Footpaths Walk

Car Park



Parish Council Meeting

followed by Planning Comm

Village Hall



Crafters Coffee Break




Women’s Institute Talk:

The Greeks Have a Word for It

Village Hall



Crafters Coffee Break

Village Hall



History Society AGM followed by Talk

Village Hall

7.40 for 8pm


Teston & W’bury Preschool

Quiz Night

Teston Village




Wateringbury School Fete





Footpaths Walk

Car Park



Women’s Institute Talk:

History of Sissinghurst Castle

Village Hall



History Society Outing to

Weald & Downland Museum




The next issue of Rostrum will cover the months of July and August, so if you have a fundraising event that you would like to promote, please let us have details by midnight on 17 June.




Parish Councils are the first tier of local Government, but unlike other tiers Parish Councillors are volunteers.  They have a keen interest and passion for your village.  At present there are four vacancies on the Parish Council and if you have that interest or passion please consider becoming a Parish Councillor.  There is information available, on request, about the responsibilities of Councillors and where the money shown on your Council Tax bill is spent.  Please contact the Clerk at or call  01622 817068.  Thank you.





Saturday, 29 June, 3-6pm


***   Music and Dance Displays, BBQ, Stalls   ***


All are welcome!


VILLAGE PEOPLE  Please let us have your news and tributes by 17 June for our July/August magazine.  Entries are free.




The Parish Council is pleased to announce the appointment of John Ibbs to the post of part time Village Warden.  John will commence his duties from Monday 3rd June


Many will know John from his previous employment and will no doubt look forward to seeing him around the village again.


Cat missing from Phoenix Drive.  Our beloved Ralph has gone missing.  It’s very unlike him to wander.  He is a British shorthair, blue in colour, aged 7.  Please can you check your sheds/garages in case he is stuck.  We are so worried for him so any help is much appreciated. 

Please call or text 07532 187123.  Thank you.  Samantha Davis 







Eighteen clubs took part fielding 54 teams in the various age groups.  It was a wonderful event despite the weather. 


All members of Wateringbury Football Club are to be congratulated plus all the parents/supporters who assisted in the planning and helped on the day.


Many thanks also to James Woolley and his team for maintaining the playing fields in their excellent condition.  Visiting teams reported that the pitches at Wateringbury are the best that they play on.   Mike Witts





Election of Chairman/Vice Chairman – Michael Wells was unanimously voted in for another year as Chairman and Lin Simons continues as Vice Chairman.  Other members of the Parish Council at the present time are Frances Fielding, David Marks and Richard Tripp


The Chairman congratulated Councillors on their election for another term.  The Chairman announced the resignation of Jessica Roe for personal reasons.  He also praised the work of Friends of Wateringbury on a recent litter pick when 24 black sacks of rubbish were collected. 


Kent Police are advising residents to be aware of an increase in rogue traders working in the area and asked that neighbours keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable people who may fall foul of these bogus tradespeople.  Anyone with concerns can contact the police on 101 or 999. 


The Chairman reminded the meeting of the Annual Parish meeting on the 21 May.


Kent County Cllr Matthew Balfour commented on the lengthy tailback of traffic he had encountered during rush hour along the B2015, Bow Road.  This promoted further discussions about progress on the crossroads project.  A response is awaited from BT for revised estimates for the relocation of fibre optic cables.  Previously, their estimate submitted was £700k and the budget for crossroads alterations was £350k.


Newly elected Borough Councillor, Sarah Hudson expressed thanks for the local support allowing her to represent the community.  She has been appointed to the Audit Committee, Communities & Housing Advisory Board, Planning & Transportation Advisory Board, Parish Partnership Panel and Area 2 Planning Committee.  She advised of two local events: “Tonbridge & Malling in Bloom” competition in conjunction with Coolings Nursery (flyers are available from her - details on the back cover of Rostrum); and Wateringbury GP Practice is offering “Couch to 5km” free training to all residents – details obtainable from the Surgery.


Three people had been interviewed for the position of Village Warden and a decision will be reached soon to enable the successful applicant to start the job on 3 June.


The Chairman had tried to find any descendants of Tom Smith, whose memorial in the cemetery needed attention, but had been unsuccessful.  The 100-year rule is due to lapse in 2020 when the grave reverts to the Parish Council but the council was in favour of extending this for a further 100 years.


Quotes were being sought for repairs in the track to the Playing Fields.  A new gate and post have been fitted at the junction with Fields Lane and this will be locked from dusk until 8.30am.  A telephone number to allow emergency access would be looked into.


