The Cake - Summer 2022

A slice of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst life

A slice of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst life


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Tasty local stories, published by Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | FREE<br />

All Creatures<br />

Great and Small<br />

Herendon Vets<br />


Care Workers<br />




Could be your main income, or just a few hours to supplement your Furlough Pay<br />

(subject to your contract with employer)<br />

We have Mornings, Lunchtimes, Teatimes, Evenings and Weekend<br />

calls available. Also some Domestic Calls & Sleep-Ins to cover.<br />

NVQ Trained Worker<br />

Travel Time - Now paid at £8.91 per hour<br />

Mileage - 15p per mile<br />

Hourly Rate - £10.00 p.h Mon - Fri and £11.00 p.h at W/E<br />

Holiday Pay - 5.6 weeks paid seperately<br />

Non NVQ<br />

£8.91 per hour<br />

15p per mile<br />

£9.50 & £10.50<br />

Same<br />

Any experience is beneficial such as raising children, looking after elderly<br />

parents/grand children. But, FULL TRAINING will be provided to all applicants<br />

Why not contact us to discuss more about the<br />

work and what hours you are looking for?<br />

Call Natalie or Chloe 01580 762244<br />

<strong>The</strong>se positions are exempt from the rehabilitation of offenders act

Published by Cranbrook and<br />

Sissinghurst Parish Council<br />

EDITOR<br />

Trisha Fermor<br />


David Hobden - 01892 677741<br />

davidh@spacemarketing.co.uk<br />


Graham Holmes - gpholmes@hotmail.co.uk<br />


Tally Rix - Coffee Shop Media Ltd - 01580 848555<br />

tally@coffeeshopmedia.com<br />


Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council<br />

01580 713112<br />

www.cranbrookandsissinghurstpc.co.uk<br />

Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council, editor and<br />

authors cannot be held responsible for published errors.<br />

<strong>The</strong> views or opinions expressed do not<br />

necessarily reflect views of the Cranbrook<br />

and Sissinghurst Parish Council. Inclusion<br />

of any advertising material does not<br />

constitute a guarantee or endorsement of<br />

any products or services or claims made.<br />


We love to hear from you. Please send all ideas for<br />

contributions to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> to<br />

clerk@cranbrookandsissinghurstpc.co.uk by<br />

1st August <strong>2022</strong><br />

welcome<br />

It is with sadness that I write my last<br />

contribution to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong>.<br />

After a career in journalism spanning<br />

more than 30 years, recognised in 2003 with<br />

the Kent Journalist of the Year award, I was<br />

delighted when the founder of this magazine,<br />

the late Brian Clifford, asked me to join him<br />

to launch the magazine. Little did I know I<br />

would pick up the reins when he sadly died.<br />

I have felt very privileged to write for the<br />

people of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst, not<br />

only about the parish council, but other<br />

stories of interest, reminding me so much of<br />

my time with the Courier newspaper. It has<br />

also been a privilege to be a parish councillor<br />

and its tree warden.<br />

Before I sign off for the last time, I must say a huge thank you to the<br />

wonderful team of voluntary contributors who help make <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> such a<br />

wonderful publication. I will miss them and the magazine.<br />

Do enjoy the latest edition and long may it continue to drop through your<br />

letter boxes!<br />

Trisha Fermor, editor<br />


Heronden Vets is an<br />

independent veterinary<br />

practice, owned and<br />

run by a local family.<br />

We already offer orthopaedic and soft-tissue surgery,<br />

ultrasonography, radiology, full laboratory analysis,<br />

even acupuncture. And now we’re expanding our<br />

Nurse Clinics. <strong>The</strong>se can be booked free of charge for<br />

any little worries you might have, as well as weight<br />

and dental checks or advice on diet and nutrition.<br />

Heronden takes in-patient care extremely seriously<br />

and the practice has excellent facilities and staff for<br />

overnight monitoring and critical care on site. Please<br />

do come and say hi and introduce yourselves and<br />

extended family members... there is always a treat<br />

to hand!<br />

01580 763303 / info@herondenvets.co.uk<br />

www.herondenvets.co.uk<br />

Inside this issue<br />


5 Directory<br />

7 Chairman’s Comment<br />

8 Letters<br />

11 Development News<br />

12 Local News<br />

14 Club News<br />

16 Event News<br />

19 Local Comment – Cllr. Sean<br />

Holden, Hon. Mayor Linda<br />

Page, Guy Pullen<br />

30 Kids’ Corner<br />

32 Kitchen & Garden<br />

35 Badger’s Plot<br />

41 Parish Council Update<br />


22 Bloody Baker – a<br />

Sissinghurst horror story<br />

25 Joy of Sex – discover the<br />

Cranbrook grave of its<br />

authors<br />

27 Airfield – researching the<br />

Sissinghurst village airstrip<br />

29 Museum Matters – when<br />

cleaning out the store<br />

cupboard…<br />

37 Arts – South East Open<br />

Studios celebrates 25 years<br />

39 Legal – welcome news for<br />

leasehold homeowners!<br />

42 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> Chats with…<br />

Gaynor Hatch, Hospice in<br />

the Weald Charity Shop<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 3

In Pictures<br />

Cranbrook's Union Mill showing<br />

support for Ukraine<br />


4 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

directory<br />

A list of useful contacts in<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst<br />

Parish Council<br />

<strong>The</strong> Old Fire Station, Stone Street,<br />

Cranbrook, KENT TN17 3HF<br />

Clerk – Mrs. L. Ham<br />

Deputy Clerk – Mrs. L. Thirkell<br />

Deputy Clerk - Mrs. C. Bezuidenhout<br />

01580 713112 / clerk@<br />

cranbrookandsissinghurstpc.co.uk<br />



Tunbridge Wells Borough Council<br />

01892 526121<br />

www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk<br />

Kent County Council<br />

03000 41 41 41 / www.kent.gov.uk<br />



Electricity: 0800 727282 (24 hrs)<br />

Gas: 0800 111 999<br />

Water: South East Water (drinking<br />

water) 0800 0283399, Southern<br />

Water (waste water) 0800 820999 (24<br />

hrs), Emergency leak 0800 0283399,<br />

Floodline 0845 9881188 (24 hrs)<br />

CRIME<br />

Non-Emergency Police: 101<br />

Crime Stoppers: 0800 555111<br />

KCC Community Warden: Adam<br />

Osborn - 07813 695741<br />

PCSO: Simon Humphreys -<br />

simon.humphreys@kent.police.uk<br />

Neighbourhood Watch Area<br />

Co-ordinator: 01622 604395<br />

In an emergency i.e. if life is in danger<br />

or a crime is in progress call 999. To<br />

request non urgent police assistance,<br />

to report crime or to make enquiry<br />

call 101. Non urgent correspondence<br />

and crime can be reported via the Live<br />

Chat icon at www.kent.police.uk<br />


St George’s Institute, Sissinghurst:<br />

Ursula O’Connor 01580 713938<br />

<strong>The</strong> Parish Room, Sissinghurst: Sue<br />

Crowe 01580 712567<br />

ts.crowe74@gmail.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> Vestry Hall, Council Chamber and<br />

Addison VC Room, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 713112 (10am-12pm weekdays).<br />

A full list of over 30 venues for hire in the<br />

parish is available from the parish office<br />



Congregational Church,<br />

Cranbrook: 01580 388070<br />

St. Dunstan’s, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 715861<br />

St. <strong>The</strong>odore’s RC, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 713364<br />

Strict Baptist Church, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 713212<br />

Trinity Church, Sissinghurst:<br />

01580 852275<br />

Vine Church, Cranbrook: 01580 712620<br />


Colliers Green CE Primary:<br />

01580 211335<br />

Cranbrook CE Primary: 01580 713249<br />

Cranbrook Children’s Centre:<br />

03000 41 10 35<br />

Cranbrook School: 01580 711800<br />

Dulwich Preparatory School:<br />

01580 712179<br />

High Weald Academy: 01580 712754<br />

Rainbow Pre School, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 715570<br />

Sissinghurst CE Primary: 01580 713895<br />

Woodpeckers Pre School, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 720195<br />


Old School Surgery, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 712476<br />

Orchard End Surgery, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 713622<br />

<strong>The</strong> Crane Surgery, Cranbrook<br />

01580 712260<br />


Cramp Club, Cranbrook<br />

Cranbrook Fire Station<br />

Cranbrook Medical Centre, Cranbrook<br />

Cricket Club, Sissinghurst<br />

Parish Council office<br />

Sissinghurst Castle Garden<br />

St. George’s Institute, Sissinghurst<br />

Tennis Club, Sissinghurst<br />

<strong>The</strong> George Hotel, Cranbrook<br />

<strong>The</strong> Milkhouse, Sissinghurst<br />


We welcome again Jacob, a pupil at Belle<br />

Vue School, with a huge talent for poetry<br />

which he is delighted to share with our<br />

readers.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Wonders of Spring<br />

