APRIL 2020




          As Rostrum goes to press the government announcements come daily about actions we should all take to safeguard ourselves and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Two of the editorial team and many of our distributors fall into “at risk” groups which the government tell us should “self-isolate for 8-12 weeks”.  As you can see from the items in this issue most of village life is “on hold” for the next few weeks.  The nation is in uncharted waters. 

          In these difficult times we know the spirit of goodwill in Wateringbury will shine. Please look after your neighbours and keep in touch by phone and if you are able through the various local Facebook sites.

          Rostrum’s team discussed the implications for the magazine.  We have reluctantly decided to suspend publication of the magazine for the May and June issues and will then review the situation on a monthly basis.    We apologise to our readers and to our advertisers but trust you will understand the reasons for our action.  We will credit our advertisers pro rata for unpublished issues and make cash refunds if requested to do so.  We hope to resume publication in the near future. Please continue to send news to us as we will be able to put copy onto our magazine website www.rostrum.org.uk

          Information published was accurate at our time of going

to print but, as things are moving so swiftly, please contact event organisers before going to any events mentioned in Rostrum.

Keep Safe but Keep Smiling!

Christine, Ela, Trudy and Ted



          We wish to inform you that due to the Coronavirus outbreak the forthcoming Wateringbury Village Fete on Sunday 7 June 2020 has been CANCELLED.

          Thank you to all those who were willing to support the event and we hope for a more positive outcome next year.



Coronavirus (COVID-19) Surgery Planning:

This is important information, so please read and, if you can, share with family and friends who are patients of the surgery.  Wateringbury Surgery wants to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible during this difficult time. Many GP surgeries have had to be shut down completely in recent weeks and we are trying to prevent this happening. To this end please note the following temporary changes to our services with immediate effect: 

1) All online appointment booking will be suspended. 

2) All GP appointment requests will be triaged by a GP. The receptionist will take your details and a GP will call you back (please ensure you remain near the telephone or have your mobile with you at all times).  If the GP feels it is appropriate for you to be seen they will book you an appointment at the surgery. The receptionist cannot book any appointments with the GPs.  

3) We will continue to book appointments with the Practice Nurses, HCAs and Phlebotomist, however, on the day of your appointment do not attend if you have a new continuous cough or a high temperature (hot to touch on your chest or back).  Please telephone and cancel.  

4) We will be sending screening text messages prior to appointments to ensure patients are well before attending. 

5) Automatic Check-in screens at reception will be turned off and any patient arriving at the surgery will need to read the screening questions on the display board at Wateringbury and inner entrance door at Larkfield. If the answer is yes please return home immediately and call the surgery.  

6) If you need to request medication and you usually drop your request into the surgery please post your prescription through the letter box and do not come into the surgery. We are looking to provide a delivery service for patients over 70 and those in a vulnerable group who are self- isolating.  


Please help us to keep our community safe. We are trying to minimise the number of patients coming to the surgery to protect them and our staff. If your medical issue is not urgent and is something that you feel can wait, then we would suggest delaying booking appointments over the next few weeks/months. 


If you’re not sure if your symptoms require urgent advice then you can use the symptom checker on the NHS app which can be downloaded here https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/nhs-app/ or online at https://111.nhs.uk/.  Please be patient and kind to our reception staff during this time. They are doing their best under enormous unprecedented pressure.   The latest position regarding self-isolation is:  You should stay at home for 7 days if you have either:  a high temperature – feel hot to touch on chest or back  a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly  Other people in the household should stay at home for 14 days from the day that you got symptoms. 


You should use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ if:   you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home   your condition gets worse your symptoms do not get better after 7 days  



Please send us your news and tributes which we will publish in our next issue

                        Anne Lesley Ede - a thank you

          Our words “thank you” cannot truly express our gratitude to all those who made my wife’s, Anne, funeral such a wonderful and extraordinary occasion. For the many cards and letters, and for the flowers, especially from her neighbours in Old Road, which Anne would have loved, and those who packed the church and lit over 200 candles to symbolize her “light.” And, for the flower alternative of well over £2,000 of donations to the William Harvey Sensory Garden Appeal to which the family are also contributing in memory of Anne. And, what a beautiful Service, based on her poems and led by her friend Jim - thank you. And, thank you also to the Church Wardens, Liz and Peter, and Gillian and her flower ladies for the magnificent displays. Anne would have really loved these. Hilary for playing and Barry’s choir for singing, Eddy on the sound, and all the other helpers - you were all truly loving.

