2018 July and August
2018 June
2018 May
2018 April
Village info & links
Archived editions


3 Footpath Group Walk V Hall Car Park 2pm
 5 Parish Council Meeting Followed by Planning Committee Village Hall (Upper Room) 7.30pm
13 Coffee Break Church 10.30am
Women’s Institute Village Hall 2pm
History Society Village Hall 7.40pm 23 A Bit of a Sing Church 7.30pm
Coffee Break Church 10.30am 30 Summer Party School 4-7pm        

 1 Footpath Group Walk V Hall Car Park 2pm
Women’s Institute Village Hall 2pm       

Benefice Holiday Club Church    

 The next issue of Rostrum will cover the months of July and August. So, if you have a village event or fundraiser taking place soon which you would like to promote, please send details to rostrum2@hotmail.com      

A BIT OF A SING – Voices Across the A20      

 We invite you to join us in singing Songs from The Musicals at St John the Baptist Church on Saturday 23 June at 7:30pm  

The performance will be led by singers from Wateringbury and Snodland Parish Churches together with The Wateringbury Players.  A chance to sing along with some of the numbers if you wish or just enjoy the music. 

Tickets £7 (£5 for children up to 16 yrs) are available from The Post Office and The Handy Stores.   The concert will also be performed at Christ Church, Malling Road Snodland on Saturday 9 June. All proceeds will be divided between St John The Baptist Church and Christ Church Community Hall Fund.  
Contact: Barry Fisher or email: wateringburyplayers@hotmail.co.uk

Please let us have your news and tributes by 17 June for our July/August magazine.  Entries are free.


 No doubt many of you watched the television coverage of the Commonwealth Games from Australia earlier this year.  Perhaps you watched the gymnastics, where the competitors performed what to us mere mortals were superhuman skills at the highest levels.  James Hall was one of those “supermen” competing for England in the men’s gymnastics competition.  He won three medals – gold, silver and bronze in different disciplines.  His performances were outstanding and his achievement impressive - it is difficult to imagine how a human body could work in such a way.   James was a Wateringbury School pupil from 2000 – 2007 and even then had his sights fixed on a gymnastic career.  However, anyone who saw him at school would have seen a typical boy – happy, naughty, full of energy and fun, but his gymnastic ability was apparent even then and high on his hit list was to be an Olympic gymnast.  He is living proof that “normal” can become exceptional through personal effort, dedication, commitment, hard work, and the unstinting support of his parents.  Well done James.   Richard Arnold 


 Friends of Wateringbury Primary School are pleased to announce that we will be holding our first Summer Party on Saturday 30 June.   Entrance is free and everyone is welcome between 4pm and 7pm. The event will be held at Wateringbury School and will include a barbecue, music, inflatables, games, activities, face painting and more. Please note that some items are chargeable on the day so please bring cash along with you. We hope that this will be a fun, informal afternoon attracting pupils, families and our village as a whole. As always, our events are run by a team of volunteers. If you would like to be involved or can pledge any help on the day please e-mail chairman@fowps.org.uk    We hope to see you there!    


First of all, I would like to thank all those parents, grandparents, staff and friends of the preschool who attended the recent fun quiz night, a great time was had by all and we managed to raise an amazing £352.00.   Summer is here - and the children have been enjoying our garden where we released our five beautiful butterflies. The children have enjoyed watching them grow and have painted wonderful butterfly pictures.   

This term we are concentrating on Sports, which brings me on to our first activity this month…. cricket. After purchasing a number of cricket bats and soft balls, the children have been very busy enhancing their hand/eye co-ordination skills, and in some cases managed to hit the soft ball on top of the hall roof and over the hedge into our neighbour’s garden!  Luckily, we have very understanding neighbours!  

Our PE sessions start this month when all our school leavers bring in their PE kit and they learn to change by themselves as if they are at big school.  Our PE sessions this month are summer sports including athletics, cricket and basketball.   Our sports day this year will be on Friday 13 July on Teston Village green where all families are welcome to join us for fun in the sun and an ice cream.   If you are interested in joining our preschool please contact Tina Driver on 07805 796353 and come along for a taster session.  