<strong>The</strong> sun wins the battle, its<br />

rays shine and shimmer past<br />

the clouds<br />

Seas glimmer like gilded gold,<br />

while beaches regain their<br />

heat.<br />

<strong>The</strong> trees, previously<br />

surreptitious, now stand tall<br />

and proud<br />

As new life flourishes in their<br />

wizened branches.<br />

<strong>The</strong> wildlife awakens from its<br />

collective slumber<br />

Creatures, both the<br />

magnificent and the miniscule,<br />

start to make their moves.<br />

<strong>The</strong> great beasts of the prairie<br />

and savannah begin their<br />

prowl<br />

While the smaller animals<br />

start to scavenge for<br />

sustenance.<br />


Flowers break out their shells<br />

and begin to bloom, marking<br />

this new season<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir colours inaugurate the<br />

spring with their splendour.<br />

Limitless, labyrinthine<br />

kingdoms of industrious insects<br />

rise to prominence<br />

Bringing the beauty of spring<br />

to even the most distant lands.<br />

And as we revel in the glory of<br />

the season, we must stop and<br />

remember<br />

Each animal has a purpose,<br />

a place in the magnificence of<br />

nature.<br />

Every being has a task in life’s<br />

wrapping web<br />

So we must use this season<br />

to figure out the place of our<br />

thread.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 5



Chairman’s<br />

Message<br />

<strong>The</strong> outlook for the coming<br />

couple of years is looking bleak,<br />

particularly for people with few<br />

savings to fall back on. <strong>The</strong> eyewatering<br />

increases in food and<br />

energy bills mean life is changing and we<br />

need to look ahead to bring the community<br />

together and increase resilience.<br />

Looking forward to next autumn, the<br />

parish council wants to support organisations<br />

supporting families deciding to ‘heat or<br />

eat’. We are exploring a community kitchen<br />

in the Vestry Hall to run once a week from<br />

September until April 2023.<br />

Already Wellbeing in the Weald, Age<br />

Concern, Messy Church and the primary<br />

school are exploring ways to run a coffee<br />

morning, then soup and a roll for adults at<br />

lunchtime, and then a warm meal for children<br />

after school. An add-on may run cooking<br />

lessons to show how to feed a family very<br />

cheaply.<br />

This will require many volunteers with<br />

various skills to spread the considerable<br />

workload. People with catering expertise<br />

(chefs and management) as well as washersup,<br />

helpers and organisers will be needed. We<br />

may need access to a professional kitchen<br />

once a week.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Vestry Hall will be a warm place for<br />

people to meet and share a warm meal in a<br />

cold climate. We hope to raise a budget of<br />

£10,000, through charitable grants or some<br />

local philanthropists.<br />

This is a brave initiative and if you think<br />

you can help please contact the organisations<br />

mentioned, or me, chairman@cspc.org.uk<br />

We have been leading and supporting other<br />

initiatives to create community cohesion and<br />

show that all sections of the community can<br />

live together.<br />

<strong>The</strong> reopening of the public toilets in<br />

May improves our offer to tourists, as well<br />

as supporting our elderly. Two cubicles are<br />

labelled for men and two for women and<br />

we ask that all ages respect the sensitivities<br />

<strong>The</strong> new shelter in the Crane Valley sponsored by our Kent county councillor Cllr Sean Holden and<br />

erected by Messrs Dunn of Prestige Fencing.<br />

around unisex toilets.<br />

Notices will be put in the public WCs asking<br />

people to meet in the field shelter in the<br />

Crane Valley instead of the public toilets.<br />

<strong>The</strong> shelter, sponsored by our Kent county<br />

councillor Cllr Sean Holden, has been erected<br />

by Messrs Dunn of Prestige Fencing, and has<br />

been well received by all the passers-by. We<br />

are also indebted to Travis Perkins for its<br />

support. It needs some seating if anyone has a<br />

bench or two to spare.<br />

At the top of the Ball Field, by the new<br />

spinney, the wild flower meadow has been<br />

seeded successfully by Cranbrook in Bloom,<br />

following a lot of hard work shifting turf to<br />

prepare the land. Special thanks go to Fred<br />

Page for his unstinting work on the project.<br />

I hope the summer treats you well.<br />

Cllr Kim Fletcher, chairman of Cranbrook<br />

and Sissinghurst Parish Council<br />

Since writing my column I have been<br />

informed of Trisha Fermor’s resignation<br />

as editor of ‘<strong>Cake</strong>’.<br />

As a founder member of <strong>Cake</strong>, she<br />

has been instrumental in its success,<br />

carrying on her award winning<br />

journalistic career with interviews and<br />

articles of local interest. I would like to<br />

publicly thank her for her dedication to<br />

the task<br />

She will be a very hard act to follow,<br />

but I am now appealing for anyone who<br />

would like to help write, research or edit<br />

the next edition, to contact me or the<br />

Parish Office.<br />

If you have a local story (not fiction),<br />

please write it down and send it to us for<br />

inclusion.<br />

Kim Fletcher, chairman@CSPC.org.uk<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 7

letters<br />

www.bussmurton.co.uk | T: 01580 712 215<br />

Among the Strawberries<br />

I just have to share with fellow readers these pictures of a<br />

clever little robin who chose to make her nest among the<br />

strawberry plants at Bumbles Plant Centre, Cranbrook. She<br />

is wheeled in and out of the main building on her plant<br />

rack each morning and evening and has laid five eggs, all of<br />

which have hatched. <strong>The</strong> team tell me that the baby birds<br />

are growing well and they have even put up a ‘mind the<br />

robin’ sign to warn unsuspecting strawberry shoppers!<br />

Tally Rix<br />

No Time to Mow<br />

What a lovely way to celebrate the Jubilee – tree and wildflower planting in<br />

the Ball Field. It beggars belief that while this nature-first activity undertaken<br />

by the parish council is going on, KCC is massacring habitats by mowing<br />

verges that would otherwise be abundant with the wild grasses and flowers we<br />

have been told are so important to our pollinators. And even in places where<br />

visibility isn’t an issue. Seriously, who makes these decisions?!<br />

By email<br />

Please send<br />

your letters to:<br />

clerk@cranbrookandsissinghurst<br />

pc.co.uk or by post to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong>,<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst<br />

Parish Council, <strong>The</strong> Old Fire Station,<br />

Stone Street, Cranbrook, TN17 3HF.<br />

Please note, letters may be published<br />

in a shortened form at the<br />

discretion of the editor.<br />

In Defence of the Play Equipment<br />

I know there has been some controversy over the introduction of up to the minute play equipment at the park by the Ball Field but I<br />

have to say I am impressed. My grandchildren are regular users and enjoy the puzzles the structure in question offers and have not<br />

yet tired of finding ways to navigate it. <strong>The</strong> novelty of the slide element and the sheer height of the thing make for some adrenaline<br />

fuelled play, and I can personally vouch for the thrill of the zip slide (and its sturdiness!).<br />

Colin Greenaway<br />

8 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

We have been providing expert and<br />

trusted legal advice to individuals and<br />

businesses for generations.<br />


Congratulations to <strong>The</strong> Glasshouse on Stone<br />

Street, Cranbrook – this issue’s Star Shop. We<br />

love your quirky sophistication and fun, seasonal<br />

window designs. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> Star Shop trophy will be<br />

winging its way to you shortly!<br />

Working WITH YOU, not just FOR YOU<br />

Tax planning<br />

Profit improvement strategies<br />

Business development advice<br />

Inheritance tax advice<br />

Succession planning<br />

Payroll<br />

Tel: 01233 630000<br />

www.mageegammon.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 9




FREE on-board nature activities for the family. For dates, train times and fares<br />


www.kesr.org.uk<br />

1072 KESR SUMMER THE CAKE HALF PAGE AD_FAW 186x113.indd 1 29/04/<strong>2022</strong> 17:11<br />


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treatments and techniques to bring you the very best.<br />

Permanent make up<br />

*Including 6 week top up<br />

Hairstroke, powder &<br />

combination brows - £300<br />

Eyeliner - £250<br />

Injectables<br />

Dermal filler 1ml - £160 for treating<br />

the nasolabial, marionette lines or lips<br />

Anti-wrinkle injections - £165 for 1<br />

area £50 for each additional area<br />

Aqualyx fat dissolving - £125-£200<br />

Profhilo skin boosters - £250<br />

Meso skin needling facial - £55<br />

Brows & lashes<br />

Lash lift - £35<br />

Lash tint - £13<br />

Lash extensions - £50-£80<br />

Brow lamination, wax & tint - £33<br />

Accredited lash training courses -<br />

from £399<br />

Nails<br />

Acrylic nail extensions - £40<br />

Acrylic nail extension infill - £25<br />

Gel manicure - £25<br />

Luxury pedicure - £35<br />

Nail art - £5<br />

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Holistic massage, reiki, hot stone &<br />

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Carriers Road, Cranbrook, TN17 3JX | 01580 438003<br />

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10 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


No to Homes on<br />

Controversial Site<br />

Plans to build<br />

42 houses<br />

on land off<br />

Mill Lane,<br />

Sissinghurst,<br />

have been refused<br />

following a public<br />

inquiry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> application<br />

had originally been<br />

turned down by TWBC<br />

on highways grounds.<br />

Dandara, the developers,<br />

had argued that the<br />

number of homes in a<br />

“reasonably accessible<br />

location” would make a<br />

significant contribution<br />

to the council’s housing<br />

land supply.<br />

However, the inspector<br />

concluded that the<br />

adverse impacts would<br />

significantly outweigh<br />

the benefits. <strong>The</strong><br />

proposed access to the<br />

site from the narrow Mill<br />

Lane would give rise to<br />

“considerable harm” to<br />

highway safety, a view<br />

supported at the inquiry<br />

by Kent County Council.<br />

TF<br />



<strong>The</strong> Latest on<br />

your Community<br />

and Medical<br />

Centre<br />

As you are aware,<br />

we have suffered<br />

delay due to<br />

the pandemic<br />

and now the<br />

economic<br />

situation is<br />

proving difficult to<br />

predict accurate cost<br />

outcomes for our proposals.<br />

However, we have pressed on<br />

and currently have consultant<br />

surveyors undertaking a full<br />

topographical survey of our land<br />

where the proposed buildings will be<br />

constructed. Boreholes have been dug<br />

and soil samples taken for analysis.<br />

Once we have the report on the<br />

outcome of this survey we will be<br />

in a position to know, with some<br />

certainty, the type of foundations<br />

that will be necessary for the<br />

buildings. This in turn will enable<br />

us to predict the cost of these<br />

foundations which has been up to<br />

now a large unknown.<br />

We will keep you posted as to<br />

our progress on the update of our<br />

business plan.<br />

So, just a reminder there is still<br />

time for more ideas and suggestions<br />

from you as to what you would like to<br />

see in your community centre. Please<br />

let us know. Cllr Colin Gilbert<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 11

