Spring 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>Spring</strong> 2023 | FREE<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> Season Line-up<br />

Hemsted Park<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 />

These positions are exempt from the rehabilitation of offenders act

Published by Cranbrook and<br />

Sissinghurst Parish Council<br />

CO-EDITORS - Kim Fletcher and Carol Somers<br />

SUB EDITORS - Julian Flanders<br />

ADVERTISING SALES - David Hobden<br />

01892 677741 davidh@spacemarketing.co.uk<br />

ADMIN SUPPORT - Graham Holmes<br />

gpholmes@hotmail.co.uk<br />

PRODUCED BY - Tally Rix - Coffee Shop Media Ltd -<br />

01580 848555, tally@coffeeshopmedia.com<br />

PUBLISHED BY - Cranbrook and Sissinghurst<br />

Parish Council, 01580 713112<br />

www.cranbrookandsissinghurstpc.co.uk<br />

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

the Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council,<br />

editor and authors cannot be held responsible<br />

for published errors. The views or opinions<br />

expressed do not necessarily reflect views of the Cranbrook<br />

and Sissinghurst Parish Council. Inclusion of any advertising<br />

material does not 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 The Cake to<br />

clerk@cspc.org.uk by 21 April 2023<br />

What does the<br />

Parish Council do?<br />

The parish council is a bit like the conscience of the<br />

community. We have views on ‘how things are done<br />

around here’ and how we would like the future to evolve,<br />

and look after local issues.<br />

We do not directly control the levers of power but can<br />

influence the people who do. We have a Neighbourhood<br />

Development Plan (available on the parish website) but<br />

that stretches into 500 pages or so with lots of detail.<br />

The list below shows the main issues that we are<br />

confronted with, and if we do not have a considered view<br />

on them, we can be overruled by developers, TWBC, KCC or the government.<br />

We need positions on these issues so that when opportunities arise, we have<br />

ready-made arguments as to why our view should prevail. If you have strong views<br />

on these issues, stand as a parish councillor, as you can really make a difference to<br />

our community.<br />


• A mix of housing<br />

• Priced for local<br />

people of all ages<br />

and mobility<br />

• Sustainable and<br />

energy efficient<br />

• Respecting the local<br />

architecture and<br />

heritage<br />


• Parking - town<br />

centre<br />

• Level footpaths<br />

& cyclepaths - for<br />

access to the town<br />

centre, for leisure<br />

• A highway<br />

improvement plan<br />


• Medical centre -<br />

gps and specialist<br />

clinics<br />

• Dentists<br />

• Education -<br />

pre-primary,<br />

primary, secondary,<br />

adult<br />

• Broadband<br />

• Community centre<br />

• Public toilets<br />

• Public transport<br />


• Local employment<br />

space<br />

• Support for local<br />

employment -<br />

education, local<br />

builders and<br />

tradesmen, hi-tech<br />

business, farming<br />

and ancillary jobs,<br />

retail and hospitality,<br />

health and care<br />

• Apprenticeships<br />

• Volunteer<br />

opportunities<br />



• Community centre<br />

- several activity<br />

spaces, music and<br />

dance, it/cooking<br />

Cllr. Kim Fletcher,<br />

chairman, Cranbrook<br />

& Sissinghurst Parish<br />

Council<br />

Neighbourhood Development Plan Issues<br />

exhibitions/<br />

meetings, theatre/<br />

cinema<br />

• Outdoor spill out<br />

area - receptions and<br />

parties, concerts<br />

• Sports facilities<br />

- clubs and<br />

clubhouses,<br />

changing rooms<br />

• Play equipment -<br />

for all ages<br />

• Strategy and<br />

resources and<br />

community spirit - to<br />

deal with anti-social<br />

behaviour and<br />

policing issues<br />


The stunning new Centenary Hall at Hemsted<br />

Park – a collection of performing arts spaces at<br />

Benenden School.<br />

Designed by Guy Holloway Architects, the<br />

800-seater hall has established itself as one of<br />

the foremost concert halls in the South East<br />

offering state-of-the-art acoustics for a truly<br />

impressive performance experience.<br />

The season’s line-up includes Harry the<br />

Piano, Stringfever and the London Film Music<br />

Orchestra performing Hans Zimmer and John<br />

Williams. Events run between 25 March and 25<br />

June www.hemstedpark.com<br />

Inside<br />

this issue<br />


5 Directory<br />

6 Letters<br />

8 Development News<br />

10 Local News<br />

12 Wellbeing<br />

14 Club News<br />

16 Event News<br />

20 Local Comment<br />

31 Kids’ Corner<br />

33 Let’s Cook<br />

34 Badger’s Plot<br />

39 Legal – divorce finances<br />

40 Parish Council Update<br />

– planning, precept and<br />

councillor recruitment<br />


18 Play Equipment – a<br />

campaign to do better<br />

22 Banks –the history of<br />

banking in Cranbrook<br />

25 Billy Blacksmith –<br />

remembering a local<br />

legend<br />

26 Out & About – Angley<br />

Woods and the Crane<br />

Valley Nature Reserve<br />

29 The Old Police Station<br />

– history of policing in<br />

Cranbrook<br />

37 <strong>Spring</strong> reads – uplifting<br />

recommendations<br />

42 Cake Meets… Francesca<br />

Shaw, head, Cranbrook<br />

COE Primary School<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 3




Your child’s foot is formed of<br />

up to 45 bones and over 7,000<br />

nerve endings, so it’s no wonder<br />

that correctly fitted shoes are<br />

an important first step to the<br />

development of healthy little feet.<br />

Here at the Golden Boot, our team<br />

of expertly trained fitters are here<br />

to help. With an extensive range<br />

of shoes and brands, all carefully<br />

chosen by us, we’ll help you pick<br />

the perfect pair of shoes for each<br />

unique pair of feet.<br />

www.thegoldenboot.co.uk<br />

Gabriels Hill, Maidstone, Kent

directory<br />

A list of useful contacts in<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst<br />

Parish Council<br />

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

Cranbrook, KENT TN17 3HF<br />

Clerk – Mrs. C. Bezuidenhout<br />

Deputy Clerk - Mrs. L. Ham<br />

Deputy Clerk – Mrs. L. Thirkell<br />

01580 713112 / clerk@CSPC.org.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 />

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 />

The Parish Room, Sissinghurst: Sue<br />

Crowe 01580 712567<br />

ts.crowe74@gmail.com<br />

The 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. Theodore’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 />


Belle Vue School, Cranbrook:<br />

01580 854641<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 />

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 />

The Crane Surgery, Cranbrook<br />

01580 712260<br />


Cramp Club, Cranbrook<br />

Cranbrook Fire Station<br />

Cricket Club, Sissinghurst<br />

Parish Council office<br />

Sissinghurst Castle Garden<br />

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

Tennis Club, Sissinghurst<br />

The George Hotel, Cranbrook<br />

The Milkhouse, Sissinghurst<br />

WHAT’S ON<br />

MARCH<br />


9 March – Cranbrook School Ensembles Concert, 7:30pm, The Queens Hall<br />

Theatre, www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

11 March – The Cranbrook Kids Cinema – Disney’s Moana, 10:30am, The<br />

Queens Hall Theatre, www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

13 March – Cranbrook and District Science and Astronomical Society, Lecture<br />

Theatre – Cranbrook School, www.cadsas.org<br />

17 March – The Cranbrook Comedy Club, 8:00pm, The Queens Hall Theatre,<br />

www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

17 March – Michael Buble Tribute, 8pm, The White Horse, Cranbrook<br />

24 March – Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, 7:30pm, Vestry Hall, www.<br />

wmwcranbrook.co.uk<br />

24 March – Bingo, 7:30pm, The White Horse, Cranbrook.<br />

APRIL<br />

6-8 April – CODS Presents… Blackadder Goes Forth, 7:30pm, The Queens Hall<br />

Theatre, www.cranbrookods.org.uk<br />

7 April – Quiz Night, 7:30pm, The White Horse<br />

10 April – Cranbrook and District Science and Astronomical Society, 8:00pm,<br />

Lecture Theatre – Cranbrook School, www.cadsas.org<br />

15 April – The Sea Monkeys (Live Music), 8pm, The White Horse, Cranbrook<br />

22 April – The Cranbrook Kids Cinema – Dear Evan Hansen 12+, 7:00pm, The<br />

Queens Hall Theatre, www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

28 April – Eliza Carthy Trio, 7:30pm, Vestry Hall, www.wmwcranbrook.co.uk<br />

28 April – Bingo, 7:30pm, The White Horse, Cranbrook<br />

29 April – Cranbrook Choral <strong>Spring</strong> Concert, St Dunstans Church<br />

MAY<br />

5 May – The London Ballet Company – Double Bill: Cinderella & 00 & His 7,<br />

7:30pm, The Queens Hall Theatre, www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

6 May – Coronation, Events around Cranbrook<br />

8 May – Cranbrook and District Science and Astronomical Society, 8:00pm,<br />

Lecture Theatre – Cranbrook School, www.cadsas.org<br />

11 May – Cranbrook School Battle of the Bands, 7:30pm, The Queens Hall<br />

Theatre, www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

13 May – The Outcast Band, 7:30pm, Vestry Hall, www.wmwcranbrook.co.uk<br />

20 May – Weald Games, Cranbrook Rugby Club<br />

25 May – Show of Hands, 7:30pm, Vestry Hall, www.wmwcranbrook.co.uk<br />

27 May – The Bohemians (Queen Tribute Band), 7:30pm, The Queens Hall<br />

Theatre, www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

28 May – Cranbrook goes Nuts in May, Cranbrook High Street<br />

JUNE<br />

16 June – The Cranbrook Comedy Club, 8:00pm, The Queens Hall Theatre,<br />

www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

JULY<br />

1 July – The Gigspanner Big Band (led by Peter Knight, formerly of Steeleye<br />

Span), 7:30pm, The Queens Hall Theatre, www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk &<br />

www.wmwcranbrook.co.uk<br />

7 July – Cranbrook School Summer Play – 7:30pm, The Queens Hall Theatre,<br />

www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk<br />

22 July – Fairport Convention, 7:30pm, The Queens Hall Theatre,<br />

www.queenshalltheatre.co.uk / www.wmwcranbrook.co.uk<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 5

