another, getting more and more

confused. Many are worried about health

issues due to being overweight and are

looking for something that will finally

help them lose weight once and for all.

We are so often told we are their last

chance. Our hundreds of hand written

testimonials, independent reviews, videos

and before and after photos, show just

what can be achieved with the Metabolic

Weight Loss Programme.”

Rachel Ricketts,

Weight Loss Consultant

No matter how

hard you have tried

in the past, The

Metabolic Weight

Loss Programme

could just be the

answer to resolving

your weight

problem once

and for all. ”

Why is The Metabolic Weight

Loss Programme so successful?

“The programme is not a quick-fix

or faddy diet. It uses a step-by-step

approach, taking you from the way you

are eating to another way, so that you

can comfortably lose and maintain your

weight. It is structured, easy to follow

and tailored for individual needs as

required. Clients time after time say that

they are not hungry and not struggling

with cravings”

How do you keep your clients

motivated while they’re on the


“Many of our clients report an average

weight loss of 7-14lbs. a month, which

as you imagine is very welcomed! Those

who have an underactive thyroid can also

fall in this weight loss range. They feel so

much better with their health, well-being

improvements and increased energy levels.

Getting into clothes that they thought they

would never be able to wear again is very


What does your support consist of?

“Consultations are either in person or by

phone, with email support as needed.

We always take a positive and nonjudgmental

approach, which is much

appreciated! We have clients throughout

the UK and overseas - so distance is no

object! So many times, clients say that

they couldn’t have lost their weight

without our invaluable support.”

Call now for a free consultation

01342 327396



Resetting the Balance

March is Endometriosis Month. Henrietta Norton explores the beneficial

effects that a considered diet can have on this painful condition

¹ Marziali M et al (2012) Gluten-free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms? Minerva Chirurgica. 2012 Dec; 67(6):499-504. 2 U.S EPA, (1985) Health

Assessment document for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins. Office of Health and Environmental Assessment. EPA/600-8-84/014f 3 DeVito MJ and Schecter A. (2002) Exposure assessment to

dioxins from the use of tampons and diapers. Environmental Health Perspectives. 110:23-28 4 Nassar S. (2003) Tampon Safety. National Centre for Policy Research (CPR) for women and Families.

Approximately 10% of all

premenopausal women

within the UK have been

diagnosed with endometriosis, a

complex disorder of the female

reproductive tract. There are

also many more women with

the condition who remain

undiagnosed – the average length

of time for diagnosis is 7½ years.

Endometriosis is where cells,

similar to those found in the lining

of the womb, are found elsewhere

in the body. During the female

monthly cycle the fluctuation in

hormones stimulates these cells to

grow, then break down and bleed,

as they would in the lining of the

womb, leading to inflammation, pain

and the formation of scar tissue.

Research published in Fertility &

Sterility demonstrated that nutritional

therapy through diet and supplements

was more effective at obtaining relief

of pain and improving the quality

of life of sufferers, than medical

hormonal treatment post-surgery.

There are five important dietary

and lifestyle changes that can

help to manage endometriosis:


Research shows women who

ate green vegetables 13 times or

more per week (roughly twice

a day) were 70% less likely to

have endometriosis. A study

published earlier this year

concluded that Carotenoid rich

foods (especially citrus fruit) also

positively affected symptoms of

endometriosis. Use smoothies,

juicing or soups to deeply nourish.


Incorporate natural, organic yogurt

into your daily diet either on its

own or use it to make dressings

and sauces. Fermented foods such

as sauerkraut or Kefir are excellent

sources of beneficial bacteria too,

or take a probiotic supplement

(min 10 billion CFU – Colony-

Forming Unit is a measure of

viable bacterial or fungal cells).


Use of essential fatty acids are

blocked by processed oils and

margarines, as well as white

flour, sugar, excessive animal

and monounsaturated fats,

alcohol, poor nutrition and stress.

Keeping these to a minimum is

vital to reduce inflammation.


More recently, research has

documented an improved response

in those following a glutenfree

diet; 75% of participants

found a significant decrease in

symptoms over 12 months¹.



Tampons use bleached paper

products that contain dioxins2,

proven to have an adverse effect on

the hormonal system3/4. Chemicals,

such as parabens and phthalates,

found in your toiletries and

cosmetics have also been linked with

development of endometriosis.



Research shows that taking the

right nutrients in food supplements

can reduce the symptoms of

endometriosis significantly (98%

of the women in one study

experienced improvements). An

expertly formulated supplement

that addresses the complexity

of the condition affecting the

immune system, digestive system

and hormonal stability, such as

Wild Nutrition’s Endo Complex,

can be very supportive.

Visit wildnutrition.com for Food-Grown®

supplements and information on Nutritional

Therapists at clinics in Lewes and London.

121 wealdentimes.co.uk









We’re CALM and we’re leading a

movement against suicide. If you’re

finding life tough, our number is:

0800 58 58 58

We’re open 5pm-midnight every day

Number hungry? CALM is a registered charity no. 1110621 (England & Wales) and SC044347 (Scotland).

This interesting number was taken from kentonline.co.uk

The fear of f itness

Don’t be put off before you’ve begun, Sarah Maxwell

explains how realistic goals will get you on track


recently ran a 10-day quit sugar

course on Facebook with many

people from all around the world.

As well as looking at how sugar is

now in the most unlikely everyday

foods, finding out from our food

diaries just how much hidden sugar

we were all eating, supporting each

other in our journeys of discovery and

sharing sugar-free recipes, I included

videos with 10 minutes of exercise

for people to follow each day.

Everyone who signed up to the

course wanted to feel good about

themselves and learn to incorporate a

little exercise into their life – especially

after the Christmas excesses.

Everyone engaged wholeheartedly

with the nutrition, food diaries,

sharing recipes and supporting

each other. The one thing that was

really apparent though, was that

many were reluctant to begin the

exercises, even though they had

been enthusiastic before the start.

Exercise can be a scary word for

many and often we have a rigid view

of what constitutes exercise. Picture

perfect fit bodies on Instagram,

daily Facebook updates on how

many miles your fit friend ran the

previous day... It’s no wonder you

can be put off before you even start!

This is why it is so important to

change your perception of what

physical fitness is supposed to be and

in particular what it means for you.

So, if you’ve been thinking about

exercise but instead have just

found yourself going through all

the reasons why you can’t exercise,

don’t like gyms, don’t know where

to start and don’t have enough

time, trust me, you are not alone!

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Let me show you how…

1Have an honest conversation

with yourself about the value

of your health. Regardless of how

rich, successful and beautiful you

are, none of this matters if you’re not

healthy enough to enjoy it. If you see

exercise as maintaining or improving

your health, you have more of a

motivator and are less likely to see it

as something to punish yourself with.

2Start your day with a positive

mindset. As soon as you get out

of bed do some mobility exercises

loosening your shoulders, circling

your hips and gently warming

your body up. This is not only a

great way to gently wake yourself

up it will also start your positive

mental process for the day ahead.

manage your expectations.


I have found that after many

years of being a fitness trainer one

of the common reasons for failure is

over commitment. The idea behind

fitness isn’t to make a quick change

it is about creating something that is

sustainable and enjoyable. I’m all for

goals, but don’t set yourself up for

failure, be realistic about what you

have time and the ability to achieve.

4Be aware of social media and take

it with a pinch of salt. Unrealistic

images can play havoc with selfesteem.

Those just-got-out-of-bedwithout-my-make-up-shots?

There is a

team of specialists behind them. These

are people who want you to think

they look like that all of the time.

5find a personal Trainer who

can motivate you. If you really

can’t motivate yourself to get started,

consider taking on a personal

trainer for a few sessions either

on your own or with a few likeminded

friends. This can be a great

way to get you started, motivated

and enable you to start exercising

in a safe and effective way.

“One of the common

reasons for failure is

over commitment”

6There are so many great online

fitness courses and classes

available. You don’t even have

to leave the house to get fit. The

bottom line? Exercise shouldn’t

be stressful so don’t force yourself

to do something you don’t enjoy.

