Thank you for visiting our website we hope you enjoy reading

Wateringbury Village Magazine


You may find this issue easier to read from the archive pdf

July and August 2020 Rostrum


Welcome to the Summer issue of Wateringbury Village Magazine  


This is our third e-version only of our magazine.  We plan, unless Government guidelines change, to go back to our printed magazine for our September issue.  We will be contacting all our magazine distributors to confirm each will be happy to resume their rounds.


We hope all village organisations will send us news of their planned activities, the deadline for our September issue is 17th August.


Village People  Please send us your news and tributes for our September issue by 17th August


Thank you Posties  Well done and sincere thanks to all our village posties and delivery people who have worked tirelessly throughout our lock-down to ensure mail and packages were delivered to our doors.


Goodbye crane and red-light.  Many were delighted when on 8th June the crane which has dominated our skyline for some months was removed.  The building on the old Greensted care home site at The Orpines is now nearing completion and the 51 one and two flats complex for over 55s has been renamed Meadow View Court.  For details contact Rapport Housing and Care 01634 729161


Find My Past the Ancestry research web site has just released a lot of Kent parish records including our St John The Baptist Church records.

The Wateringbury records are as follows.

Marriage/Banns ----1703 to 1919

Baptisms -----------1705 to 1915

Deaths -------------1587 to 1909

These are also available on other ancestry sites



Following Government guidelines we were pleased to be able to open our doors to our older children on 1st June.  I would like to say a big thank you to all the staff who have worked hard to ensure the setting is a safe and clean environment for all.

The children have been enjoying outdoor play in our garden making the most of this warm weather.  We have also been reading Spinderella by Julia Donaldson, a story about a spider who has a passion for football!  She tries to play a match with her brothers and sisters but she doesn’t know how many spiders should be on each team.  Even worse, she can’t count the goals!  Luckily for Spinderella, her hairy godmother has a brilliant plan!

It’s near the end of our school year and we are all very sad to have to say goodbye to our 19 children who leave us to go to big school.    It’s always a sad occasion when we say goodbye to the children and their families.  We care and nurture these children for the time they are with us and it is always an emotional time for the staff but we wish them all the very best for their future education.

Due to not being able to welcome visitors at our pre-school at the moment we have been in touch with all the teachers from the 7 schools we are feeding into this year by telephone and video calls to make sure our children’s transitions goes smoothly.

Again to help with the transitioning into school we have some P.E. sessions arranged for this term.  It helps the school leavers become more independent by changing in and out of their P.E kits.

As we are near the end of our school year we must offer our thanks to Chris Douglass and the village hall committee for all their support this year.

We would also like to thank Teston Farm shop, who support us throughout the year by supplying the very best locally produced fresh fruit for our children’s snack time.

We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable summer.

Tina, Jo, Louise, Gill, Sara, Wendy, Anna and Caroline


In considering what to write and where to start for this month’s article, I re-read my piece in last year’s Rostrum. What a difference a year makes. Who would have thought we’d be where we are now: adjusting to a whole new school structure which combines detailed online learning with school-based classes for our returning year groups. With very little notice, Wateringbury teachers created a rich and varied experience of home learning for our pupils and the good work continues. Our home learners are enjoying art and cookery lessons by video, regular story times with their teachers, science investigations with resources found around the house. On top of this, maths and English continues with reading aloud and one-to-one reading with a child key priorities. Our doorstep library is busy and parents have done a wonderful job keeping children going! We all have good days and less-good days but my constant reminder is to take each day as it comes, one small step at a time.

Here in school we have welcomed back our Reception Class, Year 1 and Year 6. All classes have been divided into two small bubbles with one teacher dedicated to each bubble. The children have been excited and happy to be back and they have quickly adjusted to their new-look classrooms with distanced desks. Cleaning and hygiene routines are strict and the children are very knowledgeable about why they need to keep their hands and learning resources so clean.

It has been particularly poignant to welcome most of our Year 6 children back as we have to bid them farewell in just a few short weeks. This class has a real spirit of friendship and their deep affection and care for each other are tangible. We love having them back and we will miss them greatly next year.  However, they are more than ready for the challenges and adventures of secondary school and will wave them off with confidence.

Other farewells to two members of staff: Hilary Fisher is retiring from the Teaching Assistant role which she has held for 17 years! It is difficult to imagine school without Hilary here and we are delighted that she will be returning to volunteer each week. However, we also want to wish her much joy in her new-found hobby of grand-parenting! Lizzy Kirk-Smith is stepping back from the full-time classroom to take up a support position in a secondary school, recalibrating her work-life balance and family priorities.  We are so fortunate to have had Mrs Kirk-Smith leading our Year 2 classroom over the last year and a half and we wish her all the very best with her new job and family and home commitments.

