Parish Council Meeting

followed by Planning Comm

Village Hall



Footpaths Walk

Car Park




Village Hall



Crafters Coffee Break




Simply Soup Lunch




Women’s Institute

Village Hall



History Society

Village Hall

7.40 for 8pm


Crafters Coffee Break

Village Hall



Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting





Footpaths Walk

Car Park



Talk “Carve Their Names with Pride” (FOWC)




Churchyard Plant Sale





The Rostrum Team wish all readers a Happy Easter.

Thank you to all our advertisers, contributors and distributors for their continued support. 


There are three advertising spaces still available.  For further information please contact


If you have a fundraising event that needs promotion, please contact us on the above email address.

Christine, Trudy and Ted



VILLAGE PEOPLE  Please let us have your news and tributes by 17 April for our May magazine.  Entries are free.


Mike and Sue Witts are proud grandparents for the second time.
Granddaughter Florence Georgia arrived on Friday 8 March in Kingston Hospital and weighed in at 6lb 11oz.  Congratulations to Alan and Dominique and big brother Leonardo.


Gladys Una, the first child of Richard and Rebecca Lamb was born on 8th March.  Congratulations to them and also to great grandma Mrs Georgina Lamb.


John Lambert contacted Rostrum at the beginning of March with the following news:

“My brother, Bob Maytum, died last Thursday evening in a care home. He was 85.  His cremation will take place at Vinters Park, Maidstone at 11.00am on Thursday 21st March.  He lived in Wateringbury for many years, and will be remembered, even now, by many.  I am happy to hear from anyone who knew him.    Tel: 07906614705


Congratulations to local author Terry Bird on his latest publication The Wateringbury Regattas 1864-73 (55 pages including 23 illustrations).  This is full of interesting, easy to read, historical snippets and tells of the boat races held on the stretch of the Medway between Wateringbury and Teston.  Terry also sets the regattas in their national and sporting contexts and tells of village life and times. If you have not yet acquired Terry’s previous publication We Will Remember Them about Wateringbury and WWI this is also available.  Both moderately priced at £5 either from the Post Office, Rambler’s Rest Café at Medway Wharf Marina or direct from Terry on 01622 812566.




The Worship Team at Wateringbury church send Easter Greetings to all readers and pray we may all know the peace, joy and hope of Easter.





With rain forecast on the day of our March walk and overnight rain on the Saturday, a walk on firm ground was decided. Leaving the village hall, we walked down Bow Road then along the Wardens path to Old Road passing the mill pond. On to Manor Farm turning to the path across the Wateringbury Stream, up to Nettlestead Lane then through Pizien Well. As we reached here the rain started so it was decided to return along Old Road (and not the planned route passing Wisteria Cottage to Canon Lane) and back to the start via Love Lane.  A good walk managing not to get too wet!

Next walk; Sunday 7th April meet at the village hall 2:30pm for a river and woods walk looking out for spring flora. Please note later summer start time.


Sunday 5th May meet village hall 2:30pm.

Kevin Reynolds – 0771 3740 375


WATCH Club for young people aged 11-18  will meet in the Village Hall for Easter Celebrations on Sunday 7 April at 4pm.




          At the start of the meeting the chairman read out an email received from Ian Bailey, T & M BC Planning Policy Manager notifying of the appointment by the Secretary of State of two Planning Inspectors who will now consider all the documents submitted by T & M BC regarding the Local Plan.  Under the new planning regulations this is a standard procedure.  Anyone wishing to contact the Inspectors can do so via the Council’s website


          Bank Account Signatories  Councillor Jessica Roe will become a signatory for the Parish Council Bank Account.


          Crime Report  The following crimes were reported to have taken place between 5th February and 5th March.  A delivery van was stolen whilst delivery driver was delivering parcels, the keys were left in the ignition.  A van was broken into and tools stolen.  Number plates were stolen from a vehicle in Bow Road.  A yard was broken into next to Wateringbury Playing Fields.   A report was received that a vehicle had driven through a closed sign on the wrong side of the road.  