Following comments made on social media, the Parish Council would like to make it clear the funds raised from the village fete are held in an account with The Clydesdale Bank and ringfenced for any future fete.  The signatories for the account are outside the Parish Council.

Playing Fields: A quote received from Andrew French Fencing was approved to replace fencing and posts; a quote from Playdale was approved to repair the seat of a swing.  Damage had been caused to the Pavilion after being hit by a car and repairs were being organised.


On the recommendation of the Highways Committee, the Council decided to not go ahead with the offer of the Speed Indicator Device equipment due to the restrictive locations permitted and comments from the Speedwatch team who would be responsible for handling the equipment.


The Speedwatch Group carried out 18 sessions (approx. 17.5 hours) in April during which time almost 6,000 vehicles passed by, 645 of those were observed to be breaking the speed limit.


The Kent Police Crime Report for April recorded 6 incidents of theft, 5 of which were of outboard motors and equipment from boats in the Marina.  Damage to a horse trailer in Fields Lane was also reported.


During the Public Session the Council was asked if it still makes annual donations to local groups and was advised that these would be distributed after the June meeting.  A resident had noticed that some litter bins in the playing fields were left unemptied after refuse contractors had done their rounds.  The Clerk was asked if she would write a letter of congratulation to the organisers of the Football Clubs event held in the Playing Fields on 11 May – it was a great event attended by some 18 clubs/54 teams on 6 pitches.    Another resident had a number of items to bring to the attention of the Council, namely: the faded road markings at the junction of Pizien Well Road and Old Road; the state of the footpath on Red Hill towards the North Pole PH, the uneven block-paved road surface by 1 Phoenix Drive (already reported to KCC Highways) and litter including drinks cans that had been shredded by mowing equipment in the lower play area.   Three volunteers have put their names forward to arrange a new fete committee – old fete committee members present at the meeting offered their help with the handover.



Fenestration and roof alterations to front elevation Canon House, 79 Canon Lane.  Comment: no objection.

Single storey rear extension 33 The Brucks.  Comment: no objection.

Details of Condition 14 (Green Travel Plan) submitted pursuant to planning permission TM/16/00920/FL Demolition of existing Greensted Residential Care Home, Abbeyfield Greensted Residential Home, 16 The Orpines.  Comment: Parish Council feels there is not enough information to comment and leaves it to the Planning Authority to ensure the conditions are properly complied with.

Two storey side, single storey rear extension and external alterations (including solar panels), infilling of swimming pool, associated landscaping and replacement means of enclosure 8 The Orpines.  Comment: no objection.

Install 4 replacement windows to property The White House, 169 Tonbridge Road.  Comment: no objection.


The public are welcome to attend the next meeting of the Parish Council on Tuesday 4 June at 7.30pm in the Village Hall (upper meeting room).


Approved minutes of the May meeting will appear on the Parish Council website in due course.





Graded as Outstanding by Ofsted


We can’t believe it’s nearly the end of another term and so many bank holidays – however, we have managed to squeeze in ‘some fun activities.’  The children have enjoyed exploring with their senses, using sight, sound, smell, taste and touch - using both their hands and feet.  We have planted up our wellies with flowers, and the tomato and potatoes are ‘well under way’ – just our tubs and sinks to plant up!


We just had to include this lovely photo of one of our after-school club children reading with one of our preschool children. This is just one of the benefits of mixed age groups; our younger children learning from older children and the older children learning to care and help the younger ones.


The setting is offering Holiday Club during the May Half term; we will be open on Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 May from 8.30 – 5pm. All children are welcome; not just those who currently attend the setting. Please do contact us to book your child/ren in or if you require further information.


For Childcare, Education and Out of School Clubs, including holiday club, 01622 813120, ,




During the AGM meeting in May we elected a new president, Diana Burbridge and our thanks were given to the retiring president Joan Wilson, who will remain on the committee along with the present members.  Following the business part of the meeting we all enjoyed a cream tea and placed our bids for the Silent Auction, ending with our usual raffle.


On 13 June Sue Hollings will be returning to us to give us her cooker demonstration entitled “The Greeks Have a Word for It”, when the competition will be a “Souvenir of a Holiday”.  The Photo Club’s topic for June is “A Close up of a Flower”.  Visitors very welcome.





