Goudhurst Local History Society

Next meeting 6th March 2018 Dr. Susan Pittman
Elizabethan & Jacobean Deer Parks in Kent – including Bedgebury
understanding the number, characteristics, landscape, management and ethos of medieval deer parks.
Church Room, Back Lane, Goudhurst, 7.45pm. £2.50 to non-members.
Local History Society

Bill Musgrave

Bill Musgrave, a well-known local resident, has died. His funeral was held on Thursday 25 January at St Mary’s Church, Goudhurst.
Hugh Nelson writes:

“Bill was a wonderfully generous man who gave a huge amount to the village including, amongst other things, the Millennium Book which he edited and printed, the famous House of Commons model which he built and which floated on the pond and the Parish Magazine which, for many years, he printed for free.”

Finchcocks re-opens

FINCHCOCKSFINCHCOCKS, Goudhurst has been renovated, re-opened and now offers piano courses with accommodation.
Finchcocks was bought in 2016 by Neil and Harriet Nichols, with the intention of using it both as a family home and finding a way to continue the music at Finchcocks. Following the renovation of the Coach House and the Old Dairy, Finchcocks can accommodate up to eight visitors at a time through a series of regular residential piano courses, aimed at all ability ranges. David Hall (FRCO, MA Cantab) has been appointed Musical Director with Dr Alastair Laurence (Chairman of John Broadwood and Sons Ltd) assisting with the selection and maintenance of the instruments. 
01580 428080

Goudhurst Pond

Updated 17.12.2017
Work to de-silt the pond at The Plain in Goudhurst was completed in the week of 20 November 2017Goudhurst Pond Desilting
Photo: Cllr Alan Foster

The Pilgrim’s Tale by Roger Coombs

The Pilgrim’s TaleRoger Coombs, (left) 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.

New Water Main Installation in Goudhurst Road, Marden

South-East Water will begin a 22-week, £131,000 improvement to water mains on 23rd October with a scheme for two new sections of main along Goudhurst Road, Marden. The aim is to increase capacity and maintain water pressure. Temporary traffic lights will be installed on the B2079 Goudhurst to Marden road. There is likely to be some interruption of supplies in Goudhurst as the new 596-metre and 50-metre sections of main are connected.

TalkTalk upgrade to faster internet in Goudhurst

Internet provider TalkTalk has taken advantage of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) in Goudhurst village’s telephone exchange and is now offering faster connections over ADSL2. Prices start at £21.50/month for a 2-year contract (speeds up to 19 Mbps), with unlimited downloads, in the central area of the village. (Lower speeds will be achieved away from the centre).
TalkTalk’s package compares favourably with independent provider CallFlow’s cheapest offering of speeds up to 30 Mbps for £39.99/month (18-month contract) and downloads limited to 40GB/month.
It is unclear whether other Internet providers (ISPs) will follow TalkTalk’s lead, but it looks likely. Some BT Internet customers received a message last week about an exchange upgrade. If other ISPs start installing their own equipment as TalkTalk has done, it will be good news for residents of the parish. It will be possible to achieve faster internet speeds whilst retaining discounts from bundled products such as TV and mobile phone, at a lower overall cost.

Obituary: Anthony Terence Gordon Richards  (5th September 1944 – 23rd March 2017)

Tony Richards, who died in Goudhurst on 23rd March 2017, was a well-known and liked figure in the village as well as in the City of London as a financial manager.  His life was celebrated at St. Mary’s with an Anglican Service of Requiem Mass with his eldest son, Father Mischa Richards, as Principal Celebrant.  His other two sons, Joscelyn and Oscar, both delivered warm and affectionate Eulogies describing happy childhoods with their mother, Caroline, and father skiing at their house in the Italian Alps and sailing on “Ubique” to Calais and Veere in Holland.  In 1996 Tony sailed the Atlantic to Barbados in 21 days.

Beneath the dapper, mild-mannered appearance was a wealth of interests – from the military, to sailing, to stockbroking, to charitable work.  For two years he trained as a stockbroker at Quilter Goodison in the City but at 18 enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company – hence “gunner” in his email address.  He was commissioned and at 27 promoted to major, commanding II Squadron with a NATO role patrolling the Iron Curtain borders.

Specialising in managing charity and pension funds, Tony was elected a member of the London Stock Exchange in 1971 and a partner in 1976 and became one of the capital’s best known financial managers, retiring as a Director of Investec Wealth and Investment Limited in 2006.

Tony was born and raised a catholic but in recent years worshipped at St. Mary’s and was very much a part of the church community.  His best-known role in Goudhurst was as Chairman of the Royal British Legion’s local branch for four years during which membership and funds increased markedly.  He was a parish councillor for four years and chairman of the parish hall committee.

In the mid-60’s he married his first wife, Margaret, with whom he had four daughters, Eleanor, Charlotte, Louise and Alexandra, and continued a close relationship with them throughout his life.  In September 1988 he married Caroline Arkell with whom he had three sons and lived happily at Cherry Gardens in Goudhurst.

Government responds to the petition “Stop Cuts To Rail Services between Tonbridge and Ashford”.

“Stop Cuts To Rail Services between Tonbridge and Ashford”

SE Trains“We are seeking passengers’ views on reducing stops at lesser-used stations to improve journey times between key destinations. We are not proposing to stop services to or from any station.
The Department for Transport has launched a public consultation to seek passenger views on their priorities for the next South Eastern franchise. Responses received will be used to inform the development of the specification for the next operator, due to take over the franchise in December 2018.

