Welcome to Rostrum, the free magazine for Wateringbury Village

which is delivered to each home in the village 10 times a year.

Some find it easier to read the magazine in the Past Editions section

We hope you enjoy reading about the happenings in our village.

Welcome to the May edition of Rostrum




5          Footpaths Walk – 2.30pm – Village Hall

7          Parish Council Meeting - 7.30pm – Hall upper room

10        Free Coffee Morning – 10.30am-11.30am - Hall back room

11        Junior Football Festival -  9am-5.30pm - Fields

13        Footpaths Walk – 10am - Village Hall

18        School Art Exhibition – 10am-2pm - Church

19        Village Market - 10.30am-1pm – Hall and car park

20        Sports & Recreation Association AGM – 7.30pm - Hall

21        Annual Parish Council Meeting - 7.30pm – Hall upper room

25        Annual Plant Sale– 10am-1pm – Churchyard


2          Footpaths Walk – 2.30pm – Village Hall

4          Parish Council Meeting - 7.30pm - Hall upper room

6          Village Celebrations DDay80 – Fields - 6.30pm-9.30pm

16        Village Market - 10.30am-1pm – Hall and car park

19        History of Kent in less than 100 Objects

            History Society Talk – 8pm - Hall


Wateringbury Sports and Recreation Association

will be holding its Annual General Meeting on

Monday 20th May at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

(Upper Room)

Any local residents welcome to attend

The WRSA is a registered charity formed to look after the playing fields which are owned by the Parish Council.  We have volunteers from sports associations but really need representatives who use the facilities for non-sport reasons, so if you walk your dog, take children to the play facilities or just enjoy quiet time to admire the amazing views across the Medway valley please come along and let the Trustees/Committee have your thoughts on the Fields and the facilities.

DDay80 Village Celebrations –

6th June at the Playing Fields

Our preparations to mark the 80th Anniversary of D Day are now complete and tickets are on sale at the Handy Stores and Post Office for the fish and chips element of the evening.  Tickets are £10 each.  It is National Fish and  Chips day, and what better way to celebrate the 6th June event than to come down to the playing fields, enjoy the live music of the East Peckham Brass Band, eat your pre-ordered fish and chips, maybe have a drink from the beer tent, and watch the lighting of the beacon at 9.15pm.  There will be thousands of beacons being lit up and down the country in commemoration.  There will be toilet facilities provided by the parish council too. The fish and chip van will only cater for the quantity of tickets bought in advance so it is important to get your tickets in advance.  There might even be a flypast by a Spitfire!                   Sarah Hudson






£5 PER TICKET from Railway pub or 07762 610467  Bring your own drinks

All proceeds to Save Nettlestead Village Hall


Every pupil at Wateringbury C of E Primary School will be showing their work in an

Art Exhibition to be held in

St John the Baptist Church, Wateringbury

on Saturday 18th May 2024

10.00am to 2.00pm

A short ‘Service of Celebration’ will then be held involving some pupils, and will include the presentation of prizes donated by the Church.  Prizes will be given for the best three Key Stage exhibits and the overall winner. Refreshments will be available on the day.

 Please come along and support your local Primary School


Saturday 25th May

in the Churchyard

10am to 1pm

Beautiful plants to fill your garden with colour –

bedding plants, perennials,

and vegetables

COFFEE BREAK  -  8th, 22nd May

and 5th June


Do come along to the church between 10.30am and 12.30pm and enjoy tea, coffee and home-made cake and get to know others who live in our village.  This is a friendly, informal group who welcome new members.  Suggested donation £1.

VILLAGE PEOPLE  Please let us have your news and tributes by 17thMay for our June magazine.  Entries are free. Email External link opens in new tab or windowwww.rostrum2@hotmail.com

or phone 01622 812566



Colin Smith    

(21st September 1944 to 16 March 2024)

Most in the village will be familiar with Colin though few knew his name.  He was often seen walking around the district with his distinctive gait and flat cap, or riding his bike around the village or miles and miles away.  In the last 6 months of his life failing health meant he could no longer ride his beloved bike but he still walked to the shops every day. Colin was born in Mereworth and moved with his parents in about 1950 to a farm cottage in Canon Lane where he lived until the last few days of his life. Colin was ‘a special person’ who found communication with others difficult.  He lived a very, very simple life making little demands on the planet’s resources.  He died in Maidstone Hospital as he had lived - quietly and undemandingly.  We have lost a unique character who added flavour to village life.  Colin’s funeral took place on 23rd April 2024 at Vinters Park Crematorium.