Next walks:

2 June - meet village hall 2:30pm for a river walk to Nettlestead. 

7 July - again meet at the village hall 2:30pm.     Kevin Reynolds – 0771 3740 375


A good turn-out for our annual bluebell walk, nice to see some old faces as well as new.  We started by taking the Gransden path to Red Hill farm, noting how early the bluebells had started going over, possibly because of the warm weather around the Easter period.  Going through the farm and entering Hoath Wood the flora improved with, among the bluebells, red campion, yellow archangel, greater stitchwort, wood anemone and bugle.  Walking into the coppiced sweet chestnut of Cattering Wood the ground was a sea of blue with patches of white.  Continuing over Canon Lane more flora as we passed the golf course path down to Wisteria Cottage and returning along Old Road and the Mill Pond to the start.




May was a wonderful demonstration with Sue Shaw a wonderful set of designs entitled “its magic”and Sue being a national speaker always gives us a wonderful talk at the same time!  Club competition was well supported with about 10 entries which were all good enough to be in the area show.

Next month we are visiting gardens near Sittingbourne and July is a club workshop.   Come along and enjoy an interesting evening.   Jean Schofield –







Memories of Geoff Turk and Margaret Bodkin

Extracts taken from Lest We Forget - Wateringbury in WW2


The invasion was launched from seaports west of Poole in Dorset and so you might well ask what has this got to do with Wateringbury?  Well the answer is quite a lot.  I was 16 years old at the time and in the Army Cadet Force.  The village was packed with troops and their transport from a succession of regiments: the Shropshires; Hampshires; 42 and 44 signal corps and finally the Canadians.  The troops were billeted in neighbouring villages and beyond as far as Lenham, towards the wartime restricted zones of Folkestone and Dover where you needed a special pass to get in.


The vehicles were kept openly on the streets and the troops spent their time preparing them for action: waxing all the electrical components and painting on the "circle and star" sign which would enable their recognition by allied aircraft.  The succession of troops passing through was part of a complex deception exercise to make the Germans believe that the invasion of Europe would take place on the northern shores of France.  Fake signals traffic was also set up in the Folkestone/Dover area to give the listening German military intelligence units the impression that an invading army was being assembled in this part of Kent.  After D-Day itself, of course, they all disappeared.  What of its impact on the village?  The former Blest Farm oasthouse (now converted to offices) by the Working Men's Club was the cookhouse for the troops in the village and quite a few growing lads used to hang about its door in case there was any surplus sausage, egg and beans!  When the Canadians were here the occasional tin of butter or cheese would find its way home; riches indeed for a family compared to the meagre ration book allowances.  The oasthouse was also used for ENSA* entertainment concerts for the troops and if you were careful you could creep in unnoticed. 


The deception plan worked because key German military units were retained in the Pas de Calais in expectation of an invasion in that area.  These would otherwise have been used to devastating effect against the actual D-Day landings which took place on the Normandy beaches.  Wateringbury played its part then in this master plan by hosting the troops and vehicles of these various regiments and corps.


(*ENSA The Entertainments National Service Association was set up in 1939  to provide entertainment for British armed forces personnel during World War II.  Some of the amateur entertainers were well-meaning but not very good which led to the nickname ENSA Every Night Something Awful!)         Geoff Turk


Margaret Bodkin who still lives in the family's cottage at Pizienwell recalls that in early June 1944 lots of soldiers were in the woods around Mereworth Castle.  Some came to the cottages in Pizienwell in the evening asking if they could buy food as their canteen had not caught up with them and they were hungry.  The families had no spare bread but they did have plenty of home grown vegetables and eggs from their hens, so Rene Tufney, whose husband was away in the forces, Margaret and her mother Nell, decided to cook for them on their old kitchen range (the cottage had no electricity). 


Margaret still remembers peeling potatoes all evening!  They invited the soldiers in 5 at a time for a hot meal.  The soldiers (including some Canadian troops) offered to pay, but Rene and Nell refused payment saying that they hoped if their loved ones in the forces were hungry someone would help them.


The next morning, when they woke up, all the troops had gone.  Later on, the news of the D Day landings became known and to this day Margaret wonders what happened to these men.




We have been very busy so far this term making energy and trail mixes and trialling their effectiveness and making lots of lovely chocolate goodies under Marianne’s excellent leadership.  On 11 May some of the girls went sailing to Heysden Lake in Tonbridge.  It was a great day with most of the girls having never done anything like that before.  Unfortunately, we had a hailstone squall that bought a temporary stop to proceedings, but the sun came out and the girls were able to get back on the water.  Tying reef knots in strawberry laces proved very challenging until temptation became too much and they were eaten!  Our canoeing on the River Medway is booked, as is a river ramble, a visit by a medical detection dog, a sleepover in tents and by the next Rostrum date we will have been away for the weekend on a canal boat. 