letters<br />

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

Refuse Further Green<br />

Field Development<br />

Accessed From Frythe<br />

Estate<br />

The Cake has received a number<br />

of letters concerning the planned<br />

residential development of “70+”<br />

houses on a green-field site behind the<br />

Frythe Estate, which does not include<br />

any extra access.<br />

Taylor Wimpey’s consultants,<br />

Turley, have recently published a<br />

favourable report, suggesting that the<br />

development would have no impact on<br />

traffic congestion, health and safety<br />

or the local environment. We feel that<br />

the letter below presents an excellent<br />

summary of local opinions on the<br />

report:<br />

1. The traffic on Frythe Way is<br />

already a cause for concern. In an<br />

emergency, fire engines might well<br />

have serious problems accessing the<br />

site.<br />

2. The report on traffic and parking was<br />

written in September 2020, as Covid<br />

locked down traffic movement. The<br />

survey is without merit.<br />

3. There is a serious general shortage<br />

of infrastructure. Questions about<br />

drainage need to be solved. It<br />

would be helpful if the proposal<br />

for the number of dwellings to be<br />

constructed were more accurately<br />

described than “circa 70”.<br />

4. Cranbrook has no non-selective<br />

secondary school. Will prospective<br />

residents be told this? Other<br />

available non-selective schools<br />

basically require parents to have<br />

private transport available.<br />

5. The site is an old orchard in an Area<br />

of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The<br />

trees in the orchard are currently<br />

subject to a Tree Preservation Order.<br />

The whole concept should be refused.<br />

Bring Back Rural District Councils!<br />

Parish councils are apolitical, and we<br />

try to do the best for our communities<br />

in the mainly rural areas, which make<br />

up (almost) half the electors in the<br />

borough.<br />

With the reduction of councillors<br />

from 48 to 39, and election by thirds,<br />

the Local Government Boundary<br />

Commission for England requires every<br />

ward has to have three<br />

members, so one is elected<br />

every year. This will mean<br />

wards of around 7,000, so the<br />

rural wards will become very<br />

large, encompassing several<br />

unconnected towns and<br />

villages.<br />

The idea that a local<br />

person who is doing good<br />

works in their parish is able<br />

to appeal across such a<br />

large areas is problematic,<br />

and this is the reason that<br />

five chairmen attended<br />

the council meeting, and a<br />

further three had statements<br />

read out to make the point<br />

that ‘all out’ elections would<br />

enable single member wards of around<br />

2,200 electors or two members wards of<br />

around 4,400. This would enable rural<br />

communities to elect a local person to<br />

TWBC, with the expectation that they<br />

would ensure the local voice is heard.<br />

Large geographic areas favour<br />

national political parties, especially as<br />

a vote every year leaves people asking<br />

‘what are we voting for this time?’ – ‘I<br />

might as well vote for a party as I do not<br />

know these individuals’.<br />

The borough council consulted on<br />

the issue and the result showed 64%<br />

of respondents supported ‘all out<br />

elections’. In our presentations we<br />

laid out these negative impacts on our<br />

Large<br />

geographic<br />

areas favour<br />

national<br />

political<br />

parties,<br />

especially as a<br />

vote every year<br />

leaves people<br />

asking ‘what<br />

are we voting<br />

for this time?’<br />

communities of continuing to vote<br />

in thirds, and that TWBC could save<br />

£200,000 by voting every four years.<br />

Our arguments were erroneously and<br />

savagely attacked by Cllr Rands and Cllr<br />

Pound as being a ‘Conservative plot’ to<br />

regain power; it was not - the motion<br />

was seconded by an Alliance councillor<br />

and widely supported by both Alliance<br />

and Labour councillors<br />

representing parished areas.<br />

Cllr Rands had made up his<br />

mind before hearing our<br />

arguments, according to his<br />

letter in the Times last week.<br />

The Lib Dem councillors<br />

barely joined the debate. Cllr<br />

Nancy Warne (Alliance) who<br />

holds the rural portfolio did<br />

show she understood our<br />

plight.<br />

When the vote was taken<br />

but all but two Lib Dem<br />

councillors voted against<br />

the proposal, without<br />

making a cogent argument<br />

for improving democracy in<br />

rural and parished areas, or<br />

why they did not wish to save £200,000<br />

in election costs. They are quick to state<br />

there is a black hole in the accounts.<br />

Several councillors suggested that<br />

consultations produce unrepresentative<br />

results – so why did they agree to it?<br />

Later that evening, cabinet portfolio<br />

holders all voted to maintain their<br />

allowances and reject the Independent<br />

Review Panel recommendations for<br />

Tunbridge Wells and other councils<br />

which had recommended reductions. It<br />

is also worth noting that the increased<br />

size of the Lib Dem led cabinet is costing<br />

us (the council tax payers) £33,000 a<br />

year. Bring back Rural District Councils!<br />

Cllr Kim Fletcher, chairman<br />

6 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023

We have been providing expert and<br />

trusted legal advice to individuals and<br />

businesses for generations.<br />

Your Parish Council<br />

Needs You!<br />

Being a parish councillor is a purely voluntary<br />

role. We are elected every four years, with<br />

any vacancies that occur in the intervening<br />

years filled either by election or co-option. As<br />

councillors we attend a monthly meeting of<br />

the whole council, as well as meetings of any<br />

other committees we represent. This might<br />

include the Neighbourhood Development<br />

Plan Steering Committee, the Planning<br />

Committee and the Community Development<br />

Committee, the Properties & Burial Grounds<br />

and Environmental Management.<br />

Councillors also represent the parish council<br />

as delegates to various outside organisations,<br />

such as Citizens Advice, Cranbrook Tourism<br />

Group, Cranbrook Conservation Area Advisory<br />

Committee and the Katherine Elisabeth<br />

Wood Trust. In addition, the parish council<br />

often works on other temporary projects. Our<br />

primary concern at the moment is how the<br />

cost-of-living crisis is affecting residents and<br />

finding ways to help or facilitating this for<br />

other groups.<br />

In May 2023 there are whole council<br />

elections for Cranbrook and Sissinghurst<br />

Parish Council. Please do think about joining<br />

us. No specific knowledge or experience is<br />

needed, just a willingness to help and take a<br />

full part in the council’s business. Please get<br />

in touch if you want to find out more – clerk@<br />

cranbrookandsissinghurstpc.co.uk<br />

Cllr Lee Hatcher<br />

Pre-primary Groups in the Area<br />

I thought readers with young children would find the following list of<br />

interest. Each of these groups are low cost and come as you please. I’m sure<br />

there are more but these are ones I’ve attended or heard good things about<br />

first hand.<br />

• Tots Plus, Fridays 9-11.30am, Church House, Cranbrook<br />

• Cheeky Monkeys, Mondays 9.30-11am, Horsmonden Village Hall<br />

• Biddenden Babies & Toddler Group, Tuesdays 9.30am-11am, Biddenden<br />

Old Village Hall<br />

• Sing & Story Class, Mondays 9.45am, Copt Hall, Hawkhurst<br />

• Cafe Toddlers , Fridays 9-11am, St Mary's Church, Goudhurst<br />

Claire Mills<br />

Education in<br />

Cranbrook<br />

The closure of High<br />

Weald Academy has<br />

put more pressure on<br />

Cranbrook School to<br />

grow – the reason they<br />

need to sell Jaegers<br />

for housing to fund<br />

new classrooms. Our<br />

secondary school pupils<br />

are now bussed to<br />

Mascalls or Homewood<br />

schools.<br />

Kent County Council<br />

are proposing to close<br />

the Children’s Centre<br />

(Sure Start) co-located at<br />

the primary school, with<br />

some services moving to<br />

the Library. The primary<br />

school is expected<br />

to grow, but there is<br />

currently no plan.<br />

Rainbow pre-primary<br />

is now closing in July<br />

unless they find new<br />

premises. Woodpeckers<br />

survives because the<br />

Long Field planning<br />

application was turned<br />

down on appeal.<br />

New housing is<br />

coming on stream,<br />

increasing the demand<br />

for school places for all<br />

ages.<br />

Are you happy with<br />

this erosion of local<br />

education? Should we<br />

be raising our voices or<br />

just let it wash over us?<br />

Write to our MP Helen<br />

Grant (helen.grant.mp@<br />

parliament.uk) and copy<br />

in the parish council,<br />

talk to parents, create a<br />

pressure group…<br />

St. Dunstan’s Church Choir<br />

There was an excellent article in a previous edition of Cake<br />

about the splendid choirs based in Cranbrook: The Choral<br />

Society, Tempo Choir and the Compass Choir. However there was<br />

no mention of the oldest choir: St Dunstan’s Church Choir.<br />

I just wanted to flag up that it still exists and would warmly<br />

welcome new members. Is there anyone out there with an hour<br />

or so on Sunday morning to help keep this wonderful tradition<br />

alive?<br />

John Williams<br />

Please send<br />

your letters to:<br />

clerk@cspc.org.uk or by post to The Cake,<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council, The Old<br />

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

Please note, letters may be published<br />

in a shortened form at the discretion<br />

of the editor.<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 7


The Rebirth of St George’s<br />

Institute, Sissinghurst<br />

Fernham Homes has<br />

now secured planning<br />

permission for a new<br />

St George’s Institute<br />

building and the<br />

enabling housing development<br />

to the rear of the current hall.<br />

Full details are on the TWBC<br />

planning portal, Ref Nos:<br />

21/03914/FULL. There are also<br />

posters in the hall and in the<br />

village shop window.<br />

The hall management<br />

committee has up to six months<br />

to enter into a building contract.<br />

It is anticipated that the hall will<br />

close around April/May for 12 to<br />

14 months while the new hall is<br />

built. We will be assisting current<br />

hirers in finding temporary<br />

Employment Law that<br />

works for you.<br />

We provide cost effective advice tailored<br />

to your needs on matters including:<br />

+ Settlement Agreements<br />

+ Senior Employee Exits<br />

+ Employment Related Shareholdings<br />

+ Unfair Dismissal<br />

+ Discrimination, Harassment & Victimisation<br />

To find out how we can help, call us on<br />

01622 698000 or 01227 643250<br />

or email enquiries@wmlaw.uk<br />

whitehead-monckton.co.uk<br />

“There are meeting minutes showing that<br />

a new hall has been under consideration<br />

many times over the past 40+ years”<br />

alternative facilities during this<br />

period. We are also considering a<br />

farewell event in the hall prior to<br />

its demolition.<br />

I know that the old green hut<br />

is much loved by many and an<br />

historical/archive video will<br />

be made to document what<br />

is currently there. The new<br />

building will also reflect, in some<br />

way, the old hall.<br />

There are meeting minutes<br />

showing that a new hall has<br />

been under consideration many<br />

times over the past 40+ years.<br />

The trustees’ objective from the<br />

outset, over three years ago, has<br />

been to deliver a new fit-forpurpose<br />

community hall with no<br />

debt, which is both affordable to<br />

hire (approximately £10–£15/hr,<br />

currently £8/hr) and economic to<br />

operate.<br />

The new hall will have a small<br />

meeting room that could be<br />

run as a pop-up café or a shop.<br />

If anyone is interested in this<br />

please let me know.<br />

The St George’s Institute is<br />

in the process of changing from<br />

current Small Charity status<br />

to a Community Incorporated<br />

Organisation (CIO). This is the<br />

recommended structure for<br />

trusts operating village halls and<br />

community facilities.<br />

I would like to thank the<br />

hall management committee<br />

members, the parish council<br />

and Fernham Homes for their<br />

continued commitment,<br />

dedication and patience in<br />

achieving what will be a vastly<br />

improved community facility<br />

fit for the future. The hard work<br />

now commences! John Smith<br />


8 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023


Neighbourhood<br />

Development Plan<br />

Update<br />

Following a very<br />

successful lockdown<br />

Regulation 14<br />

Consultation, the<br />

NDP Steering Group<br />

spent much of 2021 reviewing<br />

the hundreds of comments<br />

received and revising the plan,<br />

where appropriate, in advance of<br />

submission to Tunbridge Wells<br />

Borough Council. However, due<br />

to a series of setbacks, the plan,<br />

along with much supporting<br />

paperwork (nearly 500 pages),<br />

was not submitted to TWBC<br />

until July <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

After they had reviewed<br />

the documents, the plan went<br />

to a further, Regulation 16,<br />

Consultation, for an extended<br />

period of time. Having<br />

eventually completed this stage<br />

of the process, an examiner was<br />

appointed just before Christmas.<br />

We are now working with<br />

our consultant, the examiner<br />

and Tunbridge Wells Borough<br />

Council to try to get the plan<br />

past the examination stage,<br />

and on to the final step on<br />

our journey – the referendum.<br />

Unfortunately, I cannot yet put<br />

a date on this, but I’m hoping it<br />

won’t be much longer.<br />

Garry Pethurst<br />

Recently, a number of residents<br />

on the Frythe have expressed their<br />

concerns at the Taylor Wimpey<br />

submission to build about 70<br />

homes at the end of Frythe Way.<br />

See the Letters page in Cake. (Ed.)<br />

Building and Construction<br />

in the Parish<br />

• Berkeley has released its first houses at Turnden 1, starting at £630,000<br />

for three bedrooms. There will be a part purchase scheme for 1 and<br />

2 bedroom flats on the development. It is still very keen to build out<br />

Turnden 2, and is still waiting for the appeal findings. When they<br />

tarmacked the site, all their contractors parked on Hartley Road for a<br />

day, causing a lot of parishioners to complain about the danger to their<br />

children.<br />

• Hill Development are building on Brick Kiln Farm and hope to have 10<br />

houses for sale in the summer, with a further nine built by Christmas.<br />

• Sunningdale Homes has started moving earth at the old Cranbrook<br />

Engineering site, but so far there is no news on dates.<br />

• Fernham Homes hopes to start this spring on the new homes in<br />

Sissinghurst, with the St Georges Institute being demolished to enable<br />

access to the site.<br />

• Brookwood Homes is building 18 houses off Common Road /<br />

Frittenden Road in Sissinghurst. No news on dates.<br />


The parish council has decided to demolish the old Tanyard dental<br />

surgery as it is an eyesore and seems to encourage vandalism. It was<br />

always the plan to demolish it. By the time this edition comes out, we<br />

hope to have the GP surgeries all on side and getting close to briefing<br />

architects.<br />





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The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 9