          Grave of Tom Smith  An email had been received from Ted Bates, Hon Treasurer of Rostrum, regarding the Grave of Tom Smith in the village cemetery.  Tom was a WWI Military Casualty. He died at Fort Pitt hospital Chatham in June 1920 aged 27 after he was discharged 100% disabled from the army but before the village war memorial on which he is included was finalised.  He was buried on 17th June 1920 grave number 168 in the same grave as his sister Kate Elizabeth who died age 17 in May 1900.  The grave therefore was not given a War Graves Commission headstone  The grave is in a poor state of repair and local historian Terry Bird has donated the profits from his book on Wateringbury in WWI to Rostrum’s Amenity Fund with the hope that the grave can be restored and marked as a War Grave in time for the Centenary of Tom’s burial in 2020.  Ted asked for the support of the Parish Council in this endeavour.  Councillors felt this was a worthwhile project and asked the clerk to ascertain the legal implications.  Anyone who has any knowledge of the whereabouts of relatives of Tom Smith are asked to contact the Parish Clerk (details on back cover).


          Planning  The Council considered the following applications:

Listed Building Application at 59 Bow Road for a single storey rear extension and replacement of windows with timber double glazed units.  The Council had no objections subject to conservation officer approval.

Application to convert existing garage and store into one bedroom annex at 151 Canon Lane.  No objections

Construction of a pair of cottages with ancillary parking at land east of 1 Barming Road.  Councillors felt it seemed a gross over-development to replace the single unit previously approved with a pair of full height semi detached houses.  The Council felt the planned development could have an adverse impact on neighbours who had raised concerns about the previous development plan.


          Speedwatch  In a written report co-ordinator David Merry reported that during February  the team had carried out 23 one hour sessions. During this time 5,364 vehicles had passed by of which 524 were speeding.


          Play Area  Following an inspection councillors accepted an estimate to repair the fencing and gate to the main play equipment area.


          Highways Committee  Councillor Roe reported that the newly formed committee planned in future to meet bimonthly but had met twice recently.  The leaves and mud blocking the pavement on the Tonbridge Road in the area of the Post Office and Village Hall had still not been cleared as requested.  Road Repairs at Phoenix Drive are under investigation.  The committee were pleased that the long-overdue repairs had been made to the road surfaces at the Cross Roads.  They recommended the acceptance of the offer from KCC Councillor Matthew Balfour to sponsor a mobile speed sign for use within the village envelope.


          Allotments  The clerk will shortly be sending out the invoices to Allotment Holders for payment of the annual rental which is £20.


          Cemetery  The clerk was asked to organise a plumber to repair the water tap.


          Trees  The Borough Council’s Tree Officer was unable to assist the parish council regarding tree work.  The Clerk was instructed to seek advice and estimates from 3 tree surgeons.


          Vacancy for Village Warden  The part-time post had been advertised on the village website, in Rostrum and on the Council’s noticeboard at the village hall.  So far two enquiries had been received.


          Website link request  A request had been received from the webmaster of The Farleighs website asking permission to place a link to Wateringbury’s website on their site.   Councillor Jessica Roe offered to look at the websites and report to the next meeting.  In principle councillors had no objection to links with other relevant websites.


          During the public discussion session the following matters were raised:

          The ongoing difficulties caused by Jenner Construction workers parking in Fields Lane and The Brucks and the village car park instead of using the field adjoining the construction site in The Orpines.  One resident explained the difficulties he had experienced by antisocial parking over his driveway when visited by a wheelchair bound family member. 


The public are welcome to attend the next meeting of the Parish Council on Tuesday 2 April at 7.30pm in the Village Hall (upper meeting room).


Approved minutes of the March meeting will appear on the Parish Council website in due course.




Our next talk “Ghosts – Fact or Fiction” by Dennis Chambers will be held in the Village Hall on 17 April.  Refreshments are available from 7.40pm with the talk commencing at 8pm.  Visitors are welcome to join us for the evening (£3).  For further details please contact Christine on 812023.





The next meeting is on 17 April at 7.30pm in East Malling Institute Hal.  For more information please email





The meeting held in March was Competition Day.  There were excellent entries in all categories.  The winners were Gillian Sessions for a decorated wooden spoon, Diana Burbridge for a Spring flower arrangement and Mabel Turk for 6 cookies.  The cookie entries were then enjoyed with tea.  The winner of the most competitions throughout the year was Janice Spencer who received the Tree of Life necklace.  The next meeting will be on April 11 at 2:00pm.  The speaker will be Shirley Thompson and her subject Exploring the World of Bats.


