Window trail: calling all Faversham businesses!

If you run a shop in Faversham, how do you fancy being part of a window-trail around the town, something to engage children and adults, local residents and visitors alike, and help encourage them into your shop ?

Shop window
The Cat’s whiskers…

Window-trails are simple to do, and highly effective in raising awareness of your premises. All you need to do is place an object somewhere in your window display – a teddy-bear, a model car or boat, for example – at an arranged date, and then encourage children and visitors to the town to hunt through the town to spot them. Talking with one shop-owner in Faversham at the weekend, they were remarking how easy it can be for your store-front to become invisible through familiarity – everyone knows you are there, but they are so accustomed to it that they stop seeing it as they pass by.

So, let’s re-invigorate the retail life of the town for a week, by all putting an object in our windows, and then we’ll advertise a ‘Faversham Window Trail’ through our various social media platforms,  which will enthuse shoppers, visitors and residents to wander around the town in a bid to identify all the objects – and, hopefully, over your thresholds.

If you’re interested in taking part, get in touch via Twitter or drop us an e-mail; how about an Easter-themed trail at the end of the month ? It could be eggs-actly what local retail needs…

Falconry & Archery Days at Mount Ephraim

choochus-Hawk-Pouncing (1)

Joe’s Bows Country Sports are now offering Archery, Falconry, Axe Throwing and other traditional country pursuits experience days at Mount Ephraim.

“As you walk through the wonderful grounds of Mount Ephraim Gardens, you will get to see our beautiful birds up close in their natural surroundings, from flying owls to your glove hand or taking our Hawks on a walk, you will really be in for a treat to explore their behaviours and be guided by our professional falconers”

Joe’s Bows are holding half term courses. Your child will be able to learn several activities; Falconry, Archery and Woodland Skills all in one day. The course is running from Monday 16th February through to Friday 20th February, from 8.45am – 3.15pm. The cost is only £20 per head per day; you will need to supply your child with a pack lunch and drinks.

Or treat your valentine by booking a half day falconry experience on the 14th Feb only, not only 20% off but also buy one get one free at £48, hence, you both can experience a romantic day flying birds of prey!

Check out their website for more information or email

#Favershamhour tweet-up: Weds 7.30pm

It strikes me that it’s high time for a dedicated Tweet-up for Faversham and the surrounding environs, and therefore propose we should hold one on Wednesdays between 7.30-8.30pm.

For anyone for whom a Tweet-up is new territory, it’s very simple – at an appointed hour, we all come onto Twitter to promote local events, opportunities, news stories and anything we think might be of interest to the local community, using the hashtag #Favershamhour. It’s a useful way for business to network and to promote current offers, for people to talk about what’s coming up and more; you can stay for as long or as short a time as you like, so needn’t feel you have to be glued to Twitter for the duration. Participants then click on the hashtag to see all the tweets talking about the same topic.

twitter_in_useOther Tweet-ups such as #kenthour and #createinkent are currently proving very popular and successful as a means of spreading the word.

All you need to do is start your tweet with #Favershamhour and let us know what to look out for; everything from festival events to car-boot sales, missing pets, Deal of the Week at the local market, forthcoming gigs at the local pub – whatever you’d like to share!

See you all on Twitter this Wednesday…

Farming World in Faversham to close

Sad to hear that Farming World, the visitors’ attraction between Hernhill and Faversham, is to close after twenty five years.

As reported in KentOnline, the family-run attraction is to close for good on Sunday November 3rd. It’s a measure of how valued the much-loved Farming World is, that, in a matter of hours, an online petition has sprung up, and has already amassed over 350 signatures.

The Walled Garden
The Walled Garden

It would be shame to see it close; the venue has provided great family entertainment and days out, bringing an opportunity for children to learn about animals, animal welfare, as well as explore the playgroundes, bouncy-pillows, tractor rides around the farm. The walled garden provides a haven for reflection amidst the rockeries and the fish-pond, aided by one of the loveliest set of wind-chimes you’re likely to hear, and the cafe has been popular amongst children and adults alike.

