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 the village

Welcome to the Summer edition of Rostrum

covering July and August 2024




2          Parish Council Meeting - 7.30pm - Hall upper room

3          Coffee Break – 10.30am-12.30pm - Church

4          General Election Voting – 7am-10pm - Hall

7          Footpaths Walk - 2.30pm - Village Hall

10        Re-forming WI meeting – 7.30pm - Hall

12        Village Coffee Morning – 10.30am – Hall lower         room

13        A Very Kentish Murder – 7pm – Church

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

26        Concert in Nettlestead Place – 7pm

31        Coffee Break – 10.30am-12.30pm - Church



4          Footpaths Walk - 2.30pm - Village Hall

14        Coffee Break – 10.30am-12.30pm - Church

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

28        Coffee Break – 10.30am-12.30pm - Church

Note the Parish Council does not meet in August



1          Footpaths Walk - 2.30pm - Village Hall

3          Parish Council Meeting - 7.30pm - Hall upper room

8          Strawberry Tea Party – 2-5pm - Manor Farm, Old    Road

13        Village Coffee Morning – 10.30am – Hall lower         room

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

22        Time to Remember – 2.30pm - Church

29        Jazz Advocates Concert – 2-4pm - Church



            Wateringbury WI is looking to re-form holding meetings in the evenings.  We will be holding a meeting at Wateringbury Village Hall to discuss the way forward and to form a committee. This will take place on Wednesday 10th July at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to join us. 

Sarah Hudson





Sunday 8th September 2pm-5pm – Entry Free

Delicious Strawberries and Cream - Tea and Home-made Cakes

Live Harp Music – Pimms Tent – Selection of Stalls

Garden Games – Fun for all the Family

Proceeds to Friends of Wateringbury Church


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


Milestone Birthday Greetings to Patricia Berry who marks a very special birthday on 22nd July.


RIP  Mable Turk

            Mable was of that generation which lived so stalwartly through the Second  World War with all its challenges to daily living.  After marrying Geoff a Leney's/ Whitbread brewery worker they lived in a cottage in Bow Road, rented and then purchased from the brewery.

            Those steadfast qualities which served her during the war were of benefit to Wateringbury Primary School where she worked as a cleaner and caretaker.  After her husband died she enjoyed meeting friends at the 'Where Memories Meet' Cafe and sharing in the St John the Baptist church Wednesday coffee mornings.  The funeral of Mable, who was 93 years old, took place on

18th June at Vinters Park. 




            Apparently, February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness day! I missed that. So how about some Summer acts of kindness to spread some love. It’s the gift that gives back.

1.  Donate to a cause you care about, no matter how small your donation

might be.

2.  Leave a secret positive message somewhere for a random person to discover. EG leave a little note that says “Hope you have a lovely day today!” on your train/bus seat.

3.  If you stop by a coffee shop, offer to buy the next customer’s coffee.

4.  Take a second to ask your postperson or delivery courier about their day.

5 . Write a letter to an old teacher or mentor thanking them.

6.  Make a list of your best friend’s lovely qualities and read them out to them.

7.  Call somone just to say “I love you”.

8.  Write a glowing online review for an eatery or shop you would highly recommend.

9.  Cook yourself your favourite meal, knowing that you, too, deserve acts of kindness.

10. Donate blood.

11. Tell a pair of new parents you know that they are doing a great job.

12. Buy a few extra items during your grocery shop to give to food banks.

13. Look through your cupboards and wardrobe and find something nice that you don’t need and give it away via apps such as Next Door, Freecycle and Olio.

14. Join Age UK’s telephone befriending service and chat with an older person.


(Dr Michael Mosley, the brilliant sage of wellbeing: RIP)


Bob B.(Bowie)


          I wanted to start by thanking everyone involved in making the DDay80 evening such a success - special thanks go to Sam Killick, Kenneth Webster and James Boswell from the WSRA, and Donna Wilson from the Railway Pub. It’s so brilliant to see village groups and businesses all coming together to help make these things happen.