Don’t forget, a short walk counts as

exercise, find something that makes

you feel great, doesn’t add to your

stress levels and is realistic for you.

Exercise of the month:


This can be dancing to your favourite

song, going up and down the stairs,

following an online exercise class.

Whatever it is, enjoy it, it’s only 5 minutes!

Sarah Maxwell is a multiple awardwinning

Fitness and Lifestyle coach

and mum of two who juggles a lot

of balls. Find out more about Sarah

and her work at sarahmaxwell.com

Sarah shares her Fitness and

Lifestyle tips on Instagram


123 wealdentimes.co.uk

A Piece

of Cake

Home Gurr’own’s Nicci Gurr dishes up

tempting Mother’s Day bakes, each with

a tasty twist

Recipes: Nicci Gurr

Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Lucy Fleming

Cinnamon ‘Breakfast in Bed Cake’

Serves 10-14 Prep Time: 60

mins including cooking time

• 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp salt

• 3 tbsp soft brown sugar

• 1 tsp lemon juice

• 250ml milk

• 200g butter

• 200g caster sugar

• 2 eggs

• 500g self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 160°C,

1 fan140°C, gas 3. Oil and

line an 8 inch spring form

cake tin. Mix cinnamon,

salt and brown sugar in a

bowl and leave to one side.

2Add the lemon juice

to the milk.

Beat your butter and

3 caster sugar together until

light and fluffy. (An electric

stand alone beater is best.)

Slowly add your eggs, adding

a spoonful of flour if the mix

looks like it is separating,

then slowly add rest of flour.

Now slowly add the milk and

lemon juice mix to the batter.

4Layer the wet cake mix and

sugary cinnamon mix into

the cake tin, swirling as you go

to create a marbled effect. Bake

in the oven for 45 mins.


Rhubarb Crumble

and Custard Cake

Serves 8-10 Prep Time: 90 mins including

cooking time

Crumble topping:

• 20g plain flour

• 20g porridge oats

• 20g salted butter

• 20g brown sugar

For the cake:

• 600g rhubarb – trimmed and

cut into small pieces

• 350g plain flour

• 1 tbsp baking powder

• 100g ground almonds

• 1 tsp ground ginger

• 250g salted butter

• 150g caster sugar

• 4 eggs

• ¼ tsp vanilla extract

• 400ml milk

For the buttercream:

• 50ml double cream

• 50g custard powder

• 1 vanilla pod

• 150g salted butter

• 350g icing sugar

To make the crumble:

1Put all crumble ingredients into a bowl and

rub until it resembles chunky breadcrumbs.

To make the cake:

2Preheat your oven to 160°C, fan 140°C,

gas 3. Oil and line 2 x 8 inch spring form

cake tins. Sift all the dry ingredients together

and set aside. Beat your butter and caster sugar

together until light and fluffy (an electric stand

alone beater is best). Now beat in the eggs

one by one and add vanilla and the milk..

3Stir the rhubarb in with the dry

ingredients, then fold slowly into the

egg mix. Divide the mix between the 2 tins

and sprinkle the crumble mix on top.

4Bake in the oven for 50-55 min. When

a skewer comes out clean remove

from oven and leave to cool in tins for 10

mins before moving to cooling racks.


To make the buttercream filling:

5Add some of the cream to the custard powder

to make a paste. Heat the rest of the cream

and scraped vanilla pod, until almost to the boil.

6Remove pod and slowly mix in the

custard paste. Bring to boil and set

to one side to cool completely.

7Beat the butter until fluffy and add cooled

double cream and custard mix slowly. Spread

between the two layers of cake and serve.

Located in the heart of the Isle of Oxney near Rye,

we are a traditional, yet modern country inn situated

just a couple of miles from the coast. We serve the

very best and freshest food, drinks and recreation.

Our home cooked meals are created using local

produce and the freshest fruits and vegetables grown

in our very own veg patch. We have an exotic range

of wines and beers that come from as far afield as

Argentina to as local as 5 minutes down the road!

01233 758246


FerryInnWT217.indd 1 19/02/2020 KentishHareWT217.indd 12:48

1 11/02/2020 14:47

Park Farm Butchers & Graziers

Where Quality Comes Naturally

From our traditionally managed farm

Here in Hawkhurst, we produce free range, grass

fed beef and lamb. We are Farm Assured and our

livestock are reared in harmony with the countryside.

Romney Lamb



21 day matured Sussex beef · Quality Romney Lamb


Burgers · Dry Cured & Oak Smoked Bacon

Chipolatas & Sausagemeat · Sausages · Cooked Hams

The Romney ewes are excellent forage converters readily turning

traditional grasses into tasty lamb. The flavour of the grass-fed

lamb is hard to beat, and can be available all year round.

Sussex Beef



Tel: 01580 753558

The Colonnade, Hawkhurst, Kent


The cows happily graze on the extensive grasslands whilst the

growing and finishing cattle thrive on the rich water meadows to

create the very best flavoured beef.

129 wealdentimes.co.uk

ParkFarmWT217.indd 1 14/02/2020 11:28

Mothers' Day

31st March

Bookings now

being taken.

The Hop Pole

Nettlestead Green

Mark and Kirsty welcome you to The Hop Pole Inn

located in Nettlestead Green.

We pride ourselves on our freshly cooked food and

homemade desserts.

A carvery is served six days a week Tuesday

to Sunday and our a la carte menu is

also available. Large parties are catered

for and we have a large

conservatory dining area.

01622 816916

Maidstone Rd, Nettlestead Green,

Maidstone, ME18 5HH

Merriments Loves Mums !

HopPole,TheWT217A.indd 1 13/02/2020 16:11

It’s the time of year to thank the amazing

women in your life & we’re here to help!

· Mothering Sunday - March 22nd ·

· Classic Afternoon Teas (from 3pm) £12.5o* ·

· A selection of freshly made Sandwiches ·

· Sultana Scones, Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream ·

· A selection of traditional Cakes ·

∙ All served with your choice of Tea or Coffee ·

Make it a Luxury Classic Tea & add a glass of Prosecco

*Price per person

Merriments Gardens

Hawkhurst Rd Hurst Green

East Sussex TN19 7RA


01580 860666




Merriments1/4WT217.indd 1 19/02/2020 10:25


Banana Loaf

Rope in some extra help – this recipe is great for the kids to get messy with

Serves 8 Prep Time: 60 mins

including cooking time

• 3 ripe bananas

• 130g butter

• 130g soft brown sugar

• 2 medium eggs

• 1 tsp vanilla essence

• 70g chocolate chips

• 130g self-raising flour

• 1 tsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 180°C, fan

1160°C, gas 4. Oil and line a 2lb loaf

cake tin. Put the bananas still in their

skins in a pan with 1 tbsp of water and

cook in the oven until the skins go black.

Take out of the oven and remove the

bananas from their skins. Leave to cool.

2Beat your butter and brown sugar

together until light and fluffy.

If the kids are helping give them a

bowl and a wooden spoon, and let

them at it (it will take longer but

doesn’t have to be perfect). You can

soften the butter in the microwave

a bit first if using this approach.

3With a fork, mash the cooled

bananas with the eggs and vanilla

essence. Then with a wooden spoon,

slowly add your egg and banana mix

to the butter and sugar (add a spoonful

of flour if the mix is separating). Stir

in 50g of the chocolate chips.

4Fold in the rest of the flour and

baking powder. When thoroughly

mixed, spoon into the loaf tin – it’s

a thick mix. Bake in the oven for

45 mins until a skewer inserted

in the cake comes out clean.

5Sprinkle with the rest of

the chocolate chips while

warm so they melt on top.

Nicci Gurr is Head Chef at Home

Gurr’own, who cater for rustic

rural weddings and events in

Kent using locally-sourced and

hown grown produce. To find out

more visit homegurrown.co.uk

or call 07747 816541.