Diane Mary Hayes, (nee Shippey) 

(31st October 1947 to 28th March 2024)

Diane was born in Maidstone, on ‘Halloween 1947’ and lived with her family in Glebe Meadow. Diane was the eldest child of seven children born to Eileen and Thomas Shippey. She attended Wateringbury Primary School, (then in Red Hill) and during her formative years was seen all around Wateringbury, whether it was delivering the daily newspaper, walking villagers’ dogs, baby sitting or singing in the choir at St John the Baptist Church.  She was also an active member the local Girls’ Brigade. Diane worked at Whitbread’s Phoenix Brewery in Bow Road. Although Diane lived most of her married life in Teston she was at heart still a Wateringbury girl with deep Wateringbury roots. In 2015 Diane suffered with sepsis and whilst in Pembury Hospital suffered the more serious sepsis shock when all of her vital organs shut down and very nearly died. Diane was treated in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit before spending three months recovering on a Ward. Diane was extremely grateful for the care given to her by the doctors and nurses who saved her life although she never fully recovered and there after her diminished energy levels caused her to limit her activities. Diane will be well known to villagers and residents as for 25 years she assisted me with Teston Tours adventures which we organised together. Diane’s funeral takes place at St John the Baptist Church, Wateringbury, on Thursday 9th May 2024, at 11.30am. Along with our family and friends, l would be very pleased to see you at Diane’s funeral and afterwards at the Wake.    Thank you. Alan.

Diane requested family flowers only.  Those who wish may  donate to either the Heart of Kent Hospice or the Salvation Army, via The  Family Funeral Service, 6 Marlborough Parade, Beverley Road, Barming, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 9JN.   

After a dreary, wet winter, Hadlow bowls club is now open for play.  We welcome anyone who would like to try their hand at outdoor bowls. We are having an Open Afternoon on Sunday 26th May in School Lane, Hadlow.  If you wish to have a go before then or want more information please contact Dave on 07780 704697 or email isted.hadlow@hotmail.com or Brian on 01732 850013.



The meeting was chaired by Councillor Frances Fielding in the absence of Sarah Hudson.



New contracts for the coming year have been sent out.  Three allotmenteers had decided not to renew their leases so there are now opportunities to rent these plots.  Contact the Parish Clerk for details of size of plots and annual rent (07860 721924 email External link opens in new tab or windowclerk@wateringburypc.org.uk). The water tap needs to be repaired and the spoil heap near the entrance gates removed. 



The tree work had been completed and a new tree planted.  The spoil heap is in the process of being removed.  Once this work has been done the proposal to create a Memorial Garden can be reinstated.  At the open forum it was suggested that some of this space could be used to remember

pre-natal deaths.



It was unanimously agreed to upgrade the cameras at the village hall.  Those on the exterior of the building will be maintained by the Parish Council and monitored by the Parish Clerk.  These cameras will monitor the Village Car Park and the Cross Roads junction.  The internal ones will continue to be monitored by a village hall representative.


DDay80 Celebrations

The beacon has been ordered.  Tickets for the Fish and Chip suppers are now on sale from The Handy Stores and The Post Office.  The clerk was asked to investigate the cost of providing portable toilets.


Highways Improvement Plan

KCC asked for more details of items listed in the village’s plan to substantiate requests which have been made.  Councillors agreed to request an on-site meeting with KCC in June when the Parish Council Highways subcommittee membership will be known.  (All subcommittee members on the Parish Council for the year to May 2025 will be elected at the Annual Parish Meeting on 21st May).


Playing Fields

The track from Fields Lane is in a poor state.  It was decided to place this on a recurring repair schedule since it needs attention every 2-3 years.  The clerk was asked to obtain 3 quotes for the necessary work. Statutory Electrical Tests at the pavilion have been arranged.

Planning Applications 

            Councillors had no objections to the application by Green King at The Wateringbury Hotel for the installation of replacement signs to include

1 x post mounted pictorial sign, 1 x set of sign written house name letters, 1 x double sided post mounted welcome sign, 1 x transom sign and

1 x lantern.

            Councillors left the following decisions regarding Conservation Area applications to the Borough Tree Officer:  holly trees in the churchyard removal of some stems and reduction in height for others and reduction in crown of multi stemmed yew in front garden of 6 Redhouse Gardens.


Planning Training Course

            Councillor Michael Wells reported on a day course organised by Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC) he had attended and found both informative and useful.  It was strongly recommended by the Planning Consultant delivering the course that parish councils set up Neighbourhood Plans.  T & M BC are apparently not in favour of such plans and this caused lots of discussion at the course.