Our numbers continue to rise and we will start back after half term with 18 girls but we still have spaces for more so if you know of anyone who would like to join us please email

Sheena, Emily and Hayleigh




Our next meeting on the 19th June is the AGM followed by a talk entitled the Life of Andrew Pitcairn Knowles, photojournalist, 1850-1912 to be given by Richard Pitcairn Knowles.


Our summer outing to the Weald and Downland Museum will be on Wednesday 24th July.  The cost will be £45.00 per person and this includes a guided tour.  This trip is open to non-members. For further details please contact Eddie Scarlin on 01622 812148.


We were very lucky with the weather for our wine and buffet event held on the 15th May at Manor Farm and thanks to the people who catered for and organised this successful evening.


Meetings are at the village hall 7.40pm for refreshments with the talk commencing at 8.00pm.  Visitors welcome £3.00





Saturday 22 June 2019, 12-3pm

Dandelion Time, Elmscroft, Charlton Lane, West Farleigh ME15 0NY


Our annual event where we share Dandelion Time with the community. A great fun family afternoon with crafting activities, stalls, donkey rides, tea room and BBQ. So much to see and do. A relaxing and fun afternoon for all the family. Free entry and plenty of parking.  Live music from Ukes on the Hill.




        This term is our busiest time of year when we invite teachers of the local schools to come in and meet the children and their keyworkers.  We feed into many local schools and it is always nice to meet the teachers who will take our children onto the next level of their learning journey.  We will also be having consultations with all our parents on their child’s progress and development over the last year.  It is lovely to see them grow in confidence and leave us prepared and ready for their next challenge …. BIG school!


As part of this transition the children will also practice changing into their PE kit ready for school, this can be tricky when their clothes are inside out! 


This term we will be exploring the book Croc and Bird by Alexis Decon, a story about two eggs left in the sand and when the ‘brothers’ hatch, out comes a bird and a crocodile!  This is a book portraying nurture as they shelter each other, but the day comes when they realize that they are not brothers after all.  Will they follow nature’s course and allow what they have learned from each other while they were young to influence what happens?


As part of this theme we will be looking at different habitats, life cycles and spending lots of time outdoors.  Our 5 hungry caterpillars will join us this term and children can watch them turn into beautiful butterflies before releasing them in our garden.


A shout out for help within the village - as part of our fundraising efforts we have a ‘bags to school’ collection from Teston village hall at 9.00am on Friday 19th July.  If you are having a sort out of your old clothes, shoes, belts or handbags please bring them along any day that week and help us raise much needed funds for our village pre-school.

Finally, we have a fun quiz night on Friday 28th June in Teston village hall at 7.30pm. £10.00 per person which includes a selection of pizza.  Teams of 6 or 8.  Bring your own drink.  If you are interested in joining a team please give me a call on 07805 796353.


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




This is the term of exams for many of our children. Our Year 6 children completed their SATs exams on 17th May and were focused and calm. We are proud of what they’ve achieved to prepare for the exams and equally proud of who they are and what they bring to our school. They will be heading to the Isle of Wight in June for a well-deserved week of outdoor activities. Our Year 2 children also take reading and maths SATs, though in a less formal way than the exam conditions for our older children.  Our Year 1 pupils will be demonstrating what they’ve learned in their daily phonics lessons in the national Phonics Check this month.


We have reassessed our homework approach after canvassing opinions from teachers and parents.  This term, we’ve reduced homework to reading and times tables practice. There is no evidence that homework at primary school improves achievement and it can detract from more important home support like reading. Each week, parents receive a summary of the work covered in their child’s class so they can support particular topics at home. We’ve received favourable feedback from parents and, of course, the children! Our aim is to support the importance of families reading together, spending time together and getting outdoors together.


Many of our Year 5 children will be taking part in the Bikeability cycling safety course, which is run by the council to encourage safe and independent cycling. This will prepare the children for cycling to school in Year 6. We also hold ‘Bikes and Scooters’ days regularly when we encourage all children to bring in wheels and open the field and playgrounds for fun and safe cycling and scootering. It’s quite a sight!


We are fortunate to enjoy the expertise of an army of volunteers who work in school alongside us. Their support, particularly of reading, is invaluable and the volunteers establish special ties with the children they work with. Our annual Volunteers’ Tea at the end of June recognises the important part the wider community plays in school life. We’re also looking forward to meeting all our new parents at our information evening on Tuesday 18th June at 7pm.