Read Jo Arnell’s words of wisdom and

your gardening confidence will grow

alongside your supply of home grown veg




Whatever anyone tells you about growing your own

vegetables – it’s a lot of hard work, things often

go wrong, pests are everywhere, they’re cheaper

to buy… well, they are right. Some vegetables are hard to

grow (cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts go to the back of the

room and hang your button and curdy heads), there are pesky

pests lurking around waiting to picnic in your patch and, if

you added up all the time you spent out there, your precious

harvest might be equable to diamonds. Don’t let any of this

put you off. There are lots of really easy – and delicious crops

to grow too. I promise that it is worth it, but if you are new

to vegetable growing, start with the simpler things and build

from there. Nothing can beat the taste of fresh, homegrown

vegetables, garnished with a little pinch of triumph.

Plotting Ahead

You will need to assess how much space in your garden

that you want to give over to growing vegetables,

where that space will be and how much time you will

realistically have to care for them. Few crops thrive in

the shade, in exposed, windy conditions or poor soil,

so find a sunny, sheltered spot for your edibles.

It is totally possible to grow crops in pots, window boxes,

on balconies and patios, but you will need to take extra care

of them, feeding and watering – quite a lot. In general, most

will prefer to be planted out into enriched garden soil, as

vegetable plants tend to be fairly greedy. Raised beds will

Left page top: Chard pink flamingo Bottom: Peas in pods This

page top: Planting out a row of salad Above: Pea seedlings in a

root trainer

Nothing can beat the taste of fresh,

homegrown vegetables, garnished

with a little pinch of triumph

make the whole process much easier and (in theory) tidier,

but many varieties can be grown in garden borders among

the flowers too. In fact, this is how our domestic gardens

came about in the first place, and a true cottage garden is

supposed to be a joyful jumble of flowers, fruit and vegetables.

The Soil, The Soil, The Soil

I would like to spend the rest of this piece talking about how

important the soil is, how little we know about the complex

relationships between the soil microbiome and the roots of

plants – and how the quality of the soil will dictate not just

the health of the soil, but how healthy and nutritious your

vegetables will be. For now I’ll just say look after your soil.

The best way to improve soil is to add organic matter

in the form of well-rotted manure, spent mushroom

compost, or your own (weed-free) compost. If the soil

in your garden is heavy (clay), you may need to add this

as a mulch in the autumn and let the soil organisms

incorporate it over the winter – and do the digging in for

you. If your soil is light, add the mulch in the spring to

stop the nutrients leaching away in winter. Concentrated

organic fertilisers like diluted liquid seaweed, chicken

133 wealdentimes.co.uk

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manure pellets and blood fish and bone can be added

at planting time if the crop requires an extra boost.

Easy Peas-y

The least troublesome crops to grow will depend to a

certain extent on your soil, but some well-behaved plants

manage to do well whatever the circumstances. On my

light soil I’m usually successful with leeks and onions,

roots, such as beetroot and carrots, and also salads and

herbs. On heavier clay soils, which are more nutrientrich,

brassicas – cabbage, broccoli and, if you firm them

in really well, Brussels sprouts – should flourish. Soil type

aside, the list below would make a general starter pack:

Peas and broad beans – start these off directly in the

ground now, but only if mice can’t detect them (remember the

mouse in Mr McGregor’s garden with the pea in her mouth?).

Beetroot and perpetual spinach – sow this early or

Top left: Beetroot Top right: Cabbages and kale Above: Small

Chantenay carrots can be grown in containers

late and avoid the height of the summer when these

crops can bolt (or buy bolt-resistant varieties).

Loose leaved lettuce – you can harvest this over a long

period by picking the outer leaves and allowing the rest to

keep growing. Loose leaved, as opposed to varieties with

‘hearts’, won’t run to seed so quickly in hot weather.

Short carrots – these are much easier and quicker to

grow than the longer ones and are good in containers.

Kale – can be grown all year and is as handsome as it

is nutritious, but watch out for pests such as white fly

and cabbage white caterpillars in the summer months.

You can grow the above all from seed, or buy them as

little plug plants and plant them straight out. Buying

plants isn’t cheating – it is the quickest, simplest way to a

successful harvest, but remember that the garden centres,

a bit like the supermarkets, are choosing varieties for their

own reasons, so flavour might come lower down the list than

something like heavy cropping, or uniform shape and size.

Best Value

The vegetables that will give you the best value for money are

those that crop prolifically, such as courgettes, climbing beans

and tomatoes. Go easy on these super producers (you’ll know

if you’ve overdone it if you catch your neighbours crossing

the road when they see you). One or two courgette plants is

definitely enough to feed a family, if not the neighbourhood.

Gluts also have a habit of appearing just when you go on

holiday too – avoid this by picking heavily just before you

go, which should give you a small gap for a week or so.

These crops are tender and won’t tolerate frosts, so

don’t be tempted to plant them out too early (or too

late). Late May is usually when half-hardy vegetable

(and bedding) plants are safe to be left outside.


Plants that bear fruits and pods may need watering in dry

spells once they start to flower and set fruit. I try to keep

watering to a minimum, and dig a ‘bean trench’ under beans,

courgettes and squashes. This involves digging a hole/trench

18-24 inches deep earlier in the season and filling it with

kitchen scraps, cardboard, organic matter – the sort of things

you’d put on a compost heap. Then finish with a layer of

earth to plant into. The vegetables will have a nutritious and

moisture retaining root run, so you won’t have to water

135 wealdentimes.co.uk

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them as much. Only water if it gets exceptionally dry – and

it is better to water deeply once a week than little and often.

Un-buyable Taste

There are some vegetables you just can’t buy, and a few that

when homegrown have a very different taste to those bought

in shops. Peas and sweetcorn start to lose their sweetness as

soon as they are picked because the sugars in them turn into

starch and by the time they get to the shops they are often

woolly and tasteless. Frozen peas are always better to buy than

fresh, because they are harvested and frozen out in the fields.

Sun ripened homegrown tomatoes are unbeatable for

flavour – from tiny cherry style up to big and beefy, your

own tomatoes will always be better than those in the

shops. Then there are things like courgette flowers, tiny

artichokes and pea tips (the first few leaves that appear).

Living Larders

One of the many joys of vegetable growing is that you will have

fresh veg on tap – just waiting outside on the patch for you

to harvest when you need it. Some crops need to be picked as

soon as they are ripe but others, especially those that are happy

to sit in the ground through winter, really do become like a

living larder. I find that leeks, kale, perpetual spinach (spinach

beet), winter-hardy salad leaves and most herbs just tick away

for months, ready to be picked – until the following spring

that is, when they will suddenly rush into flower and set seed.

Forking Hell

The things that go wrong are usually related either to the

soil and weather conditions, or to attack from pests. Carrots

and parsnips will fork into un-peelable little monsters if the

soil is too rich, or too stony. Brussels sprouts may ‘blow’ and

cauliflowers fail to produce curds in light, friable soil. If it

gets very hot and dry then rocket, spinach, beetroot and some

lettuces will ‘bolt’ and run to seed – these are best grown in

the spring or early autumn when the weather is cooler.

Pests are numerous so, if possible, net susceptible crops at

vulnerable times in the year. Most importantly encourage a

healthy ecosystem so your allies – birds, frogs, hedgehogs,

wasps and beetles – do a lot of your pest control for you.

It is still a little early to be sowing crops directly outside

– the exception being hardy things like broad beans, peas,

spinach onions and leeks, but many can be started off under

cover this month. Like much in life, vegetable growing

is an adventure; nothing ventured, nothing to harvest.

With any luck and a favourable wind, some sunshine and

rain (at night please) this could be a bumper year…

For details of Jo’s gardening courses visit


or contact Jo on 01233 861149

Top: Leeks and celeriac Above left: Mixed salad Above right: Cabbage

137 wealdentimes.co.uk


It’s a Wild


Sue Whigham discusses the measures we

can all take to protect biodiversity

Above: Common Red Soldier Beetles, often seen on umbelifer flowers

Last week, squeezed in amongst

the newspaper supplements, I

spotted a report on comments

made by the new President of the

British Ecological Society. In it she

urges us to take ‘meaningful action’ to

protect our pollinators by not digging

out or spraying dandelions with

noxious substances the moment you

spot them in or near your garden. She

emphasises that they are a fantastic

source of both nectar and pollen

for the early pollinators, hence her

suggestion to try to resist eradicating

them. She also quotes the depressing

statistic that in a 30-year period from

1980, a third of more than 300 of our

pollinators have seen large declines in

their populations. A sobering thought.