NEWS<br />

News<br />

Everyone’s Toilets<br />

Townspeople have praised the work<br />

of the parish council and school<br />

children who joined together to reopen<br />

the public loos in Crane Lane.<br />

After thousands of pounds<br />

were spent over the years repairing repeated<br />

vandalism, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said<br />

there was no more money available for further<br />

work and closed the toilets, responsibility being<br />

handed to the parish council. This move led<br />

townspeople, including shopkeepers, to complain<br />

that there were no facilities for shoppers and<br />

tourists who could be put off visiting the town.<br />

About £8,000 has been spent by the council<br />

on refurbishing the unisex loos which re-opened<br />

last month. Children from Belle Vue School have<br />

brightened up the outside with colourful murals.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir head teacher Mary McKeeman told <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Cake</strong> they would not be put off by the possibility<br />

of more vandalism and would remorselessly and<br />

happily replace their colourful artwork until the<br />

vandals gave up. A notice has also been put on<br />

the front wall appealing for people to respect the<br />

building.<br />

Chairman Kim Fletcher painting over a small<br />

section of old graffiti which was left from<br />

previous vandalism<br />

Cllr Colin Gilbert, who has led the council’s<br />

plan to get the conveniences re-opened, said he<br />

would like to see a message on the building to<br />

saying “everyone’s toilets”. TF<br />

Special Thanks<br />

for Conservation<br />

Work<br />

<strong>The</strong> hard work and commitment<br />

given by Peter Allen to Cranbrook<br />

Conservation Area Advisory<br />

Committee has been recognised<br />

with its community award from the<br />

Kent Association of Local Councils.<br />

A former teacher, who had a long<br />

association with Cranbrook School,<br />

Mr Allen was secretary of the<br />

committee for many years until he<br />

retired in 2021. He was instrumental<br />

in writing three conservation area<br />

appraisals, Cranbrook, Wilsley and<br />

Sissinghurst. He worked tirelessly<br />

representing CCAAC on other<br />

organisations and has written many<br />

booklets about Cranbrook. TF<br />

Don’t Let <strong>The</strong> Vandals Win<br />

<strong>The</strong> mindless vandalism which led to the removal of the mobile breast clinic in Cranbrook could<br />

result in avoidable deaths of women. Parish council clerk Lori Ham fears that many, who cannot<br />

drive or find it difficult to travel to Maidstone or Tunbridge Wells hospitals, could be harbouring a<br />

potentially life-threatening medical condition.<br />

Lori has every reason to be concerned for others. Following a routine mammogram, she was found<br />

to be suffering from atypical ductal hyperplasia, which can lead to cancer if untreated. <strong>The</strong>re are none<br />

of the usual symptoms, such as lumps or pain which lead women to consult their doctors. In her case,<br />

it was picked up when she had her routine mammogram and she has since undergone treatment.<br />

Lori was full of praise for the staff at the Peggy Wood Breast Centre at Maidstone, who were,<br />

“without exception amazing”. She said: “I want to encourage women to continue to have their<br />

mammograms. <strong>The</strong> damage to the breast clinic has meant it has been withdrawn and we don’t know<br />

if it is permanent.<br />

“It has left people having to travel to Maidstone or Tunbridge Wells which is not always easy for<br />

some if they don’t drive. I am lucky that I can work flexibly but what worries me is that there are<br />

a lot of women in this area who were served by the clinic who perhaps cannot find ways of going<br />

elsewhere.<br />

“I feel so lucky that it was picked up. If I hadn’t gone for the mammogram I would never have<br />

known I had the condition which I had never even heard of. Don’t let the vandals win.” TF<br />

12 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

NEWS<br />

Thank You Roni!<br />

In March, Cranbrook said a big Thank<br />

You to Roni <strong>Summer</strong>s for nearly 40 years’<br />

tireless service to its town’s elderly<br />

residents.<br />

Since the 1980s, Mrs <strong>Summer</strong>s has<br />

been the lynchpin of Cranbrook and<br />

District Age Concern and volunteers,<br />

guests and friends joined her at the<br />

charity’s weekly coffee morning in the<br />

Vestry Hall to chat and listen to speeches<br />

and tributes from the honorary mayor<br />

Linda Page, the parish council and her<br />

husband, David.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was a celebration cake and Mrs<br />

<strong>Summer</strong>s was decorated with camellias,<br />

her favourite flower. Everyone had a<br />

story to tell of her kindness and how she<br />

made it her mission to provide services,<br />

support, friendship and unlimited<br />

kindness to countless elderly people and,<br />

in doing so, improve the quality of so<br />

many lives.<br />

In 2008, her selfless service to the<br />

elderly was recognised when she was presented with an MBE by Prince Charles. She<br />

has now retired from the charity and has recruited new trustees to take it forward.<br />

Everyone is welcome to join in the charity’s coffee mornings each Tuesday at the<br />

Vestry Hall between 10.15 and 11.45am. Anyone wishing to volunteer can call in for<br />

a chat or email info@cranbrookdistrictageconcern.org<br />

Juliet Mellor<br />

Members of the Stag Owners Club visited the Cranbrook Union windmill in May as part<br />

of a rally around Kent which included a visit to a local vineyard. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> photographer<br />

Alan Ford captured the cars in front of the Grade 1 building which is the tallest smock mill<br />

in the UK. TF<br />


• With Covid-19 forcing the<br />

postponement of Fairport Convention’s<br />

concert at St Dunstan’s Church more<br />

than a year ago, fans are delighted to hear<br />

the legendary group will be back there<br />

on Friday 3 June. Tickets are available<br />

at wmwcranbrook.co.uk or in person at<br />

Larkins’ Alehouse in the High Street.<br />

• Cranbrook is again looking to add to<br />

its collection of gold medals when the<br />

South and South East in Bloom judges<br />

visit the town on June 28. For two hours,<br />

they will be looking at environmental,<br />

horticultural and community issues.<br />

Cranbrook in Bloom chair Linda Page said<br />

litter and graffiti are a bit “no-no” and<br />

urges everyone to keep the town clean.<br />

• Become a “Pillar of the Community”<br />

and buy a brick or donate time to help<br />

the Hands of Hope charity restore the<br />

historic ornate wall which surrounds its<br />

organic grounds in Hawkhurst. It needs<br />

12,000 bricks and volunteers to help.<br />

Anyone interested? Email james.doran@<br />

hohcharity.co.uk<br />

• <strong>The</strong> spring<br />

plant sale<br />

organised<br />

by Cranbrook<br />

in Bloom in<br />

April raised<br />

an amazing<br />

£700. Held<br />

outside<br />

the garden<br />

of keen<br />

supporter<br />

Marian<br />

Cumberland,<br />

the plants on<br />

offer included<br />

Linda Page and Alison<br />

Bunyan at the Cranbrook in<br />

Bloom plant fair<br />

trees for sale to mark the Queen’s Platinum<br />

Jubilee.<br />

• Sissinghurst Open Gardens kicked off<br />

on 7 May and will run weekly on Saturdays<br />

until 30 July. Money raised with go to the<br />

Friends of Sissinghurst Church. For a list of<br />

gardens and other information contact sue.<br />

mcauley@rocketmail.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 13


Wildcats Landed<br />

In Cranbrook!<br />

Cranbrook Juniors FC is super excited to bring the<br />

Wildcats programme to our town and we already<br />

have upwards of 15 girls coming every week!<br />

So, what exactly is Wildcats? Well, it’s non-<br />

competitive football for girls who want to give it a go<br />

for the very first time or want to play with other girls their own<br />

age. All girls aged five to 11, of any ability, are invited to come<br />

along and join us to have fun, make friends and play football!<br />

Led by FA qualified and DBS checked coaches, there's no<br />

pressure for girls to play in matches or do anything they feel<br />

uncomfortable with. Activities vary weekly but could include<br />

assault courses, no-contact bulldog, drills with and without a<br />

ball, pretending to be animals, hula hoop challenges and much<br />

more.<br />

Sessions are held at the Weald Sports Centre on Fridays<br />

(term-time only) 17.30-18.30 and cost £3 per session. For more<br />

information email wildcats@cranbrookjuniorsfc.co.uk<br />

Ant Tomlinson<br />

Never too Late<br />

to Celebrate!<br />

Due to the pandemic, part of the<br />

centenary celebrations to mark the<br />

reformation of Cranbrook Bowls Club<br />

following the Great War of 1914-18, had<br />

to be cancelled.<br />

One was a game against the royal household at Windsor Castle and<br />

the other a visit to the Chelsea pensioners to play against them.<br />

Despite the cancellations, stalwart player Tony Platts said the<br />

members had their own celebration at the club a year later. <strong>The</strong> guests<br />

of honour were our honorary mayor, Linda Page, and dress shop owner<br />

Gemma Humphries.<br />

<strong>The</strong> club is looking for new playing members, whether they are<br />

new to bowls, coming back to the sport after a time away or perhaps<br />

thinking of changing clubs. Cranbrook has its own teams in the Weald<br />

League and Maidstone Men’s Friday evening league if potential<br />

members want to play competitive bowls.<br />

To find out more about the club go to Facebook or www.cranbrookbowls.<br />

co.uk. You can also contact Tony on 07866 250765. TF<br />

14 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Caring for heads, shoulders…<br />

Knees<br />

Toes<br />


Biomechanics<br />

Gait analysis<br />

Orthotics<br />

Insoles<br />


Corns<br />

Callus<br />

Blisters<br />

Verucaes<br />


Running<br />

Walking<br />

Trail<br />

Back to school<br />


Tight muscles<br />

Stress relief<br />

Improve mobility<br />

Promote healing<br />


Manage pain<br />

Rehab<br />

Injury diagnosis<br />

Posture assessment<br />

Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford, TN24 9QX CALL 01233 660851 31 High Street, Cranbrook, TN17 3EE CALL 01580 715904<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 15


