On the night of Saturday 11th May two garden sheds were broken into in Tilefields while earlier in the month a number of outbuildings belonging to properties on the Ashford Road were illegally entered. Earlier in the month an excavator was stolen from the grounds of Snagbrook Oast in Upper Street. There have also been reports of damage to cars at Harrietsham Station.
Hollingbourne Bell Ringers are looking for new members. Bell ringing practise is on Monday nights at 7.30pm in All Saints’ Church are all ages are welcome. For more details please contact Andrew Brown at email@example.com The tower has eight bells and the bells are rung on Sunday mornings and for weddings and other events.
E I Group PLC, formerly Enterprise Inns PLC, are in discussions with the developers of the 10 houses for which planning permission has been granted alongside the Windmill Lane Public Footpath (KH199). EI Group PLC own part of the Footpath between the Windmill PH and Stable Cottage and the developer needs to gain vehicular rights over the Footpath in order to be able to build the 10 houses. It is understood that EI Group PLC are minded to support the development which can only be reached via a 3 metre wide gap between listed buildings. Most of the Footpath that will be used for access is unregistered and it is unclear who will be responsible for the maintenance of the Lane which also leads to the Village Hall and Grove Mill Farm. The fact that consideration is being given to the development, which was opposed by the Parish Council and a large number of residents, may mean that the unresolved question of the Village Hall lease from EI Group PLC, which expired in August 2016 will come to a head.
Access to the Windmill Lane Public Footpath, which is also an emergency access route for HS1 and must be kept open, is difficult for large vehicles and a lorry that became stuck in May 2018 is pictured below.
Jim Findlay of Broad Street has been asked to open the Hollingbourne Village Fete on the Lance Memorial Playing Field on 8th June. He will be shortly moving from Hollingbourne to Bearsted and has recently retired as All Saints’ Churchwarden. He was a member of All Saints’ Parochial Church Council for 20 years and was the founding Chairman of the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust.
Christopher Rudgard is to make a statement about the future of the Christopher’s Village Shop in Eyhorne Street at the next Hollingbourne Parish Council meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 10th June in the Cardwell Pavilion. He has run the shop for over 15 years and has previously indicated that he has wanted to retire at some point. Over the last few decades Hollingbourne has several retail businesses and the Village Shop and the Rock, Paper, and Scissors Barbers are the only ones remaining apart from the three public houses and the Eyhorne Osteopathic Clinic. At the moment the premises are supplied free of charge by the landlord, Paul Teague, which helps but trading remains difficult. The nearest alternative shops are at least three miles away in Harrietsham or Bearsted. The shop is a lifeline for many who cannot easily get out of the village and the situation will become worse next month when the number 13 bus service will stop running as far as Maidstone Town Centre. As from June bus passengers will need to change buses on the Sutton Road in order to get to Maidstone which means that the five mile journey will take almost an hour.
Pictured below is Christopher Rudgard in the Village Shop.
No opening date for the new Hollingbourne Station Footpath has been advised to Hollingbourne Parish Council. At the beginning of 2018 it Network Rail decided to close the foot crossing over the line to the west of Hollingbourne Station for safety reasons and in conjunction with Kent County Council it was decided to divert the Public Footpath over the station bridge and into a new footpath from the downside platform back into the fields on the north side of the station. Work was carried out in 2018 and then more work in March 2019 but no opening date has been given for the opening of the footpath. Meanwhile the rest of Station, which is busier than ever with around 1000 passengers a week and is the closest one to Leeds Castle, looks neglected and could do with new paint. On Saturday 11th May the Northern Belle steam train passed through the station on an excursion in aid of the Heart of Kent Hospice.
The promised resurfacing of the coast bound side of the M20 from Junction 8 in Hollingbourne towards Junction 9 has not happened. Earlier this year Highways England promised that the carriageway would be skimmed to reduce the noise from the ribbed concrete surface which has been an issue since the M20 was opened in 1991. Hollingbourne Parish Councillor Catherine O’Meara is looking into the matter. The news that the M20 would be “retextured” was reported earlier this year at https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/after-a-28-year-wait-highways-england-are-to-resurface-the-m20-with-a-quieter-top-but-only-on-the-coastbound-side/
Pictured below is the M20 looking towards Ashford from the Eyhorne Street bridge.
The wooden bollard at the corner of Eyhorne Street and the Windmill Lane Public Footpath (KH199) has been demolished by a silver grey pickup tuck with a trailer. The incident at around 4.45pm on 17th May was witnessed by several local residents and details of the vehicle have been supplied to Kent County Council Highways who are responsible for the bollard. UPDATE – It has been replaced but without a reflector on the traffic side.