There used to be a patch of

dandelions, complete with buzzing

pollinators, on one of my dog walks

until a couple of years ago. They seem




to have disappeared and their demise

coincided with the local farmer’s ‘slash

and burn’ policy of that year. I wonder

what happened there. However, with a

bit of luck, they may pop up somewhere

else and flourish. Let’s hope so.

But maybe things are looking up with

attitudes changing towards conserving

the biodiversity we have and the need

there is to preserve it; to realise the

importance of biodiversity’s contribution

to all aspects of our wellbeing. It seems

contrary that despite this, human

actions worldwide are still very much

contributing to all the factors that lead

to biodiversity being under siege.

However, there is no obvious sign

that the current loss of biodiversity

and changes in the environment is

actively slowing down, but I think

that if we all stopped to think and

did what we could, even in a small

way, the direction of travel could be

deflected. We need to spread the word.

We all know that both natural and

human induced factors (referred to as

‘drivers’) contribute to both species

decline and climate change – although

of course we have some, unfortunately

in positions of power internationally,

who seem to have their heads in the

sand as they see making

money as the default

position come what may.

The culprits, or main

‘drivers’ are endless;

from habitat loss, to over

exploitation of natural

landscapes, destruction

of forests, pollution and careless use

of our soil and water resources.

I recently read a report of a speech

that the then Environmental Minister,

Theresa Villiers, gave last autumn from

the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in

Barnes. One or two remarks stood out,

“Protect our

pollinators by

not digging

out or spraying


one being ‘that we are utterly reliant

on nature, from the most fortunate

of us to the most vulnerable, not least

because wildlife pollinates the crops that

account for over a third of global food

supply’. She stressed the belief that we

have solutions for loss of diversity and

climate change, despite the fact that the

scale of the challenge is

huge and that our global

response leaves quite a

lot to be desired. I know

that the international

push to plant more trees

– trees in their millions

– seems to be gaining

momentum. And we can do that too

even if we have the tiniest of patches.

My son, who lives in a particularly

polluted part of London, showed me an

old photograph of where he lives taken

at the beginning of the 20th century.

Most noticeable of course was the

139 wealdentimes.co.uk

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WCLandcraftWT209.indd 1 17/06/2019 14:46


lack of vehicles and the children playing

in the street but also the street trees.

More recently, the local council have

been making some effort to plant new

saplings on their patch so as long as

the trees survive their formative years,

aftercare being a bit hit and miss, maybe

things are looking up. But what can

we do to save the day?

Organisations, such

as the CPRE, (Council

for the Preservation of

Rural England), set up

to help preserve our

landscape, are worth

joining and actively

supporting. In a report last year, they

explained, or at least confirmed, how

critical to all life on earth is the all too

thin layer of top soil covering the planet.

Each square inch of soil contains myriad

single organisms, all manner of minute

insects, and fungi through to animals,

such as voles, moles and badgers. They

are all interconnected and have a reason

“Organisations, such

as the CPRE, are

worth joining and

actively supporting”

for being there. We have so many vole

runs in part of the garden that the lawn

has collapsed, but at least we know

that we are providing a habitat for

one of the main food sources for barn

owls. It’s good to see that ploughing

is being reduced and that farmers are

encouraged to leave wildlife corridors

round their fields.

And hopefully the

use of pesticides and

fertilisers will gradually

be replaced with more

organic products,

which are nontoxic

to the natural

world, one of these days.

In October 2019, Great Dixter

published an in-depth Biodiversity

Audit for the period 2017/19. It is well

worth a read. A grant from the Heritage

Lottery Fund, plus monies from private

donors, enabled Great Dixter to have a

wide ranging audit done by experts in

their particular field, of the habitat

Above: A field vole peeps out from its woodland cover

Right: A butterfly and bee enjoying cosmos pollen

141 wealdentimes.co.uk

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GardenproudWT211.indd 1 21/08/2019 GreatCompGardenWT217.indd 12:32

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Top left: Insect hotel Middle left: Sedum

heads Right: Lichen

Bottom: Lichen on garden bench

in and around the gardens, farmland

and woodland that make up the estate.

The whole estate is already a haven for

all manner of wildlife and the ethos of

working with nature there has proved to

pay such dividends. It’s such a good time

for us all to follow their lead if we don’t

already, leaving the edges of our gardens

a little less manicured (and frankly, less

boring) and letting biodiversity have a

bit of a chance. I did a little recce of my

own patch when I was thinking about

this subject and despite it being a rather

cold and wet afternoon, it gave me a

chance to appreciate the beauty of the

lichen growing thickly on some of my

old garden furniture and the moss on

the huge old tree stump that I managed

to drag out of the woods some years ago!

We’re all so lucky too to have the

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, which

is celebrating its 50th Anniversary

this year, on our patch. The Reserve

covers a vast area (1,149 acres) of

coastal land with many diverse habitats,

including shingle, salt marsh, salt water

lagoons, freshwater gravel pits, grazing

marsh and reed beds (to provide the

perfect habitat for bitterns) which in

turn attract a huge variety of species

including ‘more than 300 which are

considered rare and endangered in

Britain’. It has been recognised as

a SSSI, a Site of Special Scientific

Interest, and all biodiversity is there.

Throughout the year, and especially

in this celebratory year, there are

walks and talks on everything from

winter owls, to bumblebees and

bitterns, waders and shingle birds

and flowers and invertebrates such as

damselflies, dragonflies, spiders and

moths. And it is all on our doorstep.




Sue Whigham can be contacted on

07810 457948 for gardening advice

and help in the sourcing and supply of

interesting garden plants.

143 wealdentimes.co.uk


At St Andrew’s Prep we encourage our pupils

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145 wealdentimes.co.uk

SkippersHillWT217.indd 1 13/02/2020 09:55


Join the Club

We talk to schools about what goes on outside the classroom

Marlborough House, Kent

Mayfield School, East Sussex

“Mayfield School has a tradition of developing academic

excellence. Our curriculum encourages questioning,

reflection, creativity and the freedom to learn from mistakes.

While maths and science are among our most popular and

successful subjects at A Level, we have a first-class reputation

for creativity, and excel in the creative and performing arts.

We strongly believe in the benefits of studying a broad

range of subjects. The humanities afford an opportunity

for students to develop their own considered opinions

on some of the most important areas of life; globalisation

amplifies the importance of studying languages; and

the creative and performing arts have an extremely

positive impact on mental wellbeing, inspiring pupils

and allowing them to use their imaginations.

From dance to debating, drama to music, and a full

programme of sporting opportunities that includes

cricket, fencing, and top class equestrian facilities,

girls are challenged and supported to realise their

full potential, endowing them with a lifelong love of

learning and the opportunity to grow as individuals.

Mayfield girls are encouraged to “give everything a go” so

that they can find out where their passions, strengths and

weaknesses lie, while developing creative thinking, problem

solving skills, discipline, commitment and resilience.

At Mayfield, we believe the breadth and depth of our

curriculum, our extensive extra-curricular programme,

the nurturing, supportive and aspirational environment,

together with inspirational

teaching, all contribute

to enabling our girls

to be successful in

whatever they choose.”

“Life at Marlborough House School (MHS) extends well

beyond the classroom, where extra-curricular activities

enrich children’s experiences, developing the skills

children will need to thrive as adults in the 21st century.

Clubs at Marlborough House, including

mindfulness colouring to entrepreneurship, offer a

wide range of extra-curricular activities for pupils

to get stuck in to. The old favourites of chess, arts

and crafts, and karate are complemented by new

clubs such as construction and music technology.

Speech and drama, ballet, tap, street dance and

nine music clubs (including rock band and samba),

complete the selection for the performing arts

clubs, providing pupils with confidence building

experiences of public speaking and performing

either solo or as a part of an ensemble.