          Our next coffee morning will be on Friday 12th July from 10.30am in the small downstairs room at the village hall. There won't be one in August, but we will be back on Friday 13th September. Please do take this opportunity to meet other village residents over a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake. Everyone is welcome.

          The Local Plan sets out a blueprint for how the borough will develop over the next 16 years up to 2040. It aims to meet existing and future needs for new homes, jobs, community facilities, roads and so on. At the same time, it must safeguard our valued heritage assets and natural features.  The next stage –Reg 18b - opens for public consultation in August and September. Please do take part in the consultation. This is a great opportunity to have your say.

          Matt Broughton and I held a meeting recently with TMBC officers and are delighted that we have been able to secure funding of £70,000 for an outdoor leisure facility in the village. Residents have been asking for something for teens so we are working with both the Wateringbury Sports and Recreation Association and the Parish Council to get a pump track - something for bikes, skateboards and scooters. This will be sited most probably at the bottom of the playing field.

          Have an enjoyable Summer!   Sarah Hudson



            Our season of talks concluded in June with an interesting and entertaining talk by Martin Crowther who told The History of Kent in less than 100 objects.  At our Annual General Meeting, held before the talk, chair Helen Turner was re-elected for the coming year. 

          One of the planned summer outings to tour the Houses of Commons and Lords has been postponed, due to the general election, until 7th September. 

          Memberships are due for renewal at our meeting on 18th September when Janie Ramsay will talk about the lifestyle of the Windsors   (Edward and  Wallis).   Christine Byron



Learning, growing, achieving…our journey together with God.


                By the time you read this we will be well into the excitement that comes at the end of the academic year and all the events entailed therein. Sports Day comes at the end of June with an international nod to the Olympic Games in Paris. I am sure you will hear the cheering from your homes!

                We are looking forward to welcoming all our new pupils and parents with ‘stay and play’ sessions and a Teddy Bears’ picnic. Unfortunately, alongside new pupils coming in to school we have to say goodbye to our Year 6 children. This cohort have been amazing and I know they will leave Wateringbury with all they need to be successful citizens who will be an asset to their new schools and community. We will miss them greatly but are looking forward to all the celebrations before they go including their musical production, leavers’ service at the church and at Rochester Cathedral and the infamous leavers’ party.

                It’s not just the leavers and joiners who are having fun! We have got a trip to the seaside planned as well as other chances to make the most of what we have around us.

                We are always happy to welcome visitors, volunteers or new pupils, so please do get in touch if you would like to join the fun!

                Wishing you all a fun filled summer.


Debbie Johnson (Headteacher). Website: External link opens in new tab or windowwww.wateringbury.kent.sch.uk

Phone: 01622 812199


          Summer so far has been a rather chilly and damp affair and our wildlife seems to have responded by being a few weeks behind. There seem to be less butterflies and bee species in our gardens than expected and some tadpoles have yet to produce legs and leave the pond. However, as soon as we (hopefully) get some warmth they should catch up.  

          Unfortunately, some of our garden pests have still managed to multiply and I recently observed a plant in a friend’s garden that seemed infested by blackfly. However, on closer inspection, it also housed several pairs of ladybirds and there was clear evidence that they were beginning to reduce the numbers as both the adults and their larvae feed on them along with other insect pests. Ladybirds are beetles and come in black (with red spots), yellow and red, with anything from 2 to 10 spots depending on the species.  

          Another garden pest that is enjoying the current conditions are snails and slugs. Apparently, if you place something that you know they like, such as cucumber, close to a plant that you want to protect, they will eat the cucumber and not your treasured plant. Worth a try!

          Towards the end of the Summer, it is tempting to cut back any plants that have finished flowering but if you can leave some seedheads, they will provide food for wildlife in the Autumn and continue to provide some architectural structure in the garden.

Pauline Knutton


Concert Friday 26th July 2024 at 7.30pm  Nettlestead Place ME18 5HA

Flute and Piano   

Karen Brown & Debbie Parks

Please come to an evening at Nettlestead Place and enjoy

Music for your Soul  -  Gardens for your Inspiration

Please come from 6pm and have an explore!