          And, to those who attended, some travelling far from Nottingham, Bath, and Oxford, France and Switzerland. Anne had lived in Wateringbury for nearly 43 years and was a kind, gentle, loving and very special lady who will be missed by many in the village. Bob, Nicky, Martin and Suzie.


Golden Wedding Congratulations to Guy and Carol Bowden

who were married at Yalding Church on 4th April 1970


New arrival congratulations  Amy and Martin Leeder are delighted to announce the birth of their baby son, Elliott William, in Scotland, on 2nd March.  A beautiful third Grandchild for Helen and David Commander.




          Just before the Rostrum copy deadline our prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced stringent new measures to help the country cope with the Corona virus pandemic. Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places such as pubs, clubs and theatres and those with serious health conditions and over 70s must be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”. In the light of these restrictions the History Society Committee have reluctantly decided to cancel our speaker meetings in April and June, our wine and buffet evening in May and our coach outing to Brighton Pavilion in July. We plan to resuming ‘normal service’ in September when it is anticipated the dangers will have passed.  We hope all members will support our decision and have a safe, if unexpectedly different, summer from the one we had all planned.




          Yet again our March walk was decided on the conditions underfoot due to the recent inclement weather. We started by walking along to Love Lane and down to Upper Mill, then out towards Rock Farm to cross the fields to Pizien Well. The conditions here were not as bad as we expected. A little road walking now along Nettlestead Lane before taking the path down

towards the Wateringbury Stream and Old Road and back to the start via millpond and the Wardens Byway.

          Group Walks will be cancelled until June at the earliest   It is fine to go out lone walking it is good for your health

Kevin Reynolds – 0771 3740 375





          Our March meeting was Competitions Day and there were a good number of entries in all the categories. These were the results:

The Spring Flower Arrangement winner was Stroma Richards with Cathy Coates and Gillian Sessions in joint 2nd place. The best bread pudding was made by Brenda Johnson with Gillian Sessions in 2nd place. Diana Burbridge won the photo competition. Easter Card winners were: 1st Cathy Coates and 2nd Gillian Sessions.

          The prize for winning most competitions throughout the year was shared between Sandy Parker, Joyce Manning and Cathy Coates.

          We have cancelled our meetings over the summer months and hope to resume our usual activities in September.   Members will be kept up to date by email and phone.




          At the time of writing, our country and our community is facing the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus outbreak. While school has been continuing (at the time of going to press), some activities in and out of school have already been affected. Whatever happens, we will do our utmost to ensure that teaching and learning continues in some form over the coming weeks and months and preparations are well in hand to enable this to happen. We are extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received to date and remain appreciative of everyone’s help and support throughout the challenging times ahead.

Against this concerning backdrop, we have to try and maintain a focus on our key goals for this year and we are seeking wider community support to help us achieve one of these priority goals.

          We have launched an important and exciting campaign which will benefit every child in our school from September. Our school needs to raise £25,000 as quickly as possible to expand the classroom sizes for our oldest pupils in Years 5 and 6 to give them ‘space to learn and room to grow.’ The ageing classrooms are now 37% below the Department for Education’s current recommended classroom sizes. By rearranging internal walls and expanding them into an adjoining spare room, we can make the cramped classrooms around 40% larger. This will provide a significantly improved teaching and learning environment and will particularly benefit children with higher needs.

          In the current climate, this campaign faces an uphill struggle. However, whenever we have reached out to our local community for help, you have always delivered generously and wholeheartedly. Our target is achievable with your support and it will make a massive difference to our children and our school.

Any donation you are able to make will make a big difference. Here’s how you can show your support:

·         Make a donation quickly and easily to the campaign online at www.givey.com/classrooms2020.

·         Set up a one-off or regular monthly donation via your bank to our school, account no: 79300839, sort code 60-60-08 and use reference ‘Classroom Expansion.’

·         Send in a cheque payable to ‘Wateringbury CE Primary School’ and add ‘Classroom Expansion’ and your name and address to the back of the cheque. Please send to School Office, 147 Bow Road, Wateringbury ME18 5EA..

·         Organise your own fundraiser for the campaign!.

·         Local business owners can make a massive difference to this campaign. If you own a business and feel able to support us with a donation in return for lots of positive publicity, please contact Gail Isted, Co-chair of governors, at gisted@wateringbury.kent.sch.uk or phone 07792 451284..

Thank you for any support you feel able to give at this difficult time and we wish you and your families well over the coming weeks and months.