Marlborough House School also provides a great array

of sports clubs all taught by the school’s professional

sports teachers, including hockey, badminton,

shooting, tennis and cricket. On the topic of cricket,

MHS alumnus David Gower returned to the school

in 1999 to open the new Sports Hall and revisit the

cricket pitch where he scored his fir st century.

Prep School pupils have the opportunity to join

residential trips, this year includes a visit to France, a

classics trip to Pompeii and skiing in Italy. The school

also participates in national projects with Year 7s taking

part in the Young Entrepreneur Scheme, which aims

to inspire them to think big and shoot for the stars.”









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Hurst College, West Sussex

“At Hurst, we now use the term co-curricular rather than

extra-curricular because we believe that these activities should

form part of, and run alongside, the academic curriculum.

We value what goes on outside of the classroom as much

as what goes on inside, as skills that are learnt through cocurricular

activities can be transferable to the classroom.

Sport is compulsory throughout the week and our service

afternoon is compulsory for students in Years 10 and 11.

Dance, music and drama are compulsory for Year 9 students

and have protected slots as part of the weekly timetable.

Specialist sports during timetabled games sessions include

archery, climbing, rowing, sailing and mountain-biking.

We encourage our students to engage in as much of

the co-curricular programme as possible – whether that

is as a member of one of our dance companies or sports

teams, performing in one of our drama productions

or taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

We have highly qualified staff to deliver the activities and to

bring out the best in each student – and some students discover

talents they didn’t realise they had. For example, first team rugby

players have also taken lead roles in our Dance Showcase. By the

time students leave Hurst, the majority will have performed in

a sports team, on a dance floor, on the stage, as well as having

marched with the CCF and been involved with recycling or

another environmental activity as part of the service afternoon.

Education at Hurst is deliberately outward-looking.

The range of activities provide many opportunities for our

students to try new ventures, confront risks and learn from

experience. The aim of our co-curricular programme is to

equip our students with the skills and experience to make a

success of their lives beyond Hurst. Respect, responsibility,

resilience and reflection are learnt through the programme,

and students also learn how to communicate with each other

as part of a team and in leading a team. The various activities

also help them to become accurate decision-makers, another

important asset for later life. Benefits from the more physical

activities help to improve students’ health, wellbeing and

fitness levels in order to maintain a balanced lifestyle.”

HildenOakSchoolWT217.indd 1 11/02/2020 15:08



149 wealdentimes.co.uk

ADLLearningWT216.indd 1 16/01/2020 09:50


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BattleAbbeySchoolWT216.indd 1 27/01/2020 10:16

Reigate Grammar, Surrey


“At Reigate Grammar School, a good education is about so much

more than a list of exam grades. Headmaster Shaun Fenton says:

‘The emphasis we place on the arts, sport and multiple adventurous

activities provides the heartbeat of the school.’ Indeed, the review

of Reigate Grammar School (RGS) by The Good Schools Guide

2019 observed that ‘extracurricular leaves no stone unturned,

with clubs and activities getting a brochure of their own’.

Music is at the heart of life at RGS. Throughout the autumn term,

musicians took part in over 30 events including concerts, church services,

ensemble arrangements, a cathedral tour and numerous individual

performances. Many students also took the Associated Board of the

Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exams just before Christmas.

In sport, the girls’ teams have had notable successes, with the U13 girls’

hockey team through to Finals Day at the Independent Schools Hockey

Cup (ISHC) for the third year in a row, and netball going from strength

to strength with the U15 girls reaching the final at national level too.

December 2019 saw the hotly anticipated production of Les

Misérables, performed in-the-round in front of an appreciative audience.

Throughout a week of sell-out performances, the play went from

strength to strength, with brilliant orchestral playing, live fire, explosions,

fights, weddings, battles, and, of course, superb singing throughout.

A host of activities on the Charity and Community Engagement

front – much of it overseen by the Sixth Form Charity Committee

– has involved all age groups, including the Head and Deputy

Head, who both dressed as Pudsey Bear and acted as goalkeepers,

contributing towards almost £1,000 raised for Children in

Need. Local charities Loveworks and Live at Home, as well as

national charities Lepra and Macmillan, have benefitted from

fundraising and volunteering efforts from students and staff.”


Hilden Oaks, Kent

“At Hilden Oaks Prep, dedicated teaching staff are able to

ensure individual focus is given to each child to help them

reach their full potential, be it academic, sporting, creative

or musical. Children joining Marlborough the school at any House stage,

even mid-term, are made to feel at home very quickly as

they are in small classes, in a small and friendly school.

There are many extra-curricular clubs and activities

on offer during morning break, lunch-time and after

school including a wide range of musical, creative

and sporting activities. These clubs vary each term

and our children are encouraged to sign up for as

many or as few as they wish. Many of the clubs are

run by our own teaching staff, and we also bring

in specialists from outside to allow our children to

enjoy as wide a range of clubs as much as possible.

Children from Form 1 to Form 6 who are keen to

advance their sporting skills are encouraged to take part in

extra-curricular clubs. These include badminton, fencing,

POP lacrosse, netball, golf, hockey, cross country, cricket,

athletics, private tennis coaching, tag rugby, and bike skills.

Unlike many schools, Hilden Oaks offers wrap-around

care from 7.45am to 6.30pm,

50 weeks of the year. This

also includes a wide range

of extra-curricular activities

and clubs, which support

and enhance the curriculum,

thus ensuring that by the

time pupils reach Year 6,

they are ready for the next

stage of their academic life.

The latest report by the Independent Schools

Inspectorate for Hilden Oaks, from December 2017,

states: ‘Pre-Prep and Prep pupils make significant

progress and attain very highly, particularly in

English, mathematics, science and PE.’

Hilden Oaks is immensely proud of its academic

success, with most pupils moving on to the secondary

school of their choice, including the excellent local

grammar and independent senior schools.”


Be Yourself

at Claremont


Nursery & Prep School

Fri 13 & Sat 14 March, 9.30am -1pm

St Leonards, East Sussex

TN37 7PW

01424 751555

Senior School & Sixth Form

Sat 14 March, 9.30am - 1pm

Bodiam, East Sussex

TN32 5UJ

01580 830396


enquiries@claremontschool.co.uk . claremontschool.co.uk/events



Fresh Thinking

Hilary Wilce looks at the impact of

environment on learning outcomes

March winds and April showers bring forth May

flowers, the old rhyme tells us. But according

to many teachers March winds bring forth

something altogether less welcome – classrooms full of

excited, wild-eyed children who find it hard to settle

down and concentrate. “You’re definitely scraping them

off the ceiling when it’s windy outside,” one teacher says.

There’s actually little hard evidence for this, but since

animals are known to respond to atmospheric pressure,

and psychiatric hospitals report increased admissions

ahead of storms and winds, it would be surprising if

children didn’t react to the weather around them.

And we know for a fact that hot summers take their

toll. Students grow lethargic and irritable

as temperatures rise, and they learn

significantly less well. When researchers

working for the US’s National Bureau

of Economic Research matched the test

scores of 10 million high school pupils

with weather records they found that

learning dropped on average by 1% for every one degree

temperature rise the year before an exam. The effect

was particularly noticeable for pupils in deprived areas

where schools were less likely to be air-conditioned.

In this country, new school buildings are adapted

for heatwaves, but old ones are a nightmare for pupils

and teachers. Teachers say they can just about get

students through morning lessons but by the afternoon,

everyone is dehydrated, overheated and headachy. And

studies have shown that very hot weather affects us all,

decreasing our ability to make decisions or cope with

new information, as well as keeping us indoors and away

from outdoor exercise – all things which impact directly

on children’s ability to do their best in the classroom.

Alas, cold weather is not much better. Classrooms

have, by law, to reach 18 degrees Celsius to be

usable and when schools fear that their buildings

will be too cold or that school travel will be

dangerous, they close. Bad winters can see multiple

school closures, with added school absences for

less well-off children who don’t have good warm

clothes, or a parent’s car to get them to school.