Wateringbury Parish Council would like to remind residents that any vegetation that hangs over a pavement must be cut back so pedestrians can use the pavement safely.  Also, sight lines must be kept clear so drivers can see oncoming traffic.    


Michael Wells was elected as Chairman of the Parish Council.  Lin Simons was voted as Vice Chairman.    

 Potholes - several large and dangerous potholes in the road surface of Danns Lane were reported.  There is also one at the crossroads on the Tonbridge Road near the kerb.  Cllr Matthew Balfour advised that the Government had made funds available for road repairs; he requested that the Clerk email the details to him so that matters could be taken up with the relevant department.      

The Chairman announced that Stephen Tickner had resigned from the Council.  The reasons for his resignation were discussed and it was agreed that he would be contacted to ask if he would reconsider his position.    

 PCSO Wendy Stanley submitted a report for April with the following crimes of note: burglary of a bike, tools and golf clubs from a garage; burglary of tools from a workshop.  Theft of signs saying “private land” were stolen from the Marina.  A resident was caused distress by the driver of a vehicle along the public by-way from Bow Road to Love Lane.  Police were advised of fly-tipping in Mill Lane.  A fallen tree was reported near the North Pole pub causing partial blockage of the road.    

 It was agreed that an amount of no more than £75 per year will be available to the Friends of Wateringbury to use for repairs/ treatment of property owned by the Parish Council.    

There is a Bill going through Parliament about General Data Protection.  Councillors are unsure if Parish Councils will be exempt from regulations, consequently discussions will be postponed until the outc

ome is known.  The computer used by the Clerk is encrypted and so should be compliant.      New signs about dog fouling will be displayed on the Playing Fields.  An article will also be published in Rostrum.    

 The Parish Council would like reassurance that Wateringbury Sports & Recreational Association has suitable insurance cover.  Cllr David Marks will make enquiries about the implications of the Council insuring on behalf of the Lessee.  A letter will be sent to WS&RA.     

Equipment/wet pour had been found to conform to British Safety Standards following an accident and injury of a child on the zip wire in the playground.  An inspection of the playground is due in July.     

It was agreed to take up a new street lighting contract which would include a night scout.      Proposed road layout changes at the Crossroads are currently being designed.  There will be a Public Consultation before works are carried out in September.     

There seem to be no problems anticipated with the installation of automatic barriers at the railway crossing.  Network Rail will apply for planning permission to sympathetically box up the signal box as it cannot be used for any other purpose due to safety issues.    

 In April the Speedwatch Group carried out 15 one-hourly sessions during which time over 4,500 vehicles passed by, which included 439 observations of speeding vehicles.  Two members of the team attended the Kent annual speedwatch conference at the police training college in Maidstone.  CSW on-line, the company that operates the software used to process in observations of speeding vehicles, has won an award for their product, and it is now recognised as being at the forefront of this technology.  CSW are now in consultation with politicians and road safety bodies, and it is expected that this will lead to advances in the way which data provided by speedwatch groups is treated.  One of the options under consideration is that a direct feed to insurance companies will be set up where as soon as offenders are identified as multiple or fast offenders, their insurance company will be notified which could lead to their premiums being increased.  Kent police now own a new piece of equipment, known as a Trucam, a handheld camera radar gun that records the speed of offending vehicles; this is operated by an authorised police user.

The Speedwatch Group were advised that their site outside number 22 Red Hill is a particular hot-spot and, as a result, the camera will be deployed there in the coming months and this will lead to the imposition of fines rather than the letters which sessions currently generate.     

Allotment holders had asked the Council to repair the roof of a shed on the site.  As this shed had been left by a previous tenant and not supplied by the Parish Council, they declined to finance the repair.    

 During the public discussion the following items were brought to the attention of the Council:      

A proposal to replace the pavilion on the playing fields with improved facilities to include storage area for sports equipment, toilets and café. 

The Council advised that use of the Queen Elizabeth playing fields are restricted by a deed of dedication and details will be sent to the enquirer.      