“Question 12 of the public consultation document seeks views about whether passengers would support reducing journey times to key destinations in Kent and East Sussex by reducing stops at less well used intermediate stations to create hourly fast services. An example is provided below to illustrate how the concept could operate in practice, if passengers supported it.

“Some longer-distance services have very long journey times in relation to the length of the route, such as between London and Hastings. Services from Charing Cross to Hastings, for example, take approximately 1hr 40mins to cover 62 miles, an average speed of less than 38 miles per hour.

“If service to certain intermediate stops were reduced, hourly fast services could be created between key destinations, offering faster journey times. All intermediate stations would continue to be served by at least an hourly service. Whilst we would be delivering faster journeys, the Department for Transport recognises that this has the potential to inconvenience passengers that currently use those intermediate stations. Any changes would therefore only be made if passengers overall benefitted, and travellers from lesser-used stations were not unduly disadvantaged.

“The public consultation has ended on 30 June 2017, after which the Department for Transport will carefully analyse each response. The conclusions will be published in the autumn in a stakeholder briefing document published alongside the Invitation to Tender (ITT).”

Department for Transport

Neighbourhood Development Plan

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.


Lost, found and mis-spelling on The Somme

War Graves at The Somme

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.

Related Topics
British Legion Goudhurst

Goudhurst Parish Council Vacancy

Following a recent resignation, there is now a vacancy to be filled on the Parish Council for the Goudhurst parish ward. If you would like to know more about being a Parish Councillor please contact the Clerk, Anthony Farnfield on 01580 212552 or Email the Clerk


Goudhurst Walker's MapNOW 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
Contact the Clerk


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
Join the society

Goudhurst Parish Council Precept for 2017-2018

Goudhurst Parish Council has announced an increase in their Council Tax precept for 2017-2018.  The Parish element of the Council Tax bills for a Band D property in the Parish will rise from £64.37 to £112.28, an increase of 74% (£0.92p per week).

For next year your Parish Council is planning to de-silt Goudhurst Pond (last done more than 50 years ago) followed by the renovation of the post and rail fencing at the Pond.  There is a need to replace the current CCTV systems as the current equipment has reached the end of its useful life.  We plan to introduce a portable Speed Indicator Device that can be moved from site to site around the parish to reduce traffic speed.  We have some work to do to improve the drainage at Chequer Field so that the young footballers, who are increasing in number, have a really good facility.

We still have plans to take on a long lease from the Diocese of Canterbury on the Glebe Fields (the top part is now a Village Green), gate it for security and improve the maintenance of the fields through weed control and better land management practices.  The children’s play equipment at both Back Lane, Goudhurst and the Millennium Green at Kilndown both need money spent to maintain safety standards.

The brick path next to Goudhurst Church

The brick path across St Mary’s Churchyard (above) has been identified as being a ‘slips and trips’ hazard and your Council is taking advice on improving both the surface of the path and suitable lighting.  We need to carry out further improvements to the Balcombes Hill toilet where the automatic hand washing equipment is over 25 years old and failing.  Youth groups have asked the Council for a youth shelter to introduced in a suitable place.

The Chairman of Goudhurst Parish Council Cllr Antony Harris said:

“As had been reported  to the community several times during the year in the Parish News and discussed in detail at the November Parish open meeting, a number of significant changes are occurring simultaneously which means that a revision of the Parish financial base has become inevitable. We are now absorbing the full cost of running and maintaining assets transferred from Borough to Parish, we are conducting and must pay the cost of the Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan and expect to finally acquire the 30 year lease of the Glebe field (Village Green) after many years negotiation.

“I explained our plans for the next couple of years at a recent open public meeting and those present were supportive. It was clear that, in spite of spreading costs over several years; the wishes of the community can only be met by paying for them.  Sitting back and doing very little was not viewed as a viable option”

For any further information, please contact:
Anthony Farnfield
Clerk to Goudhurst Parish Council

01580 212552
[email protected]
09 December 2016


A new and improved patient transport service from G4S was launched across Kent and Medway on 1 July 2016.
From 1 July, the bookings line number changed to 0800 096 0211. (Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
The patient transport service provides free transport for people whose medical condition means they cannot get to or from their place of care (a hospital, hospice or clinic) in any other way. Eligible patients can book transport to get them to and from outpatient and inpatient appointments. The criteria for eligibility for patient transport services has not changed.
For further information about the patient transport service in Kent and Medway, including a leaflet, poster and feedback form, visit www.km-pts.co.uk

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance

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.
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air AmbulanceThe 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.

Do you love to be outdoors and want to help your community?

Kent County Council Logo

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
email the Parish Clerk

Goudhurst at the BBC

Goudhurst at the BBCSir 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:


Goudhurst Village Goudhurst Pre-SchoolPre-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 educational funding.
Sessions are from 9 a.m. to 3.30 p.m Monday to Friday (except Wednesdays, to 12 p.m.)
£4.50 per hour (£13.50 per session), with an optional £3 lunch club until 1 p.m.
A minimum of two sessions per child, per week, are required.

For further information please contact Jo Galloway on 01580 212777 (session times only)
07896 890370 (out-of-hours)
email Alison Clarke
Pre-School website

Parish Footpaths

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
email the clerk

Kent Police

Kent Police logo
“Police and Community Together” (PACT)
POLICE COMMUNITY SUPPORT OFFICER: PCSO Dave Jenkins: mobile 07969 584279. Dial 101 for non-emergencies. Send an email to Dave Jenkins
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

email Peter

Flood Risk Map

Flood risk mapping

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

Handy Van

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 Email

Follow Parish Council activities in detail and check progress of planning applications.
Parish Council news page


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