We do not yet know what September will look like but I have no doubt that whatever is put in front of us, the staff and governors at Wateringbury will step up to the plate with their usual energy and positive thinking. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone, staff, parents, governors and the village community for so much support during this exceedingly difficult time. It is the sense of being held within community that makes all the difference.


Chasey Crawford Usher – Headteacher




A Parish Council meeting is anticipated in September all assuming the Government have relaxed the number of people meeting of 6 at any one time.


Work on the two bus shelters has been completed and they should now be waterproof.  The gates at the cemetery from the car park have rotted in parts and become a bit of a hazard for users, so new gates have been ordered from Andrew French Fencing at  cost of £595 plus VAT for supply and installation.


Crossroads Care, near the doctors, appealed for any local residents who may be receiving Government Food parcels which they do not need. They have a number of Young Carer families they support who are struggling with affording their increased shopping bills and they have started distributing food parcels to them from donated supplies.  The Parish Council has donated £100 to Crossroads Care for distribution which they hope will go some way to helping their young carer families.


Due to changes in legislation the present Parish Council website does not meet The Public Sector Bodies (Website & Applications) Accessibility Regulations and those of GDPR.  In late August the present website will close. A new website is being built, and will be supported and maintained by Netwise UK to ensure it complies with legislation. Hopefully, this will be up and running before August.    The cost is £499 plus £250 for one year’s support & maintenance to June 2021.


The Parish Council thanks everyone for their patience during this difficult time and looks forward to getting back to some normality in September.   In the meantime, if you have queries please contact the Clerk at clerk@wateringburypc.org.uk  or call  01622 817068


Take care and enjoy your Summer.

I hope everyone has managed to stay safe and well, and that some sense of normality is returning.



Work has begun on Phase 2 of the Air Quality Community Gardens. This is proving a little tougher as the flower bed is in need of a lot of TLC to get it into the condition that we can plant. The smaller living wall sections have been ordered - so watch this space!

The Community Fridge has reduced to one session a week - on Fridays from 11-1 - at the Village Hall. We have lots of good quality food available- reduce your food miles and save money - minimum donation of £5. If you would like to come along please ring on 07740 664843 to make an appointment!

Borough Council life has returned to our normal schedule of meetings, albeit they are held remotely via Teams. TMBC, like councils throughout the country, are facing an unprecedented situation financially with a huge reduction in revenue - somewhere in the order of £5 million. This means that some very difficult decisions will need to be made soon. I will let you know, when I know.


Wateringbury guides continues on Zoom on a Friday evening with anything between 10 and 15 joining out of 19 girls.  We are finding our way slowly from the initial scavenge type hunts for certain items in their own house, through quizzes, discussions on personal safety, onto a celebration evening in red, white and blue for VE Day.  Our most ambitious (and noisy) evening was when we had our pet evening.  The girls had been requesting this for some while long before lockdown but the thought of a HQ full of dogs, the odd cat, several rabbits, guinea pigs, and a few other offerings filled us with horror.  But of course, on Zoom the pet remains safely at home and we could be introduced to them one at a time.  It was a very noisy evening and much use was made of the ‘mute’ button but it was enjoyed by all. 

We have planned a biscuit decorating evening on Zoom and also a cake cooking in a mug competition.  There is talk of a virtual sleepover, possibly in homemade dens and we also have one guide due to make her promise shortly and this will also be a first. 

Inevitably all our outdoor activities planned for the summer term have been cancelled, or we are waiting for confirmation that they are cancelled.  The sailing day, the patrol camp, the trip to Wicked in London, a day trip to Margate and a water fun day have all gone and as I write I’m still waiting to hear the fate of our proposed canal boat trip at the end of August.  I suspect this won’t happen either as it simply isn’t possible to social distance for 12 people in a boat approx. 72 feet long. 

Sadly the summer term is our busiest and best and I feel really sorry for the girls as they are missing out on a wide range of outdoor activities.  We can only hope that we get the green light to start outdoor activities soon subject to the all the social distancing rules and if so, we might consider trying to meet through the summer holidays to make up for lost time and provide fun and stimulating activities for our girls in a safe environment. 

Sheena, and Emily   1st Wateringbury Guides  


Nettlestead and Wateringbury

Preschool (NWPS) and Out of Schools’ Club

Graded as Outstanding by Ofsted


As with many educational settings, we are now ‘OPEN’. We are providing childcare and education sessions everyday from 9am-1pm and it’s so lovely to see some of our children return to preschool.