Chasey Crawford Usher – Headteacher





          Near St Georges Day, 8 young ladies and gents have been invited to Windsor Castle to collect their Queen’s Scout Award which they achieved during their time with Wateringbury Explorers.  This is the highest award a Scouting youth can achieve and involves a considerable amount of work and commitment to the organisation, including projects demonstrating understanding of its values and place in our community and internationally, as well as camping and expeditions.

          Well done Anthony, Anna, Emily, George, Hannah, Kirsten, Sam, Sophie: your leaders are very proud of you and we look forward to hearing what you have been up to ‘after Explorers’, we’re sure it’s been (quote GSL) “awesome”! PS: The newbies are hot on your heels!

The Wateringbury Explorer Leaders




          As the next scheduled mobile library date falls on Good Friday, any books taken out that would have been due back then will have an extended loan period until the next scheduled visit.


CANCELLATION of East Malling Singers' Events

            Boot Fair in East Malling Village Hall on 5th April has been cancelled. It was originally scheduled for Sunday 9th February, when it was postponed because of Storm Ciara. As it was planned to take place indoors during the winter, we have not yet set a new date.

            East Malling Singers' Russian Concert on 4th April has also been cancelled. A refund will be given for tickets already bought - please email boxoffice@eastmallingsingers.co.uk or phone Sue Greenham on 01622 750943.

          We are scheduled to have a concert on 11 July and are hoping it will take place and we'll include the Rachmaninov, Borodin and Tchaikovsky pieces we have been rehearsing since Christmas.



          Our theme for term 5 is based around a book called Spinderela by Julie Donaldson, a picture book all about a football playing spider that has a passion for football! She tries to play a match with her brothers and sisters but she doesn’t know how many spiders should be on each team, even worse, she can’t count the goals!  Luckily for Spinderela, her hairy godmother has a plan …. This is a hugely engaging and funny story all about spiders and counting.

          We will also be celebrating St. George’s Day on 23rd April by making flags for our garden display and welcoming back ‘our amazing animals’ on the 30th when hopefully we will be getting up close and personal to a variety of lovely animals.

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

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



          As I write this news item, the government has just announced the virtual shut down of all activities other than schooling. Sadly, Girlguiding has taken the decision to cancel all guide, brownie and rainbow meetings until further notice. We fully understand the reasoning behind this and in due course we hope that we can provide the girls with some guiding activities to do at home.

          We have had a good term so far making face masks and lip balm as well as cooking mini pancakes on a lit almond, on the top of a baked bean tin, and also rainbow coloured pancakes topped with blueberries, raspberries, and of course, squirty cream.

          Our Amazing Animal World visited and brought along tortoises, an angora rabbit, a skinny pig and a bearded dragon. They were all passed around and everyone was happy. Then Jerry brought out the python! In truth it was about a metre long, and very tame and even I, after some encouragement, ‘wore’ it round my neck. One or two were definitely not so keen!

          Now we wait to see what happens. We had sailing, a patrol camp, a water fun day, a canal boat trip, a trip to Wicked and a day trip to Margate booked and, of course, most have already been cancelled. We can only hope that this horrible period for everyone is over soon and we will be able to get back to providing fun and stimulating activities for our girls in a safe environment.


Sheena, and Emily 1st Wateringbury Guides



          The living wall panels have been fitted to the walls outside the village hall.  The panels under the trees are watered by an irrigation system, with water supplied, and paid for, by the village hall.  Incredible thanks go to local gardener Robert Millar for his many hours of work, getting the ground ready for the plants, and providing us with a source for the plants that we needed.  Huge thanks also go to The Friends of Wateringbury who met in mid-March, and planted the areas with plants, specifically chosen for their ability to absorb nitrogen dioxide and other particulates.  TMBC have agreed to continue assessing the air quality with the monitoring equipment at the village hall, so we can really see what difference these plants make to the air quality.  And it will have the added benefit of improving the amenity area around the crossroads with some lovely plants that will brighten up the centre of the village.

          Wateringbury Community Fridge

Another initiative in combating food waste is the Wateringbury Community Fridge and Cafe which has just started.  This is open on Tuesday mornings between 10am and 1pm, at the village hall.  Community Fridges redistribute good food to communities, allowing them to access nutritious food, whilst saving money and reducing waste.  The motto is ‘Take what you need, pay what you can’.  Anyone can come along - just bring a bag for life, so you can fill it up with fresh fruit and veg, meat and all sorts of food cupboard staples.  We ask for a minimum donation of £5.  