Gravesham Choral Society & Orchestra

Rochester Cathedral   7:30pm   Saturday 27 April 2019

Handel - Israel in Egypt

Tickets at £15 or £5 (full-time students) are available on 01474 816684

or on the door.


Jumble Sale - The Amazing Result!

Generous donations and a fantastic attendance on Saturday 9 March raised an incredible £801.60!  A huge thank you to everyone who donated and came on the day and to the team of volunteers who worked so hard before, during and after the event to make it such a success.  Thank you everyone for your support from The Fundraising Team of Maidstone Mencap.





We continue our term 4 theme looking at springtime which is such a lovely time of year.  We are very lucky to be able to use the village hall’s beautiful garden where we can take our children to learn by exploring the things that are around them and see how many visitors we have in our bug hotel. 


The children continue to look after their runner beans and watch them grow at home whilst reading Jack and the Beanstalk by Benjamin Tabart in the preschool.


It was great to see ‘our amazing animals’ again this term giving the children the opportunity to get up close and personal to animals like Margaret the python, Cecil the chinchilla, Penelope the gecko and a rather large bearded dragon called Ozzie.  My favourite was Pascal the chameleon, who enjoyed sitting on the children’s heads as it’s nice and warm!


We will finish this term making chocolate birds’ nests, Easter bonnets and enjoying an Easter egg hunt in the garden with the children.


All the staff and children would like to wish everyone a happy Easter.


If you are interested in joining our preschool please contact Tina Driver on 07805 796353 and come along for a taster session.




In Wateringbury, and further upstream on the River Medway, few Roman era finds have been made and there is no evidence of Roman building. Clearly the Romans did come here and it is always possible that Roman ruins will be found in the village. Many Roman villas have been found downstream from Wateringbury on the banks of the Medway and in Teston there are the remains of a very big one. It is between the A26 and the River Medway, down a track just over a quarter of mile past the Wateringbury Hotel when travelling from the crossroads in the direction of Teston. Excavations are carried out each year by Kent Archaeological Field School (KAFS), but as the villa is “back-filled” (covered over again) each time, there is nothing to see unless the excavations are actually in progress. The next excavations will be in August 2019.


The villa was first discovered in 1872 on the land of Arthur Fremlin who excavated its bath-house. Arthur was born at The Wardens in Wateringbury, a brother of Ralph Fremlin, the founder of Fremlins Brewery in Maidstone. The findings were recorded and publicised, but the exact location of the site was lost until 1991 when it was rediscovered.


It was a substantial and grand villa with at least two phases of occupation. It may have been three stories high. There was an extensive “hypocaust” system for the bath-house and to provide central heating for the house through underfloor hot air ducts. Finds at the site include a brooch, large amounts of window and decorative glass, pottery and many coins dated from the end of 1st century AD to the early 5th century.


Why was the villa built here? It is a beautiful location with a very nice view, but this would not be sufficient by itself to undertake the extensive construction work involved. East Farleigh resident Dr Simon Elliott believes it was associated with the quarrying of ragstone in the Upper Medway Valley. Ragstone was transported by boat down the Medway and then up the Thames to build much of Roman London. Ragstone quarries have been identified at Allington, Boughton, Dean Street, West Farleigh and Teston. This massive industrial operation was run for a couple of centuries during the Roman occupation of Britain by the Classis Britannica (the British Fleet).


If you are interested in learning more an illustrated article of Simon’s from British Archaeology is available on the web. Alternatively, you may want to hear Simon, who is a fine public speaker, at the South Eastern Region Industrial Archaeological Conference (SERIAC) being held on Saturday April 13th at Dartford. Full details/bookings (£12 in advance or £15 on the day) can be obtained through Mike Clinch ( Other presentations in this full day event include Tutsham Oil Mill (myself), Sound Mirrors, Tonbridge Brick and Tile Works, Short Brothers Aviation, Crossness Engines and Rochester Bridge.         Terry Bird


Nettlestead and Wateringbury

Preschool (NWPS) and Out of Schools’ Club

Graded as Outstanding by Ofsted


Instead of having just World Book Day we had ‘Book Week!’  We had a full week of book related activities and dressed up as characters from stories, including We’re All Going on a Bear Hunt, Giraffes Can’t Dance, The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Cinderella.