The children have adapted extremely well to the changes we have put in place in order to keep them safe and watching the children play, from my office, it certainly looks like they are having fun.


We are remaining in contact with our other children and families via email and our Parents’ Facebook page and will be supporting the children’s development and those starting school in September. Here’s a lovely picture one of our parents put on our Parents’ FB group – what a super picture. 


If you are interested in a place for your child in September 2020, please do contact the preschool.


Childcare, Education and Out of School Clubs, including holiday club

01622 813120, enquiries@nwps.uk , https://nwpreschool.org.uk/




(June marked the 80th Anniversary)


Jack Cronk shared his memories with Rostrum readers in 1995.  Jack retired to his family home Cromar, North Pole and was a Church Warden for a few years in the days of Rev Donald Bish.  It was Jack who made our large, portable noticeboard.


Dunkirk was over, but the 51st Highland Division fought on.  With all ammunition gone, and no supplies of food, water or fuel, we had fought our last battle and lost,  trapped in St Valery en Caux, 6000 of us, with French soldiers too.  At nightfall on the 11th my Battery received orders to destroy equipment and make our way quietly down into the town square and surrender to the Germans.  Cafe proprietors gave away their stock, and I found myself with a bottle of Cognac.  I took one swig on a very empty stomach and something told me to throw it away – which I did!  I saw one old man who had paid the penalty for having a discarded British uniform in his house, his daughter - a shattered arm.


Finding the town square packed with Highlanders, our Battery Commander led us into the shelter of a sunken road, and told us to await his orders as he was not surrendering to any Boche.  I crawled under a laurel bush and slept.  Dawn, and we were told to make a run for the open cliff top, the Navy was at Veules les Roses 5 miles away!  Small-arms fire from the enemy, but I made it to the beach, carrying a heavy Artillery Director (a valuable instrument) and my clarinet!  Treasured letters from my wife and my army paybook, containing my will, were well wrapped in a piece of gas-cape,

   There was a long queue for the mole.  I saw a boat 50 yards out.  Dumping the Director and clarinet and ripping off my boots I swam for it. Transferring to a decrepit Dutch coaster, the Pascholl, the hold of which was already packed full.  I lay on the foredeck shivering in my wet clothes, but someone wrapped me in a groundsheet.  Two French trawlers were hit by gunfire.  We were next.  A round ahead, a round astern – we zigzagged – the third landed where we should have been!


Out to sea now, and things quietened down a bit except the thump of the engine and the crackle of rifle fire at a friendly Spitfire which came over to see if we were alright.  Then, a miracle performed by the Navy again, a much-used mess tin full of hot Maconachie stew.  We made Southampton on the 13th.


Post Script 12th June 1995  A very few of us went back to the now beautiful town of St Valery. An old lady with a withered arm was there.  We walked the streets again, and to the large Anglo-French cemetery; there is only one Kent Yeomanry named gravestone, but so many whose names are “Known Only to God”.





As I write, Tonbridge and Malling is confirmed as the area of Kent with the lowest ‘R’ number, and confirmed Coronavirus cases. Since we have all had to sacrifice so much over recent months and my column has often shared news about the steps we should take, this month I wanted to have a more upbeat tone and recognise all the hard work that has gone towards keeping us safe.

Firstly, we should reflect on the sacrifices each of us has made. Whether it be going without seeing loved ones, being able to hug and celebrate birthdays and family events with those closest to us, or even go to work, our lives have changed fundamentally over the past few months to keep us safe.

Governments can issue guidance, and volunteers and neighbours can provide support. But ultimately only we can look after ourselves and stay alert. That is evidently what we have been doing so far in Tonbridge and Malling.

Thanks also need to go to those who have been running community support schemes. While I know the Parish Council has been active, in many areas these have happened on a street by street basis and show our villagers come together to help one another.

While the Government has given significant financial support to those workers and businesses affected, the role of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council in making sure that the most vulnerable were looked after is something we should rightly thank them for. There have been hundreds of people who have only been able to eat because of the efforts which the Council has gone to.

Until Covid-19 is completely eradicated from our communities, we must stay alert. The recovery will take a long time and we must be prepared for it.  But we should also reflect on the progress which has been made so far and appreciate the steps we have all taken. I hope the ‘R’ number falls to 0 as quickly as possible, and if we continue doing what we have been there is a good a chance of it happening here as there is anywhere.