Queen Elizabeth’s<br />

Platinum Jubilee<br />

Parties<br />

Festivities to celebrate the Queen’s record<br />

70 years on the British throne are expected<br />

to draw big crowds to Cranbrook and<br />

Sissinghurst.<br />

On Saturday 4 June, from 1-4pm, the<br />

aptly named Jubilee Field in Sissinghurst<br />

will be the venue for fun and games at the<br />

Big Village Picnic Celebration.<br />

People are being urged to take along<br />

their tables and chairs and picnics to be<br />

entertained with live music, traditional<br />

games and “some ale” for the adults. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

will also be a crown and tiara competition<br />

with prizes.<br />

In Cranbrook, the High Street will be<br />

closed to traffic from 11am to 4pm on<br />

Sunday 5 June when “lots of entertainment<br />

for the kids” will be on offer as well as the<br />

group Box of Frogs playing in the White<br />

Horse. It is expected the street will be lined<br />

with tables and chairs as people enjoy their<br />

picnics or buy from the food and drink<br />

stalls. TF<br />

Cranbrook Music Festival is Back!<br />

Following the huge success of CRANFEST 2021, the musical<br />

extravaganza will return to the town on Friday 9 and Saturday<br />

10 September, writes Keith Stockman<br />

CRANFEST <strong>2022</strong> events will<br />

be hosted in several venues,<br />

ranging from small, intimate<br />

places, such as <strong>The</strong> Hive and<br />

Larkins’ Alehouse, to a large<br />

open-air stage in <strong>The</strong> George Hotel. We aim<br />

to make use of St Dunstan’s Church again,<br />

as well as the Vestry Hall, and this year we<br />

hope to utilise the excellent Queen’s Hall<br />

<strong>The</strong>atre as an extra venue.<br />

As with last year, we aim to showcase<br />

a wide variety of music genres across the<br />

various venues so that there is something<br />

for everyone to enjoy. With an extended<br />

programme on Friday evening, we will have<br />

nearly 40 different artists playing during<br />

the two days. Returning favourites include<br />

Southern rockers Melonheadman, soul-funk<br />

outfit Unit 48 and the delightful folk duo<br />

Red, Green & Blue.<br />

New artists this year include folk-punkrockers<br />

<strong>The</strong> Outcast Band, fine Americana<br />

from Naomi Bedford and her band, jazz<br />

giant Paul Malsom and trio, and Kent<br />

reggae stars <strong>The</strong> Liberators. Other genres<br />

featured are blues, from Jinda Biant, the<br />

Ben Hemmings Band and Dave Ferra, fine<br />

folk-rock from Wildwood Jack, Watergrain<br />

and Touchstone, plus some good old<br />

rock’n’roll from <strong>The</strong> Varlies, Dirty Lexi and<br />

Common Buzzards. With many more fine<br />

artists playing as well, you can be sure there<br />

will be something for everyone!<br />

In addition to all the contemporary<br />

music, there will be a programme of<br />

classical music in St Dunstan’s Church,<br />

music workshops and other surprises in the<br />

Vestry Hall and, we hope, a Battle of the<br />

Bands in the Queen’s Hall <strong>The</strong>atre.<br />

With food and craft stalls, plus a Buskers’<br />

Corner and street entertainment, it is going<br />

to be a very busy couple of days!<br />

A Must Date<br />

for your<br />

Diaries!<br />

Cranbrook on the Green will be held on<br />

the Ball Field, Cranbrook, on 31 July.<br />

Among the attractions will be a classic car<br />

show, charity fun dog show, bands, food<br />

and drink stalls plus lots of entertainment.<br />

It will run from 11am to 6pm. TF<br />

16 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Sissinghurst Flower<br />

Show – For Real!<br />

It was back to normal for the village on Saturday 26 March when people were able to meet<br />

face to face for the spring show which saw plenty of entries.<br />

For some, it was the first time they had entered and were delighted to find themselves<br />

among the winners. All the classes were well supported and as usual there were tasty treats<br />

on offer. Among the winners was youngster Juniper, the first recipient of the Denis Hemsted<br />

Youth Cup, presented in his memory by his family. TF<br />

Jan Seymour won the David Martin trophy<br />

for her double narcissi (pictured below)<br />

Juniper, the first recipient of the Denis Hemsted<br />

Youth Cup<br />

Welcome Back CODS<br />

Cranbrook<br />

Operatic and<br />

Dramatic Society<br />

is back in the<br />

theatre – hurrah!<br />

This Easter we produced our<br />

first play since the pandemic<br />

with roaring success.<br />

Our modern take on <strong>The</strong><br />

Vicar of Dibley pleased<br />

actors and audiences alike<br />

and it was wonderful to<br />

see so many people back to<br />

support live, local theatre.<br />

Never have hula hoops been<br />

so amusing.<br />

Our next exciting<br />

production is now cast and<br />

we begin rehearsals shortly.<br />

Is Cranbrook ready for the<br />

flamboyant and fabulous<br />

‘Priscilla, Queen of the<br />

Desert – <strong>The</strong> Musical’?<br />

We shall see. This<br />

colourful and entertaining<br />

musical is crammed full of<br />

nostalgic pop songs which<br />

will have you up on your feet<br />

and dancing in the aisles.<br />

If you enjoyed <strong>The</strong> Vicar<br />

of Dibley or if you think<br />

Priscilla sounds like fun,<br />

why not join us? Whether<br />

you crave the limelight,<br />

want to help backstage,<br />

or are a budding techie,<br />

we are here in the heart of<br />

Cranbrook. It is not too late<br />

to get involved with the<br />

show, on or off stage, and we<br />

are always looking for new<br />

members, so try something<br />

new or revisit a past love.<br />

Contact annie.hatch33@<br />

gmail.com<br />

Why not join us for a<br />

journey to the heart of<br />

fabulous! Annie Hatcher<br />

Sponsors: Cranbrook Farmshop and Nursery and Peter Jones (Opticians) Ltd<br />


26 – 29 OCTOBER <strong>2022</strong><br />



Presented through special arrangement with and all authorised performance materials are supplied by TRW<br />

<strong>The</strong>atrical Rights Worldwide, 122-124 Regent Street, 5 th floor, London W1B 5SA. www.theatricalrights.co.uk<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 17

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18 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>