          Community Day

Our ‘Make Wateringbury Better’ Community day is being held on Friday 8th May from 9.30am to 12.30pm at the Village Hall.  Free refreshments for everyone - lots of cakes and biscuits, as well as tea and coffee, so please come along and meet me, and other village bodies such as the Parish Council and the Friends of Wateringbury, and tell us what we can do to improve the community and make Wateringbury better!  The Leader of TMBC, Nicolas Heslop, and our MP, Tom Tugendhat, have also been invited. There’s even a prize draw to win a hamper worth £50!

          Doorstep Refuse

Apologies to all those residents who have had issues with the new refuse and recycling scheme that was introduced last autumn.  Fortunately, following significant changes in the contractors’ processes, we have seen a marked reduction in the level of complaints.  And the positive news is that recycling rates are up from 42% to 54%!




I don't know what to write at a time like this, especially as things are changing so quickly. I write in mid-March, and much will have changed by the time this is read. I have given subheadings so you can choose whether you want the whole thing or just the parts your own psychology needs.


The moral bit (with a nod to Scouting, which I know will return):

Now we are called on to be good neighbours. We tend to think of 'neighbour' as being a person who lives next door, possibly a bit like us. That was the ancient meaning too, in Israel. In that time neighbour could be contrasted with alien or foreigner (a person unlike us). Maybe that's not so different from today too! We do need to keep an eye on our physical neighbours, for sure. In the story of the Good Samaritan, being a good neighbour changes from being the person like us to being the person who does the right thing, and especially the people who are most in need. That's why we have to curtail our lives today. The words of the Scouting promise say it all really. We should do our duty to help others. As our uniform groups suspend their work during this time, it's down to all of us to follow their lead.


The bit for all those moaners out there (slightly cheeky but meant with kindness and thankfulness):

Our community has survived painful experiences. It will get through this one. There will come the point when we are again:

          moaning about missed wheelie bin collections;

          getting annoyed about road works;

          sending more speed notifications than most of the          county's towns;

           organising festivals, events, fairs, performances and wot         not and generally being quite … 'Wateringbury'.

I shall look forward to it.


The positive bit:     In the meantime, we need to be resourceful. Use our phones and remote technologies to stay virtually and socially close, even as we are physically separated. It's time for online book clubs to pop up, or the art project for the week to share on Facebook (How about ‘a view from my window’, to kick that one off?). Why not ‘chat as you bake’ with a friend on speakerphone. And what about some evening open window opera, or maybe the odd Saxophone perhaps? Come on you musicians and singers. We know you are out there, so sing us off to sleep and let us forget our woes for a while.


And lastly:     Stay in touch with the news but remember, just because it is on 24/7 you don't need to hear it all the time. Check-in with it, and then check-out.

Blessings to you all, whatever your creed or worldview.  

Bob Bowie



SJB Church web site: www.wateringburychurch.org.uk

Church Face Book Page:      fb.me/wateringburychurch

Friends of SJB Church         web site www.fowc.org.uk


Advice from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York


Following the Government’s announcements regarding precautions to be taken against coronavirus, on Tuesday, 17th March, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued a letter regarding public worship.


If you are able, the text of this letter can be read using the following link:




Regretfully, for the time being, all public worship is suspended, so there will be no services in church until further notice.  .


Further information on what the suspension of public worship will mean will be available as soon as possible on the Church of England website.  This page will be regularly updated.


As events are moving quickly, please keep up to date by visiting the church website - http://wateringburychurch.org.uk/


Here in Wateringbury we are keen to maintain our fellowship with one another and will be working on ways we can achieve this.  In the meantime, please do see the back of the magazine for contact numbers and emails, and do call on us if you need more information – assuming we have it ourselves, of course!


Stay safe, and look after yourselves and each other.

Barry Fisher, Peter Bond and Liz Gummer



23rd, 24th and 25th May - Postponed

Sadly with the restrictions on social contact and serving of refreshments due to the Corona virus we had had no alternative but to postpone the Flower Festival until May 2021.  Thank you to all who planned to sponsor an arrangement to mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of WW2.  We hope you will be happy to sponsor in 2021.



We regret that we have had to cancel Messy Church for the time being.  Happy Easter to all our families.  Hope we can meet soon    Ruth Dunn:  ruthdunn33@btinternet.com



Thank you to all who were able to come along to the only Simply Soup Lent Lunch we were able to hold this year; £65 was raised for Hazel Oak Special School.  Sorry we had to cancel at short notice the lunch planned for 18th March and hope everyone got the message.  The lunch for 1st April is also cancelled.