The issue of badly parked vehicles in Allington Gardens.  The Clerk will contact the PCSO with details given to her by a resident.    

 A villager asked if the Council could obtain clarification of T&MBC’s proposals on changes to the car park near the village hall as he had concerns that there would not be opportunity for a public consultation.  Another resident suggested that the Council meet with local businesses to ask them to park their vehicles elsewhere which would free up spaces to allow their customers and users of the village hall to use the car park.    

 The Council was asked if they had heard anything about the proposed development on land near Fields Lane.  No planning application had been received and it was considered that pollution levels in the area were already high. 

 The next meeting is on Tuesday 5 June at 7.30pm in the Village Hall (upper meeting room).   Approved minutes of the May meeting will appear on the Parish Council website in due course. 


On 14 June, Andy Thomas is returning to give another of his talks ‘Unexplained Mysteries’, a talk which will no doubt provide a few unexpected surprises. The competition is an ‘Unusual Object’, and books and items on the trading table will be available to buy during the social time following Andy’s talk.  Visitors very welcome.  

Our meeting on 12 July is a cookery demonstration, when Julia Davies will be giving her talk ‘A Taste of Summer’, during which she will be making some delicious desserts for us.  The competition for June is a photo and recipe of a favourite dessert.  Visitors welcome. 

 At our May meeting we held our AGM and voted in our committee for the coming year. There were no changes to the committee with the president, treasurer and secretary and remaining committee members all agreeing to continue for another year.  Following the business matters we enjoyed our usual cup of tea with a cream and jam scone and then held a very successful silent auction when the majority of the items brought along were sold.  The afternoon ended with our raffle when two lucky members received a prize. 


 Our next meeting will be on the 20 June and following the AGM our speaker will be Pat Mortlock, Elizabeth 1 - Queen or Goddess.  

Also, a reminder that on Wednesday 25 July our annual outing will be to Parham House and Gardens, Pulborough, West Sussex.  The cost per person is £45.00 and non-members are welcome.  Further enquiries or to book a place please telephone 01622 812148.  

Our speaker on 18 April was Mary Smith who spoke about school life during WW2 and in particular about the air raid shelter that is still at Maidstone Grammar School.  Mary had produced a wonderful publication illustrated with drawings that Miss Keane, the art teacher at the time, had sketched.  

On the 16 May the Society held their successful wine and buffet evening which was enjoyed by all who had attended.    


1: French government prepares to leave Paris for Bordeaux       
 4: first British troops arrive in North Russia.       
 6: German advance in Third Battle of Aisne halted.    

In June 1918 the German advance on the western front halted. The burden of allied casualties fell more on the French and the Americans. The United States was significantly engaged for the first time in the war. After several months of multiple war deaths, the village suffered no further deaths in June.

At home, June was the start of the soft fruit season. It was customary for many farmers in Wateringbury and the surrounding parishes to sell their crops still growing on the trees. An auction was held each year in The King’s Head, at the crossroads in Wateringbury, covering the soft fruit of this and other parishes. Cherries were the principal soft fruit. Plums, damsons, strawberries, raspberries, hard fruits (apples and pears) and “mowing grass” were also included in the auction. The cherry crop in 1918 was reckoned to be the worse for some 30 years and the South Eastern Gazette reported “Eight acres at Wateringbury, belonging to Messrs Blest, realised £50 this year, as against £145 in 1917, six acres in the same parish belonging to the Successors of Mr. R. H. Fremlin going for £66 as against £195.” The poor cherry crop and poor prices would not have only hurt the farmers but the local residents who provided the bulk of the pickers. Unlike hops in September, soft fruit did not warrant vast numbers of pickers coming from London.

The school always recognised the agricultural cycle, giving a holiday each year at a different date depending on the timing of the crop so that children could join in the picking. In 1918 a week’s holiday was given starting 21st June. The Girls’ School log records on 11th June: “Mrs Livett [the vicar’s wife] called to invite the girls and teachers to haymaking on Friday next.” And then on 14th June, “School will dismiss at 3.30 and march to the Vicarage Glebe where they will make hay; each child will receive a bun and ginger beer.”