Pictured below are the remains of the bollard which has been previously replaced following earlier incidents.
Hollingbourne Parish Council has no information about the excavation work currently being done in the grounds of Snagbrook House. A number of local residents have asked Parish Councillors about this but no information is to hand. Planning permission was recently granted for a tractor shed on the Manor Lane side of the property.
The Hollingbourne Book Group is looking for new members and the next meeting is on Thursday 20th June. The group meets monthly and was founded in 1994 and more details are available from Barbara Lloyd (Tel 880282).
Nearly one thousand motorists have been fined for speeding on the M20 between Hollingbourne and Ashford whilst using the London bound side which has been reduced to two lanes with a 50mph speed limit since the start of the year. The London bound side is available for a contraflow system in the event that the UK leaves the EU Customs Union after Brexit. In this event the coastbound side will be used for storing 2000 lorries awaiting Customs and the Junction 8 coastbound slip road at Hollingbourne will be closed.
Greenway Court Road will be closed for urgent repairs on Monday 3rd June. Hollingbourne Parish Council has received a number of complaints about the closure of Eyhorne Street for five days from the 26th May and the matter has been referred to local Kent County Councillor Shellina Prendergast. She writes:
I am very mindful of the disruption that such road closures can cause to the local community but as you are well aware KCC cannot legally refuse to accommodate utility companies – this guide might be useful to you https://democracy.kent.gov.uk/documents/s76388/How%20Roadworks%20are%20managed%20short%20guide.pdf
As you are already aware from previous emails sent last week, Cllr. Ardley and Parish Clerk Vicki Smith have been liaising with Highways Officers on this matter since last Thursday (23rd May) and it has been agreed that a highways inspector will monitor the works to ensure that they do not inconvenience residents for longer than necessary . I have passed your email to officers for their awareness but it might be more expedient, as I have previously explained, to report these matters directly on the KCC Highways Portal or the Parish Portal – Vicki has access to both – so that they can be properly logged, picked up the appropriate team and actioned. I am always happy, as you know, to assist if any problems should arise.
Councillor Prendergast can be contacted at Shellina.Prendergast@kent.gov.uk
Although the both the Hollingbourne and Templeuve Twinning Committees have been dissolved the Hollingbourne Golfers would still like to regain the Dirty Habit Claret Jug Golf Trophy which is currently in Templeuve. A proposal has been made to Templeuve for a further match but no response had been received by the end of May. Hollingbourne Parish Council, who are one of the signatories to the Twinning Agreement that was signed in 2013, hopes that the relationship can continue in some form. No visitors from Templeuve are expected at the Hollingbourne Village Fete on 8th June whereas in previous years at least one coachload has been sent for the day.
A query about one of the names on the Hollingbourne Village War Memorials has been reported on Kent Online at https://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/war-hero-misnamed-on-village-memorial-205579/ The matter was initially raised with local MP Mrs Helen Whately who referred the matter to Hollingbourne Parish Council who then passed the matter to All Saints’ Parochial Church Council and the Leeds and Hollingbourne Branch of the Royal British Legion for comment. The matter is to be considered at the next Hollingbourne Parish Council meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 10th June in the Cardwell Pavilion. It appears that a Mr Barling has been listed as “Henry” and not “Harry”. A separate memorial in the church for Private Barling lists him as Harry although on the Church Roll of Honour he is listed as “Henry”. Details of the names on the Village Ware Memorial together with links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website where possible are at https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/hollingbourne-war-memorial/
Joyce Goodwin, formerly of Bourneside Terrace died on 29th May in the Hillbeck Nursing Home, in Roundwell, Bearsted. Joyce (91) had not enjoyed good health for the last few years and was visually impaired. She had lived in Eyhorne Street for many years and had originally come from Scotland. At one time she worked with the late Mrs Newberry in the former Antiques Shop on the corner of Upper Street and the Pilgrim’s Way. The funeral is on Monday 17th June at 11am at Vinters Park Crematorium. All are welcome.
The All Saints’ Church Open Morning on 15th June when the Culpeper Embroidery is on show has been postponed to a further date. The event was to be attended by Alex Seth-Smith who recently restored the 17th century work which was created in Hollingbourne.
Val Lurcock, Churchwarden, writes: Due to circumstances beyond our control the Open Morning at All Saints Church on Saturday 15 June has regrettably been postponed until a new date can be arranged.
Pictured below is a section of the embroidery.