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The annual Christmas Tree Carol Service filled the church last night with light and sound, assisted by the WI Choir and five Christmas trees.
Felicity Field, started this tradition four years ago, was there in person to enjoy it.
The congregation ranged in age from 6 weeks to 90 years. The WI choir was in full voice after a busy week in which they have been performing or rehearsing almost every night. The new carpark came into its own and the usual congestion and frustration down Church Lane was greatly reduced!
With attendance figures nearing capacity, nearly 900 excited visitors attended the welcome and eagerly anticipated return of fireworks in the village. The West Farleigh Sports Club organised display certainly came back with a very pleasing bang.
Blessed by a dry, clear night, the display was clearly te best so far. The watchers oohed and aahed to a great variety of whooshy whizzy things, clouds and cascades of sparkles and, of course, satisfying bangs.
And all the cars got off the field successfully!
Entertainment before the display was provided by the brilliant, toe-tapping percussion of the East Farleigh Samba Band, stilt walkers and fire jugglers. The sale of quite delicious mulled cider was very brisk, as was the sale of specially baked cakes and LED miscellany for the children. The burger van was kept pretty busy too.
The very efficient Kerry French, backed by the stalwarts of the sports teams, took charge of the organisation on behalf of the sports club with loads of advice from Terry Ayres who happily passed the Roman Candle to her. Despite starting the preparations months ago and having to deal with dozens of people from H&S, police, the fire brigade, the council and myriad other very important officials, final permission didn't come until just two days before the event. "Phew!" said Kerry, "That was a close thing."
I asked her about next year and she said it was definitely a yes and she was going to start the paper trail straight away!
I have had many compliments about the evening and it is a pleasure to pass them on as well as my thanks on behalf of the village.
Click here to see some more pictures of the event.
THE GREAT THROMBOSI DUSTS OFF HIS KNIVES
AT ALL SAINTS
It has to be a first: a knife throwing act at a Harvest Supper. The Great Thrombosi and his lovely assistant entertained the diners at half time (giving some of them a chance to rest their grey cells after the exercise of Tim Hill's wonderful quiz).
In this shot, the great man has already popped - after a couple of false starts - the balloons on either side of his victims' face and is now ready to tackle the yellow balloon between the knees.
The audience, well fed and watered, sits on the edge of their seats. You could hear a pin drop or rather a kitchen knife. Will Peter, who has volunteered for this dangerous mission, survive with all limbs intact? Only the lady with the camera seems to think this is comedy.
Success! All balloons popped, the Great Thromosi poses after another triumph. Will another five years go by before his next show? We hope not!
Anyone who lives in Charlton Lane and drives will be aware of the problems caused by footballers and their supporters parking on Charlton Lane. This is especially a problem on match days (Saturdays). It's hard for cars to get up and down the lane. It can be impossible for the bus. I know that there was a bad incident just over a week ago ( Sat 27th September) when two cars from the opposing team were badly parked and the bus could not pass.
I'd like to apologise to all West Farleigh residents who have been affected by this. We do try to educate both our supporters and the opposing team to park off the road and to leave room, but in this case we failed. We have taken steps to improve communication and policing.
In the medium term, though, we have applied for planning permission for a carpark on the east side of Charlton Lane, directly opposite the changing rooms, and this has been granted. Unfortunately the permission included a restriction that the carpark could not be used after 4pm on a Saturday, which is one of our busiest times! This is very unhelpful and we are asking the Council to reconsider as a matter of urgency.
I will keep you all posted and please accept my assurance that we are working hard to prevent this kind of thing in the future,
West Farleigh Sports Club
After a short break, the family friendly local fireworks is ON again at West Farleigh!
This year it wll be on FRIDAY, 31st October and the organisers (the Sports Club) are planning something bigger and better than ever (fire-eaters, face painting, toffee apples, fish and chips, hot cider) as well as what has always been terrific pyrotechnics and bonfire.
There is a discount for early bird tickets. You can see the details and buy tickets on the Sports Club website.
The return of Teston Blues...
KCC have announced that Teston Lane will be closed for up to 2 weeks from Mon 25 Aug.
roadworks.org, the national roadworks website, has the job posted as High Impact, Delays likely and features a memo (see below) which says "Please supply Civils Gang to dig down and investigate damaged drainage system..."