All of which means that the more extreme

climate swings we are seeing now will bring new

challenges for parents, teachers and children.

Meanwhile, a recent study has added significantly

“Noise directly

impacts how

well children

learn to read”

to the existing evidence that air pollution impacts

children’s learning. When 18 schools in Los Angeles

began to filter their air following a natural gas leak,

researchers were astonished to see that test scores

leapt up. The effect of air filters was, they estimated,

the equivalent of students getting two and a half

months of extra learning before taking their tests.

Already many UK schools are trying to

keep their air clean by planting screens of ivy

around their playgrounds, and telling parents

to turn off car engines at the school gate.

But all sorts of environmental factors can affect school

performance. Noise directly impacts how well children

learn to read and acquire language – so

pity the children whose schools are near

major airports – while exposure to lead,

mercury and other metals damages

children’s brains and nervous systems.

Of course, we’re so lucky here in

The Weald where lots of schools enjoy

quiet settings, where our many woods and hedgerows

filter the air, and where most of us live very far away

from the worst ravages of industrial pollution.

But we still need to remember that children are

not little human robots, easily programmed for test

success. They are living, breathing human animals,

affected by every aspect of their environment,

whose ability to learn may sometimes be greatly

challenged by the world around them.

Open Day

Friday 13th March, 9am-12pm

Meet the staff, see the school and be hosted by the boys!

Come and find out what makes The New Beacon such a

wonderful place for boys.




Mental Health Matters

New Beacon School will host a children’s wellbeing

conference in April, Emily Pavey finds out more


ew Beacon School is shining a light on child

mental health. In April they host Helping

Young People Navigate the 21st Century, a

conference incorporating impressive keynote speakers and

potentially life-changing workshops. The two-day public

event is open to parents and educators alike and is part

of a collaboration across schools in the Sevenoaks area.

Headteacher, Mike Piercy, is proud to bring the

subject into sharp focus. He says, “I think young people

are under more pressure than they’ve ever been.”

In Piercy’s view, today’s children experience more anxiety

due to a number of factors. There are academic pressures and

expectations from an increasingly early age, the complexities

of social media, along with changing parental working

patterns. The in/out assessments many youngsters face can

lead children to feel they have ‘failed’ at ages as young as

11 – Piercy prefers to speak of “disappointment rather than

failure.” All this before the challenges of GCSEs, A Levels,

university places and careers have even been introduced.

The Helping Young Minds event is structured to equip

attendees with skills to identify childhood mental health issues

and recognise the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences

(ACE) and then give valuable tools to help, information

about where to turn for more assistance and the confidence

to move the situation forward in a positive direction.

This is an opportunity to hear from those at

the forefront of children’s mental health.

Keynote speaker Dr Pooky Knightsmith, is an

internationally renowned speaker on child and adolescent

mental health. Pooky prides herself on her ability to

break complex and challenging ideas down into practical

strategies that can be put into practice right away.

Richard Burnett, of Tonbridge School, is the founder of the

Mindfulness in Schools Project. He has taught mindfulness

to over a thousand adolescents in the past 15 years. Richard’s

TEDx talk helped define the landscape of mindfulness in

education and he was an expert witness at the All Party

Parliamentary Group that led to Mindful Nation UK.

Find out more: newbeacon.org.uk/mental-health

Event Programme



‘Drawing & Talking’ workshop

which is for professionals

working in education.


‘Mental Health First Aid’

(MHFA) is an accredited course

focusing on awareness and ways

to support young people with

mental health difficulties.


An evening talk by Dick Moore, a global

speaker on young people’s mental health

and wellbeing (in conjunction with

the Charlie Waller Memorial trust).


9.00am until 4.30pm

All day conference featuring a

range of internationally respected

speakers and professionals.

155 wealdentimes.co.uk


The Wealden Times and Surrey Homes

Education Annual





Kent | Sussex | Surrey

ED-OutsideCovers.indd 3 13/12/2019 11:37

88 pages packed with everything you need to know about

giving your child the best possible start in life

June 2020

Sutton Valence School




Quality Mark



Prep School

Friday 13th March 2020

Senior School

Saturday 14th March 2020

Book online now @ www.svs.org.uk



Bespoke design & build treehouses, playhouses

and elevated platforms.

Commercial & International commissions welcomed

Royal Tunbridge Wells Choral Society

with Soloists and RTWCS Orchestra

Conducted by Robyn Sevastos

Sunday 19th April 2020 at 3pm

Assembly Hall Theatre

Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LU

Tickets £10 - £22 from the Assembly Hall

Theatre box office on 01892 530613


registered charity 273310

Tel: 01403 262219


RoyalTunbridgeWellsChoralSoceityWT217.indd 1 10/02/2020 CheekyMonkeyS40.indd 14:54

1 25/01/2018 15:42



Classically trained, grade expert,

overly serious, likes rollnecks

Jimi Hendrix

Johnny Marr

Ed Sheeran

They didn’t do grades...why should you?

Non-graded rock guitar coaching for all ages

and standards.

Teaching your choice of songs.

Play what you want to play.

If it rocks, we can teach it

acoustic guitar - electric guitar - piano - vocals

email: pluckandstrummusic@gmail.com

07976 897916



SindenTheatreWT217.indd 1 18/02/2020 BrownlowGuitersWT217.indd 10:47

1 19/02/2020 16:30

What’s On in March


Sat 29 Feb – Sat 28 Mar

(10 - 5 Monday - Saturday)

WING Gallery, High Street,

Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 6AA

First Equinox

WING gallery looks forward to

spring with artists, Jane Ford,

Jeni Clarke, Dani Humberstone,

George Underwood and Gavin

Roweth, who have all created

new works for the gallery.

01892 783665 @wingartgallery /

wingart_gallery@btconnect.com /


Tue 17 – Fri 20 Mar (excl.

Mondays & Sundays)

10am-4pm, The Smallhythe

Studio Gallery, Smallhythe

Road, Tenterden TN30 7NB


The Smallhythe Studio Gallery is an

exciting gallery and art centre which

exhibits contemporary work of artists

in the south east. This month sees its

latest solo exhibition of recent work.


Weekdays until Thu 19 Mar

Canterbury Cathedral, Cathedral

House, 11 The Precincts,

Canterbury CT1 2EH

Portfolio: Art Rebels

Turner Contemporary’s Art Rebels

exhibition is coming to Canterbury.

Featuring winning entries from

students, teachers and community

groups across Kent and Medway,

the tour will celebrate the creative

talent of young people. Art Rebels

has taken its inspiration from

one of the most daring visual art

prizes in the world, The Turner

Prize, at Turner Contemporary

until 2020. The selected works

explore what it means to be an

art rebel in this exhibition that is

guaranteed to get people talking.

Entry: Free

01227 762862 /


Sat 21 Mar – Sun 14 Jun

Chatham Historic

Dockyard, Main Gate Road,

Chatham ME4 4TZ

Tattoo: British

Tattoo Art ReveAled

A ground-breaking look into

the history of British tattooing,

featuring over 400 original artworks,

photographs and historic artefacts,

it tells a story that challenges

the most deeply-held myths and

pre-conceptions about tattooing.

Displaying the work of major tattoo

artists, including George Burchett,

via the Bristol Tattoo Club, Alex

Binnie and Lal Hardy, the exhibition

showcases the largest gathering

of real objects and original tattoo

artwork ever assembled in the UK.

01634 823800 /


Children & Families

Sat 28 Mar

Bewl Water Estate Office,

Bewlbridge Lane, Lamberhurst,

Kent TN3 8JH

Bewl’s Big Dog Day Out

Expect a doggy treasure trail and

agility course to face-painting,

professional photography

opportunities and refreshments

available all throughout the day at

The Waterfront Café. There will

be plenty of stalls and activities

to enjoy and experts on hand

to advise you on nutrition and

training for your furry friends.

You’d be barking mad to miss out!