Conscription continued and, in June 1918, Percy Holder of North Pole Cottages, who had been exempted the previous year, was denied exemption despite being 43 years of age and, apparently, engaged in vegetable production, He worked for Col Warde of Barham Court who did not support his case

. But the village was not just an agricultural community, and the Leney Board minutes for June show that they were investing their considerable and increasing cash surpluses, mainly in government war bonds. The issue of the conscription to the army of the managing director, Betram Leney, was still not solved. Beer volumes held up reasonably in 1918 compared to 1917, but in each of the previous years of the war there had been significant declines in sales. Despite this decline the Leney brewery had financially performed well. Perhaps employing more women during the war, who were paid less than men, contributed?   Terry Bird For more details see the web-site of Wateringbury Local History Society. (https://www.sites.google.com/site/wateringburylocalhistory/).   


Our May walk, not as advertised, (this old fool got it wrong) was the annual Bluebell walk in the local woodlands. Our route was Gransden path to Redhill Farm vineyards, then out on the road before heading back into Cattering Woods to return to the start.  A good show of flora was found throughout the walk, not only carpets of Bluebells but also Lesser and Greater Stitchwort, Red Campion, Yellow Rattle, Forget-me-not and Early Purple Orchid - all adding colour to the woods in the Spring sunshine.  

Our next walk: 3 June meet near the village hall for a river and farmland walk out to the Tickled Trout (weather permitting)  

On 1 July a requested walk: from Mereworth School through Mereworth Woods to Peckham Hurst. KFR - 07713 740375  


 If you do, and as a responsible dog owner you pick up after your dog has defaecated, then thank you.  However, there are a minority of dog owners who are not picking up after their animals.  Not only is it unpleasant to tread in faeces, but dog faeces may contain diseases and parasites which can be picked up by animals and humans.  For example, worms can cause serious eye disorders and even blindness.  These fields are used by children on a regular basis for recreation and sport.  Please do not endanger their health.   Remember – not cleaning up after your dog is a fineable offence.  Be a responsible dog owner – bag it and bin it so our open spaces are a pleasant environment for everyone to enjoy.   The issue of dog fouling has recently been raised with the Parish Council.  In response, the Parish Council has obtained additional signage which will shortly be installed, and a dog poo bag dispenser so there is no excuse not to pick up.   TMBC Dog Warden, Lorraine Basedon will be carrying out extra visits to the playing fields to remind dog owners of their responsibilities and will be organising a ‘flag it & bag it’ day.


At this time last year, we had just completed a fundraising campaign to raise significant funds to replace our library roof and windows and refurbish the interior. Following our successful bid to the DfE for funding and an impressive amount raised within the parent and business community, work began last October. The process of designing the interior has been a long one as we were keen to include children’s ideas and staff suggestions and requirements. I am delighted that the interior work is due to start in June and should be completed by the end of this school year. It will be a ‘reading for pleasure’ library with irresistible nooks and spaces for children to curl up with a good book.

Our Year 6 children completed their SATs exams on 17th May and were impressively focused and calm. We are proud of what they’ve achieved to prepare for the exams and equally proud of who they are and what they bring to our school. They certainly deserve their week on the Isle of Wight the first week of June! 

We are fortunate to enjoy the talents of many volunteers who work in school alongside us on a regular basis. Their commitment and expertise will be recognised at our annual Volunteers’ Tea on 28th June from 2.15 – 3.15pm.

Attendance figures are reviewed regularly to ensure we are working successfully with parents to have the highest possible attendance. I am delighted that our attendance at this point of the year is above last year’s and is just under the highest quintile of 97%. Our new intake for Reception Class in September is full at 30 pupils and we’re looking forward to meeting all our new parents at our information evening on Tuesday 19th June at 7pm. Highlights of the final summer term are, of course, Sports Day on 5th July and our Summer Party on Saturday, 30th June from 4-7pm – join us for music, BBQ and fun and games. All are welcome!  The final summer term begins Monday, 4th June.