Refreshments for your Vitality  -  wine available if desired!

In aid of Demelza House hospice for children

Also, Improving lives for disabled people of all ages

Roy Tucker Charitable Trust no. 269888

Tickets: Adults £10    Students £5   Children free

Please contact Karen Brown 07808 068881

or Annabel Tucker 0779 2975443

Tickets available at the door but cash only please!



            The route I hoped we’d walk last month was still too muddy when I checked it.   Instead, in June we took footpaths from the village pond to the bottom of Gibbs Hill and walked up the hill until we got to the turning for Rock Farm.  Along that access road there is a footpath off to the left, which we took all the way to Pizien Well Road.  We then walked up the hill and admired the extensive view before taking the footpath leading down to the waterfall on the Wateringbury stream and coming out on Old Road by Manor Farm.  From there we followed footpaths back to the pond and on to Bow Road.  It’s a lovely varied walk with some fine views.

            You would be very welcome to join our sociable group walks.  We will be leaving the village hall at 2.30pm on the following Sundays  7th July, 4th August and  1st September.

            I hope we will also have some weekday walks.  If you would be interested in coming, let me have your mobile number and I’ll keep you informed.   Everyone is always welcome!  Please contact me if you want any more information.  

Lisa Dean   077 5953 9032



            Well, I can’t believe that we are in our last term before the summer break, how time flies!   We have been super busy at our preschool; we have welcomed reception teachers to meet the children who will be joining them in September; this has proved popular with our school leavers as they now have a face they recognise on their first day.

            We have been learning about mini beasts and have been looking for them in our preschool garden using our magnifying glasses, we are lucky to have our very own bug hotel too!  We have brought worms in from home for our wormery so that we can watch how they live and help the soil. We have made snails out of clay and made spiral patterns in our mark making area, tuff tray and even made a spiral train track.

            Our book corner has books about mini beasts and the natural world, to enhance our learning; we also visit the library bus when it comes to the village.

            We have made fabulous fish themed cards for Father’s Day to give to our special person, this was great fun as we love crafting at our preschool. This gives children the opportunity to be creative using different mediums and learn new skills.  Well, must fly, busy, busy, busy!

            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: 07805796353    See us on Facebook too.




          We have been busy exploring summer through nature this term. The children used recycled materials to make their own binoculars so they can bird watch.  Through books we looked at the different birds around us, the children explaining that birds build their nests high up in the trees away from predators, which got us talking about predator birds like an owl that the children then linked to the story of the Gruffalo.

          Building on their fine motor skills the children have been using litter pickers to collect litter that has been left lying around the setting. The children have been learning through activities the importance of looking after our environment and planet.

          With the summer flowers popping up around us, at the setting we have spotted the bees humming around us. We talked about the importance of bees in our environment and the important job they do. The children then attempted to build their own 3d hives with junk modelling.

          With the term ending the children have been practicing for our sports day, they have shown great sportsmanship, cheering each other on and working well as a team. We will be sad to see our school leaver children go but wish them lots of luck for their new adventure!

August Holiday Club for children 2-11 years.

Children outside the setting welcome.

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 09:00 – 16:00,

half days (9-12.30 or 12.30-4pm).

£39 per session or £19.50 half-day session

01622 813120

Wateringbury Village Market

12th July, 18th August and 15th September

at the Village Hall and car park – 10.30am- 1.00pm

                It is worth a visit even if you just want a coffee and cake or sausage/bacon roll and chat with your neighbours.
          There are new stalls every month - but always at least 25 stalls selling a wide range of products: locally produced honey, meat, pies, bread, juices, fudge and chutneys, personalised items, handbags, candles, beauty, woodcraft, jewellery, ceramics, resin art, pictures to name just a few.

          Come and support your local market - browse, chat and treat yourself!          Sue Collins



Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex Charity

Ready, Set, Heli Hike! The Friars, Aylesford,

Saturday 21st September, ME20 7BX

             Lace up your hiking boots, grab your friends and family. It’s time for Heli Hike in Kent. Hike through the countryside, stride for the skies, and support your local air ambulance charity. 