Parallel Problems<br />

For PMs a Century<br />

Apart<br />

Imagine a Prime Minister who<br />

magically appeals to voters, an orator,<br />

partial to a bit of fun, especially with<br />

women, who faced a giant European<br />

problem and got it done; whose chief<br />

opponent said, after his election victory,<br />

he could be Prime Minister for life if he<br />

wanted.<br />

No, not Boris Johnson in better days,<br />

but David Lloyd George, the great Liberal<br />

leader of World War One, “the man who won<br />

the war” but whose downfall exactly 100<br />

years ago, resonates with the trials of Boris<br />

Johnson.<br />

Four years after his 1918 blazing ‘Khaki’<br />

election victory (albeit in coalition with<br />

the Conservatives), the “Welsh Wizard”<br />

- the only Welshman to be PM - left<br />

Downing Street, in 1922, amid scandal<br />

and disillusionment. <strong>The</strong> scandal was not<br />

wallpapering his flat, or illicit parties but<br />

selling peerages, even to a notorious tax<br />

evader. His lively, adulterous, sex life (he<br />

was known as <strong>The</strong> Goat) shocked post-war<br />

propriety. A sometimes uneasy relationship<br />

with truth was challenged, even during the<br />

war, by a General Maurice who publicly<br />

accused him of misleading Parliament over<br />

army numbers. But everyone knew that was<br />

DLG and hey! he got the Great War done.<br />

<strong>The</strong> gloss dimmed as the war’s colossal<br />

cost became a growing economic shadow,<br />

darker even than the vast price of victory<br />

over Covid. Lloyd George’s version of Boris’<br />

levelling up, the election slogan “homes fit<br />

for heroes” for returning servicemen, went<br />

largely unfulfilled. Instead ‘heroes’ felt the<br />

bite not of inflation but of deflation, as<br />

prices fell, economic growth slowed and<br />

unemployment rose.<br />

<strong>The</strong> coalition’s Conservative majority<br />

stuck with DLG because, like Boris, he was a<br />

David Lloyd George<br />

“A sometimes uneasy relationship with truth was<br />

challenged, even during the war, by a General Maurice<br />

who publicly accused him of misleading Parliament over<br />

army numbers. But everyone knew that was DLG and<br />

hey! he got the Great War done”<br />

vote winner but as crises grew around him<br />

his appeal and their faith, faded. By 1922<br />

Lloyd George had overseen the fracture<br />

of the Union when Ireland, except for the<br />

North, rose up and, in 1921, broke away<br />

from the United Kingdom, as Scotland now<br />

threatens. It left a troublesome settlement,<br />

which continues as Boris wrestles with the<br />

post-Brexit fallout of the Northern Ireland<br />

protocol.<br />

Risky foreign policy finally did for Lloyd<br />

George. A still writhing, dismembered<br />

Boris Johnson<br />

empire, not the Russian but the Turkish,<br />

sought to annex Greek enclaves in what is<br />

now Turkey. Lloyd George nearly dragged<br />

Britain into a war for them which finally<br />

cost him his parliamentary support, both<br />

his Liberal rump and the Conservatives. I’m<br />

not superstitious about these parallels of<br />

history or history repeating itself but it’s<br />

fascinating to note the more it changes the<br />

more it stays the same – certainly we, as<br />

humans, do.<br />

Cllr Sean Holden<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 19


Hon. Mayor<br />

Linda Page’s<br />

June message<br />

It’s great to see the public<br />

toilets in Crane Lane open<br />

again. Many thanks to the<br />

parish council. Hopefully,<br />

the tired mosaic seat will<br />

be moved soon to a temporary<br />

place for repair and TLC, with it<br />

then being found a place to be<br />

displayed in the long term. It is a<br />

lovely piece of art that needs to<br />

be saved.<br />

Please get involved again this<br />

year by helping the bees and<br />

supporting my two important<br />

and well deserving charities, the<br />

Sam West Foundation and Motor<br />

Neurone Disease Association.<br />

Donations can be made at<br />

Cranbrook Farm Shop, Larkins<br />

Ale House, Anderson’s Butchers,<br />

Cranbrook DIY, TN17 Food &<br />

Wine, Cranbrook Service Station<br />

and Pages Newsagents. You<br />

can pick up sunflower seeds,<br />

wildflower seeds and bee bombs.<br />

It’s not too late to sow your<br />

sunflower or wildflower seeds,<br />

or you may prefer to keep your<br />

wildflower seeds for autumn<br />

sowing and an early spring<br />

display.<br />

I’m sure most gardeners can<br />

already identify a pollinator<br />

plant in their borders, tubs,<br />

planters or maybe your lawn,<br />

so please go online and register<br />

your postcode. Be included<br />

on the bee corridor map of<br />

Cranbrook & Sissinghurst. <strong>The</strong><br />

local maps will be updated<br />

throughout the summer<br />

showing where the butterflies<br />

and bees will travel through<br />

our parish. Please visit www.<br />

bringonthebees.uk to find out<br />

more.<br />

We are very fortunate to have<br />

so many events organised in the<br />

town over the next few months.<br />

Please support them and enjoy<br />

everything that’s thrown at us.<br />

Have a great summer!<br />

Guy's Column<br />

Hands of Hope sets the standard for healthy soil<br />

<strong>The</strong>re can be few more idyllic<br />

settings for a vegetable garden<br />

than the new growing field at<br />

Hope Farm Community Garden in<br />

Hawkhurst. Right now we garden<br />

to the bleat of lambs and the cry of buzzards<br />

above, while the orchard next door sends<br />

flurries of blossom onto the newly-made beds.<br />

We garden our acre of vegetables by hand,<br />

using no-dig methods which don’t disturb<br />

the soil so all the life within stays intact and<br />

functioning. Our soil is heavy clay, but it is<br />

also full of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, viruses<br />

and millions of other life forms, most of which<br />

are too small to see, but all of which play a<br />

vital role in the functioning of good soil.<br />

All the minerals and nutrients that a plant<br />

needs to grow can be found in our heavy<br />

mineral clay, but to become available to the<br />

plant, the web of life needs to eat and excrete,<br />

to live and die. Only when that life flourishes<br />

will plants thrive and over time our soil will<br />

get more nutrient-rich as these symbiotic<br />

relationships get stronger.<br />

We feed our soil with green waste compost<br />

made from council garden waste collections.<br />

It is not great quality for putting in pots, but<br />

it has all the organic matter that the soil web<br />

needs to thrive. We also aim to have plants in<br />

the soil at all times as plants and their roots<br />

are a vital part of the soil’s web of life.<br />

During the past 70 years or so, we have<br />

ploughed and dug land on an industrial scale<br />

which has destroyed its life force. Naturallyoccurring<br />

nutrient levels are decreasing in<br />

industrially farmed fields, so farmers need<br />

to add more and more chemical fertilizers<br />

to keep the plants growing. This isn’t just<br />

the fault of farmers. As a society, we have<br />

benefited from cheap food without wondering<br />

at the cost to the earth, our health or to the<br />

long-term viability of production.<br />

At Hands of Hope, we believe that healthy<br />

soil = healthy plants = healthy humans. With<br />

the help of our army of volunteers, we grow<br />

vegetables for food banks, lunch clubs and<br />

community projects as well as for our own<br />

veg box scheme. Our organic vegetables come<br />

powered by the soil and are full of nutrients.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y’re also delicious!<br />

Guy Pullen, HoH head of horticulture<br />

20 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


In Bloom<br />

See our PLATINUM list<br />

of 12 gardens<br />

For our 16 th Glorious<br />


Sunday 19 th June 10.30am – 5pm<br />

Tickets £5 available from13th June at Pages Newsagent,<br />

or on the day from any garden<br />

Open gardens are marked with balloons & signs<br />

NO Dogs Preferred<br />

Homemade cakes and plants for sale<br />

Email marian.cumberland@hotmail.com<br />

Trees available for the Queen’s Green Canopy<br />

£10 each, contact Linda in Pages<br />

Supported by<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 21


Model displayed at Sissinghurst depicting Sir<br />

Richard Baker's house circa 1560<br />

Bloody Baker of<br />

Sissinghurst<br />

Ann Historian tells the tale of a wicked lord whose name is linked to Baker’s Cross<br />

Many locals, like me, were told<br />

as children the tale of the<br />

Bloody Baker of Sissinghurst<br />

as a bedtime story; the fable<br />

of our very own wicked<br />

lord in the local castle bearing down on our<br />

ancestors.<br />

And, like all good stories, it needs to be<br />

taken with a big pinch of salt. So, apologies to<br />

the present incumbents at Sissinghurst Castle<br />

and those who heard a different version,<br />

which there are, I am sure, quite a few. So,<br />

here is the one I was first told:<br />

In the 1800s a woman known only as F.L,<br />

visiting Cranbrook, reported she was being<br />

shown around St Dunstan’s Church by an<br />

old lady when her attention was caught by<br />

a monument in the chancel to Sir Richard<br />

Baker. His gauntlet, gloves, spurs and helmet<br />

were suspended over the tomb.<br />

F.L. remarked how vividly red the gloves<br />

were. “Aye, miss”, her guide replied: “Those<br />

are Bloody Baker’s gloves; their red colour<br />

comes from all the blood he shed”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> young Richard was known to have a<br />

“Jekyll and Hyde” character; prone to extreme<br />

outbursts of love and emotion, showing<br />

a terribly violent character, bordering on<br />

sadistic! <strong>The</strong> guide then told her the tale of<br />

the Lord of Sissinghurst.<br />

A local beauty, Jane Chester, the widow<br />

of a recently diseased soldier, caught his<br />

lordship’s eye one summer. He became charm<br />

personified and wooed her into Angley Woods<br />

for an evening stroll.<br />

Her boyfriend, one Henry Dartmouth from<br />

Goddards Green, followed them, worried for<br />

his lover’s safety. Sir Richard charmed, sang<br />

and recited poetry to Jane to the point where<br />

she very nearly succumbed to his advances.<br />

Suddenly he went mad, turning into a wild<br />

uncontrollable fiend! Henry ran to protect her,<br />

his sword drawn, but Sir Richard made short<br />

work of him, nearly to the death, ran back to<br />

the castle then fled to France.<br />

Some years later, Jane’s daughter Mary and<br />

a companion decided to taunt Sir Richard by<br />

popping in unannounced at the castle, the<br />

lord having returned and, up to his old tricks,<br />

had taken a shine to the younger Miss Chester<br />

along with many other young local girls, some<br />

of whom had gone missing!<br />

As the main door was open, they entered,<br />

shouting for him. <strong>The</strong>y stumbled into a<br />

22 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


darkened room with a foul odour, just as<br />

they heard Sir Richard and his groundsman<br />

returning, carrying the body of a beautiful,<br />

dead woman.<br />

<strong>The</strong> men tried to get the corpse up some<br />

steps but her hand caught in the turret<br />

window frame. Sir Richard, frustrated that he<br />

couldn’t free it, took out his knife and cut it<br />

off! It landed in the lap of Mary’s dress, as she<br />

hid below stairs.<br />

When the men had gone, the girls realising<br />

the room had more bodies than the one they<br />

had just witnessed, fled back to Cranbrook.<br />

(Rumour has it that the actual window<br />

bleeds on the anniversary of this woman’s<br />

death, and there is a secret tunnel from the<br />

castle to Cranbrook that took Bloody Baker’s<br />

carriage underground into town!)<br />

Back in the safety of her fine house in the<br />

High Street, Mary decided to lay a trap. She<br />

would throw a dinner party for the great and<br />

good in the town; Sir Richard was at the top of<br />

the guest list.<br />

Days later, they arrived and much beer,<br />

wine, food and merriment was made all<br />

evening until Sir Richard asked her why he<br />

hadn’t seen her for so long?<br />

She replied that she had actually visited<br />

him just days earlier, only to find a room<br />

full of corpses of local missing girls! Sir<br />

Richard laughed and demanded proof of<br />

her outrageous accusation. Only then was<br />

the hand brought out, still wearing the<br />

engagement ring that had been given to the<br />

deceased girl by one of the other guests!<br />

Sir Richard, realising his peril, jumped<br />

for his sword, but not quickly enough. <strong>The</strong><br />

servants and gentlemen drew their knives<br />

and swords and forced “Bloody Baker” to<br />

the cell above the entrance to St Dunstan’s<br />

Church (still there), thereby stopping<br />

his reign of terror: “So perish the deeds<br />

of Bloody Baker! So perish the Lord of<br />

Sissinghurst!”<br />


<strong>The</strong> other Sir Richard Baker of Sissinghurst<br />

Castle (born 1488) was a very important<br />

man. He became Chancellor of the<br />

Exchequer, not only to King Henry VIII, but<br />

also to King Edward VI then briefly Lady Jane Grey and<br />

finally Queen Mary. It was he who rounded up protestants for execution by “Bloody Mary” right up<br />

until her death. It was while on his way to Cranbrook that a messenger rode up to inform him of<br />

the Queen’s death. At that very spot, he turned his soldiers round to return to Sissinghurst Castle<br />

without their intended prisoners. That place is still caller Baker’s Cross, after that very event.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 23


S C H O O L<br />




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24 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Joy of Sex<br />

