Eggciting times ahead at Mount Ephraim

There’s plenty to get eggcited about over Easter at Mount Ephraim Gardens, including an Easter Egg Trail over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

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Over Sunday 21 and Monday 22 April, families can enjoy seasonal events at Mount Ephraim; and looking ahead to the May Bank Holiday, the popular Pat-a-Lamb event returns. The Gardens and Tea Room will officially open next week, on Weds 3 April.

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Image (c) Mount Ephraim Gardens

Whether you’re eggstatic about Easter or feeling a little sheepish, find out what’s going on online here.

(No more puns, we promise…)

Breathing Space with the University of Kent Chamber Choir: Friday 15 March

The popular monthly Breathing Space service at St Michael’s continues next week with a sequence of music and silence by candlelight on Friday 15 March, performed by the University of Kent Chamber Choir.

20181210_193327A meditative, reflective event that creates space for contemplation, the event will feature the University’s student singers in a programme including a setting of The Lord’s Prayer,  the plainchaint Rorate coeli de super and a setting of the American spiritual, Go Down, Moses as well as a colourful movement from Between Worlds, a choral work inspired by science, by Deal-based composer, Anna Phoebe.

The Choir recently sang Choral Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral as part of a busy programme of performing commitments throughout the academic year. Their performance at next week’s Breathing Space will also include a beautiful setting of Blest are the Pure in Heart’by composer James Webb.

The hour-long service starts at 7.30pm, and all are welcome.

Massive housing development threatens our landscape and environment.

The “Garden Community Prospectus” was published by the Government in 2018, Swale Borough Council have adopted this and invited proposals for “Garden Communities” in Swale, with a view to these schemes possibly being included in the Local Plan.

There are two proposals around Faversham, the Duchy of Cornwall have proposed a development including 2500 homes to the South-East, along the A2, and Gladman have proposed a development including 5000+ houses to the South, along North Street.

Both developments will be constructed on prime, Grade 1 & 2 agricultural land. They will bring further congestion on our roads, pressure on our infrastructure and demand on our already stretched hospitals and schools.

The Gladman proposal sits within the Area of Outstanding Beauty and will bring pollution from construction, traffic, light and noise to this protected landscape.

There is a public consultation being carried out at the moment. If you want to know about public meetings or find the most up-to-date information, follow us on facebook and we will keep you informed.

If you are concerned about these proposals, please write to your local Councillors and MP. Not all Councillors support these proposals, but they will need your letters and emails to demonstrate that the community do not support this large-scale development.

Councillors contact details can be found here.

Helen Whateley can be contacted at helen.whately.mp@parliament.uk

If you want more information about the proposals you can find it on the Swale BC website here and links to the Prospectus and other documents can be found here.

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Cleve Hill Solar Farm

The proposed Cleve Hill solar farm represents a hideous threat to a swathe of the internationally important North Kent Marshes.

You have until January 28 to register an interest in having a say. Please note that this doesn’t commit you to anything – it’s entirely up to you how much you want to get involved – but it is important that the more people who register, the better (for our environment). 

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The Cleve Hill Solar Park proposal is huge in more ways than one. The parent companies, Hive and Wirsol, have a lot of expertise, time and cash. They’ve spent years concocting their plans – and the 5000 page application shows the depth and breadth of this work.

So, we’re facing an uphill battle, a herculean task, a David and Goliath fight. But it is a fight that can be won. One project that was refused was the Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm consisting of 27 onshore turbines east of Aberystwyth.

Even though the Planning Inspectorate’s Examiners recommended approving the scheme, the relevant Secretary of State (Amber Rudd at the time) had the final say and refused the application. Her decision hinged on the potential fate of red kites and a failure by the developer to provide sufficient information about whether any international obligations might be breached“.

GREAT- Graveney Rural Action Team

You can find out more here:

There is also more information in Kent Online this week.

 

Remembrance & Centenary

A service of remembrance will be held at the War Memorial outside St. Michael’s Church on Sunday 11th November, starting at 10.50am.

Everyone is welcome and the church invites you to bring wreaths to lay at the memorial, on behalf of your organisation, business or yourself.

As it is the Centenary of the end of the First World War, there will also be an exhibition in the church, remembering those who fought and the 30 men of Hernhill Parish who never returned from the Great War.

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Lest We Forget.

 

Recently unearthed documents provide a glimpse into Hernhill’s past

Recently unearthed documents relating to the village were on display in Hernhill Church last Saturday, affording a fascinating glimpse into the village’s history. Stored in a steel chest, to which the key had gone missing, the key recently came to light, and the treasure-trove of maps, letters, invoices and photographs was set out for visitors to examine.

There’s always something rather magical about coming into contact with archive documents, a physical, tangible manifestation of moments in history; artefacts which would have been touched, handled by people lost to memory, and the collection represented a brief moment for these lives to step out of the pages of history and into the light.

As expected for an area rooted in agriculture, there were documents relating to tithes and land ownership, included details from August, 1840, and a map of the area from 1913.

A map of the area, dated 11 October, 1918

There were plenty of letters relating to the village school, including a receipt for an insurance premium from 1935 for the princely sum of £2 11 shillings;

From the Second World War, letters to the then Headmaster, Mr S.B. Pritchard confirming the acceptance of the post of Divisional Commander to a Sea Cadet Camp in 1943; and most fascinatingly, details about the closure of the school for the wonderfully-named Whitsun and Fruiting Holiday period that same year.

There were also glimpses of mundane, pragmatic concerns that make up daily life, including a quote for cleaning and maintenance of the church clock in 1937.

There was also a wonderful Book of Common Prayer from 1785.

Also on display was the rather endearing Our Homes, a copy of an address given by the Rev W.D. Springett, former Rector of Pluckley and Rural Dean of East Charing and (at the time) formerly of Hernhill, which included photographs of the church,  given at the church in the afternoon of Sunday 12 December in 1915; a possible morale-boosting community event during the dark days of the Great War.

Memorial Church showing entrance: from 1915
Addition to churchyard: from 1915

All in all, the event was a marvellous look through a tiny window into the history of Hernhill and its people; thank you to all those who both organised the exhibition and who ran the event itself. Let’s hope these documents are preserved for future generations to enjoy.