The pond’s fountain is not currently working. Parish Councillor Ed Bates has been in his waders several times to clear the inlet but it is a losing battle just now. In consultation with the rest of the Council, it was agreed to switch it off for the time being. It was sucking in fallen leaves. Now that the heat of summer is over it is no longer needed to be on to aerate the water.
With the centenary of the Armistice approaching, 35 Goudhurst & Kilndown parishioners undertook a pilgrimage to the Great War battlefields around Ypres on 21st September, to commemorate the 68 men and one woman from the parish who died in the First World War. All their names were specifically mentioned at some point along the route.
The group paused at the cemetery where George Chestney, once a gardener at Brandfold, lies buried; at other cemeteries, brief services were conducted by the Rev. Hugh Nelson at the graves of William Roff and George Luck, farmworkers before the war. Members of both these soldiers’ families, visiting for the first time, placed poppy wreaths on the graves.
The group heard commentaries from Royal British Legion branch chairman Tim Nicholson and local historian Roger Joye at some notable locations, including the scene of the crucial action led by The Buffs against the first ever gas attack by the Germans (April 1915), and the advance of the British army towards Passchendaele (July – November 1917).
The group later moved on to the Menin Gate memorial, where the names of six men from Goudhurst and Kilndown are carved among those of 55,000 British and Empire soldiers who died in the area and who have no known grave. The standard of the Goudhurst & Kilndown branch of the Royal British Legion, (handled by Mick Harris) was on parade at the Last Post ceremony, and a wreath was formally laid.
Organised by Tim Nicholson, Peter Rolington and Roger Joye, the pilgrimage raised over £400 for RBL branch funds.
Follow Parish Council activities in detail and check progress of planning applications.
The minutes from Goudhurst Parish Council’s September meeting have now been published.
Council News September
OpenReach now offers faster fixed broadband speed, following upgrade to roadside cabinets in the village. Speeds up to 17 Mbps are possible in the central area of the village. (Lower speeds will be achieved away from the centre). Openreach’s connections are used by major broadband providers BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk and many others. All offer identical connection speed.
Callflow’s alternative independent broadband service is available at both higher speed and cost.
Mobile broadband from EE, Three, Vodafone and O2 offers a high speed option, usually with limited data, if a good mobile data signal can be received. Many parts of the parish have good coverage, with high data speed.
EE has recently introduced mobile broadband of up to 500GB per month, a very high amount, intended for heavy downloading from services such as YouTube, iPlayer, Sky On Demand and Netflix.
BT Openreach Checker
The Glebe Fields and the Childrens’ Play Area in Back Lane are owned by the Diocese of Canterbury. For 6 years now your Parish Council has been negotiating with the Diocese to take a 30 year lease on these properties.
Why are we doing this? The owners (the Diocese) have, over several years, failed to carry out regular basic maintenance on the fields, and little to none on the play area equipment. The grass has not been cut, the lower Glebe is infested with weeds and much of the Play Area equipment has fallen into disrepair – dangerously so as many of you will know.
Goudhurst Village Pre-school is open for 2 – 5 year olds in Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green.
All 3 to 5 year olds are eligible for 15 hours’ free Early Years Free Entitlement Funding (EYFE)
Free For 2 (FF2) funding for eligible 2 year olds. 30 hours’ funding available
Sessions: 9 a.m. to 3.30 p.m Monday to Friday
£4.80 per hour (£14.40 per session), with an optional lunch club until 1 p.m.
A minimum of two sessions per child, per week, are required.
Church Rooms, Back Lane, Goudhurst
For further information please contact Jo Galloway on 01580 212777 (session times only)
07483 262753 (session times only)
Kilndown has a new restaurant, with the opening of The Small Holding, situated on the one-acre site of the former Globe & Rainbow, Ranters Lane, Kilndown (TN17 2SG, 01892 890105).
Owner Will Devlin says “Our ethos is to try and use as much locally-grown and in-season produce as possible and we believe the best way to do that is to grow as much as we can on our own acre of land. Eventually we hope to serve food that has been wholly grown on our land, but this will take some time. We also intend to have pigs, chickens and ducks on the farm.”
Small Holding Instagram
Roger Coombs, (below) who died in 2011, and was instrumental in setting up this website, lived in the village from 1964 until his death.