The Archdeacon of Tonbridge seconded curate Rev Nicky Harvey to the Benefice of Mereworth, Wateringbury and West Peckham from 15th June initially for 3 months while we are awaiting the appointment of a new vicar.  We welcome Rev Nicky  as she begins her temporary secondment with our Benefice and look forward to getting to know her (albeit virtually) over the coming weeks. Contact details are:

email: rev.nickyharvey@gmail.com 

Phone: 01732 852564  Mobile: 07919 075470.

The popular Online audio weekly services continue and they are available from Saturday afternoon each week and can be viewed at any time.    Just click on the link to listen http://tiny.cc/krymmz. Each service lasts about 20 minutes

5th July address given by Canon Liz Walker

12th July address given by Rev Nicky Harvey

19th July address given by Kate Millar and all age worship   team

26th July address given by Rev Jim Brown

2nd  August address given by Canon Liz Walker

9th  August address given by Barry Fisher

16th August  address given by Kate Millar and all age worship  team

23rd August  address given by Rev Jim Brown

30th August Benefice Service (tbc) 

              address by Rev Nicky Harvey


In addition our temporary curate Rev Nicky Harvey has set up a Facebook link which will carry the live services she is offering to the benefice.  You do not have to belong to Facebook to take part.  After the services have been live-streamed they will be available at any time.

Simply click on this link to join Rev Nicky in her living room for any of the services shown below:  https://www.facebook.com/mwwpbenefice

Sunday 10am  Communion Service

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 9am Morning Prayer

Wednesday 9.30am Communion Service from Prayer Book 



Our temporary curate Nicky writes: 


It is lovely to have the opportunity to come and be amongst you all during these difficult times. My prayers are with you. So, a little about me.


I was born and brought up in Sevenoaks and educated locally, Seal Primary School and Tonbridge Grammar School. I graduated with a BEd (Hons) degree from I.M.Marsh College of Physical Education. Since then I have worked for BUPA at Pinehurst House, being a senior carer with responsibility for care of the dying for 10 years. I taught at Russell House School for 16 years, teaching a Reception class as well as P.E. throughout the school. I left teaching in 2016 to concentrate on my final studies for ordination at St Augustine’s College of Theology. However, during this time I worked as a hospital chaplain with Kings NHS Foundation Trust with a special responsibility for critical care, maternity and delivery, coronary care, children’s wards, and special care baby unit. I volunteered my time during the day, but was a paid on-call chaplain at night.


My churchmanship is broad and varied. I was brought up in the Congregational Church, and United Reformed Church, where my Father was organist. At twelve I joined the local Anglican church in Seal where I remained for 34 years. It was here that I experienced many forms of worship from Matins, Evensong, Parish Eucharist to All Age Worship and Messy Church. I was a member of the choir during that time. I joined Hadlow church as curate in July 2017 after my ordination as Deacon. During my curacy I have established Messy Church, a drop in for the elderly, been a school governor, developed links with the local school, chaplain to the local Agricultural College, managed community projects - like the World War I poppy project - helped with the foodbank, Cub leader, as well as being a visible presence in the parish which is a very important part of my ministry to me. I am also a Companion of the Northumbrian Community.


I have three grown up children. David who is a Doctor in Devon, Alice who has just finished her degree in Costume Design, and Lucy who hopes to study Aerospace Engineering at Bath in September.


I pray that our time together will be a blessing to us all in these strange and unprecedented times.  

Every blessing, Nicky



£3 a jar  3 for £7.50  4 for £10


We have, unfortunately lost all our stalls scheduled so far this year bar the very first one at Mereworth church.  This was a week before lockdown and it seemed as if some people had expected lockdown as although the footfall was slightly down, our sales and takings were up.  I had speculated on the way to the fair whether or not it would be our last stall for some time, and sadly this has proven to be the case.  We have a November Christmas fair also at Mereworth and we do wonder if this will turn out to be our first and last this year.  Fortunately we are still in Wateringbury Post Office and sales are steady and we continue to be very grateful for the support from the village.  We did sell some produce to people who came to buy plants and many more took details of our range so hopefully they will be back in due course.  Doorstep sales are up this year but the number of walkers who pass our door is also up, and no doubt, the lack of mud and builders helps.   


Our next problem is accessing fruit supplies this year due to the issues with foreign fruit pickers.  Our stocks are high of some fruits but others are low and without new supplies we will be without some lines before the year end.  Thankfully citrus supplies are normal and so marmalade is generally unaffected but some jams will be in short supply soon.