This year, we’re excited to introduce a fantastic Heli Fun Day. During this event, you can meet other emergency services, have fun with your loved ones, and learn about our lifesaving work before and after your hike.

            Last year, nearly 800 people in Kent relied on our swift care and expertise. From road collisions to cardiac arrests and strokes. When there’s a life-or-death call, we bring specialised doctors, paramedics and treatment to the scene, fast. And we don’t stop. 24/7, 365 days a year.  

Without you, we can't keep flying/saving lives. 

Sign up today on the links below!

External link opens in new tab or windowwww.aakss.org.uk/helihikes

External link opens in new tab or windowhttps://aakss.org.uk/events/fun-days/ or call 01634 471900




            Our camp at Chigwell Row was really enjoyable but rather eventful.  Unfortunately, a large supermarket chain decided to cancel our online food shopping order two hours before they were due to deliver it causing us a large amount of hassle.  We had to go and find a local store to get sufficient food for Friday evening and our Saturday breakfast and then arrange a ‘click and collect’ for the rest. 

            The girls, once fed, enjoyed abseiling, crate challenge, water zorbs and zip wire as well as learning about the local birds and enjoying a walk in Hainault Forest.  One girl described the water zorbs as like being a hamster in a wheel, while another tried the zip wire for the first time and found that she really enjoyed it despite it pushing her well outside her comfort zone.

            We had a local fox visit every afternoon – clearly on the first day it hadn’t heard that we didn’t have any food yet!  There were also deer at the bottom end of the site and we found more deer on our forest walk. 

            After half term we visited Lower Grange Farm again this time trying quad bikes and body zorbs and some girls went to Tonbridge to try sailing.  This time the weather was co-operative and there was a good wind to propel them across the lake.  A Water Fun Day will be held at Tonbridge soon and we hope the weather will be equally kind.   

            We are full again but if your daughter would like to join our waiting list, you can contact me on 01622 815416 or email to External link opens in new tab or windowwateringburyguides@hotmail.com

Sheena Stewart and team. 



Grant - At the Parish Council’s meeting on 4th June Cllr Sarah Hudson informed the Council about a TMBC grant in the region of £70,000 to be allocated to Wateringbury for an outdoor sport facility. She has suggested using the fund for building a pump track at the bottom of the playfields. This would help to fill the gap in recreation facilities available for teenagers in the village. The project and potential alternatives will need to be discussed with Parish Council once the funds are secured. WPC will issue an ITT to various companies to ensure they get the best possible design.  

            WSRA (Wateringbury Sports & Recreational Association) – Sam Killick, the chair of WSRA trustees, informed the meeting about the WSRA’s intended projects, the pavilion refurbishment and building an overflow car park near the pavilion. So far, the funds are insufficient to carry out both projects. WPC will research ways to fund these projects going forward.  Cllr Bob Edmunds was elected a WSRA trustee and the PC’s sub-committee representative.

            Allotments – it was agreed that a refundable deposit of £50 will be charged to tenancies in 2025-26 to partially cover the cost to the Parish Council of clearing allotments left in an unusable state by the leaving tenants. The deposit will be returned once the plot has been checked.

            DDay80 Celebrations on 6th June - in the final preparations for the event stewardship roles were allocated, the prior arrangements and the details of Health and Safety and Risk Assessment procedures were reviewed.

            Speedwatch – the usual monthly report was not available at the time of the meeting.  Activities have been severely restricted by road closures.

            Village Hall Car Park - a meeting will be arranged with TBMC to discuss the possibility and conditions of Wateringbury renting the car park to ensure that the car park remains free of charge to the public.

TMBC will be introducing parking charges in the borough.

            Village maintenance - Council is waiting for quotes to repair a few paving slabs which became loose near the Village Hall.

            Crossroads closure - owners of two local businesses raised the issue of road closures at the crossroads and, at the time of the meeting, in Nettlestead. It created a major problem for villagers and in particular to businesses whose trade is severely disrupted and impacts their income. There was a request to speed up the works as there was little visible work done when observed by the public. The Chair, Sarah Hudson, said that she was in constant contact with the water and gas companies involved in the repairs which were necessary to stop water and gas leaks at the crossroads.  The licence to close the roadworks had been issued until 12th June.


