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Spring 2011 Extracts

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The acquirement by the Ditton Parish Council of the old Kent Ragstone quarry some years ago certainly paid off in full last year. Three times it was turned into a winter wonderland, early in January and then twice in December, for children of all ages to try their hand at some tobogganing.

photograph of Ditton Court Quarry Local Nature Reserve in winter

There are at least six sites in the quarry where this winter sport could be undertaken at different degrees of difficulty. From very young beginners with their parents controlling them to the more robust juniors who had that devil may care attitude and threw themselves onto the runs with bravado and gusto.

photograph of Ditton Court Quarry Local Nature Reserve in winter

The council are very proud of their achievement and with its status now as a Nature Reserve the quarry is ensured for all present and future residents as an area where they can enjoy a leisurely stroll with (or without) their dog, and where our youngsters can achieve some outdoor recreation with all the benefits that go with this activity.
Whichever the season you visit the site, you can be assured that there are a great variety of fauna and flora to be seen here, also a wide range of butterflies and birds. Do try to take the time to have a visit with your family if possible and perhaps in the spring and summer have a nice picnic there. Detailed information leaflets on the site are available from the Parish Office.


photograph of Cllr Mike Porter, Chairman of Ditton Parish Council
By Mike Porter,
Parish Council Chairman


photograph of Sue Kavanagh, Parish Clerk
By Sue Kavanagh,
Parish Council Clerk

Welcome to the 2011 Spring edition of the Gazette. You will see that we have changed the format of this edition to A5 for a trial period, as we feel this is more user friendly. We would, however, appreciate
your comments on the new format and whether you prefer this size or the larger A4 style. We have included a section in the gazette for you to insert your comments, cut out and return to us, so please let us know your thoughts.

It has been another busy time for the Council and staff, including budgets to be set for 2011/2012. We looked very careful at proposed expenditure during 2011/2012 and kept this to an absolute minimum, but without the loss of any services. It has been very difficult this year, but we were all aware of the global financial situation and the impact this has on everyone’s purses. I am therefore pleased that we have been able to keep any increase to a minimum and apply only a 1.90% rise in the parish portion of the Council tax.
We have also been busy with reorganising the administration staffing and workload that will be necessary with the retirement of the Clerk, Sue Kavanagh, on 30th June this year. All is now in hand and the new Clerk, Nicola Greenaway, will take up the post on 1st July 2011, also administrative assistant, Mandy Davis, will become the new clerk to the Open Spaces & Amenities and Planning Committees on the 1st July 2011. On behalf of the Council I wish them both every success in their new roles.

On behalf of the Council I sincerely thank Sue for all her hard work over the 27 years she has been with the Council, her experience and knowledge will be greatly missed by us all and I take this opportunity to wish Sue a long and happy retirement.
I am pleased to announce that the Cedar Room/Youth Centre external refurbishment is now complete with just the internal decorating to finish. Plans are currently being drawn up for a grand opening in the very near future. I sincerely
thank the steering committee, community warden and all those involved for all their hard work in bringing this project to fruition. It will be a great asset to the parish for many years to come.

This is my very last column. I have decided after nearly 27 years it is time to pack away my notebook, pencil and computer and enjoy some leisure time.
I will be handing over to my deputy, Nicola Greenaway on 30th June 2011.
Nicola has been with the Council since October 2002 and during that time has been clerk to the Open Spaces and Amenities and Planning committees. Nicola passed the Certificate in Local Council Administration last year and was promoted to Deputy Clerk on 1st January 2011. Nicola has been working alongside me over the past year learning all aspects and responsibilities of the post and I know she has the knowledge and experience to serve the parish well. I sincerely wish her every success in her future as Clerk to the Council.

I have thoroughly enjoyed serving you all over the past 27 years and I thank you for your support of the parish council during that time. I also thank the Chairman, Cllr. Mike Porter, and Members of the Council, both past and present, I have worked with throughout those years for their support, Finally, I wish the Council every success in the future.


graphic of a pointing fingergraphic of a pointing fingergraphic of a pointing fingergraphic of a pointing fingergraphic of a pointing finger

Parish Council elections will take place on Thursday 5th May 2011 and Ditton
will have 13 seats to fill.
You really can make a difference to your community by standing for election.

Being a parish councillor can be very rewarding and interesting. It enables you to work with likeminded people, share ideas, discuss projects and have a very real input into shaping your community for the future.
The opportunity to stand for election is open to almost everyone aged eighteen or over and who is eligible to vote and either resides in the parish or within 3 miles of the parish boundary. There are some other criteria that would enable a person to stand for election such as owning land in the parish.