The text he wrote for the homepage has remained virtually unchanged since 1999.
During the last years of his life he was engrossed in writing fiction and finished two books. He attempted to get them published, without success.
After his death, Caroline Tebbutt, Roger’s daughter, resolved to get them published and now THE PILGRIM’S TALE by Roger Coombs is available from the website lulu.com. Caroline hopes it will also be soon be available at Amazon’s Bookstore.
The Pilgrim’s Tale, set in France, tells of a treasure hunt by a group of friends on the trail of a long-lost religious relic.
Roger’s daughter writes:
“It is a really good yarn and anybody who knew Roger will recognise many of his traits and interests which all find their way into the book. I have spent quite a while getting it ready for publishing and in doing so have read it many times. It still bears re-reading even though I practically know it off by heart. I hope that it may be a tangible reminder of Roger to his friends.
A Neighbourhood Development Plan is being created by a group of volunteers. Once a plan is adopted, it will mean that planning decisions for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green will have to be made in accordance with the neighbourhood plan (and other parts of the development plan) unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
There is pressure both from central and local government for an increased number of homes to be built in all parts of the country, even in those which have permitted little development in the past.
Formulating a plan will create a framework for future development that meets the wishes of parishioners.
A Neighbourhood Development Plan is planning document created by a parish or town council or a neighbourhood forum, which sets out vision for the neighbourhood area, and contains policies for the development and use of land in the area. Neighbourhood plans must be subjected to an independent examination to confirm that they meet legal requirements, and then to a local referendum. If approved by a majority vote of the local community, the neighbourhood plan will then form part of the statutory development plan.
Luck, coincidence and diligent research combined to replace the headstone on the war grave of a Goudhurst man, George Baker, one hundred years after he died during the Battle of the Somme.
In 2007, the late Bob Brown, then chairman of Goudhurst’s Local History Society, discovered that George Baker’s headstone showed his name as Barer. At his instigation, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) re-engraved the name, but the result was far from satisfactory, with a K being imposed over the R.
On a visit to the Somme last September, local historian Roger Joye was surprised to find a wreath of poppies on the grave even though he and his wife, fellow historian Gill Joye, had found no direct descendants, despite extensive searching.
A few days later, the exact centenary of George Baker’s death was commemorated at the war memorial in Goudhurst. It was attended by George Jessel DL, High Sheriff of Kent. When told of the mystery and the state of the headstone, he offered to contact the CWGC to see what could be done to improve the engraving.
On that same centenary day, 28th September 2016, members of George Baker’s family made an unrelated visit to the grave at Méaulte, France. They planted a wooden cross bearing just their Christian names. In October, the CWGC wrote to George Jessel to say they had installed a brand new headstone and enclosed a photograph. By coincidence, the family’s cross was included, with legible names.
Gill set about tracing the names, constructing a family tree descending from George’s sister, Mary. Contact was then made with the family. It was then learned that the wreath Roger had seen had been laid by George Baker’s 14 year-old great-great-niece, Miriam Small, during a school visit in July 2016.
In March this year, to commemorate the renewal of George Baker’s headstone, Goudhurst & Kilndown Local History Society, the Goudhurst branch of the Royal British Legion and Great War Battlefields of Goudhurst arranged for a group of local people to attend a ceremony at the Cemetery at Méaulte.
Poppy wreaths were laid on George’s grave (pictured) and the Last Post was sounded.
British Legion Goudhurst
NOW ON SALE in Goudhurst Newsagent, High Street, Goudhurst.
There are over 40 miles of public rights of way (including footpaths, bridleways and permissive paths) within the parish of Goudhurst.
The Goudhurst Walkers’ map shows the paths (with their local reference number) to help you plan your route.
If you have any comments or encounter any problems with the local footpaths please contact Cllr David Boniface on 01580 211430 or the Clerk to the Parish Council, Anthony Farnfield 01580 212552
Goudhurst Recorded Music Society has changed its name to Goudhurst & Kilndown Recorded Music Society
An annual subscription now costs £20 (£18 if by standing order due on 1 August). Guests are charged £5 per meeting.
8 meetings are held in the Church Rooms (sometimes Cranbrook School) from September to May, with an additional Summer Serenade evening.