Speed Watch

            During March, due to adverse weather conditions, only 11 one hour sessions took place during which time 7751 vehicles passed the observers of which 324 were exceeding the 30mph limit.  62 letters were sent to repeat offenders of which 2 were hand delivered by police officers, 13 letters were sent to those travelling in excess of 45 mph and 3 vehicle details have been passed to officers for further action.   Observations included 2 vehicles driven without valid road tax, 3 without a valid MOT and one without either road tax or MOT.  The Speed Watch Team were aware of one instance in the month when the police camera van was in action in the village.  The worst incidence of speeding was on A26 when a car was travelling west bound at Lodge Close at 50mph


Sports and Recreation Association

            Discussions took place regarding the work/responsibilities of the Charity and that of the Parish Council who own the land and the preparation of an up-to-date lease.  The AGM has been arranged for 20th May when the officers for the coming year will be elected. 


Next meetings of the Parish Council

            In May there are two meeting of the Council.  The usual one on the first Tuesday of the month on Tuesday 7th May and the Annual Meeting on Tuesday 21st May at which the Chair and Vice Chair for the year are elected by secret ballot and membership of sub-committees decided for the coming year.  Both meetings take place at 7.30pm in the village hall upper room.  Members of the public are welcome to attend both meetings.


            It was with sadness that Rostrum reported the closure after 104 years of Wateringbury WI.  Over its history the WI has contributed much to village life.  It is thanks to the WI that Wateringbury has its village sign which was designed and gifted to the village in November 1980 to mark its 60thanniversary.  To mark its centenary in 2020 an oak tree was planted at the Playing Fields. 

          The WI is a forward-thinking national organisation which runs national campaigns, voted by its members nation-wide, to improve national life.  This year’s resolution is about dental care.  In addition to a monthly meeting with guest speakers or demonstrators many WIs hold monthly walks, have book clubs, craft groups, drama groups or choirs.  The local federation office at Pembury also organises a variety of activities and day courses. 

          Councillor Sarah Hudson did put out a Facebook message asking if any village ladies would be interested in re-forming the WI with evening meetings.  Let’s hope that our WI will rise once again.  If the WI is re-started within 3 years then its cash resources, now held by the regional office, will be released for local use.  A WI officer will also support those interested in taking on the three roles which every WI must have – chair, secretary and treasurer.   If you are interested in taking on any of these roles or joining as a member email External link opens in new tab or windowfedsec@wkfwi.org.uk.  Please also email Sarah Hudson (External link opens in new tab or windowsarah.hudson@tmbc.gov.uk)


            I was unable to do the Sunday walk last month; many thanks to Dave who took over.  The route crossed Bow Bridge and turned immediately up the steep footpath parallel to Bow Hill to Bowhill Oast.  At the top we turned left and walked along Hunt Street to Tutsham, where we turned down the lane to Tutsham Hall and continued down over the cattle grid, past an old pill box to the road which goes over Teston Bridge.  Taking the permissive footpath parallel to the road, we avoided most of the traffic that was approaching or leaving the bridge.  We crossed the river on Teston Bridge and took the public footpath through the country park and by the river back to Bow Bridge. 

            On the steep footpath uphill from Bow Bridge we kept stopping to catch our breath and admire the views behind us as well as a variety of animals.  There was a donkey and horses in the field we walked through, about 10 emus (or maybe they were rheas) in an adjacent field and newborn lambs the other side of the hedge.

            In May we expect to continue to enjoy the spring flowers.  I hope some bluebells (which are already looking lovely as I write this) will last for our walks.  We will be leaving the village hall at:

·         2.30pm on Sunday 5th May

·         10.00am on Monday 13th May

·         2.30pm on Sunday 2nd June

Everyone is always welcome!  Please contact me if you want any more information.

Lisa Dean  077 5953 9032




            On Saturday 11th May, Wateringbury FC are holding our 6th Junior Football Festival. This is one of the biggest events that is hosted in the village each year. With 106 teams taking part through the day covering both girls and boys and age groups spanning from under 8's through to under 18’s, we are expecting another bumper day. A huge amount of effort and organising has gone into arranging the festival and we are expecting over 2000 players, parents, friends and supporters.

            As well as the fantastic entertainment the children will be providing on the pitches, there will be food, drink, ice cream and even a candy floss stall available. Why not come along to the playing fields to support the fantastic talent we have in the Wateringbury Teams. It still brings back great memories seeing our under 8 girls win the cup last year. What a moment for those youngsters!

            The fun starts at 9am and goes through until 5:30pm. Hopefully see you there.