Sat 28 Mar – Sun 19 Apr

Various Locations

Cadbury Easter

Egg Hunt

National Trust has teamed up with

Cadbury once again for their great

Easter egg hunt. Visit locations

including Bodiam Castle, Scotney

Castle, Chartwell, Bateman’s and

Ightham Mote for fun family days

exploring nature and supporting the

Trust, protecting Kent’s natural and

historic places for everyone to enjoy.

Plus there will be chocolate prizes!



Sat 28 Mar

Leeds Castle, Broomfield,

Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL

Peak or Blinded 1920s

Murder Mystery

House Party

Got what it takes to be a peaky

blinder? Travel back in time for a

thrilling night of drinks and music

before The Derby. But look out,

a gang has sent someone to throw

a spanner in the works. Actors

will help set the scene, for a truly

interactive evening of dinner theatre

in which you can decide just how

involved you want to be. It’s a

night to have fun, solve a crime,

eat some delicious food, try some

cocktails, and all whilst wearing a

traditional flat cap if the hat fits!

Entry: £109, accomodation

from £275


Mother’s Day

Sun 22 Mar 12-3.30pm

The Hop Farm, Maidstone Road,

Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6PY

Mother’s Day Special

Afternoon Tea

Treat Mum to afternoon tea at the

Hop Farm’s Shires function suite,

which opens out to the manicured

wedding terrace and lawns. There

will be finger rolls and sandwiches

(smoked salmon, ham, mustard,

mature Cheddar, tomato, egg

mayonnaise), scones, clotted cream,

fresh strawberries, macaroons, mini

cakes, and the finest tea and coffee.

Entry: Adults £16, children £8

(minimum two adults per booking)


Music & Theatre

Sun 29 Mar 2pm

Theatre Royal Margate,

Addington St, Margate,

Kent CT9 1PW



All your favourite Mr Men and

Little Miss characters are leaping

from page to stage. Explore

Happyland as it bursts into life in

a series of colourful and timeless

stories told through puppetry and

music in this beautifully crafted

and hilarious live stage show.


Sat 14 Mar

St Mary The Virgin, Churchyard,

Ashford, Kent TN23 1QG



All around the world Roald Dahl’s

words are disappearing, and only

an organisation known as the

Ancient Guild of Tale Tenders

can save the stories – and they

need your help. It’s a thrilling

immersive family experience that

explores Roald Dahl’s extraordinary

stories, including Charlie and

the Chocolate Factory, The BFG

and The Twits along the way.


Fri 20 Mar 7.30pm

Groves Hall, Sutton Valence

School, North Street,

Sutton Valence, Maidstone,

Kent ME17 3HL



Hear Bruch, Beethoven, Poulenc

and Brahms with three expert

musicians. Timothy Orpen the

principal clarinetist of the Royal

Opera House, Victoria Simonsen

on cello, who was was described

by The Strad as “a musician of rare

quality” and John Reid, a pianist of

notable versatility and range and an

outstanding chamber musician.

Entry: £12.50 at door

01622 843325


Tue 31 Mar

Poulton Wood, 2 Forge

Hill, Aldington, Ashford,

Kent TN25 7DT

Poulton Wood Reopens

This month sees the reopening

of Poulton Wood, an awardwinning

conservation project

set in 28 acres of beautiful

bluebell woodland with adjoining

garden, fields, ponds, hedgerows,

willow plots and poly tunnel.


Sat 7 Mar 10:30am-1pm

Tyland Barn, Sandling,

Maidstone, Kent ME14 3BD

Kent Wildlife Trust

Our gardens are becoming wildlife

havens, learn about how to improve

yours by providing shelter for

animals and discovering how

water or a pond is vital for the

wildlife in your garden. Suitable for

beginners and anyone with a general

159 wealdentimes.co.uk

“My dad works

for Stagecoach

please be

kind to him.”

Noah (aged 6)

Son of Dan

We’re proud to serve

our community. We want

everyone to feel safe on the

bus - including our staff.

Abuse of any kind won’t

be tolerated and we will

seek to prosecute.

Joel Mitchell, Managing Director

Stagecoach South East

A proud partnership between

interest in gardening for wildlife.

Entry: £17.50

01622 662012 /



Fri 13 Mar

Green Farm, Duck Lane

Shadoxhurst, Kent TN26 1LT

Wellness &

Pilates Retreat

Spend a weekend in Green Farm’s

beautifully restored 15th Century

farmhouse, enjoying nutritious

home-grown food, relaxing in

spa facilities. Green Farm offer

retreats with all sorts of themes but

this one is all about relaxing the

mind and body with four pilates

sessions included. Tali Swart teaches

mat based Pilates, using small

equipment, including magic rings,

dyno bands and wobble boards.

It is suitable for all levels, with a

focus on spine health and mobility.

01233 733 997 /



Thu 19 Mar 10am-12pm

Hall Place & Gardens, Bourne

Road, Bexley, Kent DA5 1PQ

Painting the Place 1 –

Perspective in Drawing

The first of this year’s ‘Painting the

Place’ art classes at Hall Place &

Gardens. These art classes are run by

accomplished artist and illustrator

Anthony Nield and are a great way

to hone your skills in various areas of

art. This particular session will focus

on understanding and developing

your skills in relation to drawing

perspective building and landscapes.

Advance booking is essential as

Tony is a very popular teacher.

Further instructions including what

equipment to bring with you will be

e-mailed to you prior to the event.

Other sessions will include

Watercolour Skills, Aerial perspective

using monochrome, and Drawing

architectural plants in Pen and Wash.

Entry: £12pp

01322 621238 /


What’s On in March

Look Forward:


Fri 24 Apr 10.30-4pm

Godinton House, Godinton

Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 3BP



Join Brenda Burgess for a friendly,

fun and deeply informative

workshop which will look at the

human form and the theme of

‘Mother Nature’ or ‘Mother and

Child’. All abilities truly welcome.

Entry: £65


co.uk / brendaburgessarts.co.uk

Wed 8 Apr 5.45-9pm

Port Lympne, Aldington Rd,

Lympne, Hythe, Kent CT21 4LR

Dusk Safaris

Next month sees the first of Port

Lympne’s breathtaking monthly

dusk safaris for 2020. On these

unique evenings, guests journey to

the safari park’s authentic savannahs,

alive with South American, Asian

and African animals, whilst taking

in the stunning views, before

enjoying a three-course meal

at the Port Lympne Hotel.

Entry: £49.50


Listings are correct at time of going to

press but may be subject to change.

Readers are advised to check with

venues before making arrangements.

We can list your event in the next

issue of Wealden Times for only

£15+VAT. Please supply up to 200

words that should include date, time,

venue, contact for enquiries and any

entry price to whatson@wealdentimes.

co.uk or send with payment (cheques

payable to Priceless Media Ltd.) to

What’s On, Wealden Times, Kettle

Chambers, 21 Stone Street, Cranbrook,

Kent TN17 3HF. Wealden Times

reserves the right to edit text to fit

space allocated. If you would like

your event listing to be accompanied

by a full colour reproduction (42.5

x 62.5mm) of a poster or other

pictorial image, the total charge

will be £95+VAT. Deadline for the

April issue is 10 March 2020.







