Father Vic retires

Sacred Heart Church

Father Victor McClean has retired as the Catholic priest for Goudhurst after 35 years.
He was succeded by Father Patrice Anyanwu at the beginning of August.
Fr Patrice has been one of the parish priests at St Mary Magdalen in Brockley for the last couple of years. Previously he was in charge of the formation of the postulants to the Spiritans in his Nigerian Province.
There will be a retirement party for Father Vic during the summer.

A thank you message from Friends of St. Mary’s

“The Friends of St. Mary’s would like to thank all those who supported their Christmas fund-raising for 2020. Even in these difficult and unusual times, and with your help, we managed to raise the magnificent sum of £1,500. Special thanks to Sargeant’s Garage who sponsored the calendar and created a pop-up shop selling our merchandise, to the stallholders and craftsmen and women who supported our Virtual Fair by donating 10% of their sales and to the shops and wider community for their help and generosity. Hopefully we will able to welcome you all back to the Church in November for a bumper Christmas Fair.”

Neighbourhood Development Plan: Referendum

Following a public consultation earlier in 2021, The Goudhurst NDP is expected to go to public referendum in November this year and if approved by residents to be made binding by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council at its December meeting.

Raising funds for Hospice in the Weald

A tractor run was planned to take place on the Millennium Green, Kilndown on October 11, 2020, raising funds for Hospice in the Weald.
Hospice in the Weald provides care free of charge to patients with a terminal illness, their families and carers in West Kent and Northern East Sussex.

High Weald Ride featured in The Times ‘Summer Cycling Guide’

In its recent Summer Cycling Guide, The Times Weekend featured cycle route 18, which passes through Goudhurst, covering 41 miles between Tunbridge Wells and Ashford.

The article mentions Sustrans, which has further details:

For those who want to tackle the full 41-mile run, which forms part of the well signposted National Route 18, there are dedicated cycle lanes, running alongside main roads at both Tunbridge Wells and Ashford.
Other than this, the main traffic-free section is through Bedgebury Forest.
This route is an excellent way to take in Kent’s quintessential Garden of England scenery, complete with hops, apple orchards, oast houses and picture-postcard villages….


Coronavirus Community Support

A COVID-19 support team has been created from within the community of Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green to bring assistance to those who need help to self-isolate or are suffering hardship as a result of the current restrictions to fight the disease.
If you have received a letter saying you’re in a vulnerable group, are feeling isolated, alone, or in need of help, contact the team’s co-ordinator Louise Vickerman on 07903 332014
Get support

Groceries can be delivered, medicines can be collected. Team members are also available for a simple chat.
For community cupboard food bank requests, contact Ali Williams (07944 776008)
Food bank requests

Battlefield Pilgimage

L to R: Peter Albertini, Tim Nicholson and Brian FerdinandoL to R: Peter Albertini, Tim Nicholson, Brian Ferdinando

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.


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 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
Pre-School website

New Restaurant Open in Kilndown

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

The Pilgrim’s Tale by Roger Coombs

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 Pilgrim’s Tale
The Pilgrim’s Tale
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.

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 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


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

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

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:

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

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 Send an email

© Copyright 1999-2021. Whilst every effort has been made to maintain accuracy, no responsibility is accepted for any errors in content.
Items submitted to this page may be edited. The editor’s decision is final.
Contact the editor