Other highlights of the final summer term are, of course, Sports Day on 5th July and our traditional Summer Fete on Saturday, 29th June from 3-6pm. Join us for music and dance displays, BBQ, stalls and more. All are welcome! Our final summer term begins on Monday, 3rd June.


Chasey Crawford Usher – Headteacher





Performance and Other Idols


We’re in the midst of a season of exams.  I sometimes wonder if exams are an elaborate scheme to try to keep young people inside when the weather is good and the days long.  It’s an odd thing that the human love of quizzes and games is transformed into loathing when it comes to exams.  But that’s because so much significance is placed on them.  And ‘doing well’ is what you are ‘supposed to do’. 


Achievement and success are almost idols in our world.  Some folk feel they have to constantly share a performance version of their lives on social media with endless positive photos showing just how wonderful everything is, even when it isn't.  Social media is also a space where people can too easily say hurtful things that cause deep upset.  Human relationships need better things than achievement success, being right or a performance version of ourselves.  Real human connection is better when it is honest and true, loving and forgiving.


I think the heart of Christianity is (or should be) love.  Loving myself, loving others and loving God.  It’s a life-long project with lots of bumps along the way.  Loving God matters because if I can learn to love something as mysterious and utterly different from me as God, then perhaps I will also be able to love folk who don’t look like me, sound like me, agree with me or even particularly like me.  If I can get that right then, perhaps I will have succeeded more than I ever did in my exams.


This month my prayers go out to those who struggle with demons of performance pressure of all kinds, and demons that stalk online chat.  When you feel your blood pressure building up, get away from that screen, resist retaliation.  Instead, have a real chat with a human or other creature or part of nature that you connect to, and, if possible, find some sun as well.   God Bless.   Bob






SJB Church web site:

Church Face Book Page:

Friends of SJB Church   web site


Saturday 1 June – 3-5pm - Messy Church

You are invited to come along and enjoy crafts, a bible story, prayers, songs and afternoon tea.  The worship is designed for families with young children.


Sunday 2 June - 10am – Holy Communion

led by Rev Nick Williams

A Communion service based on the Church of England Common Worship Service Book.  Sundays Cool (for all children) meets in the Vestry during the service.


Sunday 9 June – 10am – Morning Praise (Pentecost)

A Morning Praise service led by our Readers.  Secondary Division for those at Secondary School meets for discussion in the Vestry.


Sunday 16 June (Trinity Sunday)

8.30am – Book of Common Prayer, Holy Communion

10am – Family Service

An informal service led by the Sundays Cool team.


Sunday 23 June – 10am – Holy Communion

For the next few months Canon Liz Walker will lead our service on the fourth Sunday of the month.  Sundays Cool meets in the Vestry.


Sunday 30 June – 10am – Holy Communion

This being the fifth Sunday in June, a Benefice Service will be held at our church when we join with neighbours from Teston and East Malling in our worship.


We hope you will be able to join us. Refreshments are served after our 10am services so do stay for a chat if you can.



Every Thursday 9am in East Malling Church - Communion




We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Elaine Moira Avery - Interment of Ashes on 4 May.


Our congratulations and good wishes go to Clare Woolsey and Daniel Hand who were joined in Holy Matrimony on 11 May.




This month we will meet at the church on the mornings of Wednesday 5th and Wednesday 19th from 10.30am until 12.30pm.  Come and join us for a chat, coffee/tea, cake and perhaps revive an interest in craft.  For more information please contact Pauline (814673) or Gillian (813076).






8 June, (Midday Onwards)


Bring a friend, a picnic, a rug/fold-up chair and join the mega-picnic in Rochester Cathedral’s 900-year old nave as a part of a celebration for Thy Kingdom Come in Rochester Diocese.


Activities for all ages, including:

  • Singing workshops
  • Labyrinth
  • Prayer ministry
  • Bell ringing
  • Prayer with icons
  • Puppets
  • ‘Be a monk’ tours


There will be displays and prayer stations from all 17 deaneries of Rochester Diocese and many diocesan schools.


The day will conclude with an informal act of worship at 3pm and the preacher will be The Rt Revd Simon Burton-Jones, Bishop of Tonbridge.





The charging policy starts on Monday, 3 June 2019 at all 18 Kent Household Waste Recycling Centres, with details as follows:


Soil, Rubble & Hardcore:

£4 per bag*/item.

Limited to 5 bags/items per day



£6 per bag*/sheet.


*Any bag up to the size of a standard black sack.


Payment will be by card only and there will be a dedicated member of staff to assist customers when they arrive at site with chargeable waste items.


Information can be found in our ‘Operating Policy’ document online at and FAQs will also shortly be made available online.