We have dug out an old ‘light box’ that was in our storage container and upgraded the lights.  We have used the light box for a range of activities and as you can see, the children used their senses to explore light, colour, texture with shaving foam and food colouring.  


We also had a whole morning of purely outdoor activities, which included large scale construction, mud kitchen, collage with natural resources, target practice, making ‘bogarts’ and lots of running around and exploring.  Sadly, we had two of our plant containers stolen – whilst they were old and a bit tatty, it did allow the children the opportunity to learn about plants and caring for their environment.  We have been given some Butler sinks and other plant containers and we would like to extend our thanks to those people who have donated these. 


For Childcare, Education and Out of School Clubs, including holiday club, 01622 813120, ,



Spring showers herald Easter and the weather hasn’t disappointed!  We are looking forward to our annual Easter Service.  This year we are trying something new with Years 3 and 4 playing a central role.  The service will take place on Friday 5th April at 10.15am in the school hall which we’re using instead of the church as it lends itself to the open space required and allows plenty of rehearsal time in a familiar space. 

Our after-school Drama Club will be performing their play, ‘Villains Got Talent’ to both school and families with the children taking on particularly comic roles!  Our term ends with our ever-popular Easter Egg hunt on the field and playgrounds, organised by our super-supportive parent association FOWPS.

Homework has been in the school’s spotlight with teachers and parents joining in discussions to agree what are our priorities in terms of supporting children’s development and achievement at home.  Reading continues to be our focus and we’ll be working alongside parents to explore ways to make reading a pleasure for all children.

The Big Pedal runs from 25th March – 5th April and we will be encouraging all our children to cycle, scoot or walk to school.  A group of Year 6 boys (all of them keen cyclists) are leading the initiative and will be urging pupils to make their way to school on foot or wheels.  For those children who live distantly and need to drive, we’re encouraging them to park further away and walk up to school.  This not only reduces congestion around the school gates but is a great way to start the day!

The new term starts Tuesday, 23rd April and our annual St George’s Day assembly will take place at 9am at the flagpole on 23rd April with all scouting groups in uniform.  Term 5 is always a busy one with final preparations for the Year 6 SATs examinations as well as the Year 2 SATs and the Year 1 phonics check. 

On behalf of all staff, governors and children at Wateringbury, we wish you a peaceful and joyous Easter.

Chasey Crawford Usher – Headteacher



Two Surrenders

Recently, I visited the underground Cabinet War Rooms in London. I encountered the Churchill phrase “we will never surrender” at one installation, with reference to the great struggle of the second world war.

At that moment, for Churchill, to surrender would be to fail.  Not be strong enough.  Not resilient enough.  Collapse.  This surrender can be terrible.  This can be to give up your beliefs or integrity to something false or wrong.  It can mean evil destruction or the corruption of that which is good in us.

But there is another kind of surrender.  This is the surrender when you take down your barriers to allow something good to flood in.  It can be something that helps you to find yourself.  Makes you new again.  It can be an acceptance of something which we cannot change; a coming to peace.  In a relationship, surrender can be mutual, one to the other.  In mutual surrender, when we give in, we also receive.  As we are given in to, so we too are received.  In this surrender, reconciliation and restoration are possible, and a greater power unleashed.

It’s not that one surrender is wrong and the other is right.  It's a question of recognising the moment when we should strive to never surrender, and also the moment when surrender is a gateway to something better.  Though Churchill was surely right when he spoke, Lent is a reminder that sometimes, it is good to give up, to surrender.

Bob Bowie


SJB Church web site:

Church Face Book Page:  

Friends of SJB Church   web site


Saturday 6 April – 3-5pm - Messy Church

You are invited to come along and enjoy crafts, a bible story, prayers, songs and afternoon tea.  The worship is designed for families with young children.

Sunday 7 April - 10am - Eucharist led by Rev Nick Williams

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 the service.

Sunday 14 April – 10am – Palm Sunday

A Morning Praise service led by our Readers.  Secondary Division for those at Secondary School meets for discussion (and a second breakfast) in the Vestry.

Friday 19 April – 2pm - Good Friday

At the Foot of the Cross.  A peaceful, reflective service arranged by Pauline and Ruth.