• COMMUNITY KINDNESS - Two ladies<br />

from Sissinghurst, who do not want to be<br />

named, have generously donated £260<br />

towards new play equipment. While ‘The<br />

Ukelele Busker’ kindly donated his takings<br />

to the Community Kitchen, making a huge<br />

difference. Thank you all.<br />


UNDER SWINGS - The latest RoSPA report<br />

identified that replacement of the safety<br />

surfacing under the swings at the Jubilee<br />

and Ball Field needs to be considered. The<br />

clerks are in the process of obtaining quotes.<br />


Parishioner Paul Archibald<br />

kindly painted the old<br />

telephone box, now a<br />

community library, as he<br />

saw it looking worse for<br />

wear. Thank you Paul!<br />

News<br />

Young Farmers Christmas Tractor Run<br />

On 18 December, about 50 decoratively lit tractors toured the Kent countryside, driving down<br />

Cranbrook High Street in all their splendour. For those who witnessed it, it was unforgettable.<br />

The tractors had been lit very creatively and decorated like Christmas Trees.<br />

Thanks to the Young Farmers for bringing a lot of fun to the<br />

town. Their street collection raised £1,230 in the buckets,<br />

while the total for the event was almost £7,000. The Air<br />

Ambulance will get at least £5,000.<br />


Every autumn the Parish Council normally<br />

receives delivery of a ton bag of salt from<br />

Kent County Council. Unfortunately, despite<br />

chasing, the delivery did not arrive until<br />

January this year, and it was a much-reduced<br />

amount.<br />


elderly people or special needs they have<br />

a phone line 0800 051 4176. ATMs will<br />

remain at Lloyds and the Co-op. There are<br />

no current plans for the building. Nat West<br />

suggest using the ‘Post Office’ or ‘Pay Points’<br />

on a day to day basis. Use your debit card,<br />

or to pay in, the Post Office have envelopes<br />

for cheques. You need your sort code and<br />

account number.<br />


Following an extensive survey, and<br />

asking the Cranbrook community and<br />

congregation what they hope for in the new<br />

vicar, the recruitment process is underway!<br />

They hope to welcome a new priest to St<br />

Dunstan’s and Cranbrook during the second<br />

half of 2023.<br />


<strong>Spring</strong> on its way, we start to think about<br />

getting out to walk in the beautiful English<br />

countryside again, but where to find new<br />

and interesting walks? Walking in Kent<br />

(www.walkinginengland.co.uk/kent) has<br />

loads of walks to download and print, free.<br />

It also has books of walks, details of all the<br />

walking groups in the county and much<br />

more. Whether you want to walk on your<br />

own or with a group, all the information is<br />

there in one place.<br />

Citizens Advice Outreach Service<br />

Citizens Advice in North and<br />

West Kent (CANWK) is now<br />

offering an outreach service<br />

based at Cranbrook Library<br />

every Wednesday. There will<br />

be a drop-in service between<br />

10am-12.30pm and prebooked<br />

appointments between<br />

2pm-4pm.<br />

Citizens Advice provides<br />

advice/support with debt,<br />

benefit, housing, employment,<br />

consumer, family/relationships<br />

and immigration issues. It is<br />

also able to offer specialist<br />

advice/support in the above<br />

Performing Arts Venue at Benenden School<br />

areas for clients suffering from<br />

mental health conditions,<br />

which can include where<br />

necessary, contacting third party<br />

organisations on the client’s<br />

behalf.<br />

You can also call the free<br />

advice line on 0808 278 7810.<br />

Hemsted Park – a collection of performing arts spaces at the worldrenowned<br />

Benenden School, just outside Cranbrook – has unveiled<br />

the initial shows from its debut season, with a promise of more<br />

announcements to follow.<br />

Completing the initial line-up of performers are improvisor<br />

extraordinaire Harry the Piano, light-hearted violin quartet Stringfever<br />

and the London Film Music Orchestra performing the music of Hans<br />

Zimmer and John Williams.<br />

These events run between 25 March and 25 June and the Box Office is now<br />

open at www.hemstedpark.com<br />

Based at the beautiful 250-acre Benenden School site, Hemsted Park’s performance spaces<br />

principally comprise the stunning new Centenary Hall, which has established one of the<br />

foremost concert halls in the South East of England. Designed by the multi award-winning<br />

Kent-based Guy Hollaway Architects, the 800-seater hall offers state-of-the-art acoustics and<br />

gives audiences a truly impressive performance experience.<br />

10 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023


Business in Cranbrook<br />

Business in Cranbrook was developed during the pandemic in 2020 when a group of<br />

local people met online as part of the Cranbrook Together initiative. As things got<br />

back to normal, some of us decided that we’d like to continue meeting.<br />

We meet on the first Friday of each month at Larkins Alehouse, from 10.30-<br />

11.30am. It’s an informal get together for business owners in the area looking<br />

to network, get advice or support one another. There’s no membership fee, and<br />

anyone who runs a local business of any size or shape is very welcome. Contact<br />

Jules Rastelli 07876 682322.<br />

Penny Farthing<br />

The Penny Farthing has now been returned after the repairs<br />

and refurbishment were completed. Many parishioners are<br />

disappointed it has not been painted black. The mordant<br />

applied will dull down further over time, however the<br />

Properties and Burial Committee will<br />

review the decision not to paint it<br />

at the annual site<br />

meeting in July.<br />

Chair of<br />

Cranbrook Rugby<br />

Club Honoured<br />

Michelle Forknall, our fantastic and<br />

much loved M'dam Chair, not only<br />

won most of the Awards at the Kent<br />

RFU Volunteer Awards. She was also<br />

put forward by the RFU to represent<br />

all Rugby Clubs at the Royal Christmas<br />

Carol Service at Westminster Abbey on<br />

15 December. Obviously we are very<br />

proud and privileged to call Michelle<br />

a Crane.<br />

Cranbrook's most amusing Christmas decoration had to be the ‘bone’<br />

outside Roosters pet food shop - made by Rob Longley.<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 11


Wellbeing Fair<br />

The New Year, New You event was held in the Vestry Hall and it was<br />

very busy. Several of the organisations attending have put together<br />

a paragraph on what they do, and how to get in touch with them<br />


Cranbrook windmill needs<br />

seven or eight stewards on<br />

duty every time we open to the<br />

public. Replacement stewards<br />

are needed each year as some<br />

retire. The Wellbeing Fair gave a<br />

good opportunity to let visitors<br />

know about the windmill, what<br />

being a steward involves and<br />

the training we give for them to<br />

acquire the necessary knowledge,<br />

skills and confidence. We expect<br />

a number of the visitors who<br />

showed interest at the Fair to<br />

join us. If you weren’t able to<br />

be there it’s not too late, email<br />

volunteering@unionmill.org.uk<br />



One You Kent can help boost<br />

your motivation or kick-start<br />

some lifestyle changes if you<br />

would like to lose weight, stop<br />

smoking, get more active or<br />

reduce your alcohol intake.<br />

We enjoyed attending the<br />

Wellbeing Fair in Cranbrook<br />

and spoke to residents about<br />

our free services including<br />

Wellbeing Walks, one to one<br />

lifestyle advice and group<br />

weight management. For more<br />

information on our services<br />

visit www.oneyoukent.org.uk or<br />

call 01892 554411.<br />

Toasty Tuesdays<br />

in the Vestry Hall!<br />

10.00 –11.45am<br />

Join us for coffee, tea and a chat at<br />

Cranbrook & District<br />

Age Concern Coffee Morning<br />

12.00 – 2.00pm<br />

Hot soup and a warm welcome at<br />

Wellbeing in the Weald’s Community Kitchen<br />

3.30 – 4.00pm<br />

Hot after-school meal for<br />

primary and pre-school children<br />

Wellbeing in the Weald’s Community Kitchen<br />

Children must be accompanied by an adult<br />

Contribute what you can.<br />

Supported by local businesses, charities,<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council and Kent County Council.<br />