Gordon has just made three new batches of his bestselling relish and chutneys and we are very grateful to villagers and allotment holders who have responded to our plea for surplus rhubarb.  While we have 12 young plants in our allotment, and a further two in the garden, the dry weather has reduced the growth and sadly it is the same with our currants and gooseberries.  Conversely the winter onions in the garden where watering is much easier are without a doubt the best we have ever grown and will be taken up very shortly for relish to be replaced by the main summer crop that I started in seed trays. 


We have squash, marrows, pumpkins and leeks at the allotment and courgette, beetroot, spinach, rocket, green beans, carrots, parsnips, lettuce and more leeks in the garden so we should certainly get our five a day!  We are hoping the beetroot will be more successful at home as we use lots of it in Gordon’s chutney.  We have planted a cooking apple tree and are about to get another for use in chutneys and we have also put in last year a damson, Victoria plum and greengage tree for our jams. 



Banana butter








Quince jelly


Rhubarb & Ginger


Summer Fruits

Victoria Plum


Blood Orange

Chunky Orange


Grapefruit and Tangerine

Lemon and Ginger

Lemon & Lime

Pink Grapefruit

Ruby Red Grapefruit



Seville & Ginger

Seville & Whisky


Apple & Chilli

Apple & Ginger

Apricot & Ginger



Chutney/Relishes  Beetroot

Caramelised Onion

Cranberry & Orange

Cranberry and Caramelised Onion

Fruity Apple


Hot Chilli Pepper




Redcurrant & Caramelised Onion

Rhubarb & Ginger

Tangy Tomato

Tomato & Pepper

Tomato, pepper & Chilli


Last year Sheena and Gordon donated £359.73 from their sales to help church funds.  They are happy to deliver locally and can be contacted on 01622 815416



Surgery Planning:
Wateringbury Surgery wants to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible during this difficult time.  Therefore, we are continuing with the following temporary changes to our services.  Please note we are now asking patients to wear face coverings when attending the surgery.

All online appointment booking will be suspended.

All GP appointment requests will be triaged by a GP.  The receptionist will take your details and a GP will call you back (please ensure you remain near the telephone or have your mobile with you at all times).  If the GP feels it is appropriate for you to be seen they will book you an appointment at the surgery.  The receptionist cannot book any appointments with the GPs.

We will continue to book some appointments with the Practice Nurses, HCAs and Phlebotomist, however, on the day of your appointment do not attend if you have a new continuous cough or a high temperature (hot to touch on your chest or back) or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.  Please telephone and cancel.

We will be sending screening text messages prior to appointments to ensure patients are well before attending.

Attending for appointments

You will be asked when you are booked for an appointment the make and colour of your car.  On arrival at the surgery please wait in your car (if walked to the surgery wait outside at a safe distance from patients collecting medication) the clinician you are due to see will come out to the car park and escort you into the surgery. 

Face coverings

We are asking all patients (and anyone accompanying a patient) attending the surgery to wear a protective face covering.   This can be in the form of a handmade mask, scarf or bandana that ties securely and snugly around your head.  Guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering can be found at www.gov.uk.

Exemptions for not wearing a face covering:

if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering

if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress

a child under the age of 11

Medication requests

If you need to request medication and you usually drop your request into the surgery please telephone the surgery between the hours of 10:00 – 12:30  and 14:30 -16:30 and select option 3 for the prescription line or alternatively download the NHS app. 

Medication deliveries

If you are a dispensing patient and have received a letter or text as you are a high risk patient or shielding and do not have a family member, relative, friend or neighbour to collect your medication we can deliver your medication to you.  Please contact the surgery and asked to be added to the delivery list.  If you usually collect the prescription to take to a pharmacy we can arrange to send this electronically to a nominated pharmacy of your choice.  Please contact the surgery to arrange this.

So we can reach as many patients as possible with practice updates and information we are joining Facebook.  We hope to publish our page in the next couple of weeks.

We would like to say thank you to all our patients for your support and understanding.


Beat the heat

Coping with heat & COVID-19


Stay cool at home:

·        Many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer

·        Know how to keep your home cool

·        Look out for others safely, follow covid-19 guidelines

Stay cool, keep well:

·        Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol

·        Slow down when it is hot

·        Stay connected, listen to the forecast

Cooler, safer places:

·        Go indoors or outdoors whichever feels cooler

·        Self-isolate at home if advised to do so

·        Use cool spaces considerately, keep your distance

Watch out:

·        Be on the lookout for signs of heat related illness

·        Cool your skin with water, slow down and drink water

·        Stay safe when swimming

·        Get help. Call NHS 111 or in an emergency 999

For more information go to www.nhs.uk/heatwave






Stay safe

Tina, Jo, L