Authors’<br />

Gravestone<br />

<strong>The</strong> Joy of Sex was an<br />

international bestseller<br />

when it was first published<br />

in 1972, written by Dr Alex<br />

Comfort and his wife, Jane<br />

Few people know that<br />

Cranbrook has a strong<br />

link to the couple, as<br />

there is a wood off the<br />

Swattenden Road, called<br />

Comfort Wood, owned and run by<br />

the Woodland Trust.<br />

Near the centre, is the double<br />

gravestone of Jane and Alex<br />

Comfort, who were buried there<br />

in 1991 and 2000, having enabled<br />

the trust to purchase it. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

are several footpaths through<br />

the wood, as the Woodland Trust<br />

has extended its woodland up<br />

to Freight Lane. <strong>The</strong> map shows<br />

where the gravestone lies, down<br />

an unmarked small cul de sac<br />

path.<br />

<strong>The</strong> wood was planted in 1991<br />

but unfortunately the ashes are<br />

being ravaged by die back. This<br />

leaves woodland spaces that are<br />

ideal for the Bluebells, Wood<br />

Anenomes and Stitchwort that<br />

have been wonderful this year.<br />

Throughout the summer it is a<br />

great place to see butterflies such<br />

as Orange Tips, Meadow Browns,<br />

Commas, Ringlets and Speckled<br />

Woods.<br />

Last year, Barn Owls could be<br />

seen hunting the hedges, and<br />

often Buzzards are mobbed by<br />

Crows and Kestrels can be seen<br />

hunting the fields adjacent.<br />

<strong>The</strong> entrance for footpaths is<br />

from Swattenden Lane or from<br />

Freight Lane.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 25

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26 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Researching<br />

the Village<br />

Airstrip<br />

Graham Holmes and Peter Mellor investigate<br />

Visitors to the<br />

wider estate at<br />

Sissinghurst<br />

Castle Garden<br />

would be unaware<br />

that the footpath leading to the<br />

Bird Hide and Dig Dog Lane,<br />

passes quite close to what was<br />

once a World War II airfield. It<br />

hardly seems possible, given<br />

the restricted nature of the<br />

field, enclosed as it is by native<br />

hedgerows.<br />

For a brief spell in 1943 it<br />

was indeed a grass airstrip, in<br />

use by No.653 Squadron, Royal<br />

Air Force. However, its aircraft<br />

were not the iconic fighters of<br />

the period but the Taylorcraft<br />

Austers of an Air Observation<br />

Post squadron. <strong>The</strong>se aircraft<br />

were small, rather flimsy<br />

looking machines that carried a<br />

pilot and two observers whose<br />

responsibility it was to note<br />

and correct the accuracy of<br />

fire from the artillery on the<br />

ground. <strong>The</strong> Army provided<br />

the pilots and observers and<br />

the RAF, the ground crews.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Auster was the ideal<br />

aircraft for the job, having the<br />

ability to take off and land in<br />

confined areas like the airstrip<br />

at Sissinghurst.<br />

No.653 had formed at<br />

RAF Old Sarum, Wiltshire<br />

on the 20 June 1942 and its<br />

first deployment was to RAF<br />

Penshurst on the 7 September<br />

of that year. On the 17 August<br />

1943 the squadron moved<br />

to the temporary base at<br />

Sissinghurst, coming under<br />

the orders of the British Army<br />

12 Corps and participating in<br />

Exercise Peacock. It is believed<br />

that this exercise aimed at<br />

further improving the role of<br />

the Air Observation Posts and<br />

would ultimately culminate<br />

in their use following the<br />

Normandy landings in June<br />

1944. <strong>The</strong> exercise complete,<br />

the Squadron returned to<br />

Penshurst on the 17 September<br />

1943.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Sissinghurst airstrip was<br />

located in a field called “<strong>The</strong><br />

Large Field” that contained<br />

low hedges and a SW to NE<br />

orientation – ideal for take<br />

offs and landings – the only<br />

hazard being an oak tree on<br />

the western hedge boundary!<br />

Due to its temporary nature,<br />

no buildings were erected<br />

and personnel would have<br />

worked and slept under canvas.<br />

Officers may well have been<br />

billeted in the area. Today,<br />

there is no trace whatsoever<br />

to remind us of what had been<br />

taking place in 1943.<br />

I am indebted to Peter<br />

Mellor for his valuable help<br />

in producing this article,<br />

condensed from his detailed<br />

research in 2017 – now in the<br />

Castle Archives.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 27

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28 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>



Thousands of horses…<br />

During the closure of the<br />

museum due to Covid,<br />

we were able to catch up<br />

on many tasks and it was<br />

while we were checking<br />

the contents of a store cupboard that<br />

we came across a box of photographs -<br />

800 in total.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are official images passed<br />

by the War Office for transmission<br />

abroad, depicting every aspect of<br />

the horrors between 1914-1918 and<br />

include many of the Western Front in<br />

France, Mesopotamia, Belgium, naval<br />

activities, nursing and much, much<br />

more. I was staggered at the number of<br />

horses in the pictures – thousands and<br />

thousands.<br />

<strong>The</strong> photographs needed some<br />

conservation work and we were able<br />

to secure a grant from the Museums<br />

Association. This has allowed us to<br />

store them in acid free sleeves and<br />

storage boxes. A group of volunteers<br />

packaged each photograph individually<br />

recording all the information known<br />

about it. Enquiries at the Imperial War<br />

Museum suggest our collection is not<br />

ABOVE: Cavalry in training on the British<br />

Western Front in France.<br />

unique but well worth conserving as a<br />

collection of Official WWI images.<br />

I will just mention that while talking<br />

to the museum, someone dropped into<br />

the conversation that their collection<br />

consists of 11 million photographs!<br />

When we get to November this year<br />

and the Remembrance Day Parade to<br />

the War Memorial, the photographs<br />

will be on display for the public to<br />

view in the Vestry Hall from 10am –<br />

3pm. Please do make a note to come<br />

and have a look at this extraordinary<br />

collection which we have been able to<br />

rescue and conserve.<br />

Mike Huxley<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 29

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30 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 31


IN THE<br />

GARDEN<br />

“Nature never was nor should be tidy”<br />

says writes Penny Royal<br />

It was great to see that last<br />

month was celebrated by<br />

some as No Mow May in<br />

an effort to bring some<br />

relief to our beleaguered<br />

flora and fauna.<br />

But obviously the message<br />

to leave the mowers in the<br />

shed to allow the flora to grow<br />

had not got through to our<br />

councils. Why are they so hell<br />

bent on ridding the roadsides,<br />

roundabouts and any other<br />

public areas of flowers or<br />

grasses that had the nerve<br />

to put their heads above the<br />

earth’s parapet?<br />

Perhaps the most horrendous<br />

sight was the mowing of an<br />

entire verge of bluebells, in<br />

full bloom, on a Goudhurst<br />

Road, ironically not far from<br />

Bedgebury Pinetum.<br />

Local social media was full of<br />

condemnation and rightly so.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sloping verge had been a<br />

glorious site until the arrival of<br />

the (council?) contractor and<br />

his machine.<br />

With wildlife and wild plants<br />

under threat as never before,<br />

we are constantly being urged<br />

to make life better for birds,<br />

bees, hedgehogs all the other<br />

creatures, despite their habitats<br />

disappearing at an alarming<br />

rate.<br />

Councils across Kent are<br />

wasting hundreds of thousands<br />

of pounds on ridding our verges<br />

of wildlife habitat, money<br />

which could be better spent<br />

helping nature to claim back<br />

land for so many threatened<br />

species. <strong>The</strong> same could also be<br />

said for those responsible for<br />

maintaining churchyards.<br />

Obviously, for safety reasons,<br />

“Why are they so hell bent on ridding the<br />

roadsides, roundabouts and any other public<br />

areas of flowers or grasses that had the<br />

nerve to put their heads above the earth’s<br />

parapet?”<br />

plants can’t be allowed to block<br />

sightlines at road junctions<br />

but the verge outside my own<br />

home has been scythed to bare<br />

earth more than four times this<br />

year and we don’t even have a<br />

driveway and live on a straight<br />

road!<br />

We should take a leaf out<br />

of the book used in France.<br />

All along their motorways are<br />

unfettered wild plants and trees.<br />

<strong>The</strong> central reservations are<br />

filled with Amelanchier lamarkii<br />

trees, full of white blossom in<br />

the spring; the verges a sight<br />

to behold with mile upon mile<br />

of millions of cowslips. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

give way to summer flowers<br />

and there is not a strimmer or<br />

a grass cutter to be seen. Every<br />

village seems to covet plants,<br />

whether growing wild or in<br />

delightful hanging baskets,<br />

tubs and even old rowing boats.<br />

We are being asked to help<br />

our wildlife while agricultural<br />

land is being built on, habitat<br />

for wildlife is shrinking and<br />

what little is left is being<br />

scythed for no other reason<br />

than to make our countryside<br />

look tidy. Nature never was nor<br />

should be “tidy”. Penny Royal<br />

32 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Let’s Cook<br />

Special Chicken<br />

Pithivier<br />

I have often pondered why the<br />

names for some French foods<br />

always sound more inviting,<br />

particularly the wonderful word<br />

Pithivier – so much nicer than<br />

pie! But whatever you call my<br />

latest offering, delicious is the<br />

word I would use. I ate this at a<br />

dinner party and just had to add<br />

it to my recipe collection. I hope<br />

you like it as much as I do.<br />

4tbsp pink peppercorns, crushed<br />

300g chicken thighs skin removed<br />

cubed<br />

200g Brie cheese<br />

100g dried cranberries<br />

2 egg yolks beaten<br />

WHAT TO DO<br />

1. Roll out two circles of puff pastry,<br />

one 25cm and the other 30cm.<br />

Leave to chill on two trays.<br />

2. Add oil to frying pan and fry the<br />

onion and garlic, taking care not<br />

to brown them. Add the salt and<br />

peppercorns and mix.<br />

3. Add the chicken and cranberries<br />

and cook for about seven minutes<br />

then cool.<br />

4. Slice off the top and base of<br />

the brie and place in the centre of<br />

the smaller pastry round. Add the<br />

chicken mix all round the cheese<br />

making sure to keep the edges of<br />

the pastry clear before brushing<br />

with the egg yolk. Take the second<br />

circle and put on top, smoothing<br />

it down as you go and then seal it<br />


Serves 2-3<br />

2 x packs puff pasty<br />

2tbps olive oil<br />

1 onion finely chopped<br />

4 cloves garlic grated or finely<br />

chopped<br />

1tsp salt<br />

firmly, crimping the edge. Brush the<br />

top with egg mix and chill for 30<br />

minutes.<br />

5. With a knife, score the top and<br />

make a small hole in the centre to<br />

allow steam to escape. Heat the<br />

oven to 200C/ fan 180C/ Gas 6 and<br />

put in the tray to heat up. When<br />

at temperature, place the pithivier<br />

on the tray and cook for about 25<br />

minutes or until golden brown.<br />

Bon appetite!<br />

Emma Fraser<br />

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 33


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34 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