We contacted KCC directly and got a prompt reply (thank you):
The planned works to be carried out within the closure are drainage works to investigate and repair the system in the road, once this is complete the road will be resurfaced.
So the good news is that the council are planning on tackling the drainage issue.
This section of road was closed for resurfacing only 3 years ago, and the surface deteriorated almost immediately.
Informed local observers blamed a lack of tar under the trees (more tar is required to hold chippings in place under trees) but the constant problem with water run-off has been evident for years (see picture below)
There used to be a pond in the second field on the left as you go down Teston Lane from Lower Road. This pond was filled in but perhaps the spring that fed it was not connected to a drain and has found its way to the river down the road?
Anyway, let's hope that KCC Highway Dept is successful in fixing the drainage, whatever the cause may be...and let's hope it really does take 2 weeks or less to do that!
PS. Congratulations to the landowner of the woodland at the junction with Lower Road who has finally had the brush cleared (see below) so that traffic coming up the hill has a clear view of traffic coming from Maidstone...but now we can see that the fence needs mending!
14 Aug 2014
It's been almost five weeks since Terry suffered serious injuries when he parted company with his ladder while trimming a hedge. He spent a painful time in hospital (see left) in a brace but never stopped smiling.
The latest news (see photo below) is that he is in good spirits and is making a good recovery back at home in Charlton Lane. The original timetable was to be back to work in six weeks but that may be optimistic.
Don't know what the hedges are thinking but the rest of us are wishing him well and hoping he will be back on his feet very, very soon.
Last August, we published an article about the works to repair the century-old Teston Lock, which were just about completed. One of the intriguing things we learned at that time was that the Environment Agency had an ambitious and long-term plan to rejuvenate the fish life of the Medway by completing a series of fish ladders and eel passes, enabling sea trout, salmon and eels to migrate upstream to spawn.
The fish ladder and eel pass at Teston was completed. We can't show you a fish going UP, but here's an intrepid canoeist going down. The eel pass, by the way, is a concrete channel lined with plastic fronds which is on the right of the fish ladder as you look upstream. You can see the steel plates on top of it in the first picture.
So, after the floods (did you see this amazing aerial footage, taken from a helicopter on Xmas Day, 2013?) what's the latest on the lock and the plans...we went back to the ever-helpful Environment Agency to ask.
Question: was the lock or the new works damaged by the floods?
Answer: nothing major, just fences and footpaths. Most of the repair work should be completed by Easter week.
Question: the banks of the Medway are lined with rubbish washed down during the floods, especially plastic bags and polythene sheeting. Are there plans to clear this up?
Answer: this is a huge job and we have no funding to do it. We did try to organise a canoeing volunteers weekend with the River Medway paddlers (representatives from canoe clubs, schools, and other organisations) but there was only limited interest.
Question: what's the latest on the fish ladders and eel passes?
Answer: we still need to construct fish passes at East Farleigh and Anchor Sluice, however capital funding on these has dried up. We have a bid into DEFRA and are waiting to hear.
So, that's the news on Teston Lock. It's still there, but so's the rubbish!
April 20, 2014
The Farleighs WI Choir
On Saturday 1st February The Farleighs WI choir sang in the first round of
a competition to find the WI Choir of the Century. The WI nationally will be
100 years old in 2015. The winning choir will sing in the Albert Hall at the AGM.
They were competing against 3 other choirs from West Kent. They sang three
songs, an Italian Folk song (in english) Mozarts Ave Verum (in latin) and a
new song Butterfly written by Alan and Catherine Simmons. It was originally
written for children, but suits an all female choir very well.
They had rehearsed hard, the choir mistress Lynn Seeley is a perfectionist,
but the hard work paid off. They were selected by a panel of professional
musicians to go forward to the next round. They will be representing West
Kent in the South East regional competition in Dorking in September.
Welcome to a big, time consuming wordsearch! There are well over a hundred words to find, so just work away at it as and when you find the time. Usual rules; words run left to right, up and down and diagonally.
Click here to find the link.
And a Happy Christmas to all of you...