Tony Garrett



In Village Hall between 10.30am and 1pm

             A reminder to all Rostrum readers that the Wateringbury Village Market takes place on the 3rd Sunday of each month in the village hall.  19th May, 16th June,

21st July and 18th August, etc. We regularly have at least 25 sellers with a wide range of products: Fudge, Pickles, Fresh Meat, Local Juices, Jewellery, Beauty, Bespoke Wood items, Cards, Felt Figures and Pictures, Candles, Bags, Crochet and Knitted items, Fabric and Embroidered Gifts, Resin Art, Decoupage, Antiques, Charity stalls for Brain Tumour Research and British Heart Foundation.  Refreshments are available at competitive prices.  Dave our ‘meat man’ also cooks on site bacon or sausage baps - again competitively priced.  Come and support your local village market - pop in and see if you can be tempted with any of the above.  Sue Collins



             The children were excited about coming back after the Easter break to share their adventures with staff and the other children. This term we will continue with exploring Spring and watching all the seeds we have planted grow. When stronger we will move the plants outdoors where the children can help to look after them.

             Before the half term with the children, we explored life cycles and the children watched as the tiny caterpillars we got grew bigger and finally turned into chrysalis. The children shared with one another what they thought would happen next and while linking the story of the ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’. The children got to see the chrysalis open and tiny Painted Lady butterflies emerge and helped to look after the new butterflies until they were eventually strong enough to fly off by themselves.  More recently we have had a couple of ducks that waddle up to the setting during the day, the children have enjoyed watching them come up quacking to the setting gates and have had some food ready to feed them.   Nisha Reed


                We recently set up a camera trap in our garden and were pleased to confirm our suspicions that an adult hedgehog is visiting nightly (along with a fox and our cat!). Hedgehogs eat slugs and other garden invertebrates and are generally a friend to gardeners so if you want to encourage them, it’s important to try and ensure that they can move freely between yours and adjacent gardens.

                We now, finally, have tadpoles in our pond. Ours are all toad tadpoles which are less likely to be eaten by predators as they are slightly poisonous although last Spring a grass snake devoured quite a few! Apparently, their digestive systems can cope with them and although I was disappointed to lose so many, it was exciting to see this beautiful reptile swimming through the water. Grass snakes are completely harmless and often lay their eggs in compost heaps in early Summer with the young snakes emerging in August.  On warm days, before water lilies cover the surface, our pond often suffers from algae growth. I try to remove it when this happens, taking care not to fish out the tadpoles and leaving anything that I remove at the side of the pond to allow any pondlife to crawl back in. Recently, this resulted in a rather grotesque looking dragonfly larvae emerging out of the algae and slowly dragging itself back into the pond. Dragonfly larvae are carnivores and live for up to five years in the pond feeding on smaller pondlife, finally climbing up clear of the water to shed their outer shell and fly off. If you do have a pond, it is therefore important to incorporate some vertical aquatic plants such as water irises to facilitate this and it’s fascinating to watch.    Pauline Knutton



                As we approach another term we look towards warmer days and the starting of summer.  Our focus book this term is Little Turtle and the Sea by Becky Davies and Jennie Poh. A beautiful picture book that teaches young children about the dangers of plastic in the seas and oceans while providing them with a story that is full of heart. This story is perfect for reading aloud as the children hear the rhythm and sounds of the ocean as we travel with little Turtle.

                We will be making our very own ‘little sea Turtle’ using various craft materials to decorate them. Listening to sounds of the sea for relaxation, along with sounds of different sea creatures. We will be making our very own interactive sea scene throughout this term.  Drawing and colouring coral reefs, turtles and sea creatures to add to them. We will be creating a water scene in our outdoor area, using shells, pebbles, sea creatures and plastics.

                Also, our outdoor area will provide a safe place to run, skip and jump. We encourage a love of books in our cosy book tent which will include titles to enhance our learning of our oceans and seas and the creatures that live there. This area provides a quiet, peaceful location for the children to share stories and books with their friends.  We so enjoy learning at our Preschool, there’s no time to lose; off we go!

                If you would like your child to be part of our amazing preschool ‘family’ please contact us to book a visit.

External link opens in new tab or windowtestonpreschooladmissions@gmail.com  External link opens in new tab or windowtandwgroup@gmail.com

Tina Driver Tel: 07805 796353     See us on Facebook too. 