As part of Girlguiding ,Cranbrook<br />

has a thriving Rainbow unit (over<br />

20 girls aged 4-7) and a growing<br />

Brownie unit (around 30 girls<br />

aged 7-10) who meet on a Friday<br />

afternoon/evening. To sustain<br />

these units, we need adult<br />

volunteers who will help the<br />

Rainbows with their activities<br />

and/or encourage teamwork and<br />

promote independence with<br />

our Brownies, to enable the<br />

girls to develop, grow and gain<br />

confidence. We hope some on the<br />

people we met at the Wellbeing<br />

Fair (and any who are interested<br />

but couldn’t make it) will<br />

consider joining us to create an<br />

inclusive nurturing environment<br />

for girls and adults.<br />

Volunteering with us can be<br />

flexible and is rewarding with fun<br />

and friendship at the core! If you<br />

are interested in knowing more<br />

email karen.meikle@btinternet.<br />

com<br />



Gardening with Disabilities<br />

Trust exists to get people<br />

gardening again, so that more<br />

people can enjoy the feel good<br />

feeling that gardening brings.<br />

We award micro-grants to<br />

purchase specialist equipment<br />

or make garden adaptations,<br />

so that gardening becomes<br />

possible despite disabilities.<br />

Although The Trust awards<br />

grants nationally, it is based in<br />

Cranbrook and we are searching<br />

for new committee members<br />

– no gardening expertise<br />

required, just an enjoyment of<br />

beautiful gardens, a sense of<br />

humour and enthusiasm. www.<br />

gardeningwithdisabilitiestrust.<br />

org.uk<br />


We are a mixed choir and sing a<br />

wide variety of songs in four-part<br />

harmony. We believe that singing<br />

in a group is a great restorative<br />

to wellbeing, whether one can<br />

sing well or not, and we aspire to<br />

bring joy and friendship to adults<br />

of any age. We sing on Saturday<br />

mornings from 9:30-11:00am in<br />

the Vestry Hall. More details at<br />

www.temposingers.org<br />

12 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023




We are a countryside<br />

management partnership<br />

and run volunteer task days<br />

across the High Weald,<br />

including at Crane Valley<br />

Local Nature Reserve. This<br />

work includes a variety of<br />

tasks from litter picking and<br />

path clearance to the annual<br />

meadow cut, managing the<br />

site on behalf of Cranbrook<br />

and Sissinghurst Parish<br />

Council. Days run from 10am-<br />

3pm with tools and coffee<br />

break refreshments provided.<br />

Keep up to date with our work<br />

programme as well as other<br />

projects at www.khwp.org.uk.<br />

You can also contact Steph<br />

(partnership officer) at steph.<br />

dowling@kent.gov.uk if you<br />

have any further questions!<br />


Involve Kent provides<br />

various services across Kent<br />

including social prescribing<br />

in the Weald. We took part<br />

in the wellbeing fair to<br />

share information about<br />

our services and meet<br />

members and partners of<br />

the local community. Social<br />

prescribing offers support<br />

around your non-medical<br />

needs and the service is<br />

open to all patients 18 or<br />

over who may benefit from<br />

a conversation about their<br />

wellbeing. Please contact<br />

your surgery for a referral<br />

to Involve social prescribing<br />

which is a free service funded<br />

by the NHS.<br />




CODS is a long running<br />

community orientated drama<br />

company that is based in the<br />

Queen’s Hall Theatre (QHT)<br />

in Cranbrook School. Our next<br />

production will be an Easter<br />

treat as we are producing<br />

Blackadder Goes Forth, which<br />

is currently in rehearsal.<br />

After that we will start our<br />

audition process at the end<br />

of April/May for our autumn<br />

musical Made in Dagenham.<br />

All performances being in the<br />

QHT. To keep up to date with<br />

our shows and information<br />

about the Society follow the<br />

https://linktr.ee/cranbrook<br />






CBA Millennium Outings’<br />

first trip took place in May<br />

2000, so we’re now in our<br />

24th year. We offer days out,<br />

by coach, covering a wide<br />

range of interests (gardens,<br />

theatres, special events etc.)<br />

throughout the year, as well<br />

as two or three holidays or<br />

shorter breaks. We are well<br />

supported by members of the<br />

communities of Cranbrook<br />

and Sissinghurst, along<br />

with others who join us<br />

from villages all around. We<br />

maintain a database of some<br />

340 names and addresses<br />

all of whom are sent details<br />

of new trips as they are<br />

launched. For further details<br />

contact Carol Gower (01580<br />

712521) on weekday evenings<br />

between 7pm and 9pm please.<br />




Visitors learnt about<br />

forthcoming talks,<br />

exhibitions, research<br />

facilities, publications, group<br />

visits and loans, as well as<br />

the wonderful Wheels of<br />

Time scheme for 5 to 11 year<br />

olds. They were also able to<br />

find out about some of the<br />

many ways that people can be<br />

involved as volunteers, from<br />

one-off sessions to longer<br />

and more regular support.<br />

See www.cranbrookmuseum.<br />

org for more information and<br />

contact details.<br />

The Community Kitchen<br />

Toasty Tuesdays in the Vestry Hall<br />

Age Concern and Wellbeing in the Weald have<br />

joined forces during the cold winter months to<br />

provide a warm welcome and hot food every<br />

Tuesday in the Vestry Hall to anyone living in<br />

Cranbrook and Sissinghurst.<br />

Since September, Cranbrook and District Age<br />

Concern’s Tuesday coffee mornings have been<br />

followed by a hot soup lunch, cooked and served<br />

by volunteers, and the whole community has been<br />

welcomed in. All ages are dropping by for a chat<br />

and a bowl of soup, including coffee morning<br />

guests who stay on, workers in their lunch hour<br />

and families with pre-school children.<br />

Buoyed up with the success of the lunch and<br />

the sense of community, Wellbeing in the Weald’s<br />

volunteers started providing a hot after-school<br />

tea for primary and preschool children at the<br />

beginning of January. Food is served straight<br />

after school from 3.30-4.00pm and the menu<br />

is announced the week before on the Toasty<br />

Tuesday Facebook page. One of the following<br />

dishes is on the menu each week – macaroni<br />

Cranbrook and<br />

District Age Concern<br />



Church House, opposite the main<br />

entrance to St Dunstan’s Church, has<br />

started an ‘in chair’ keep fit class every<br />

Tuesday from 9.45–10.15am, finishing<br />

just in time join the coffee morning.<br />

The weekly coffee mornings, held<br />

in the Vestry Hall between 10.15 and<br />

11.45, continue to go from strength<br />

to strength. Numbers are growing<br />

as new people join in and enjoy the<br />

friendly atmosphere, coffee, tea and<br />

delicious cake.<br />

The coffee morning now offers<br />

hearing aid maintenance nearly every<br />

week and free hearing aid batteries for<br />

NHS hearing aids are always available.<br />

Events are now being planned,<br />

starting with a two course lunch at the<br />

Milk House in Sissinghurst at the end<br />

of February.<br />

Visit the www.<br />

cranbrookdistrictageconcern.org for<br />

more information.<br />

cheese, bangers and mash, pasta with tomato<br />

sauce and shepherd’s pie – all followed by fresh<br />

fruit. All children under 12 who live in Cranbrook<br />

and Sissinghurst are very welcome. There’s one<br />

proviso, children must be accompanied by an<br />

adult but there’ll be a cup of tea or coffee for the<br />

grown-ups provided!<br />

There is a very special atmosphere created<br />

when a community comes together to share food<br />

and chat. None of this would have been possible<br />

without the support of the local community and<br />

financial support from Kent County Council,<br />

TWBC and local donors. A great big thank you<br />

to our four soup makers, Wendy and Julie from<br />

Larkins, Paul and the ‘Men’s shedders’, the Milk<br />

House, Carolyn, and Emma for staying on after<br />

lunch and cooking the children’s meal. A big<br />

thanks too to local businesses for supplying food<br />

and ingredients including eggs from Fridays Ltd,<br />

bread from Cranbrook Bakers and cakes from<br />

Hartley Dyke Farm Shop.<br />

Please come and join us for coffee or a soup<br />

lunch and we’d love to welcome your pre-school<br />

or primary school kids for a hot meal straight after<br />

school on Tuesdays.<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 13


It’s a Busy Life<br />

at Cranbrook<br />

Sports Club<br />

Since the start of the<br />

<strong>2022</strong>–23 season back in<br />

September, the weather<br />

really hasn’t really<br />

been on rugby’s side.<br />

Pitches have been too dry, too<br />

wet, snow covered or frosted.<br />

These conditions have resulted<br />

in endless postponements, which<br />

has been frustrating for everyone.<br />

Hopefully, with spring around<br />

the corner, we can all enjoy our<br />

training and matches for the rest<br />

of the season.<br />


The 1XV, who were promoted<br />

to the very competitive RFU<br />

Counties 1 Kent League this<br />

season, currently sit mid-table<br />

– a great place to be in their first<br />

season. They have had good wins<br />

over other local clubs with the<br />

final match of the season at home<br />

against Aylesford Bulls 1XV on 18<br />

March.<br />

The 2XV, the Nomads, were<br />

also promoted to the Invicta<br />

League where they too sit in midtable.<br />

They are also through to<br />

the semi-finals of the Kent Shield<br />

competition, having beaten<br />

Hastings & Bexhill and Aylesford<br />

Bulls IIs. They will be playing<br />

Ashford IIs to try to get to the<br />

final, which is on 30 April at our<br />

Tomlin Ground.<br />

The Colts section (17–18-yearolds)<br />

goes from strength to<br />

strength, with a committed core<br />

of players having really stepped<br />

up under the excellent coaching<br />

of Des Amanono, our Player<br />

Development Coach. Des will<br />

be working with our Director of<br />

Rugby, Chris Catt, to ensure those<br />

that have<br />

turned 18<br />

and want to<br />

play senior<br />

rugby are<br />

prepared<br />

and ready<br />

to take that<br />

next step in<br />

their rugby<br />

careers.<br />

The juniors<br />

(U12–U16)<br />

have also<br />

had a great start to the season,<br />

with good numbers across the<br />

age groups. Participation in the<br />

Kent Waterfall and Kent League<br />

competitions by all our juniors<br />

has yielded some fantastic<br />

results, with our U14s having<br />

won three from three and the<br />

U13s securing a win against<br />

local rivals Tonbridge Juddians.<br />

Tours have been arranged for the<br />

juniors to Bath, Bristol and West<br />

Sussex – always a highlight of the<br />

rugby season!<br />


The women’s section is thriving,<br />

with a recent influx of many<br />

ladies new to rugby, that have<br />

joined the squad to train, build<br />

confidence and fitness, and are<br />

now enjoying playing matches.<br />

No experience is necessary as<br />

training is suitable for all, and<br />

the fun and friendships that<br />

develop on the pitch continue in<br />

the clubhouse!<br />

Our young ladies (U12s–U18)<br />

is a flourishing section, where<br />

they ‘cluster’ with other local<br />

clubs to ensure they all have<br />

plenty of match time. Recently, a<br />

couple of our U12s played in the<br />

Kent Cup final, narrowly missing<br />

out on the win. We are so proud<br />

of how the girls embrace their<br />

rugby in this exciting time for<br />

female sport<br />

MINIS<br />

The mini section (U6–U11 boys<br />

and girls) is also thriving with<br />

great numbers each week! They<br />

have been enjoying festivals and<br />

joint training sessions with lots<br />

of new skills being learnt and<br />

lots of fun being had – seeing<br />

300+ mini and juniors out on<br />

the pitches each Sunday having<br />

fun with their teammates is just<br />

brilliant!<br />


Net training is now underway<br />

for our cricketers! These weekly<br />

sessions, using both soft and<br />

hard balls, are great preparation<br />

for the season. Last year we<br />

successfully ran U9s and U11s<br />

age groups, we are ready to<br />

extend that offering to include<br />

U13s. However, we are looking for<br />

that special person who can take<br />

on the leadership of the Cricket<br />

Section to continue driving the<br />

club forward, so if you would like<br />

to know more, please do get in<br />

touch at: cranbrookcricketers@<br />

gmail.com<br />


Plans for the new clubhouse were<br />

finally registered with the council<br />

in December <strong>2022</strong>. This exciting<br />

development will enable us to<br />

have a proper clubhouse and<br />

widen our offering of sports and<br />

community space.<br />

We are looking forward to<br />

welcoming the Men’s Shed hut<br />

and members into the Cranbrook<br />

Sports Club community at the<br />

Tomlin Ground!<br />

We are running the ‘Weald<br />

Games’ again on 20 May, open<br />

to the whole community to play<br />

lots of inventive rural games (e.g.<br />

tossing the hay bale) and get a<br />

flavour for the club.<br />

Michelle Forknall<br />


• 30 April: Kent Senior Men’s<br />

Rugby Finals Day<br />

• 7 May: Kent U20s match<br />

• 20 May: Weald Rural Games<br />

www.wealdgames.co.uk<br />

14 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023



GAMES 2023<br />

Bigger and better. Be a Super Hero!<br />

Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May!<br />

Sunday 28 May 2023, 10am-4pm<br />

Join us and celebrate anything and everything that grows, and<br />

what you can do with it – dead or alive!<br />

Once again the High Street will be closed to traffic but open<br />

to all kinds of garden-related jollity. The first 50 families to<br />

arrive get a free goodie bag filled with items kindly donated<br />

by local businesses. Along the length of the High Street there<br />

will be:<br />

• Street stalls: plant nurseries, herbs, wood carving and<br />

turning, artists, glassware, jewellery, a stickmaker, eco food<br />

wraps, and a children’s craft tent for the young and not so<br />

young<br />

• Local foods: delicious fruit ice-cream, honey, chutney, Liz<br />

Santer vegetarian bakes<br />

• Music and dance: Headcorn Ukulele and Weald of Kent<br />

Morris<br />

• Food & drink: sit on a hay bale and be tempted by our Food<br />

Court including Naked Espresso coffee bar, Pimms and<br />

beer bar, Brown Bread’s amazingly vast array of sweets and<br />

savouries, plus a hog roast and local pubs and cafés<br />

• Additionally: don’t miss Cranbrook Union Mill, a superb<br />

working windmill, and Cranbrook Museum providing fun<br />

for all ages.<br />

Join us – and the thousands who come each year!<br />

A sleepy Kent town is about to<br />

be awoken. The Weald’s finest<br />

superheroes will descend to accept<br />

the challenge, and save the Weald<br />

from boredom. Feats of incredible<br />

strength and cunning.<br />

Glasses full of life-preserving<br />

fluids. Abundant solid-fuel filling<br />

stations. Capes and wearing pants<br />

on the outside are optional. Just<br />

come along, be a hero for a day<br />

and rule the Weald!<br />

KO. 1.00pm Saturday 20 May. Entry by<br />

donation. Venue: Cranbrook Rugby Club, Tomlin ground, Angley Road,<br />

Cranbrook, Kent.<br />

Look out for programmes in your local shops. Visit www.wealdgames.<br />

co.uk for more details.<br />

We are looking for tug-o-war teams, runners for the panto derby and<br />

volunteers to man the stands. Be part of a fun day – contact chris66bb@<br />

gmail if interested.<br />

If you would like to join the team organising Cranbrook Goes<br />

Nuts in May please contact: Gwenneth Heyking – 07721<br />

672348 / music@gbzmgmt.co.uk<br />

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16 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023