Planning applications:

24/00724/PA - Cromar Nursery, 39 Livesey Street - to vary condition to redevelopment of existing commercial nursery and garden centre with 4 detached residential units. To allow revisions and changes to house designs to suit self-builders requirements.  – No Objections


24/00776/PA - 3 Mill Lane - Retrospective planning permission for outbuilding.-  Objection on the grounds of the building being in a conservation area, being too close to the boundary wall and not within the design of surrounding buildings.


24/00765/PA - 4 Hillside Court - Tree Notification Conservation Area - Dismantle 10 Leylandii due to public safety. - Referred to the Tree Officer


24/00836/PA - Little Canon, 229 Canon Lane - Proposed comprehensive landscaping works to garden of house. - No objection


24/00372/PA - Land to west of Hermitage Lane and East of Kiln Barn Road proposed for development of residential housing and amenities. -Objection on environmental, traffic and pollution grounds 


24/00500/PA - Knole Farm, Malling Road, Teston - Historic use of a former farmyard for a storage yard/base for a fencing contractors and scaffolding contractors.  


24/00501/PA - Knole Farm, Malling Road, Teston.-  Retrospective application for the extension of a fencing contractors yard/base and erection of a new storage building.


24/00502/PA - Knole Farm, Malling Road, Teston - Retrospective: change of use of land to extend existing storage yard.  -  Council objected  to the above three retrospective proposals on many grounds including  Highway Safety, Traffic Generation, Noise, Dust and Air Pollution.  Malling Road from the North Pole Public House to Teston village is too narrow to sustain HGVs. 


Next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on 2nd July at 7.30pm in the upper room in the Village Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting.


Approved minutes of council meeting will published on the Parish Council website External link opens in new tab or windowwww.wateringburypc.org.uk in due course.


Please be a thoughtful neighbour and trim back your trees and hedging.  Front boundary shrubbery which impedes the village’s narrow footways can cause danger to pedestrians.  Back garden trees, particularly leylandii, which are too tall often restrict sunlight reaching neighbouring gardens.  So please trim back your trees and shrubs




On the 12th July 2024 Wateringbury Surgery will be introducing Anima, an improved online consultation service,  Klinik will be switched off on

11th July 2024. 


Since introducing Klinik in July 2023 we have found it is not the right system for the practice and our patients.  Anima has many more benefits.

As a patient you will benefit from:

  • Being able to log on to see the outcomes of your past requests.
  • You can provide all the information that the practice needs without waiting on the phone
  • You will be asked questions based on your issues (without the medical jargon)
  • Your medical records will be more complete for the future
  • The practice responses will be clearer



We are really excited about this change and the benefits it will bring to all our patients and staff. We would recommend that you register for an Anima account now so that you are ready when we launch this.  To register either scan the QR code to register, visit the practice website External link opens in new tab or windowwww.wateringburysurgery.co.uk or book an appointment with Hannah, our IT Lead. 



The Rectory, 72 The Street, Mereworth       ME18 5NA

External link opens in new tab or windowgary.rev@outlook.com        (  01622  813178


Tempus fugit!

            When I was a child time seemed to pass so slowly. I remember time spent in waiting rooms or with my mum whilst she was talking to someone just seemed to drag on and on interminably! In later years I came across these words from John Milton:

‘… the lazy leaden-stepping hours,

Whose speed is but the heavy plummet’s pace …’


            They express the sense I had of the slow, plodding drag of time on those occasions as a child. But as I’ve got older I feel as if time goes so fast there’s less and less of it in which to get things done. Also, when I was a child periods of time seemed greater to me then than they do now. I was born in 1965 and I grew up being told many stories about the Second World War. As a little boy those stories seemed to belong to an era that was far removed from me – it ended 20 years before I was born. That was a vast expanse of time! Now 20 years seems to me to be no great length of time at all and at 58 I have no problem thinking I was born only 20 years after the war. It really is odd the way growing older affects one’s perception of the passage of time.