There are play-facilities for children of all ages, a careful consideration for the venue – young children can play on sand-diggers and in a dedicated under-five play-area, whilst older children can explore a larger play-area including a zip-slide; there are even two differently-sized bouncy play-areas for younger and older children alike.

Louring skies over the children's play-area
Louring skies over the children’s play-area

You can read and sign the online petition here; let’s see if we can keep one of the county’s best-loved family venues open.

Thanks to Mid-Kent Astronomical Society, we are all made of stars

Huge thanks to Ian Hargraves and members of MKAS, who brought along their expertise and chunks of meteorites to our Stargazing event last night.

Visitors gather at the start of the event

Heavy cloud-cover could have left the sizable crowd who had gathered in the village hall disappointed, but the team had brought along all manner of materials, and we were treated to a lecture from Ian about aspects of the solar system and the Milky Way, complete with presentation slides and scale-models. As we found out, when stars explode, they release particles into the cosmos, out of which everything is formed: including us.

Ian Hargraves addresses an attentive audience

Practical activities allowed children (and quite a few adults!) to build their own planisphere and models of the Milky Way, and there were displays and relics concerning the main meteorite impact-sites around the world, including the Vredefort structure in South Africa, and the Chixculub crater which scientists now believe was probably responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. The team were knowledgeable and approachable, chatting enthusiastically over coffee during the evening and sharing their passion for astronomy with great enthusiasm. Our thanks to MKAS for their time and generosity in taking part: we hope to welcome them back to participate in another stargazing night in late March – we’ll keep you posted. Thanks to Miriam who put the event together, too.

I made this!

Find out more about MKAS on their website here.

Happy New Year!

It’s been a terrific year for the Forum, with over eight and a half thousand visits; we’ve kept up with debates about education, aspects of Kent’s cultural life and rejuvenation, reunited a lost cat with its owner, and reviewed some of the activities and attractions that have been happening these past twelve months.

With thanks to everyone who has clicked, commented, posted and tweeted over the course of the year – we look forward to seeing (or reading and tweeting!) you in 2013! Keep your contributions, suggestions and ideas coming, we’re looking forward to a vibrant year ahead

Best wishes to all our readers.

Secondary Schools: Open Days calendar

With the round of Open Days at secondary schools coming up over the next several weeks, we’ve compiled a calendar of several of the dates for local schools, which we hope relevant parents will find helpful.

We do recommend that people check the appropriate school websites to confirm that the times & dates are current and correct.

By all means do contact the Forum if you can give us updates or dates of any others local secondary school open days which we might add to the Calendar: thank you!

The Calendar will also feature as a Widget on the right-hand side of the home-page during the relevant period.


Local loan fund to support enterprise in Swale

As indicated in this month’s copy of the ‘Hernhill News,’ Swale’s Head of Community Services is considering the creation of a Local Loan Fund to support voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors in the local area.

Applications to join need to be submitted by Friday 2 March.

Loans will only be granted to organisations, not individuals.

Interested parties can obtain details from the Clerk, Terry Smart: details in the newsletter which will be online here (although not as yet updated since December, previous copies of the newsletter also contain the details).

Looking to the community’s future

There’s a burgeoning teenage sector of our community looming in the next few years.

There are many children in the village, curently aged between 5 – 9 years, who in about four years’ time will begin to evolve into an ever-growing teenaged community.

As some of the village have been observing in recent weeks, as a rural locality, it’s going to become an important issue, how we can engage this part of our community when it begins to emerge.  With limited access to places like Canterbury and Faversham – the local bus service is sporadic – for recreational activities, such as cinemas, cafes, shops and sports and social facilities, at some point, the community will need to assess how it will entertain and occupy them, what recreational and social facilities we can offer.

It’s time to start planning ahead, to make sure that, when this sector of the community emerges, there are means for them to grow and be engaged by their locality. Time to think ahead…