Chairman: Quentin Rappoport; Honorary Secretary Clare Benfield: 01580 211517
COMMEMORATING THE FALLEN OF THE GREAT WAR
Short ceremonies held at the war memorials in Goudhurst and Kilndown on the hundredth anniversaries of the deaths of 69 parishioners who served in the First World War.
A dedicated page has been created by historian Peter Rolington detailing the local men and women who died in the First World War, with their centenary dates.
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for local groups, clubs, societies and other organisations to book a talk about the life-saving work of the charity as it takes delivery of a new helicopter.
The air ambulance has launched a new presentation including information about how the helicopters are tasked, the aircraft, types of missions, the crew, blood transfusions and night flying.
If you would like to book a talk, please call Fundraising Support Assistant Lucy Waterson on 01622 833 833.
If your answer is “yes”, then volunteering as a Countryside Access Warden may be ideal for you. Wardens carry out simple tasks on Public Rights of Way such as clearing overgrown vegetation and improving waymarking so people can use footpaths, bridleways and byways easily.
Kent County Council are looking for volunteers to become Countryside Access Wardens in Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green. You need to be over 18, fit enough to carry out light physical duties and able to spare at least a couple of hours every month at times convenient to you.
Knowledge of Public Rights of Way is not necessary as free training and equipment will be provided, a basic knowledge of map reading and regular access to a computer would be useful.
For more information and to apply to become a Countryside Access Warden for your local area please contact Anthony Farnfield, Clerk to Goudhurst Parish Council. Call 01580 212552
Sir Roy Strong, historian and former Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, accompanied BBC Radio Four’s Justin Webb to record a radio interview in Goudhurst.
Sir Roy chose Goudhurst to represent the heart of the English countryside in his book published on national identity, titled Visions Of England. The BBC produced an audio slideshow of the interview, which can be found at:
The Citizens Advice Bureau Bus will no longer be visiting central Goudhurst on Tuesdays. Alternative arrangements are being made. For advice telephone 01892 533 880.
The British Legion in Goudhurst has its own dedicated page
There are over 40 miles of public rights of way in Goudhurst parish, but the local footpaths need to be kept clear of overgrown hedges and brambles, and wobbly stiles and marker posts need to be repaired.
Roger Coles has, for many years, organised volunteers to walk the paths to report on their condition so that the Parish Council can arrange the necessary maintenance work, sometimes in conjunction with Kent County Council. The volunteers are known as Hon Footpaths Officers and they have made an large contribution to raising and maintaining the standards of the local paths. However, some of the volunteers have now retired and replacements are needed. If you would like to become involved, even on a very occasional basis, please contact Cllr David Boniface on 01580 211430 or the Clerk to the Parish Council, Anthony Farnfield 01580 212552
“Police and Community Together” (PACT)
POLICE COMMUNITY SUPPORT OFFICER: PCSO Dave Jenkins: mobile 07969 584279. Dial 101 for non-emergencies.
CONTACT KENT POLICE: :
For all non-urgent incidents or enquiries, call 101
If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, call 999
If you are deaf or speech impaired, text ‘Police’ and your message to 60066
For news, advice or details of your neighbourhood officer, visit www.kent.police.uk
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH CO-ORDINATOR Peter Rolington 01580 212920
See if your home is in an area at risk from flooding
Visit the Environment Agency’s search service. Just enter your postcode and it will show you a map showing flood risk in your area.
Environment Agency Website
The Help the Aged HandyVan service is a unique home security service, where trained HandyVan fitters visit your home and install equipment such as door chains and viewers, window locks and smoke detectors.
A fleet of 35 HandyVans are based around Britain and deliver a free service to those who meet the following criteria:
1. Applicants must be over 60 years of age.
2. Applicants do not pay income tax (excluding tax on personal pensions).
3. Applicant’s disposable savings/assets do not exceed £16,000 (Not including the value of their home).
Everyone is vulnerable to burglary, and the HandyVan service enables people to feel safer in their homes. Prevention is always the key to a safe, secure home and HandyVan fitters will work to help you ensure that your home is free from the risk of burglary.
If you would benefit from the HandyVan service, or you know someone who would, then please call the team on 01255 473 999 or
Parish Council news page
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