Sunday 21 April – 10am - Easter Sunday

Easter Eucharist led by Canon Liz Walker

Sunday 28 April – 10am -Eucharist

For the next few months Canon Liz Walker will lead our service on the fourth Sunday of the month.  The choir leads our singing of hymns which are usually lively and easy to sing.  Sundays Cool meets in the Vestry.

We hope you will be able to join us. Refreshments are served after our 10am services so do stay for a chat if you can.


Every Thursday 9am in East Malling Church - Communion

Simply Soup Lunch in Church on Wednesday 10 April

from 12.15 to 1.30pm

For our final Lent lunch come along to the Church and enjoy a simple home-made soup.  There is no charge; donations this time are invited for the charity “Send a Cow”.



During April we will meet at the church on the mornings of Wednesday 10th and Wednesday 24th from 10.30am.  Come and join us for a chat, coffee/tea, cake and perhaps revive an interest in craft.  For more information please contact Pauline (814673) or Gillian (813076).


This year’s meeting will be held on Wednesday 24 April at 7.30pm in the Church.


We extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones of:

Betty Helen Mills          Funeral (26 February)


Messy Church are looking for four small chairs for 4-6 year olds.  If you have one or more you are willing to part with please either phone Ruth on 01622 812342 or e-mail  Many thanks!


St James the Great, East Malling

Organist required from 28th April 2019 to play for weekly Sunday services, principal festivals and (if desired) occasional offices.  2-manual Gray & Davison tracker action organ, well maintained.  May need to attend Friday choir practice if requested.  Fees in accordance with RSCM recommendations for a rural parish.

Voluntary Choir Director required from 26th April to arrange and conduct choir practices and accompany the choir at such practices.  To train all members of the choir to the appropriate RSCM standards, to prepare music lists (in consultation with the organist) for approval by the Minister.  Enhanced DBS check and Safeguarding training will be required. 

If you are interested in either role, please speak to/contact

Rev Nick direct  01732 843282.  Please respect that Monday is the Vicar’s day off.


The Annual Churchyard Plant Sale will be held on Saturday 25th May.


Friends of Wateringbury Church (FOWC)


Friday 17 May, 7.30pm (doors open 7pm)

St John the Baptist Church, Wateringbury

“Carve Their Names with Pride: Female secret agents in the Second World War”

A fascinating illustrated talk by Dr Juliette Pattinson

Head of the School of History, the University of Kent

Tickets £6 on the door     Refreshments available

Please come and join us – all are welcome



New High Intensity Power Pilates Class taught by experienced Body Control Pilates teacher and physiotherapist.  HIP Pilates is a choreographed sequence of squats, lunges and planks. Designed to increase your heart rate, improve your balance and strengthen your body.  Contact: Nicola Wignall  07974 562618





Visit one of TMBC’s roadshows and chat to their recycling team to find out more about the new service and improvements to your recycling collections.





Saturday 23rd March

09:30 – 2:30pm

The Big Bridge,

 Tonbridge High Street

Friday 26th April

09:00 – 3:30pm

Asda, 1 Alexander Grove, Kingshill,

West Malling  ME19 4SZ 

Tuesday 14th May

09:00 - 11:00am

Hildenborough Farmers Market, St Johns Church Centre,

Tonbridge Road, Hildenborough      TN11 9HT

Thursday 23rd May

0900 – 11:00am

Shipbourne Farmers Market, St Giles' Church,

Stumble Hill, Shipbourne  TN11 9PF

Sunday 16th June

09:30 – 1:30pm

Aylesford Priory Farmers Market, Aylesford Priory
Aylesford  ME20 7BX

Friday 21st June

09:00 – 3:30pm

Tesco Lunsford Park, Larkfield,

Aylesford  ME20 6RJ

Friday 6th September

09:00 – 3:30pm

Asda 1 Alexander Grove,

Kings Hill, West Malling  ME19 4SZ



Alison Sollis, Waste Contract Officer

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council

Gibson Building, Gibson Drive

Kings Hill, West Malling  ME19 4LZ

01732 876188




There are 9 seats up for election.  Nomination papers are available on the Electoral Commission website: - nomination papers for Parish Councils.  Completed papers must be taken by hand and by appointment to Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council Electoral Services (01732 876022) at Kings Hill between 10.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday between 19th March and 3rd April.  For more information please contact the Parish Council Clerk or 01622 817068.