Easter at St<br />

Dunstan’s<br />

Church<br />

So, another Easter beckons.<br />

If, among the chaos of Easter<br />

preparations, you would like<br />

some time for reflection and an<br />

alternative perspective, come and<br />

join us at St Dunstan’s Church.<br />

Whether you are familiar with the<br />

Easter story or a complete novice<br />

or you have rejected some or all<br />

of this in the past, please do come<br />

along. Everyone is always very<br />

welcome.<br />

Services leading up to Easter<br />

and what to expect:<br />

• Palm Sunday, 2 April 10.00am:<br />

A family-friendly service where<br />

the story of Jesus’ triumphant<br />

entry to Jerusalem is told.<br />

The Sissinghurst Flower Show Society runs three<br />

shows annually, held at Sissinghurst Primary<br />

School, and also has an informal social event with<br />

a guest speaker and light refreshments at its AGM<br />

each year.<br />

The AGM for <strong>2022</strong> was held in November and,<br />

after the formal business of the AGM, the society<br />

was treated to a very entertaining talk by Dan<br />

Luscombe who is the curator and collections<br />

manager of Bedgebury Pinetum. Dan has been a<br />

horticulturist all his life and through his job has<br />

met a wide variety of people from Blondie to the<br />

late Queen. He has travelled to many countries<br />

around the world as part of his work. One special<br />

trip was to Vietnam to climb the limestone Karst<br />

mountains where the few remaining examples of<br />

the Vietnamese Golden Cypress trees still grow.<br />

The trees were not reproducing well so Dan planted<br />

Palm crosses will be given out<br />

(lasting about 60 minutes).<br />

• Compline, Monday, Tuesday<br />

& Wednesday, 3, 4 & 5 April<br />

7.00pm: A service for prayer<br />

and quiet reflection (usually<br />

lasting about 30 mins).<br />

• Maundy Thursday, 6 April<br />

7.00pm: A solemn service<br />

as we prepare for the events<br />

leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.<br />

The service includes the<br />

stripping of the church altar<br />

symbolising Jesus’ humiliation<br />

and stripping before his death<br />

(lasting about 60 mins)<br />

• Good Friday, 7 April: Three<br />

solemn events to choose<br />

from, each focusing on the<br />

crucifixion of Jesus: Walk of<br />

Witness 9.30–11.00am: a walk<br />

with prayers, starting at St<br />

Theodore’s Catholic Church<br />

on the High Street, stopping<br />

off at the Congregational<br />

Church before finishing in St<br />

Dunstan’s for a short service,<br />

plus hot cross buns and coffee.<br />

Meditation 2.00pm: a time<br />

for quiet prayer and reflection<br />

(lasting about 60 mins). Sacred<br />

Music 6.00pm: a programme<br />

of music to reflect on the<br />

crucifixion of Jesus, (lasting<br />

about 60 mins).<br />

• Easter Eve, Saturday 8 April<br />

7.00pm: a time for further<br />

reflection and prayer (lasting<br />

about 60 mins).<br />

• Easter Sunday, 9 April<br />

10.00am: A celebration<br />

service for everyone including<br />

families. This is where we<br />

celebrate Jesus’ resurrection<br />

and the hope He gives to all of<br />

us. And, of course, don’t forget<br />

the Easter eggs! (usually lasts<br />

about 60 mins).<br />

Sissinghurst Flower Show Society AGM <strong>2022</strong><br />

some seeds at Bedgebury and was rewarded by six<br />

successful germinations.<br />

Dan was an interesting and most entertaining<br />

speaker and those that attended were rewarded<br />

with an offer from Dan of a private guided tour of<br />

Bedgebury in 2023.<br />

Show dates for 2023 are 25 March, 17 June and<br />

16 September with the AGM on 13 November 2023.<br />

The shows include categories for flowers, fruit,<br />

vegetables, craftwork, photography, cookery and<br />

flower arranging. There are classes for children and<br />

the school also displays some amazing artwork and<br />

any one is welcome to attend.<br />

If you live in Sissinghurst village and you<br />

would like to join the society, or want further<br />

details, please email SFSS@Mail.com with your<br />

name, address and contact details or visit www.<br />

sissinghurstflowershow.org<br />


EVENTS<br />

April 29 – Coronation<br />

anthems: Handel’s Zadok The<br />

Priest has been performed at<br />

every coronation since 1727<br />

and will doubtless be sung on<br />

6 May. Cranbrook Choral will be<br />

performing it in a Concert at St<br />

Dunstan’s on 29th April, a week<br />

before the Coronation. They<br />

will also sing Handel’s three<br />

other coronation anthems,<br />

the Saint Nicolas Mass by<br />

Haydn and the orchestra<br />

will be playing Mozart’s Eine<br />

Kleine Nachtmusik to provide<br />

a stirring start to a memorable<br />

week.<br />

6 May – Coronation on the<br />

Big Screen, St Dunstan’s<br />

Church. Join in the service at<br />

Westminster<br />

8 May (Bank Holiday) –<br />

Join Cranbrook in Bloom to<br />

celebrate the coronation of<br />

King Charles III and Queen<br />

Consort, by ‘Helping Out’ with<br />

us and Wellbeing in the Weald.<br />

Everyone, including families,<br />

are welcome to come and learn<br />

about us, and how everyone<br />

can make a difference to our<br />

town by their own small or<br />

large contribution. We will<br />

meet at the church steps at<br />

10am. We could be painting,<br />

planting, weeding, litter<br />

picking or anything else that<br />

needs to be done. Please visit<br />

www.cranbrookinbloom.co.uk<br />

for more information.<br />

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The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 17


Fixing the<br />

Beth Pedersen on action to get the<br />

right play equipment<br />

I<br />

moved to Cranbrook with<br />

my young son in 2020<br />

and was delighted to find<br />

a playground close by. It<br />

wasn’t as well equipped as I<br />

had hoped but it was okay. When<br />

I saw the wooden climbing frame<br />

had been removed, I hoped we<br />

would get a fabulous replacement<br />

to suit a range of ages. I was<br />

disappointed when the metal<br />

frame was built. From this point<br />

onwards, the only thing my son<br />

wants to use at the playground is<br />

the swing.<br />

The local playground is a key<br />

destination not just for my son<br />

but for me – to get chatting to<br />

other parents, whether just that<br />

day or to build new friendships;<br />

our visits are now so fleeting, we<br />

barely see anyone there.<br />

I spotted a post in the local<br />

Facebook group about frustration<br />

at the new equipment and the<br />

responses were numerous and<br />

angry. But there didn’t seem to<br />

be any action, so I decided to<br />

do something about it! Back on<br />

the local Facebook page I posted<br />

asking if others wanted to team<br />

up to try to make a change.<br />

A number of local parents<br />

responded and a few of us met<br />

“I posted it on Facebook and we shared it<br />

with local schools and groups, with support<br />

from the parish clerk, distributing fliers and<br />

putting up posters in the playgrounds”<br />

Advertise in The Cake from £35<br />

contact David Hobden<br />

davidh@spacemarketing.co.uk<br />

and decided on a few action<br />

points – the first to compile a<br />

survey – let’s ask the community<br />

what they actually want in their<br />

local playground!<br />

I posted it on Facebook and<br />

we shared it with local schools<br />

and groups, with support from<br />

the parish clerk, distributing<br />

fliers and putting up posters<br />

in the playgrounds. 40 people<br />

responded on the first day<br />

and we now have around 120<br />

respondents. The views are<br />

clear – the community is angry,<br />

but more than that they are<br />

really sad that they don’t have<br />

a place to take their children<br />

or grandchildren. There is an<br />

overwhelming desire for a<br />

slide and a climbing frame that<br />

younger children can use. They<br />

want picnic tables and 43%<br />

said they don’t just go for their<br />

children’s wellbeing but they go<br />

for their own too.<br />

We’d like to see what<br />

funding the parish council<br />

can contribute to help expand<br />

the playground and add<br />

equipment; if we can’t get<br />

enough funds we’ll potentially<br />

look at a crowdfunding option or<br />

fundraise.<br />

Let’s listen to the views of<br />

our community, let’s make the<br />

playground a hub for play and<br />

friendships – a place for local<br />

people to really come together<br />

and not just for a five minute<br />

push on the swing.<br />

If you can help please contact<br />

bethapedersen@yahoo.co.uk or the<br />

parish council – clerk@cspc.org.uk<br />

18 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023



Rural Crime<br />

Roundtable<br />

Weald of Kent<br />

residents<br />

may recall<br />

a campaign<br />

I launched<br />

in Cranbrook in July 2021<br />

to address rural crime<br />

and antisocial behaviour,<br />

working alongside the police,<br />

local councillors and other<br />

stakeholders. Work continues in<br />

that mission and most recently<br />

our attentions have been focused<br />

on one particular group of<br />

people who are being seriously<br />

affected – our Wealden farmers.<br />

A special roundtable meeting<br />

was held at the end of January,<br />

instigated by Marden farmer and<br />

borough councillor Claudine<br />

Russell, and hosted by me and<br />

my neighbouring Kent MP<br />

Helen Whately. Together with<br />

40 people from the police,<br />

the council and local farmers<br />

all from the Weald of Kent,<br />

“When asked to leave, they were very<br />

aggressive, refused to go and threatened<br />

violent recriminations from the hands of their<br />

family if they were reported”<br />

we gathered to hear of their<br />

experiences and to work on how<br />

to tackle the issues.<br />

A typical incident was<br />

described by one farmer who<br />

confronted two men who were<br />

pheasant poaching on her land.<br />

One had a shotgun, the other<br />

a catapult loaded with a ball<br />

bearing, both accompanied by<br />

a menacing Staffordshire bull<br />

terrier. When asked to leave,<br />

they were very aggressive,<br />

refused to go and threatened<br />

violent recriminations from the<br />

hands of their family if they<br />

were reported.<br />

When she did call the police,<br />

the two of them paid no heed to<br />

possible consequences, knowing<br />

that it would take at least an<br />

hour for an officer to turn up – if<br />

at all. The consensus from all<br />

famers at the meeting was that<br />

the 101 number was useless for<br />

these circumstances and 999 is<br />

not much better.<br />

Other issues raised included<br />

the theft of farm equipment<br />

and regular fly tipping using<br />

vehicles known to have no<br />

insurance.<br />

By way of a response, Police<br />

and Crime Commissioner<br />

Matthew Scott said that 195<br />

more police officers were being<br />

recruited for Kent, all of them<br />

going onto ‘The Beat’, and that<br />

every ward will have a named<br />

police officer attached.<br />

The Rural Task Force will also<br />

be expanded, and 101 wait times<br />

will be reduced by increasing<br />

resources and investment in the<br />

call centres. The PCC further<br />

pledged to hold the police to<br />

account on any crimes that were<br />

not adequately followed up.<br />

These actions will benefit the<br />

whole local rural community,<br />

not just farmers.<br />

By way of some immediate<br />

remedial action, I have written<br />

to Edward Argar MP, Minister<br />

of State at the Ministry<br />

of Justice, to explore how<br />

existing legal deterrents can be<br />

reinforced, perhaps with heavier<br />

sentencing, and seeking the<br />

re-categorisation of catapults<br />

as offensive weapons, to allow<br />

police a right of confiscation<br />

among other things.<br />

If readers of Cake magazine<br />

witness or suffer such crimes<br />

and behaviour, please report<br />

it. If there’s no follow-up let<br />

me have your crime reference<br />

number and I will take it up with<br />

the PCC. For more guidance<br />

have a look at the back page of<br />

my leaflet, first published in July<br />

2021) here www.helengrant.<br />

org/news/cranbrook-antisocialbehaviour-leaflet<br />

20 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023



The Green, Green<br />

Grass of Home<br />

I<br />

hope that by the time you<br />

are reading this article the<br />

weather will have warmed<br />

up. We are certainly<br />

having climatic change –<br />

from extreme cold to extreme<br />

heat and back – throughout<br />

the year. But what would we do<br />

without our wonderful British<br />

weather to talk and moan<br />

about?<br />

The onset of spring signals<br />

new beginnings for plant and<br />

animal life. Looking around, the<br />

daffodils are well advanced. I<br />

hope they don’t suffer too much<br />

“ It is difficult to get a balance, as different<br />

areas need to be maintained in different ways,<br />

considering the weather, wildlife and the needs<br />

of the users of each area”<br />

from a late frost.<br />

If we get wet and warm<br />

weather, the grass will grow fast.<br />

This will make mowing difficult,<br />

as it had to be stopped early<br />

because of the wet autumn.<br />

Once cutting begins, I shall be<br />

working closely with the parish<br />

council contractors, monitoring<br />

the mowing. It is difficult to<br />

get a balance, as different<br />

areas need to be maintained in<br />

different ways, considering the<br />

weather, wildlife and the needs<br />

of the users of each area.<br />

There are also those whose<br />

opinions may differ from the<br />

guidelines set out for the<br />

maintenance of the green stuff.<br />

Grounds may look untidy as<br />

mowing begins, especially if<br />

there is a lot of grass lying<br />

around. This is unfortunate.<br />

The cost of collecting grass as<br />

it is cut is far from economical.<br />

Cutting more often and getting<br />

the right height on the mowers<br />

can help if the weather agrees to<br />

cooperate.<br />

Between all of us we try and<br />

keep Cranbrook looking good.<br />

It takes a while to get the town<br />

looking at its best, so please<br />

bear with us. Ivor Hatcher<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 21