            Last month, courtesy of Mr. William English, I and members of our REFRESH congregation had a lovely time at our annual visit to Manor Farm in Wateringbury, cooking on BBQ’s, talking and playing games. The beautiful surroundings there and time spent in the company of fellow Christians lead me to reflect that there are things far more important than time. It’s something to be used wisely and our experiences of time and contemplation of the world in which we live should lift our hearts to the eternal, to God our Father. Ultimately, primarily, essentially we do not dwell in time and so I’m not sure it’s worth dwelling on too much. We dwell in God. As it says in the Bible:

In Him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28).

and in another place:

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world: even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. (Psalm 90:1,2.)

But time does fly – fast or slow, however we perceive it - and we are all hastening on to the moment when we shall leave this world and pass beyond time. We don’t know when that moment will come but the important question is are we ready for it; are we ready to meet our God and Father, the creator of all things including time itself?

Rev Gary Townsend 

Rector of Mereworth, Wateringbury and West Peckham

Time’s Paces

When as a child I laughed and wept – Time Crept

When as a youth I waxed more bold – Time Strolled

When I became a full-grown man – Time Ran

When older still I daily grew – Time Flew

Soon I shall find in passing on – Time Gone

O Christ!  Will thou have saved me then?  Amen


Time's Paces  was written by External link opens in new tab or windowHenry Twells (1823–1900) and published in his book Hymns and Other Stray Verses (1901).

There is an amended version attached to a clock case in the north transept of External link opens in new tab or windowChester Cathedral.  The words have also been set to music.


COFFEE BREAK - 3rd and 31st July,

14th and 28th August

10.30am – 12.30pm in the church social area

Do come along to the church and enjoy home-made cake, tea or coffee and good company.  Suggested donation £1.

On Wednesday 17th July we are going to visit a member’s beautiful garden.  If you would like to come please contact Gillian on

01622 813076.



Save the date

Jazz Advocates Concert

in Wateringbury Church

Sunday 29th September - 2-4pm

Licenced Bar 

Tickets £7 each 

available in August from Handy Stores and Post Office.  Proceeds to aid upkeep of our ancient church building


The Wateringbury C of E Primary School’s Art Exhibition  held in St. John the Baptist Church on Saturday 18th May was a great success and enjoyed by everyone who attended. The theme for the Exhibition was ‘Our World.’

          Every child in the school contributed to the paintings and drawings which were on display. The standard was outstanding and our thanks go to all the children and teachers for their inspiration and hard work.

          Thanks are also due to members of the Church who provided free refreshments and a warm welcome, and Rev. Gary for conducting the ‘ Service of Celebration.’

          Prizes sponsored by Church members were presented to children chosen by the school staff. The categories were KS1, Lower KS2, Upper KS2 and Overall.



Sunday 22nd September at 2.30pm

in the church of St John the Baptist Wateringbury

          We all experience the loss of beloved family and friends.  No matter how recent or long ago the event, anniversaries and special dates cause us to pause and reflect.  This will be an opportunity to come to church and light a candle and have time to reflect and celebrate the special times we shared with those we loved who have passed from this world. 

We all grieve in our own way.   We all heal in our own time.

          For those who wish to stay, tea and home-made cake will be served after the service.



Benefice website                     www.mwwpchurches.org

Church Face Book Page:       External link opens in new tab or windowfb.me/wateringburychurch 


All Sunday Services start at 10am and Refreshments are served after these services.  A warm welcome awaits you.


Saturdays 7th July and 3rd August   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 7th July - Matins led by Barry Fisher

Sunday  4th August – Morning Praise led by Barry Fisher


Sundays 14th July and 11th August - Holy Communion

Messy Church on Sunday meets in the vestry during these services


Sundays 21st July and 18th August - All Age Worship


Sundays 28th July and 25th AugustHoly Communion with

Rev Gary Townsend


Refresh Benefice Services in Mereworth Church every Sunday in July and August at 5pm   For those who enjoy less formal worship.