Gracious God, we pray for the people affected by Coronavirus as the impact of this pandemic continues to grow worldwide.  Grant wisdom to the officials dealing with it and mercy and healing to the many who have contracted the virus.  Comfort those whose loved ones have died, give patience to those in isolation.  Console those who are anxious because they, or a loved one, are high risk.  We give thanks for our NHS and the dedication of its workforce and pray that You will strengthen and protect all those who are caring for sick patients.  Amen


WHAT CAN I DO?  A poem by Anne Ede


What can I do? What can I say?

To make myself useful in some small way.

I sit in this chair day in and day out –

I can’t do the cooking, I can’t get about.


I have someone to shop and someone to clean,

And someone to start my washing machine;

The ironing is done, I’m given a bath. 

The weeds are pulled up in the garden path.


Not long ago I was needed by all –

I would cheerfully help whatever the call.

But now I feel useless, finished and sad. 

Tell me what can I do to make someone glad?


What opportunity?  What are you saying? 

That I really can help people by praying?

Well maybe you’re right and maybe it’s true –

At least it would give me something to do.


And, yes I could pray for my neighbours and friends,

And strength for my children whatever God sends.

For all the world’s problems, for those in despair, 

For the sick and the prisoners, for those who care.

So then when I’m asked what I do all day 

I can simply reply:  “I love – and I pray.”




KCC Councillor Matthew Balfour reported that the matter of speed indicators for the village were still under discussion.  Following the heavy rainfalls over recent weeks Kent’s roads were in a poor condition.  It was not possible for repairs to be carried out successfully in wet weather.  They will be done as soon as conditions allow.  The coronavirus pandemic was a cause for concern and Kent was working closely with central government to prevent its spread.  For up to date guidance use the KCC and Government websites.


Borough Councillor Sarah Hudson sent her apologies as she was at a T & M meeting.  She submitted a written report which was read by the chairman.  The Living wall at the cross roads will be installed and planted soon.  It will be officially opened on Friday 8th May by Nicolas Heslop as part of the Community Event Sarah is organising on that morning in the village hall with the theme Making Wateringbury Better.  The Wateringbury Community Fridge will open shortly on Tuesday mornings in the village hall.  It is not a food bank and is open to everyone with the motto ‘Take what you need Pay what you can’.  One bag allowance per person.


Bus Shelters.  Both bus shelters have been inspected and found to be in need of roof repairs.  Some of the damage to the Bow Road shelter had reportedly been caused by nearby trees.  Councillors agreed to contact the Housing Association which is responsible for the surrounding foliage informing them of the need for heavy pruning or removal to be done before the repairs were carried out.  The cost of the repairs to both shelters will be £2,500


Playing Fields. The Womens’ Institute celebrate their centenary this year and to mark the event hope to plant an oak tree at the Playing Fields.  The Council were happy to grant permission subject to the approval of the Fields Association.  Repairs to the track down to the fields have been completed. Following a risk assessment the four seats on the play equipment scales were shown to be damaged.  Councillors agreed to their replacement at a cost of £982.


Speed Survey Boxes which the council has organised are now in place and it is hoped the findings will strengthen efforts to improve traffic flow in the village.  The Speedwatch teams had been out in the village for 13 one hour sessions during February and 2,995 vehicles passed by with 302 observations of speeding.


Village Flower Festival to mark 75th Anniversary of end of WW2  Councillors agreed to a request to sponsor a flower arrangement at the Flowers for Peace event at the Church on 23rd, 24th  and 25th  May. (Since the meeting the festival has been postponed until 2021).


Planning applications


Demolition of rear timber deck and ramp, addition of two storey pitched roof front porch, addition of single storey ground floor wrap around flat roof and side extension, addition of rear timber deck and ramp, replacement, enlargement and upgrade of existing windows to all elevations, re roof, and new external finishes to the existing house and internal alterations

6 Warden Mill Close, Wateringbury – no objection


Replacement of existing cladding with new timber cladding, replacement of windows and new front boundary treatment

Lower Beck, 18 Mill Lane, Wateringbury

No objection.  The contractor should consider the impact of using Mill Lane based on the experience of residents on previous occasions.


Due to the Coronavirus all future meetings of the Parish Council are suspended until further notice


If any resident has any questions or want to report a problem they should telephone or email Wateringbury Parish Clerk on 01622 817068 

Email: clerk@wateringburypc.org.uk


Approved minutes of the March meeting will appear on the Parish Council website www.wateringburypc.kentparishes.gov.uk in due course.