THU 23








/The Orchard Theatre @OrchardTheatre theorchardtheatre

TICKET OFFICE 01322 220000

161 wealdentimes.co.uk

OrchardTheatreWT217.indd 1 24/01/2020 15:04

secondary Primary logo logo & pattern

JessicaHendersonWT217.indd 1 03/02/2020 15:57

lare langdon clare langdon clare langdon


Mother’s Help Required

4 children aged 5, 4

& 2 year old twins

Tenterden Area

(no more than 10


clare langdon

secondary logo & pattern

clare langdon

Made to measure curtains, I N T E Rblinds I O R Sand soft furnishings


Showroom by appointment

clare langdon

C = 20

M = 15

Gotham Book Y = 72

K = 5

Primary logo

clare langdon

mile radius)

12 hours per week


Please call 07771 905727


£10 an hour

Must be experienced

& DBS checked

References required

***Immediate start***

clare langdon

C = 0

M = 5

Y = 5

K = 60




01580 712209

colour 01580 palette






Association House, St David’s Bridge,





St David’s

TN17 3HL


Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 3HL

ClareLangdonWT200.indd 1 12/09/2018 17:10

C = 20

C = 0

M = 15

M = 5

Y = 72 colour palette Y = 5

K = 5

K = 60

Clare Langdon business card 3 heavier font.indd 1 15/05/2018 21:49

Clare Langdon business card 3 heavier font.indd 1 15/05/2018 21:49


Ibbett Mosely


Limited Liability Partnership

Early Viewing

Tuesday 7th April 2020 12.00 p.m - 7 p.m

The Auctioneer's Next Sale Will Be On

Wednesday 8th April 2020

Commencing at 12.30pm | Viewing 10.00am - 12.30pm

The Auction Rooms, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1HJ

Tel: 01732 456731 Web: www.ibbettmosely.co.uk

125 High St, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1UT

Registered in England No. 0C341637 Regulated by RICS Registered at the Sevenoaks office as Ibbett Mosely Surveyors LLP

IbbettMoselyWT217.indd 1 06/02/2020 12:26


David Hall

Cabinet Maker


Antique Restorer

* High Quality Bespoke Furniture

* Antique Restoration of all types

* Carving and Copy Carving

* Polishing


Phone 01797 270761

Email: hallcrocket@aol.com


DavidHallWT108.indd 1 14/01/2011 15:27



Book onto a gardening

course with Jo Arnell at her

garden in Woodchurch

No experience needed

Gotham Book




MAY 22nd, JUNE 27th

01233 861149


HornbrookManorWT217.indd 1 19/02/2020 12:02


from as little as

£75 a month

Call Jen on

01580 714705

The complete kitchen service...

...from a hinge to a complete makeover

The supply & replacement of

drawers, doors, worktops,

hinges, all fitted kitchen

components/appliances, door

renovation & polishing, bedroom

doors & bespoke cabinets.

Please call

01689 850000


Serving London & the South-East since 1984



HastingsBeatlesDayWT217.indd 1 12/02/2020 09:52

KitchenDoctorWT145.indd 1 28/01/2014 10:12


Win A Wardrobe edit, an outfit

building or personal shopping

service with Beckyswardrobe.com

Becky Leeson lives in Sutton Valence with

her husband Steve and her well-managed

walk-in wardrobe and dressing room.

Beckyswardrobe.com was born following her

22-year career in fashion buying. As a Buyer for

Top Shop, a Buying Director for Office, Head

of Buying for Asos and, most recently, a Creative

Director and Brand Director for a couple of

start-ups, her journey has led her to what she

loves – spending time with people, helping people

find their confidence through their own style

and marrying her passion with her purpose.

Becky is dedicated to a new approach to dressing

and the way in which we consume. Her mission

is to positively connect you with your wardrobe.

She offers services that help you to edit and

shop your existing wardrobe, making you feel

organised and re-energised. Build new reimagined

outfits with what you already own to rediscover

and define your own unique style identity.

Find out where to look, what to try and how

to buy considerately with her personal shopping

service, finding quality pieces to complement your

existing wardrobe, including vintage and secondhand

one-off finds. Becky loves to unearth a

treasure through her unique network of

vintage shops. This is followed up with

a bespoke report personal to you.

Becky understands that your

wardrobe is personal to you and

that sharing can be a daunting

prospect, which is why she

approaches every wardrobe

edit with understanding,

energy and warmth.

It is also possible to

rent pieces from Becky’s

own personal wardrobe of

designer and vintage pieces.

For bookings and

more information visit:

beckyswardrobe.com, email


com, or call 07739 460827.

How to enter:

For your chance to win just answer

the following question: How long was

Becky’s career in fashion buying? Enter

your answer with your contact details in the

online form at wealdentimes.co.uk/competition

by 31 March 2020. Becky will travel up to a

25 mile radius from Sutton Valence, Kent, in

her car if she is visiting the winner’s house or

shopping in their local area. She is also happy

to head into London if the winner would like

a personal shopping service in town. Becky

will be offering the winner her usual 3 hour

service, along with a bespoke report. There

is no cash alternative and the prize must be

taken by the end of 30 September 2020.

You must be over the age of 18 to enter.

Congratulations to Alison Moppett who

wins our January competition for a Louise

Deluxe Waxed Jacket from Welligogs.

163 wealdentimes.co.uk

Jane Howard’s

Fables from

the Farm

Jane gets set to welcome this year’s calves to

the farm and clarifies the difference between

grass-fed and intensively reared beef

Excitement is rising at Coopers

Farm. It’s nine months now since

our new bull Captain Fantastic

ran out with the cows and hopefully

he’ll live up to his name and produce

some suitably impressive calves. I’ve

been shopping in anticipation of the

patter of tiny hooves. Lubricant, ropes,

iodine and some calf starter paste –

effectively a tube of concentrated Red

Bull – to help the ones exhausted

by a tricky birth get up and get on

with the business of surviving.

It couldn’t be more important. New

calves, like lambs and piglets, are

delivered into a world that is far from

hygienic – no clean sheets or sterilised

bottles for them. Immunity comes

from their mother’s colostrum – the

first thick milk which is stuffed with

antibodies – but the problem is they

can only absorb it for the first six or

seven hours of life. After that, the

lining of their gut changes and they

Captain Fantastic


can no longer absorb the big antibody

molecules. So in the first few hours

they must consume at least two litres

of colostrum and if they don’t, then

the likelihood of them succumbing to

infection in the weeks ahead is high.

And it’s not just the calves that need

to get going; the mother also has to

be a willing partner. So imagine, it’s

three in the morning you’ve pulled and

tugged a healthy calf into the world

and left it with mum to vigorously

lick dry (it’s where the saying lick into

shape comes from) and then push and

nudge to encourage it

to stand up and drink.

Time for a cup of tea.

It’s sooo annoying then

to return back half an

hour later to discover

nothing has happened,

the wet confused calf is

still lying where it was

born and the mother is

nonchalantly munching

hay with the other cows as though

nothing much has happened. This is

most common with heifers – first time

mums – who are far from impressed

by the effort of giving birth and see

no good reason to pursue motherhood

and its associated responsibilities

any further, thank you very much.

What then follows is an hour of

making a slippery, wet, heavy (about

40kg) calf stand up with its head by

her udder. If you open its mouth

and squirt milk from a teat down

its throat, trying to avoid a faceful

yourself, it gets the message and starts

sucking. And then nature takes over

and it doesn’t stop. In these situations,

the only way to encourage mum’s

“Immunity comes

from their mother’s

colostrum – the

first thick milk

which is stuffed

with antibodies”

participation is by bribing her with

food. Give her a bucket of grub and

you usually have about 10 minutes

when she’s more interested in the

bucket than kicking you away, to

get the calf on and sucking. Phew.

We usually calve the heifers first and

then move on to the cows which is all

round less eventful. Not surprisingly if

you’ve already had six or seven calves,

number eight is likely to pop out fairly

quickly and you know exactly what the

job description involves. Happy days.

Except this year there are a few clouds

on the horizon for all

British beef farmers.

I don’t think the beef

industry has done a

good job of explaining

to you, the consumer,

the difference between

eating grass-fed beef

living an outdoor life

pretty much as nature

intended, and eating

intensively reared beef that is fed

inside on a high protein diet – which

pretty much describes all supermarket

beef. It’s important we all eat less

meat, but truth is a plate of grassfed

locally produced steak and chips

has far less environmental impact

in terms of carbon footprint, water

used and food miles travelled than an

avocado (Mexico), tomato (polythene

hothouse in Spain at this time of

year) and mozzarella (Italy) salad

washed down with an almond milk

(California) latte. Food for thought.

Follow Jane Howard – and the farm – on

Instagram @coopersfarm



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A pillow top mattress with 2850 pocket springs, standard tension non turn

3 rows of side stitching, wool tufts, cashmere and silk fibres as a sumptuous upholstery.

4’6” 2 drawer standard double divan set

AEP £2699 special offer £999!!!!

5’ king size 2 drawer divan set

AEP £2999 special offer £1099!!!!


The furniture experts since 1925

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