The Problem with Banks<br />

Ann Historian takes<br />

us for a swift tour of<br />

banking in Cranbrook<br />

We have just<br />

heard the news<br />

that NatWest<br />

bank in<br />

Cranbrook will<br />

be closing. This is sad because<br />

we all prefer the familiar faces of<br />

their staff to the faceless robotic<br />

telephone messaging and lack<br />

of assistance in an emergency.<br />

But banks and their problems<br />

are nothing new in Cranbrook!<br />

Let me take you for a short walk<br />

through the history of banking<br />

in our town, right from the<br />

beginning.<br />



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

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The first bank opened in 1803 in the building<br />

on the corner of the High Street and Stone<br />

Street, now “Country Style”, formerly known<br />

as “Susan Dean”.<br />

The first bank opened in 1803<br />

in the building on the corner of<br />

the High Street and Stone Street,<br />

now “Country Style”, formerly<br />

known as “Susan Dean”. It was<br />

a branch of Rochester Bank,<br />

opened to service the growing<br />

wealth of hop farmers in the<br />

area. It didn’t last more than a<br />

year! The second bank in the<br />

town was the Cranbrook and<br />

Weald Bank, based in what is<br />

now Quilters Dry Cleaners (best<br />

dry cleaners in the world!). They<br />

spent a lot of money giving the<br />

outside the “Pantiles Look”. In<br />

those days, the average annual<br />

wage in England was £42 which,<br />

compared to the rest of Britain<br />

at £23/10s, wasn’t too bad. If you<br />

rented a four-bedroom house<br />

in the 1800s, the rent would be<br />

about £4/10s a month. If only!<br />

The Cranbrook Bank failed as<br />

well. Then was the turn of John<br />

Wilmshurst, of Osborne Lodge in<br />

Beggars Row (renamed Waterloo<br />

Road after Wellington’s great<br />

victory in 1815), and William<br />

Hague to set up a new bank in<br />

Cranbrook. Hague lived in the<br />

existing NatWest Bank building<br />

on the corner of Brewhouse<br />

Lane, and housed there the<br />

bank thrived for 10 years after<br />

the Napoleonic wars. They were<br />

taken over in 1847 by London<br />

and County Bank, their location<br />

at Brewhouse Lane became<br />

known as Bank Street. The bank<br />

merged with the Westminster<br />

Bank in 1867. Westminster<br />

Bank merged with the National<br />

Provincial Bank in 1970 to<br />

become National Westminster<br />

Bank; and now they’re off as well.<br />

22 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023


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Please feel free to contact the home on the<br />

number below if you have any questions<br />

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an insight of activities at Larchmere House<br />


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The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 23


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24 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023


Remembering ‘Billy’<br />

the Blacksmith<br />

I<br />

remember Billy, his<br />

forge was next to my<br />

grandmother’s sweet<br />

shop on St David’s Bridge.<br />

William ‘Billy’ Rivers<br />

was born in Cranbrook on 18<br />

September 1896, the family<br />

were living in Rangers Row in<br />

Bank Street. In the early 1900s,<br />

the family moved to London.<br />

However, having left school at<br />

the age of 12, Billy returned to<br />

the area to begin his smithing life<br />

as an apprentice to his uncle, Mr<br />

J. Ealding, in Frittenden.<br />

Following the outbreak of<br />

the First World War, although<br />

underage, he volunteered. Having<br />

joined the Buffs (Royal East Kent<br />

Regiment), he transferred to the<br />

Liverpool Scottish Regiment<br />

where he served as a farrier,<br />

caring for the war horses in<br />

Belgium and France.<br />

After the war he returned to<br />

work for his uncle but now in<br />

Cranbrook where Mr Ealding had<br />

purchased the forge on St David’s<br />

Bridge from Mr Malpass.<br />

On 2 June1923, Billy married<br />

his childhood sweetheart Lillian<br />

Bull at St Barnabas’ church in<br />

Tunbridge Wells. They began<br />

married life at number 1 Borough<br />

Cottages, The Hill. Billy and<br />

Lillian had three daughters:<br />

Eileen, Doreen and Regina, who<br />

was affectionately known as<br />

Paddy.<br />

Though small and slightly<br />

built, Billy worked hard to<br />

provide for his family. Starting<br />

at 6am, he would light the fires<br />

ready for the horses to arrive at<br />

the forge for shoeing: a long and<br />

arduous task, requiring immense<br />

skill. Shoeing a horse took about<br />

an hour and a half. Children<br />

loved to watch Billy work, myself<br />

included. If there was a lull in the<br />

horses to shoe, steel was cut and<br />

tools were sharpened. He was<br />

often assisted by the many men<br />

were who out of work.<br />

Other blacksmith tasks<br />

included the replacing of the<br />

metal band on cart wheels. Billy<br />

also cast gate hinges and curtain<br />

rails. He provided the ironwork<br />

for the swings on the Ballfield<br />

and helped to craft light-fittings<br />

for St Dunstan’s church –<br />

appropriately because St Dunstan<br />

was a blacksmith. Unfortunately,<br />

these lights have since been<br />

removed to meet current health<br />

and safety requirements.<br />

During the 1939–45 war he<br />

volunteered as an ARP warden,<br />

watching for fires and bombs.<br />

Billy purchased the forge in<br />

the 1940s, but trade had begun<br />

to decline, as mechanisation<br />

replaced the trusty horse-drawn<br />

ways of previous generations.<br />

Failing health gradually took<br />

its toll. Billy decided to hang up<br />

his tools at Christmas 1962, but<br />

on 29 November, he was taken ill<br />

after shoeing what was to be his<br />

last horse. Billy suffered a fatal<br />

heart attack and died an hour<br />

later at his home, Linden Lea, in<br />

Benenden. He was laid to rest in<br />

Golford cemetery, his anvil and<br />

tools placed on his grave as a<br />

reminder of the service he gave<br />

to the community. Sadly, that<br />

monument was stolen and never<br />

recovered.<br />

The forge building still stands<br />

today, not as a smithy but as a<br />

poignant reminder of past skills<br />

and crafts.<br />

Researched and written by<br />

Rosemary Swan with kind<br />

permission from Billy’s<br />

granddaughter Caroline Rivers.<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 25

OUT & ABOUT<br />

Angley<br />

Woods<br />



A<br />

Walker has drawn this<br />

diagram showing the larger<br />

paths of Angley Woods to<br />

help anyone who is not<br />

familiar with its geography.<br />

As Angley is a working forest contractors<br />

fell different areas of mature timber so the<br />

paths can come and go. The main circular<br />

track (about 2 miles / 3.3Kms and shown<br />

in red) however is maintained to link these<br />

areas and provide extraction routes for<br />

the timber vehicles. This can provide an<br />

easy walk for the newcomer to the woods<br />

and provide a basis from which to explore<br />

the woods more widely. The public are<br />

welcome to use these privately owned<br />

woods for their recreation, obviously with<br />

due reference to the Country Code.<br />

TO<br />








SCHOOL<br />

A229 ANGLEY ROAD<br />

NEW ROAD<br />

RUGBY<br />

CLUB<br />

Save our Swifts<br />

Surveys in Cranbrook have revealed a<br />

dwindling population of swifts. The UK<br />

has seen a 53 per cent decline since the<br />

1990s; joining sparrows and starlings<br />

on the “red-list” according to the British<br />

Trust for Ornithology.<br />

Edward Mayer of swift-conservation.<br />

org gave a talk at the Vestry Hall<br />

aimed at encouraging interest in these<br />

spectacular birds among local people.<br />

He explained the reasons for their<br />

decline: climate change, the demise in<br />

insect populations and the lack of nest<br />

sites. However, he said, “Despite swift<br />

numbers plummeting, they’re a bird we<br />

can help. We can adapt our houses and<br />

by welcoming swifts, educate people<br />

around us.”<br />

These iconic summer visitors make<br />

the 6,000-mile journey from Africa,<br />

where they over-winter, to reach our<br />

shores in early May. Here they nest and<br />

raise a family before flying south again<br />

in early August. It’s only when nesting<br />

that these incredible birds land, the<br />

remaining nine months are spent on the<br />

wing: eating, sleeping and breeding.<br />

Swifts are loyal to their traditional<br />

nest sites but modern homes are well<br />

insulated and older houses are being<br />

renovated with holes and gaps sealed,<br />

leaving these birds homeless. Cheryl<br />

Mason of High Weald Swifts said: “The<br />

good news is that swifts will adopt<br />

specially designed nest boxes and by<br />

providing them we can start to stabilise<br />

their numbers.”<br />

Celebrate swifts and create a home for<br />

them to come back to each year. Better<br />

still, why not buy a box as a present?<br />

Need advice? Email: highwealdswifts@<br />

gmail.com<br />

26 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023

OUT & ABOUT<br />

Crane Valley Nature Reserve<br />

Crane Valley Local<br />

Nature Reserve<br />

is situated on the<br />

floodplain of the<br />

Crane Brook adjacent<br />

to the recreation ground below<br />

the Co-op. With a variety of wet<br />

meadow, woodland, scrub and<br />

stream habitats, this 1.5ha site is<br />

a compact but diverse haven for<br />

wildlife. It is also a great place for<br />

people to spend time enjoying<br />

their local greenspaces.<br />

The Kent High Weald<br />

Partnership (KHWP) manages<br />

Crane Valley Nature Reserve<br />

on behalf of Cranbrook and<br />

Sissinghurst Parish Council and<br />

is always on the hunt for<br />

local volunteers.<br />

Work tasks range<br />

from the annual<br />

late summer<br />

meadow cut to<br />

boardwalk<br />

repairs and litter<br />

picks. Volunteering<br />

is a great way to get<br />

outdoors learning about your<br />

local nature and greenspaces. It<br />

is also a relaxed and enjoyable<br />

way to stay active all year round<br />

meeting other like-minded<br />

people. Days run from 10am till<br />

3pm with all training and tools<br />

provided by KHWP staff as well<br />

as refreshments at a tea break!<br />

For more information about<br />

volunteering dates and how to<br />

get involved at Crane Valley<br />

email Steph at steph.dowling@<br />

kent.gov.uk<br />

Steph Dowling, KHWP<br />

partnership officer<br />

Benenden School<br />

Music Events<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> Concerts<br />

