Temporary Road Closure: B2079 Lady Oak Lane, Goudhurst, from 27th February 2020 until 11 March 2020
B2079 Lady Oak Lane, Goudhurst will be closed between A21 London Road and Springwood Lodge.
Goudhurst Village Play Area (on Back Lane adjacent to the Church Rooms) is in desperate need of renovation. The play area was used by a large section of the community, from toddlers to teenagers. Unfortunately, much of the equipment was condemned and subsequently removed. The community of Goudhurst & Kilndown, supported by Goudhurst Parish Council, is embarking on a fundraising mission to enable an upgrade of the play area with brand new equipment.
The children and parents of the village were invited to vote on the design.
A scheme costing £34,000 was chosen from Wicksteed, a company manufacturing outdoor play equipment since 1918.
Goudhurst Parish Council has budgeted £14,000 towards the project. The remaining £20,000 needs to be raised.
The appeal is seeking a main sponsor, with a donation in excess of £5,000. In return, a sponsor’s name or company name and logo will headline the permanent sponsorship board, to be situated in the play area. There is further opportunity for sponsorship, with suggested donations of between £1,000 and £5,000, (sponsors’ names to be included on the board).
If you would like to sponsor the play area please contact Jayne Russell at or call 07766 553728.
Make a donation
Goudhurst Parish Council has published a newsletter from its Chairman, Antony Harris
Superfast fibre broadband schemes are making progress in Curtisden Green, Goudhurst, Priors Heath and Kilndown, where four separate submissions have been made to Openreach and the first estimates received. The Parish Council is hopeful that this will lead to a huge improvement in broadband speeds in the coming year.
On Tuesday 12 November the Parish Council held a special meeting with the representatives of The Goudhurst Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan steering committee. The Plan is now in its final draft. After the public consultation, reviews will be carried out by the Borough Council and “sense checked” by an expert. It is now ready for approval by the Parish Council at its December 9 meeting after which it will be formally sent to the Borough. Subsequently it will go to an official inspector. A final Goudhurst public referendum will be held in the first part of 2020. A final draft of the Plan (now 82 pages long, plus supporting documentation for the inspector) will be available at the Parish Council HQ at the Hop Bine, Risebridge Farm (please phone first on 01580 212552) which is open most days.
The document can be downloaded at ndp.goudhurst.co.uk, the website for the Goudhurst Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Monday 11th November, Armistice Day, was the Parish Open Meeting attended by Parish councillors, County Councillor Sean Holden and some 40 parish residents.
The meeting was kicked off with a talk by Mr John Musgrave, Managing Director of the National Trust property at Scotney. He briefed on the major investment and improvements that are planned by the National Trust for Scotney Castle, with new and considerably increased parking facilities, electric vehicle charging points, new walks, and a visitor centre.
Uppermost in the minds of some attendees were the twin issues of the Glebe field (village green) restoration and the children’s play area. Following a delayed start, the restoration and re-seeding of the field is expected to be completed by Christmas.
The children’s play area has had issues of past ownership (it has only recently been under parish council responsibility), partly the consequence of age and lack of previous maintenance which had required council to remove equipment now deemed dangerous. Restoration has taken a long time, owing to a combination of funding, timing and the need to reach agreement on the ultimate design. There is currently a public consultation and questionnaire. Assistant Clerk Claire Reed, together with the parents group, now have a plan which, together with phased council funding and some fundraising, will see restoration begin by the new year.
County Councillor Sean Holden gave an update on progress at county level to control and better direct HGVs across the county. Highways reported on the accidents and speed limits on the A21 south of Scotney and an update on central Goudhurst traffic and parking.
Amenities reported on several projects throughout the parish. Footpaths reported on the 4-quarters plan for footpath wardens to keep the parish’s 39 miles of footpaths in order (which also requires the public to walk them and report on obstacles and condition).
A redundant phone box from Dunnington, Yorkshire was sand blasted, repainted and restored by Goudhurst residents Jeff Mills, Butch Krombholz and Richard Greenaway before being installed in the centre of the village by Hurstway, courtesy of Cllr Chris Ditton.
Using equipment donated by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and the Community Heartbeat Trust, the kiosk has a mosaic floor designed and made by the children of Goudhurst & Kilndown Primary School.
Goudhurst’s Defibrillator Phone Box is situated at The Plain, Goudhurst next to the general store, at the junction of the A262 West Road and B2079 Balcombes Hill.
Now operational, the heart restarter can be used by anyone, with no prior training. For an unconscous person, not breathing normally.
Please report any problems or defects to
Parish Council Facebook page
Despite opening only 18 months ago in what was once The Globe & Rainbow, The Smallholding Pub & Restaurant has quickly established itself as a significantly good place to dine out. Food writer Grace Dent awards it 9/10 for food, atmosphere and service in yesterday’s Guardian review.
The Small Holding, Ranters Lane, Kilndown, near Cranbrook, Kent, 01892 890105.
Goudhurst Parish Council has published its annual audited accounts.
In the autumn of 2019, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council introduced new glass, food waste and electrical item collections. Garden waste is no longer be automatically collected, and has been replaced by a £52/year opt-in garden waste service.
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.
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)
email Jo Galloway
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 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
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
Ceremonies were held between 2014 and 2019 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
email the Parish Clerk
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
email the clerk
“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
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 Email
Parish Council news page
Items submitted to this page may be edited. The editor’s decision is final.