 Chasey Crawford Usher – Headteacher www.wateringbury.kent.sch.uk    


At our May meeting our guest was Robin White whose topic was titled “The Link is Green”.  Robin gave us a brilliant fun-filled evening with lots of wonderful designs all along the theme of the title.  The club competition was of the same title and there were some stunning entries, all judged by Robin.  Well done, ladies.

The June meeting is a workshop run by the committee with a trug and a supermarket bunch; it sounds like a challenge. Come and join us to see if it's for you - friendship and flowers.        

SJB Church web site:             www.wateringburychurch.org.uk
Church Face Book Page:      
Friends of SJB Church           web site www.fowc.org.uk  

Saturday 2 June, 3-5pm Messy Church

 Messy Churches are found all around the world and are for all ages, though mostly attended by families with young children.  There will be craft activities, a short bible story and prayer times and ours will always end with afternoon tea.  Do give it a try.

Sunday 3 June, 10am Eucharist
A Communion service based on the Church of England Common Worship Service Book.  Rev Nick Williams always prepares a service sheet so it’s easy to follow.  Sundays Cool (for all children) meets in the Vestry during this Service.

Sunday 10 June, 10am Matins
A traditional service from the 1662 Prayer Book with hymns, led by our Reader, Barry Fisher.  Secondary Division for those at Secondary School meets for discussion (and a second breakfast) in the Vestry.

Sunday 17 June (Father’s Day)
8.30am Prayer Book Said Communion A quiet service using the beautiful words written by Cranmer in 1662.  Rev Nick also gives a short address.  
10am Family Service
An all age informal service led by the Sundays Cool team with well-known hymns.

Sunday 24 June, 10am Eucharist

The choir leads our singing of hymns which are usually lively and easy to sing.  Sundays Cool meets in the Vestry.  

Refreshments are served after all our 10am services so please stay for a chat if you can.


It is with much regret that our team of four helpers has decided to close our meetings at The Guide and Scout Headquarters in Wateringbury. Rev’d Jim Brown formed the group in 2002, in the church from 2pm until 3pm every Monday.  This venue was not convenient for the mothers or carers to collect other siblings from the school, so Father Jim met with the Leaders of the Scouts and Guides for permission to use their HQ, this was kindly granted. Father Jim enjoyed leading and participating until he retired. We have been greatly indebted to the organisation for their kindness as the room for the little ones was ideal for them to have the space for their activities, such as exercise with the banners, musical instruments, the parachute, and freedom to run around and enjoy themselves in safety.

Sadly, the number of children attending has dropped recently, on account of the toddlers going to school earlier, at 4 years old, and the local nursery schools have increased their hours to have the toddlers. Three of our delightful four years olds commence school this September. We plan to hold our meetings until half term, and our last meeting will be on the 21 May, to give us time to advise every parent of our closure.

 May we suggest that parents bring their children along to church and stay with them for “Messy Church” which is held once a month on a Saturday afternoon from 3pm to 5pm. This is a new venture for our church.  If you would like to come along, I am sure you would be made most WELCOME. Edna Craig  (Senior Toddler)  

 COFFEE BREAK – Wednesdays 13 and 27 June

 Do come along to the church between 10.30-12.30 and enjoy coffee, cake and a good chat.  Revive an interest in knitting, crochet, needlepoint or other craft.  Members have been making poppies, using various methods, which will be used for the Carpet of Poppies weekend in the Church on 2, 3 and 4 November.  Save the date!  

This summer, come and travel back in time, when our Time Machine returns….. for a
Ship Wrecked Themed Holiday Club On Monday 13 Wednesday 15 August from 10am-12pm at Wateringbury Primary School

We will be playing lots of outdoor games and sports, make many different crafts each day, have singing, dancing , face painting, refreshments and more.....  The Holiday Club is open to all primary school aged children.  Pre-school children are most welcome if a parent or carer stays and joins in the fun too!  These days will be led by experienced ‘children and youth workers’ from different local churches. 

