Pippa Wakefield the retired headmistress of West Farleigh School, is very well an still living in the bungalow next to the Old School.
Pippa was born in Manchester and went to High School there. Her father was a bookbinder.
On leaving school she had the option of going to Hull or Bangor to do her teacher training.
As she did not fancy Hull, she spent the next 2 years in Bangor, North Wales. Manchester had given her a grant to go to college on the understanding that they would guarantee her a job in Manchester on completion of her course. However there were no vacancies so she found a teaching post in Wingham, East Kent. She was subsequently offered a job in Manchester, but turned it down, feeling that she had moved on in her life and did not want to go backwards. After several years she moved to West Malling to be head of the boys school there. After 8 years she moved to West Farleigh as Headmistress.
There were approx 68 pupils in the school divided into two classes infants and juniors,Pippa taught the juniors. On leaving the school, if they did not pass the 11 plus, the went on to Westbourough School (Now Astor of Hever).
She met Sylvia, her longterm companion and friend, when as a land girl, she was required to change digs and Pippa and Sylvia found themselves sharing digs in Leybourne.
Pippa (Christened Alice) has been called Pip since she was a child, she does not remember why! She has only been called Pippa recently.
Pip is in good health for her age, still has a sharp sense of humour ans still plays the piano regularly. When on a recent visit I asked if I could take her photo sitting at the piano, she said that if she was to sit at the piano she might as well play something. Instead of taking a still photo, I hit the record button. Below is Pip at a 100 playing Beethoven.
On Easter Sunday two parishioners were walking their dog along the footpath from Gallants Lane to the top of Kettle Lane, through Castle farm. They came across a youngish man on the footpath with what is thought to be an air rifle with a telescopic sight. They were rather alarmed by this as they felt to be shooting so close to a public footpath was not only dangerous but probably not permissable. The young man stated he had permission.
It has subsequently been established that the owner of Castle Farm has only given permission to one of his workers to shoot and then only at night. He has not and will not give anyone permission to shoot on the farm during the day, due to the close proximity of the footpaths.
He is very concerned that this has happened on his land. He will be putting notices up saying that shooting is not allowed.
Should you come across anyone shooting or just armed with a rifle or shotgun, the land owner has asked that you ring 999 and report the problem straight away.
East Farleigh History Society is in abayance at the moment as they are unable to get an organising committee.
This was an interesting and worth while society which arranged meetings, which many people enjoyed.
Is there any one who would like to help ressurrect this society? I am sure there would be help from some of the old committee and other local history societies.
If you are interested Email Helen on firstname.lastname@example.org
Good news for Charlton Lane, buses and footballers!
The new carpark on the north side of Charlton Lane is now under construction (yes, it's him!) and will be finished in time for next Saturday!
This will have enough parking for 35 or so cars and will take the pressure off the road, especially on Saturdays when the young footballers are playing, and when the Sports Club are playing at home.
The work is expected to be finished by next weekend.
The existing footpath will run between the trees on the upper boundary and the carpark.
The earth from the site is being used to improve the access to Elmscroft Park opposite, which will be helpful when that field is in use e.g. for fairs and fireworks.
We have received the following messages in the last two days from Kent Police Neighbourhood Watch - please pass on
There have been reports of suspicious individuals paying particular attention to oil tanks. One Kent resident had people pay attention to their oil tank and when challenged claimed they were from a telecommunications company
Please ensure that your oil tanks are secure. Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity by calling 101 or 999 (when you need immediate help/crime in progress).
Also received - a reminder never to respond to emails asking you to verify your account details. If you've received a scam telephone call, letter or email recently, the information you give may stop someone from being targeted by a scam.Don't delay, report it today - kent.gov.uk/tradingstandards
The Farleighs WI and friends enjoyed a lively evening dozy-doeing, sashaying and swinging their partners as they danced to the wonderful Hatted Hens. It was so enjoyable they they hope to hold another one - so watch this space!
DO YOU FIND IT SLOW? DO YOU LOSE CONNECTION?
Many people in the village are experiencing increasing slow Broadband which shuts down completely several times a day.
A villager contacted our MP Helen Grant, to ask for her help in getting some of the promised government money spent on improving our service. She was quick and thorough but was only able to come up with the promise that something will be done by the end of this year, but it will not improve the service much as we are a long way from Wateringbury exchange and they will not be putting a fibre optic connection all the way to our village.
Following this the villager had a call from BT saying that they were surprised that he had complained about the service and that they have no other complaints. We know that this is not strictly true as we know of others who have complained.
A letter to Helen Grant from Paul Carter (KCC) was forwarded, which pointed out we are in the last 5% to be upgraded and even then we will not get a really fast service.
BUT:- If you are frustrated by the speed and regular loss of connection, the Parish Council urge you to PLEASE COMPLAIN NOW. It would be especially helpful if those of you with businesses, or work from home would complain as this would seem to carry more weight.
BT Complaints No 0800 111 4567
I have been unable to find an Email address!
Would you also be kind enough to Email Helen Grant email@example.com
They will then know the scale of the problem.
Dog Walkers and Ramblers
We live a beautiful part of Kent, with many footpaths and Bridleways which are no longer necessary for people going about their daily business but are now a facility for leisure and pleasure.
Many of our paths go across cultivated fields, orchards and grazing. These farms are businesses and not country parks and we should act responsibly when using these rights of way. We should stick to the marked pathways and not wander off into the orchards or fields. If the path is not clearly marked, the footpath officer should be told and they will inspect and put in new signage if appropriate. It is often OK to let dogs of the lead, but when work is being done on the land, ploughing, spraying, harvesting etc dogs should be on a lead as to not interfere with the work.
When there is stock grazing, particularly sheep, dogs must be on a lead. Any upset to sheep can cause abortions. Sheep are very silly sensitive animals! This is why farmers have the right to shoot any dog worrying sheep.
Do pick up your dogs poo. A hay bale with dog poo in it is not pleasant.
A trackway on farm land is not necessarily a right of way. Check on an OS map before using them as a footpath. However landowners are often happy for them to be used, provided you ask permission.
KCC footpath officers firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 0845 345 0210
Carry on walking and enjoying our beautiful countryside.
Another accident underlines the importance of Roy Plommer's initiative to reduce vehicle speeds on Lower Road...(click here to see the lead article in December Lifeline.) Roy and our MP Helen Grant will be presenting the petition to KCC Highways this coming Friday 9th Jan.
Do join Roy and Helen if you can! County Hall, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ at 11.45am this Friday. And can you help identify the car?
On the weekend before Christmas, a car left the road at the junction of Teston Lane and Lower Road and destroyed twenty yards of fence. There were no witnesses and nearby residents didn't hear anything. From the tyre marks on the bank on the opposite side of the road, it seems possible that two vehicles were involved or even that there were two separate accidents.
However from the wreckage left behind (see below), our friendly folks at Farleigh Forge Garage have identified the car as a Ford Focus. It lost a headlight and the radiator grill. The headlight was manufactured in June 2006 (see below, right).
Three days ago, a grey/silver Ford Focus missing a radiator grill was spotted on Lower Road, but no numberplate. Can you help? You can add a comment directly to this blog or email the editor!