<strong>Summer</strong> Harvests<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> time on the plot or in the<br />

kitchen garden is a culmination of<br />

all the hard work and preparation<br />

undertaken earlier in the year. It<br />

is, hopefully, going to be a time to<br />

harvest and enjoy the fruits of your labours.<br />

Once again, the forthcoming period has<br />

been split into early, mid and late summer.<br />


Sow outside: French and runner beans,<br />

beetroot, carrots, courgettes, cucumber, kohl<br />

rabi, lettuce, marrow, spring onions, pak<br />

choi, peas, pumpkins, radish, salad rocket,<br />

swede, sweetcorn and turnips – quite a list!<br />

Planting outside from seed trays or pots:<br />

Brussels sprouts, leek and beans.<br />

Harvesting: First harvest of early beetroot,<br />

carrots, potatoes, lettuce, broad bean, garlic<br />

and peas. If you are fortunate enough to<br />

have an asparagus bed, harvesting the<br />

delicious spears can continue until the end<br />

of June<br />

Preparing ground: Clear away any<br />

overwintered cabbage. Weed all beds where<br />

sowing or planting is yet to take place.<br />


Sow outside: Lettuce (for harvesting in the<br />

autumn) and winter salads such as endive<br />

and chicory.<br />

Planting outside: Kale, swede, savoy<br />

cabbage, cauliflower, purple sprouting<br />

broccoli.<br />

Harvesting: July can be a time of<br />

abundance. Potatoes, peas, broad beans,<br />

courgettes and early salad plants should all<br />

be ready. At the same time lift and store your<br />

onions, garlic and shallots to enable them to<br />

dry out.<br />

Preparing ground: Some of the early<br />

harvests are now coming to an end and the<br />

opportunity should be taken to clear the<br />

site of any debris and weeds. As explained<br />

in previous issues, the beds can be used<br />

for second cropping, especially if you are a<br />

no-dig gardener. A gentle hoe to loosen the<br />

soil and you are ready to plant – provided<br />

you have had the foresight to sow some<br />

lettuce or brassica seed back in April! <strong>The</strong><br />

alternative is to direct-sow things like beans,<br />

carrots and swede making sure that you thin<br />

out the plants as they appear.<br />


Sowing outside or in the greenhouse:<br />

Spinach and chard for overwintering. Late<br />

sowings of salad crops<br />

such as spring onions<br />

and radish.<br />

Harvesting: This<br />

is the time when<br />

everyone offers<br />

you their surplus<br />

runner beans!<br />

Tomatoes, peppers<br />

and cucumbers<br />

should also now be in<br />

plentiful supply. It’s<br />

a good time to check<br />

those potatoes and<br />

onions that have been<br />

in storage.<br />




Quality Point of Lay Chickens<br />

Excellent choice available, fully<br />

vaccinated, laying lovely fresh<br />

eggs in a variety of shell colours<br />

Hopefully, you will not have neglected<br />

the all-important task of weeding. This<br />

period will see many weeds setting<br />

seed and if you ignore the signs you are<br />

storing up trouble for later. Whenever<br />

you are on the plot, why not set aside a<br />

“10 minute weed” session? If you rent<br />

an allotment, remember unwanted<br />

weed seeds will drift on to your<br />

neighbour’s plot.<br />

A word here about watering. Your<br />

soil type will determine how to manage<br />

watering you plants. Much of the soil in<br />

the parish is made up of Wealden Clay<br />

which, despite its appearance, actually<br />

retains moisture exceedingly well<br />

reducing the frequency of watering. In<br />

other areas you will find the sandstone<br />

of the Hastings Beds. This can be very<br />

porous and not at all water retentive, so<br />

regular watering is needed. Whatever<br />

your soil, regularly incorporating wellrotted<br />

organic matter will increase its<br />

moisture retaining capacity.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are critical periods when<br />

watering is necessary; water helps<br />

seeds to germinate, it is also beneficial<br />

when seedlings have been transplanted<br />

into the soil and later, it will help the<br />

swelling of peas beans and tomatoes. As<br />

a rough guide, when watering it is best<br />

to water thoroughly rather than merely<br />

wetting the surface. If you have a<br />

greenhouse or shed, get yourself water<br />

butts to capture rainwater – it contains<br />

nitrates, one of the key elements that<br />

plants need. Badger<br />

Country living at its best!<br />

www.henhousepoultry.co.uk<br />

01622 843649 (Sutton Valence)<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 35

High Street, Cranbrook,<br />

Kent, TN173RB<br />

Telephone: 01580 715008<br />

reception@hammondoptical.co.uk<br />

hammondoptical.co.uk<br />

Holly’s Funerals<br />

Modern, Beautiful and Bespoke<br />

Funeral Choices<br />

We provide a highly flexible & personal<br />

service to help you create exactly the right<br />

funeral for you and your family<br />

Please call for a friendly, informal chat or<br />

to make an appointment<br />

01580 389184<br />

www.hollysfunerals.co.uk<br />

Hartley Dyke, Cranbrook<br />

36 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

South East Open Studios<br />

Celebrates 25 Years<br />

South East Open Studios (SEOS) is a not-for-profit, artist-led organisation that depends on<br />

the participation and engagement of both artists and makers – experienced and new!<br />

ART<br />

This year SEOS celebrates its 25th year<br />

of helping artists celebrate and exhibit<br />

art and craft. A true milestone. With<br />

refreshed branding and recognising the<br />

need to connect with artists from all types<br />

of backgrounds and all genres support, it’s all set to<br />

celebrate another 25 years.<br />

Artists and makers of all genres sign up and people are<br />

invited to visit the artists in their studios from 3-19 June.<br />

Some artists team up with each other and small groups<br />

get together, others choose to exhibit alone.<br />

Visitors can see the artists demonstrating their<br />

art, maybe some are just working, others will actively<br />

promote individual demonstrations. Whichever, it’s a joy<br />

to see the artist in their environs<br />

and to visit so many lovely studios<br />

and venues. Some large, some<br />

tiny, but all loved, and all visitors<br />

are welcome! Artists will talk to<br />

you about their processes, their<br />

passion, their philosophy. Learn<br />

how they create, and most work is<br />

for sale.<br />

This is a wonderful opportunity<br />

to see so much different art, meet<br />

the people behind the art and to<br />

see so much of our beautiful Kent<br />

countryside.<br />

Cranbrook and environs are<br />

well served with exhibiting artists<br />

and Grierson Galleries, based<br />

in Cranbrook, is delighted to be working<br />

with SEOS this year to help celebrate<br />

its anniversary. Visit the gallery to pick<br />

up your free SEOS brochure and see the<br />

works of 23 local artists, from ceramics to<br />

oils, watercolours, award winning garden<br />

sculptures, photography, abstracts, works<br />

inspired by the local countryside, mixed<br />

media. You name it it’ll be in the gallery for<br />

everyone to admire!<br />

Each artist will be exhibiting one piece<br />

and the visitor can then chose which<br />

studios to visit. Please do visit. It’s a great<br />

opportunity to see and appreciate so many<br />

talented local artists in one place!<br />

Annie Watsham<br />

Flow Lines 4 by Karen<br />

Birchwood<br />

Nicola Colbran<br />

Urbane Jungle by<br />

Christine Hopwood<br />

Urchin Bowl by Dizzy<br />

Pragnell<br />



Caroline Anderson,<br />

Louise Pettifer, Jane<br />

Gray, Jemimah Patterson,<br />

Jeremy Westgate, Nicky<br />

Colbran, Clive Dand,<br />

Dizzy Pragnell, Liz Betts,<br />

David West, Susie Vittay,<br />

Claire Dominic, Christine<br />

Hopwood, Kate Schuricht,<br />

Jade Taylor, Lenka Kalafut,<br />

Kristin Watt-Bonar, Clare<br />

Winchester, Rosemary<br />

Houghton, Liz Bewley,<br />

Karen Birchwood, Phil<br />

Auden and Rowena<br />

McWilliams.<br />

Daisy by<br />

Claire Dominic<br />

Mother Love by<br />

Caroline Anderson<br />

Watching by<br />

Jade Taylor<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 37

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38 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Residential Leasehold<br />