Last year we had a number of secondary school children who made the most fantastic Young Leaders, we would love that help again if any young person is interested.  

This year we have needed to introduce a small fee of £2 a family per day.  Children are welcome to do all 3 days or the odd day(s). It would just be lovely to see lots of children ready for some summer fun. For more information or to book a place(s) please contact Lisa Glasscote on 07950 852899/e-mail lisaglasscote@gmail.com 

 A huge thank you to all who attended the Canterbury Cathedral Choristers Concert on Saturday 5 May.  We were entertained with amazing sacred and secular songs and organ pieces.  Can we ever forget “The Girl from Ipanema”?! Truly an evening that we will remember for a long time.  After expenses the sum of £1,422.40 was raised. £300 is being donated to Canterbury Choristers and £1,122.40 to Church Funds   

 PRIESTLY PONDERINGS   Rev Nick Williams  The Vicarage, 2 The Grange,  East Malling parishofficeemwt@gmail.com                     01732 843282    

Dear Reader    

 Some of you may be aware that the annual parochial church meetings and vestry meetings of St John The Baptist, Wateringbury has now been held. For those who didn’t make it to the meeting or for whom the way in which the Church conducts its business, the vestry meeting (to use its traditional name) is a meeting of all those parishioners whose names are on the local authority electoral roll for the parish, which of course means anyone on the local authority electoral roll whether they attend church or not.  It’s advertised by way of legal notices in the Church or in some Churches according to the traditional method of a legal notice nailed to the Church door.    

  It meets to elect the Churchwardens for the parish and in theory could elect Churchwardens who have no connection with the Church provided they fulfil the criteria for election. Immediately after this meeting the annual parochial church meeting or APCM is held. This is a meeting of people who are on the Church electoral roll and it is the meeting that elects Parochial Church Council (PCC) members and appoints people like the PCC secretary and Treasurer. One of its other functions, the one most people take the most interest in, is to receive a report from the Churchwardens and the various groups connected with the Church, together with the Vicar about what has happened in the Church in the previous year and what is planned for the future.   

 It’s at this meeting that those who actually make the Church work are thanked and in many cases a report from them is read out. This year was no exception and I would like to reiterate my thanks to all the groups who really do make the Church work. Yes, I turn up to take the services but there is a small army of people who make that possible.  

 There is of course another group of people who, whilst they may be thanked at the meeting and provide a report are in all probability not there to hear the thanks and to realise how important the work they do is to the Church in Wateringbury. I write of the Friends of Wateringbury Church (FOWC) and the Bellringers. 

 Now as you know the consultation on the reorganisation of Malling Deanery has finished and there is a recommendation (although no more than that) that Wateringbury joins with Mereworth, this may well therefore be last opportunity I as Vicar of the benefice of East Malling, Wateringbury and Teston have to thank those groups in a ‘post APCM’ article.     

The FOWC under the inspirational leadership of Col William English CBE have worked tirelessly to raise money for the Church and recently to have the shingles of the spire of Wateringbury Church replaced. Many others have worked at this task as well but the FOWC comprised as it is of many people who are only occasional Church attendees has done immense work in raising the money that has enabled the project to go ahead and to reach the stage it quite visibly has.     

 The second group are the bellringers. Again, they are a group who are rarely seen at the Church services they ring for. In many cases this is because the rush from tower to tower ringing for service in a number of different services. One of the pleasures of living in the vicarage next to the Church at East Malling is that I get to hear the bells here quite regularly, a pleasure I know that’s shared by those living in Wateringbury. So, let me publicly thank our bellringers for continuing what is an ancient tradition. Without their largely unsung dedication the call to worship at Wateringbury would be much poorer than it is (if you want to read more about the use of bells in the Church you could do worse than read John Arnold and Caroline Goodson ‘Resounding Community: The History and Meaning of Church Bells’ Viator 43:1 Jan. 2012 pp. 99-136).     

In closing let me once again thank all those groups who through their unstinting efforts make the mission of God in Wateringbury that little bit easier.
Yours in Christ Rev Nick Williams

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