Gardening<br />

Lawn Care<br />

Landscaping<br />

Tree Surgery<br />

21<br />

APRIL<br />

1:45 - 2:25PM<br />

Organ Recital - Francesca Massey<br />

25<br />

APRIL<br />

Lunchtime Conert<br />

1:45 - 2:25PM<br />

Matilda Lloyd (Trumpet)<br />

and David Bednall (Organ)<br />

These concerts will take place in the<br />

Centenary Hall within Benenden School,<br />

and admission is free on the door.<br />

MORE<br />


01580 236685<br />

music@beneden.school<br />

Fully Qualified & Insured<br />

Office: 01580 713495<br />

Mobile: 07838 229482<br />

www.kentgardening.com<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 27

Caring for you at home<br />

Well established, family run business,<br />

providing care for people living in the Weald<br />

of Kent. Our tailored service allows you to live<br />

at home with independence and dignity.<br />

Call Karen Irving at our Tenterden office to<br />

arrange a no obligation visit.<br />

01580 762202<br />

www.carecompany.care<br />

SPONJEM UK Limited<br />

Capital Allowances Consultants<br />

Helping people in the area save money upon<br />

their commercial buildings such as offices,<br />

shops, restaurants, hotels and holiday let cottages<br />

For Information contact Paul Jempson on<br />

Tel: 0800 954 5081 Mob: 07957 822110<br />

Email: mail@sponjem.co.uk<br />

Formerly known as Hartley Dyke Farm Shop<br />

Fresh Fruit & Vegetables • Flowers • Plants<br />

•Shrubs • Hot & Cold Foods • Drinks<br />

• Groceries & Delicatessen<br />

Charity Farm, Swattenden Lane, Cranbrook, TN173PS<br />

Tel: 01580 712546<br />

www.cranbrookfarmshop.co.uk<br />

28 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023


Cranbrook’s<br />

RIGHT: Heritage plaque<br />

on <strong>Spring</strong> Cottage – the<br />

site of the town’s first<br />

police station<br />

Heritage Plaques<br />

The Old Police Station<br />

Continuing our<br />

exploration of the<br />

Cranbrook heritage<br />

plaques, this time we<br />

take you to the pretty<br />

cottage on The Hill, opposite the<br />

Strict Baptist Chapel car park,<br />

which was the town’s first police<br />

station.<br />

The lock up – now found in the museum garden.<br />

Prior to its construction,<br />

Cranbrook had a ‘lock up’, a<br />

sturdy shed with no comforts,<br />

where the drunk or disorderly<br />

might spend a night sobering<br />

up and reflecting on the<br />

consequences of their behaviour.<br />

It was located at St David’s<br />

Bridge near the entrance to the<br />

Police Station in Waterloo Road<br />

Tanyard car park but now stands<br />

in the museum garden.<br />

This was replaced by the new<br />

police station on The Hill in<br />

1850, which housed a police<br />

constable and had two prison<br />

cells. It had a short life however,<br />

as in 1863 a new and much larger<br />

police station was constructed<br />

in Waterloo Road on a site which<br />

is now occupied by the dining<br />

hall of Cranbrook School. The<br />

number of police constables<br />

increased dramatically along<br />


For more information<br />

see Glimpses of<br />

Cranbrook (available in<br />

Pages Newsagents) or<br />

visit our website www.<br />

cranbrookmuseum.org/<br />

education for a short video in<br />

the series ‘Cranbook’s Local<br />

History for Children’ on Crime<br />

and Punishment, or visit the<br />

museum when it opens for the<br />

2023 season from 1 April.<br />

with the addition of five<br />

sergeants, a superintendent<br />

and a detective. The station<br />

served the town and surrounding<br />

villages for a hundred years.<br />

Inevitably modernisation<br />

lead to a new facility being<br />

built which remains today<br />

in Wheatfield Drive, with a<br />

reminder of its past existence<br />

being the old blue light which<br />

hung outside, now on display at<br />

the museum.<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 29

Call Cranbrook<br />

01580 715 904<br />

Call Ashford<br />

01233 660 851<br />

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30 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023

Kids' Corner<br />

Colour<br />

me in<br />

Start<br />

Puzzle<br />

time<br />

Finish<br />

Spot 10 differences<br />




The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 31

32 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023<br />

High Street, Cranbrook,<br />

Kent, TN173RB<br />

Telephone: 01580 715008<br />

reception@hammondoptical.co.uk<br />


HOME<br />

Let’s Cook<br />

Simnel Cake<br />

Simnel Cake is a delicious<br />

Easter classic with a rich layer<br />

of marzipan paste over a light<br />

fruitcake. You can buy the<br />

marzipan individually if you<br />

wish to simplify the ingredients<br />

and preparation time. The 11<br />

marzipan balls on the top of<br />

the cake represent the Apostles<br />

(minus Judas).<br />


450gms/1lb marzipan<br />

175gms/6oz soft brown sugar<br />

175gms/6oz self-raising flour<br />

175gms/6oz butter at room<br />

temperature<br />

3 large eggs<br />

pinch of salt<br />

350 gms/12oz mixed fruit<br />

(currants, raisins and sultanas)<br />

Optional 1/2tsp ground mixed<br />

spice<br />

1 lemon grated peel no juice<br />

2tbsp apricot jam<br />

55gms/2oz chopped mixed peel<br />

1 egg for glaze<br />

METHOD<br />

1 Grease and line an 18cm/7inch<br />

cake tin. Pre heat oven to<br />

150C/130C fan/Gas 2. Cut out a<br />

circle of baking parchment to the<br />

circumference of your cake tin<br />

plus 1cm to use as a template for<br />

the marzipan circles below.<br />

2 Cream the butter and sugar<br />

together in a large bowl until pale<br />

and fluffy and then gradually beat<br />

in the eggs one at a time until<br />

thoroughly blended and then sift<br />

in the flour and salt a little at a<br />

time. Add the mixed spice at the<br />

same time (optional). Add all the<br />

remaining ingredients – mixed<br />

fruit, lemon zest and mixed peel<br />

and stir in.<br />

3 Spoon out half the mixture into<br />

a greased cake tin and cover with<br />

a circle of almond paste. Then add<br />

the rest of the mixture over the<br />

paste and smooth over leaving a<br />

little dip in the centre to allow for<br />

the mixture to rise. Bake for 1 3/4<br />

hours at 150C/300 F Gas 2<br />

4 Use a skewer in the middle of<br />

the cake to test – it will come out<br />

clean of mixture if it is cooked<br />

then take the cake out of the oven<br />

and place on a rack to cool.<br />

5 Brush the apricot jam across<br />

the top of the cake. Take the<br />

remaining almond paste and<br />

divide into two. Roll out one half<br />

of the marzipan to form a circle<br />

to cover the jam and use the<br />

remaining half to form 11 small<br />

balls of paste for decorating.<br />

6 With a sharp knife make a criss<br />

cross pattern across the top. Brush<br />

all the marzipan topping including<br />

the balls with beaten egg and<br />

then place the cake under a hot<br />

grill to turn the marzipan golden<br />

brown. Keep a watchful eye to<br />

prevent burning.<br />


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The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 33


this period, runner bean, French bean and<br />

cucumber. If weather conditions are mild<br />

enough, it is possible to plant celery, celeriac<br />

and courgette, outside. Delay, if there is any<br />

risk of frost.<br />


<strong>Spring</strong> Musings<br />

Sowing Under Glass<br />

Either in the greenhouse or outside cold<br />

frame, it might be possible to sow, in trays,<br />

kale, purple sprouting broccoli, savoy cabbage,<br />

swede and lettuce.<br />

Planting Outside<br />

Continue planting out potatoes and if you<br />

have any beetroot or peas ready from earlier<br />

sowings under glass, they can be planted out,<br />

although peas will need to be protected from<br />

birds – fleece is ideal as it will also help to<br />

keep the ground warm.<br />

The unpredictable nature of our<br />

climate and weather patterns is<br />

best illustrated by the difficulties<br />

gardeners face during the<br />

springtime. Whilst<br />

the days are certainly getting<br />

longer there is the ever<br />

present threat of snow,<br />

frosts and heavy rain. It<br />

is even possible to see<br />

higher than average<br />

temperatures. As usual,<br />

the tasks for period have<br />

been split into three: early,<br />

mid and late spring. Subject<br />

to the weather, of course!<br />


This is the start of a really busy period for<br />

vegetable gardeners especially those who<br />

have spent the winter months planning their<br />

plot for the coming year.<br />

Sowing Under Glass<br />

If you have the greenhouse, get started with<br />

tomato, courgette, squash, chilli, pepper,<br />

aubergine, pea, broccoli, celery and beetroot.<br />

I prefer to grow my onions from seed<br />

rather than sets, so include them<br />

too.<br />

Sowing Outside<br />

The weather will determine<br />

if conditions are right for<br />

sowing parsnip, early carrot<br />

and radish as well as your<br />

onion and shallot sets. In<br />

addition, early potatoes can go<br />

in and It’s not too late to sow<br />

broad bean.<br />


With the availability of a greenhouse, start<br />

sowings of Brussels sprout, autumn cabbage<br />

and sweetcorn and, towards the end of<br />

TOP TIPS!<br />

If you like the idea of companion<br />

planting on your plot, now is the time to<br />

start sowing seeds in trays. Companion<br />

plants will help deter certain pests<br />

and encourage growth. Why not try<br />

nasturtiums (attract blackfly away from<br />

broad beans and runner beans), French<br />

marigold (strong smell deters carrot root<br />

fly) and poached egg plant ( attracts<br />

hoverflies and ladybirds that feed on<br />

aphids).<br />

Many vegetable gardeners now<br />

include a wild flower area to encourage<br />

pollinators, but have you thought<br />

about growing flowers that are edible<br />

? Here’s some suggestions: hollyhock<br />

and cornflower (flowers), nigella and<br />

flax (seeds), dill and fennel (leaves and<br />

flowers).<br />

34 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023


on<br />

the<br />

Jobs plot<br />


As promised in the last issue,<br />

we are going to look at what<br />

happens in the compost heap<br />

and how it might be managed.<br />

Having constructed a suitable<br />

sized container, garden weeds,<br />

trimmings and vegetable matter<br />

can now be loaded. Within<br />

a short space of time your<br />

heap will start the process of<br />

decomposition which, later on,<br />

will help provide a useful food<br />

for the soil and plants as well as<br />

for the microrganisms that will<br />

start to populate your heap. This<br />

process starts more quickly in<br />

the summer months when there<br />

is a higher proportion of green<br />

matter available. Gardeners tend<br />

to label it green or brown, with<br />

brown being dead or dry matter<br />

such as leaves. Keep adding to<br />

your heap and you might notice<br />

that it is starting to warm up.<br />

Don’t worry this is all part of the<br />

process.<br />

As to management, previous<br />

issues have explained the<br />

dangers of throwing weeds with<br />

seed heads on to your heap,<br />

and anything you know to be<br />

diseased can be added to the list<br />

of exclusions.<br />

Oxygen is a vital ingredient<br />

too and it needs to be able to<br />

circulate, which is why turning<br />

the heap every couple of months<br />

will ensure this happens. The big<br />

question is, when will it be ready?<br />

Good compost is dark brown and<br />

moist and if all goes well you<br />

should see this after about a year.<br />

We will return to this subject in a<br />

future issue.<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 35

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36 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023