Ground Rent<br />

Welcoming news for<br />

leasehold homeowners<br />

We welcome the<br />

major changes<br />

to residential<br />

lease ground<br />

rents<br />

following the Leasehold<br />

Reform (Ground Rent) Act <strong>2022</strong><br />

which was passed through the<br />

commons without opposition.<br />

For far too long, leaseholders<br />

have encountered difficulties and<br />

high fees regarding the issues<br />

with unreasonably high annual<br />

ground rents and in some cases,<br />

rents escalating greatly over a<br />

short period of time. This has<br />

caused problems for re-sale of<br />

property due to mortgage lenders<br />

not accepting the position of<br />

the terms of the rent charged<br />

by the landlord/freeholder for<br />

the property. <strong>The</strong> Competition<br />

Authority (CMA) secured<br />

commitments with major<br />

homebuilders to cease the terms<br />

of leases which included the<br />

doubling of ground rent charges<br />

to homeowners.<br />

Historically, the terms of<br />

residential leases included<br />

clauses for the increase of<br />

ground rent, which had to align<br />

with the Council for Mortgage<br />

Lenders (now UK Finance<br />

Lenders). Landlords/freeholders<br />

continued to create new<br />

residential leases with escalating<br />

rent clauses. Increasing annual<br />

rent was not only a financial<br />

burden for the leaseholder but<br />

became unacceptable to the<br />

mortgage lenders. Leaseholders<br />

have therefore been left with<br />

no choice than to agree costly<br />

variations to the terms of<br />

the registered lease when<br />

progressing a sale transaction.<br />

<strong>The</strong> government’s ban on<br />

landlords charging ground<br />

rent on residential leases in<br />

England and Wales comes into<br />

force on the 30 June <strong>2022</strong> and<br />

anyone buying a new home with<br />

a long lease will be free of the<br />

ground rent annul charge. <strong>The</strong><br />

act will mean that ground rents<br />

on new residential homes and<br />

flats granted for a term of over<br />

21 years will be charged at a<br />

‘peppercorn’ per year. Effectively,<br />

this means, nothing to pay in<br />

respect of rent!<br />

<strong>The</strong> changes in legislation<br />

have been proposed for some<br />

time to consider the ground rent<br />

terms, which were unfair for<br />

leaseholders. <strong>The</strong> provisions of<br />

the 2002 act will not take place<br />

immediately but generally will<br />

commence within six months<br />

of the Royal Assent. <strong>The</strong> act<br />

will bring homeownership of<br />

residential leasehold property a<br />

fairer and financially beneficial<br />

position.<br />

For existing leaseholders with<br />

problematic leases, who choose<br />

to extend the term of their<br />

lease, through the non-statutory<br />

(voluntary) action, they will also<br />

benefit from the changes of the<br />

legislation under the new act.<br />

<strong>The</strong> extension of the lease (Deed<br />

of Variation of the original lease)<br />

will restrict ground rent to ‘a<br />

peppercorn rent’. Many existing<br />


landlords are already taking steps<br />

to procure the position of the<br />

new changes.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are special provisions<br />

and some exceptions included<br />

within the provisions of the<br />

new Act which need to be<br />

considered, to include shared<br />

ownership leases and retirement<br />

accommodation leases. Such<br />

provisions will not come into<br />

effect until April 2023.<br />

This is an important milestone<br />

in the system for homeownership<br />

and affordability of residential<br />

leases for the next generation.<br />

If you are in the process of<br />

purchase a new build leasehold<br />

property, please ensure that<br />

the developer has taken into<br />

consideration the changes of<br />

legislation contained in the<br />

new Leasehold Reform (Ground<br />

Rent) Act <strong>2022</strong>.<br />


Buss Murton can provide professional advice and<br />

assistance to new and existing homebuyers of<br />

leasehold property. Please do not hesitate to call<br />

Paula Savage on 01892 502358 / 01892 510222 or<br />

email psavage@bussmurton.co.uk quoting<br />

<strong>Cake</strong> Magazine.<br />

Clermont House, High Street,<br />

Cranbrook, TN17 3DN<br />

01580 712 215 or info@<br />

bussmurton.co.uk<br />

www.bussmurton.co.uk<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 39

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Your fully independent, family owned, Funeral<br />

Directors serving the local community with<br />

compassion and the highest standards of<br />

service and professionalism.<br />

With our 24-hour emergency service, we are only<br />

a telephone call away.<br />

At the earliest stage possible, you will speak directly<br />

with one of our experienced Funeral Directors, who<br />

will be there to help, support and guide you through<br />

the whole of the funeral process.<br />

Bank Street, Cranbrook,<br />

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01580 713636<br />

enquiries@jperigoeandson.com<br />

Dixter Road, Northiam,<br />

East Sussex TN31 6LB.<br />

01797 260316<br />

www.jperigoeandson.com<br />

J. Perigoe & Son is a Trading Division of West & Coe Limited,<br />

602 Rainham Road South, Dagenham, Essex RM10 8YP.<br />

40 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Update<br />

Two New<br />

Members<br />

for Parish<br />

Council<br />

With two<br />

councillors<br />

having<br />

resigned<br />

from the<br />

parish council but no call for<br />

an election, Ant Tomlinson and<br />

Julie Simpson were co-opted to<br />

fill the vacancies.<br />

Mr Tomlinson is well known<br />

for being a co-founder of the<br />

popular Cranbrook Junior<br />

Football Club. In a professional<br />

capacity, he helps local people,<br />

charities and small businesses<br />

develop their websites.<br />

An active member of the<br />

community, he is a volunteer<br />

at the windmill, involved in<br />

Wellbeing in the Weald and has<br />

become the development officer<br />

at Cranbrook School.<br />

A father himself, he believes<br />

he is as a good representative<br />

for a younger generation. He is<br />

keen to be involved in ensuring<br />

that children have the best<br />

possible future while retaining<br />

classic, community values.<br />

<strong>The</strong> other newcomer is Julie<br />

Simpson who offered “energy,<br />

enthusiasm, time and 39 years<br />

of local knowledge” having lived<br />

all that time in Sissinghurst<br />

with her publisher husband<br />

Peter and four children.<br />

She is particularly known<br />

as the founder of the Wealden<br />

Times, and the Surrey Homes<br />

magazines. She trained as a<br />

drama teacher but worked in<br />

recruitment and went on to<br />

sell books to schools before<br />

founding the WT magazine.<br />

She is a trustee of the<br />

Cranbrook and District<br />

Age Concern and her other<br />

- interests include the<br />

environment, conservation,<br />

child welfare and schooling.<br />

Five of her eight<br />

grandchildren – seven boys and<br />

one girl – are at school which<br />

has turned her attention to<br />

education.<br />

She and her husband have<br />

recently made half their home<br />

a safe haven for a Ukrainian<br />

family. A grandmother, two<br />

daughters and a two-year-old<br />

grandson fled Kyiv, leaving a<br />

father and brother to face the<br />

fighting. TF<br />

Ant Tomlinson<br />

Julie Simpson<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 41


Gaynor Hatch<br />

Trisha Fermor talks to Gaynor Hatch who has overseen the sale of thousands<br />

of pounds worth of goodies in a charity shop<br />

For Gaynor Hatch every day was<br />

“like Christmas” when she and her<br />

“fantastic team” sorted through<br />

donated bags at the Hospice in the<br />

Weald shop in Cranbrook.<br />

For more than 10 years, she was responsible<br />

for everything that arrived at the Stone Street<br />

outlet, from amazing costume jewellery to<br />

handbags and clothes and china to books and<br />

CDs.<br />

But on 20 May, she celebrated her<br />

retirement with her volunteer staff, just a<br />

week after putting her last price tag on a<br />

donated item.<br />

Gaynor, 57, who lives in Northiam with her<br />

husband, Tony, a retired plumber, has spent<br />

nearly all her working life helping others,<br />

including time with Cancer Research and<br />

Barnardo’s. She was also head house keeper at<br />

the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells where she<br />

met her then husband-to-be who was head of<br />

maintenance.<br />

After a “full on” spell with a Crowborough<br />

cleaning company, which offered a 24-hour<br />

service, she decided it was time to move on.<br />

She was looking for a job in the charity sector<br />

A Hermes scarf raised £400 in May's<br />

silent auction<br />

and soon found herself working for Hospice in<br />

the Weald.<br />

Speaking just days before her retirement<br />

party, Gaynor said: “Every day is like<br />

Christmas. You don’t know what’s in that<br />

bag. We get a lot of brand new clothes coming<br />

in still with their tags and the standard of<br />

clothes we sell is very high. I only put the best<br />

of what we get on sale and people like us for<br />

the quality.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> silent auctions held occasionally at<br />

the shop are hugely successful, the May one<br />

raising a record £2,105. Top of the bidding<br />

was £400 for a Hermes scarf while a cheese<br />

dish went for £75. A group called the Welly<br />

Walkers, who each donate £1 for each walk,<br />

recently handed over £70 to the charity.<br />

Gaynor said: “<strong>The</strong> auctions are really<br />

successful and people are very generous with<br />

their bidding.”<br />

While much of her life has involved helping<br />

others, she has been the recipient of muchneeded<br />

care when she had part of a kidney<br />

removed due to cancer.<br />

She said: “Six years ago, I had packed up<br />

smoking then began to get pains. If I hadn’t<br />

packed up the cancer would not have been<br />

found. Smoking saved my life. I had keyhole<br />

surgery and three months off. Hospice were<br />

brilliant.”<br />

Gaynor was full of praise for her team<br />

of volunteers, from Audrey, 92, to younger<br />

members of the team, including the Three<br />

Degrees (Marian, Benice and Pam) who are<br />

responsible for the “time consuming” window<br />

dressing. In all, there are about 27 people who<br />

give up their time to man the shop.<br />

Gaynor was keen to point out that dogs are<br />

allowed in too and are given a treat. On the<br />

day <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> visited, everyone was delighted<br />

that a robin had taken up residence and<br />

would eat out of Gaynor’s hand.<br />

42 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Cake</strong> • <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

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Local firm of solicitors for all your<br />

personal and business needs<br />

Property Conveyancing<br />

Family, Children & Divorce<br />

Employment law<br />

Wills, Trusts and Probate<br />

Litigation & Dispute Resolution<br />

Company & Commercial law<br />

Our Cranbrook Office:<br />

Clermont House<br />

High Street<br />

Cranbrook<br />

Kent TN17 3DN<br />

T: 01580 712 215<br />

E: info@bussmurton.co.uk<br />

www.bussmurton.co.uk<br />


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

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