                I am determined to make sure our community remains a great place to live, while also making sure that we have better services and value for money. It is a privilege to serve Wateringbury and since 2015 I have always fought the corner of everyone locally, to ensure we have better services and value for money.   To help me in doing that it is always important that I know your views on what can be improved in Wateringbury. To allow me to be able to do this I am running a survey which has, and still is, being delivered across our community to randomly selected households. However, that doesn’t stop those of you who haven’t received one from letting me know what you think. You can find a link to the survey on my website External link opens in new tab or windowwww.tomtugendhat.org.uk, or if you don’t have access to the internet or a computer, please do still let me know your thoughts on what you think my priorities need to be. You can write to me or call my office via the information below.  No matter how detailed, please do take the time to let me know what you think so that I can continue to best represent all of your interests, the more responses the better, so please do share this with your family and neighbours.



The Rectory, 72 The Street, Mereworth       ME18 5NA       External link opens in new tab or windowgary.rev@outlook.com        (  01622  813178




The 6th of May will mark the first anniversary of the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla. How time has flown and much has happened in that time. In this first year of our King’s reign there has been news that left us fearing for his health and for the health of his daughter-in-law the Princess of Wales. But life goes on and the members of our Royal family continue to be an example to us of perseverance and dutiful service in the face of personal difficulties. It’s not only the Royals who set us such good examples. We probably all know of people and families just like us whose determination to press on with life in the face of ill health and life-changing events is inspirational. Perhaps, amidst all the big news headlines about the war-torn parts of our world and other places of great unrest such as Haiti you’ve managed to pick up on some of the much ‘smaller’ and personal stories of individuals and families in those places who are showing tremendous courage and determination to get on with life in the face of horrendous circumstances. Such people and the troubles they face never fail to move us and perhaps give us a better perspective on our own situation and troubles – ‘There’s always someone worse off than you’ I often hear people stoically affirm.


            For me one of the great attractions of Jesus Christ is that he came to lift up our hearts to God our creator. When our hearts go out to those who suffer it gives us a fresh perspective on our own troubles and I think when a human heart is lifted up to the source and sustainer of its being a new perspective is gained on what human life is all about and that even suffering itself has a part to play in it. I think this is why Jesus himself suffered so horribly before he left this world and went back to the Father in heaven. He sympathises with us in all our weakness and troubles and that is essential if we are to be moved to start believing in him as a trustworthy guide and companion through life. He went back to the Father and was crowned King of kings and Lord of lords showing us that going back to God is the journey we should all take. Many Christians celebrate this on Ascension Day which is on the 9th of May this year. Perhaps you might like to attend an Ascension Day service in one of the churches in our area.

God bless. 

Rev Gary Townsend,

Rector of Mereworth, Wateringbury and West Peckham.



Benefice website                     www.mwwpchurches.org

All Sunday Services start at 10am. 

Refreshments are served after these services. Do stay for fellowship if you can. 


Saturday 4th May   3-5pm  Messy Church

(for children and their carers) –

Bible Story, Action Songs, Prayer time, lots of crafts and ending with afternoon tea.  All welcome


Sunday 5th May  –Matins led by Barry Fisher

This is a tradional service using the beautiful words of Cranmer’s Prayer Book


Sunday 12th May  

Holy Communion led by Rev Gary

Messy Church on Sunday meets in the vestry during this service


Pentecost Sunday 19th   -  10am - All Age Worship

A less formal service with an address from Kate Millar

Pentecost or Whit Sunday is considered to be the Birthday of the Church when the Power of the Holy Spirit was sent to Jesus Disciples


Sunday26th Holy Communion led by Rev Gary

Saturday 1st June – 3-5pm Messy Church

Sunday 2nd June – Morning Praise  with Barry Fisher

Refresh Benefice Services in Mereworth Church at 5pm   May 5th, 12th and 26th

For those who enjoy less formal worship.  

On Sunday 19th May to celebrate Pentecost Refresh will be going to the Churches Together in Malling Pentecost Praise Service at 4pm in West Malling Baptist Church.  Do go along if you can


Ascension Day Thursday 9th May  Benefice Communion Service at 7.30pm in St Dunstan’s Church, West Peckham.



Funeral From the Parish Registers

11th April -  James Barry Skinner


Plan and track your self care habits.


                I try to keep myself on track with my self care habits in a weekly tracker to record the things I try to do each day. For me that usually includes getting outside, doing something physical, doing something meditative and getting good sleep.  I track these each day in my diary in a little grid for the week (see example below) so I can tick them off each day.  It’s easy to drop things if you don’t have a moment of focus, especially when life gets frenetic. These things have become common in the kind of organisational planners people use for work, but I think they are good for anyone. So if you have fallen off or away from those laudable January plans that you made. Perhaps you have been fasting recently, or maybe not so much. Whatever the case, carve out a moment to make your plan for you.

Bob Bowie


Habit tracker     ü each day when achieved