<strong>Spring</strong><br />

Reading<br />

Christine Newman provides some reading suggestions to<br />

lift your spirits and bring some sunshine into your life!<br />

All titles below are<br />

from Oxfam, at 99p<br />

each at the time<br />

of going to press.<br />

Check out Oxfam<br />

and Hospice in the Weald for<br />

new reading material each week<br />

and don’t forget the local library<br />

and community bookstall in the<br />

telephone box opposite Rammell<br />

Field too. Why not try out some<br />

new authors this spring?<br />


SHOP BY<br />

RACHEL<br />

JOYCE<br />

It’s 1988.<br />

Frank owns<br />

a music<br />

shop. It is<br />

jam-packed<br />

with records<br />

of every speed, size and genre.<br />

Classical, jazz, punk – as long as<br />

it's vinyl he sells it. Day after day<br />

Frank finds his customers the<br />

music they need. Then into his<br />

life walks Ilse Brauchmann. Ilse<br />

asks Frank to teach her about<br />

music. His instinct is to turn and<br />

run. And yet he is drawn to this<br />

strangely still, mysterious woman<br />

with her pea-green coat and her<br />

eyes as black as vinyl.<br />


Inspired by true stories of love and loss,<br />

hope and refuge, this evocative story from<br />

the bestselling author of The Beekeeper of<br />

Aleppo, Christy Lefteri, is an illuminating<br />

tale of the power of the human spirit, and<br />

the enduring love of a mother for her child,<br />

that will stay with you long after you’ve<br />

finish reading it.<br />



Janice can’t recall what started<br />

her collection. Maybe it was<br />

in a fragment of conversation<br />

overheard as she cleaned<br />

a sink? Before long (as she<br />

dusted a sitting room or<br />

defrosted a fridge) she noticed<br />

people were telling her their<br />

stories. Perhaps they always<br />

had done, but now it is<br />

different, now the stories are<br />

reaching out to her…<br />

LAST<br />


GRAHAM<br />

SWIFT<br />

Four men<br />

once close to<br />

Jack Dodds,<br />

a London<br />

butcher,<br />

meet to carry out his peculiar last<br />

wish: to have his ashes scattered<br />

into the sea at Margate. A comic<br />

and heart-stopping, affectionate<br />

and wise, uplifting tale of true<br />

friendship.<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 37

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Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose<br />

of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on<br />

the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/product. The titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms<br />

used to describe St.James’s Place representatives.<br />

SJP Approved 23/01/2023<br />

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


Ask our Friendly<br />

Experts<br />

Does my Divorce give me a<br />

Financial Clean Break?<br />

It’s a commonly held<br />

misconception that the<br />

divorce resolves all issues<br />

between the parties.<br />

However, this is not the<br />

case. Please note that the new<br />

terminology of the Court which<br />

refers to the Final Order of<br />

Divorce (which used to be called<br />

the Decree Absolute) is not also<br />

a Final Order in relation to the<br />

finances.<br />

The divorce dissolves the<br />

marriage, relieving the parties<br />

of their obligation to live with<br />

one another and negating the<br />

duties of marriage; it enables the<br />

parties to remarry. However, it<br />

does not resolve the finances and<br />

unless there is a Final (Financial<br />

Remedy) Order of the Court –<br />

which Order will be by Consent<br />

if there is agreement – then the<br />

couples’ respective financial<br />

claims in the marriage remain<br />

live. This presents a risk to both<br />

parties as either can make a claim<br />

against the other for the full raft<br />

of financial relief in the future.<br />

The risk is claims can be made<br />

at any later stage for orders for<br />

income, property adjustment<br />

and lump sums, with regards<br />

pensions or inheritance. Whilst a<br />

long delay in making a claim will<br />

be considered as a circumstance<br />

by the Court when it looks at<br />

a claim, it will not negate that<br />

claim and may have limited<br />

impact on the outcome.<br />

Beware, also that if one<br />

party re-marries, the other<br />

party, presuming they remain<br />

unmarried, will still be able to<br />

bring financial claims relating to<br />

the marriage against their former<br />

spouse and these claims will<br />

trump those of the new spouse.<br />

This can be significant where<br />

property is involved particularly<br />

if the married couple reside there<br />

as it will be open to claims by the<br />

former spouse, or indeed where<br />

other property is owned and<br />

may be the source of income, a<br />

rental, for example, and both that<br />

property and income may become<br />

a source of claim. Income,<br />

savings, pensions and inheritance<br />

are all at risk.<br />

It is always advisable to sort<br />

out the money side of things<br />

when you divorce and if you did<br />

not do so at the time then to do<br />

so as swiftly after as possible.<br />

Do get a Final Financial Remedy<br />

Order (if by agreement referred to<br />

as a Consent Order).<br />


Please do take up the opportunity to see our<br />

Margaret Sculpher (telephone: 01892 502 354,<br />

email: msculpher@bussmurton.co.uk) at our<br />

Cranbrook office for a free, no obligation half hour<br />

of advice to discuss these issues.<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 />


The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 39

Update<br />

What your Local Planning<br />

Committee does for You<br />

As a parish councillor, who<br />

sits on the Cranbrook and<br />

Sissinghurst Parish Council<br />

Planning and Preservation<br />

Management Committee, I was<br />

recently asked what is we actually do! So, I<br />

thought I would briefly explain the workings<br />

of this important local body.<br />

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC)<br />

planning department send us all the local<br />

parish planning applications. Our purpose<br />

is to discuss each application, and any<br />

associated matters it brings up concerning<br />

the parish, and take a considered view<br />

in relation to the passing or rejecting of<br />

applications from a local viewpoint. Our<br />

views are then sent over to the planning<br />

department.<br />

Members are encouraged to attend<br />

every meeting, which are held every two<br />

weeks, to ensure all views are taken into<br />

consideration. We have to discuss all the<br />

applications as soon as possible, as there<br />

are time restrictions for decision making.<br />

Councillors are required to declare any<br />

interest or lobbying to the parish clerk.<br />

We look at the following material<br />

planning considerations for each<br />

application, such as but not limited to:<br />

location, plans of the proposed works<br />

or change, the effect on the immediate<br />

location, scale and dominance, layout and<br />

density of buildings, appearance and design<br />

of development and materials proposed,<br />

highway and parking issues, drainage and<br />

flood risk, effect on listed buildings and<br />

conservation areas, effect on trees and<br />

wildlife/nature conservation, economic<br />

impact and sustainability, government<br />

policy, proposals in the Local Development<br />

“Personal circumstances<br />

are generally not a planning<br />

consideration”<br />

Plan and previous planning decisions<br />

(including appeal decisions).<br />

There are also some things we cannot<br />

take into consideration, such as and again<br />

not limited to: who the applicant is/the<br />

applicant’s background, loss of views, loss<br />

of property value, loss of trade or increased<br />

competition, strength or volume of local<br />

opposition, maintenance of property,<br />

boundary disputes, covenants or other<br />

The proposed Turnden development<br />

property rights and rights of way. Personal<br />

circumstances are generally not a planning<br />

consideration.<br />

As you can see, we have quite a lot<br />

to consider and check out with each<br />

application and, as you would expect, this<br />

involves quite a bit of discussion between<br />

the committee members in order to reach a<br />

fair decision.<br />

After all this hard work we have to<br />

realise that we, the parish, can only make<br />

comments and recommendations to TWBC,<br />

as it is TWBC who make the final decision<br />

(which may, of course, not be the one we<br />

recommended).<br />

Cllr Colin Gilbert<br />

40 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023

No rise in Precept in 2023–24<br />

Precept n. (in England) an order for collection or payment of<br />

money under a rate – The Concise Oxford Dictionary<br />

We all know what the<br />

council tax is, it’s a tax<br />

on domestic property<br />

collected by the local<br />

authority (in our case,<br />

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council) to pay<br />

for local services such as schools, policing,<br />

rubbish collection, roads and street lighting<br />

etc. Some of the money collected is retained<br />

by TWBC, some goes to Kent County<br />

Council and some goes to the Kent Police<br />

and Crime Commissioner.<br />

Included within the amount collected<br />

is a figure provided to the parish council<br />

to bridge the gap between its estimated<br />

expenditure and income during the financial<br />

year beginning in April 2023, known as the<br />

precept. The parish council does not receive<br />

“The parish council is in the<br />

same difficult position as<br />

everybody else, with costs<br />

having risen significantly<br />

over the last year, a situation<br />

that is likely to continue, at<br />

least, over the year ahead”<br />

any direct funding from central government<br />

and so the precept is a hugely important<br />

part of its income.<br />

The parish council is in the same difficult<br />

position as everybody else, with costs<br />

having risen significantly over the last<br />

year, a situation that is likely to continue,<br />

at least, over the year ahead. Historically,<br />

the precept has risen by an average of 3.6<br />

per cent each year over the last 10 years,<br />

but with anticipated increased demands<br />

from all the other beneficiaries of the<br />

council tax, the parish council felt that it<br />

could not add to the burden of our already<br />

hard-pressed parishioners and has decided<br />

not to increase the precept at all this year.<br />

Like any financially prudent organisation<br />

we have put by some reserves in previous<br />

years, to help out on a ‘rainy day’ (and it’s<br />

now pouring hard!). This year we will use<br />

some of these reserves, and some other<br />

cost-cutting opportunities, to ensure that,<br />

in spite of the trend in rising prices, the<br />

precept will remain the same as last year.<br />



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Contact Laura on 07908 000 296<br />

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<br />

This May, all 15 seats on the Cranbrook & Sissinghurst<br />

Parish Council will be up for election<br />

<br />

<br />

– Kent Association of Local Councils will be<br />

hosting an online evening awareness event on<br />

Tuesday 21 March, 7–8pm. This event includes two<br />

brief talks about the role of Local Councillor<br />

and the rewarding nature. Register at<br />

www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/becoming-a-local-councillor-tickets-494996236067<br />

clerk@csps.org.uk<br />

<br />

<br />

www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/parish-council-elections-england<br />

The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023 41


Francesca<br />

Shaw<br />

The Cake meets Francesca Shaw, the new head teacher at Cranbrook Primary School<br />

Francesca was born in<br />

Marden and educated<br />

at Invicta Grammar in<br />

Maidstone and Christ<br />

Church University<br />

in Canterbury. Having spent<br />

some time in Madrid, she<br />

specialised in language teaching<br />

during her university studies.<br />

Francesca started teaching<br />

at Wateringbury Church of<br />

England Primary before joining<br />

Cranbrook Primary in 2017 as<br />

head of English and EYFS/Key<br />

Stage1.<br />

She took over the headship<br />

in January this year and is keen<br />

to maintain the current 'Good'<br />

OFSTED rating. The school<br />

celebrates the achievements of<br />

all pupils, encouraging children<br />

of all abilities and ensuring<br />

children learn to become<br />

individuals, ready to live<br />

independent lives.<br />

Francesca aims to ensure<br />

the wellbeing of children and<br />

staff is high on the agenda, as is<br />

helping parents to understand<br />

how their children are being<br />

taught. To this end, parents are<br />

invited to come to the school<br />

and be taught by their children<br />

how they learn (yes, you read<br />

that right!).<br />

The school is well supported<br />

by a small, dedicated parent<br />

teacher association (PTA)<br />

group who ensure there are<br />

regular events such as a<br />

Christmas Celebration, and<br />

they are now planning the<br />

Coronation Celebration. More<br />

helpers are always welcomed,<br />

and Francesca pointed out the<br />

importance of the school being<br />

in the community, with strong<br />

links to Cranbrook Grammar,<br />

the church and local resources.<br />

The school's Forest School is a<br />

very popular resource, and they<br />

are raising £30,000 to build a<br />

new ‘Sanctuary’ in the grounds.<br />

This will be space for students<br />

to receive counselling, teachers<br />

to spend time with small groups<br />

and 1:1 coaching in a new calm<br />

timber building. Thanks to the<br />

CO-OP 10% of the funding has<br />

already been raised, so dig deep<br />

to help them with the rest!<br />

Francesca and her staff are<br />

‘can-do’ people who are doing a<br />

great job in difficult economic<br />

times to keep children safe and<br />

motivated to learn.<br />

Away from work, Francesca<br />

enjoys discovering new cultures<br />

including trips to India, the USA<br />

and Jordan as well as extensive<br />

travel throughout Europe. She<br />

enjoys tennis and skiing and is a<br />

strong swimmer.<br />

The staff confided that she is<br />

a demon baker of brownies (the<br />

cakes!).<br />

“The school is well supported by a small, dedicated parent<br />

teacher association (PTA) group who ensure there are regular<br />

events such as a Christmas Celebration, and they are now<br />

planning the Coronation Celebration”<br />

42 The Cake • <strong>Spring</strong> 2023

Kent’s newest Performing Arts Venue<br />

first seAson’s ProgrAmme includes:<br />

London Film<br />

Music orchestra<br />

saturday 25 March<br />

Ronnie scott’s<br />

all stars<br />

saturday 22 april<br />

Comedy –<br />

Paul sinha<br />

saturday 29 april<br />

Harry the Piano<br />

Friday 26 May<br />

stringfever<br />

saturday 3 June<br />

BBC Big Band<br />

sunday 25 June<br />

Bookings now Being taken<br />


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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