Nomination papers will shortly be available from Tonbridge & Malling Borough
Council, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4

image of advert for Unit Five dance on 14 May 2011


Ditton & Malling Active Retirement Association
photograph of DAMARA members enjoying a ten pin bowling session

The Ditton & Malling Active Retirement Association is part of a county wide association with some 85 clubs affiliated with nearly 12,000 members. We meet every second Wednesday in the Oaken Hall at the Ditton Community Centre from 1.30 pm till 4.00 pm.
At the moment we have some vacancies for membership and would welcome anyone who is over the age of fifty and either retired or semi-retired. You can come along and just pay a meeting fee for two or three meetings before being asked to join, this gives you time to decide whether this is the right club for you. As the name implies we are an active retirement club, this means that we do not cater for members who may require assistance or a carer, though wheelchair membership is allowed but who may be restricted as to what events they attend.
We run various sections that includes such delights as monthly outings, New Age Kurling, 10 Pin Bowling in Maidstone (see photo above) Art classes as well as Holidays and hopefully some other activities that are on the curriculum for 2011. At the moment there is an Annual Membership Fee of £20.00 which is payable in two sums of £10.00 payable in January and July each year, sometimes there will be an extra fee for a meeting where we have extra payment to be made to either entertainers or other services employed.
For more details contact the club secretary: Tony Mulcuck on 01732 844195 or come along to one of our meetings which are held usually every second Wednesday of each month apart from April when it will be on the 20th and October when its on the 5th.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings.

News from St Peters Church


photograph of St Peter’s Church singers, singing outside the One Stop shop in New Road at Christmas.

We gave out mince pies and hot mulled wine to those shopping. Thank you to the Manager of One Stop who kindly donated mince pies and wine for the community to enjoy.

(below) Some of the congregation celebrating the service of Christingle on the first Sunday in the New year 2011. The orange, ribbon, sweets and a candle represent and reminds us that Jesus came to us as The Light of the World. Look out for this service next year and come and join with us.

photograph of some of the St Peters congregation celebrating the service of Christingle

What is Easter all about and Why did Jesus Die?

God came into the world (celebrated at Christmas in the person of Jesus because people were incapable of loving each other—of following God’s ways. Jesus’ life and teaching remind us of God’s plan. However God needed to give people who’d got things wrong, the opportunity to start all over again. Jesus died on the cross (called Good Friday) to take away all of that wrongdoing. In His dying, God’s forgiveness is offered to those who start afresh by accepting Jesus as the only way they can come into a full relationship with God. And not only that, but that relationship will carry on to the other side of earthly life too (celebrated on Easter day).
So you see, the Christian life is one of celebration for what God has done—not one of following rules and regulations or doing “good deeds”. That’s because Christians realise that they can’t work or buy their way into heaven—no amount of action can do that. Reconciliation (called salvation) and through faith that Jesus died to take our misdeeds
For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith - and this is not from yourselves - it is the gift of God, not by works so that no-one can boast Ephesians 2:8-9
And the Christian response? To praise God, and to thank Him for that love. Priscilla Payne

Good Friday 22nd April 10.00am All age Worship.
Good Friday 22nd April 7-30pm Meditation: with Ditton Community Choir.
Easter Sunday 24th April 10-00am All age Worship and Communion.
Easter Sunday 24th April Sunday Evening 6.30pm Easter Praise.
You will be welcome to join with us for any of these services.

Can we Pray for you?
Is there someone or a situation you would like us to pray for in our services on a Sunday. We don’t need to know details or names if you prefer; but if we could help in this way please contact Ross on 01732 842027 or Priscilla on 01732 841257 or leave a message at the church office on 01732 873798. If you know of anyone who would be helped by a visit at home or hospital please contact the above numbers.

Are you a past pupil, parent, or committee or staff member of

If so, please come and join us on Saturday 11th June for our 10th Birthday Celebrations between 2pm and 4pm. We hope to send invitations nearer the time but for more information please call Vicky Newington on 01732 521670 or Caroline Gibbons on 01732 846394.

Community Choir
Are there any men out there who enjoy singing? Ditton Community choir needs you! We meet every Thursday at Ditton Junior school from 7-45 - 9-15 pm. Please ring Priscilla on 01732 841257 for more information.

photograph of Ditton Church Preschool 10 years celebrationlogo of Ditton Church Preschool

Pre-school 10 Years Celebration.

Ditton Church Preschool was opened on 9th January 2001 with four members of staff and 12 children. We are proud to be part of St Peter’s Church and we feel that it is important for the church to be involved in preschool life as well.
The concept of a preschool linked to the church was dreamt up by members of St Peter’s who had preschool aged children themselves. The aim was to provide a non-profit making service to our community within the ethos of Christian values.
Our preschool, like all other early years provision is registered and inspected by Ofsted. We learn about all faiths and cultures in ways that are appropriate to the ages and stages of development of our children. However, as a church preschool we celebrate all the main Christian festivals with stories, prayers and services for both children and their parents in the church.
We are thankful to be well supported by Ross and Priscilla at the services during the year.
At preschool we always try to involve the whole family and we organise monthly coffee mornings, social events and fundraising activities throughout the year.
To begin our celebrations of ten years we have changed the colour of our uniform from blue to purple. On Saturday 11th June 2011 we are going to celebrate our pre-school by inviting both past and present children and their families to share their memories of the pre-school with us.
Throughout ten years of service we have been richly blessed with fantastic staff, supportive families and the love and care of our church family. We pray that our bond with St Peter’s and our long term vision will continue to grow as we seek to provide the best possible nurturing environment for the children of our community.

Please feel free to have a chat with Karolyn or Sandie after church or contact preschool on 07845 921621 or e-mail: ditton.church.preschool@hotmail.co.uk


logo of the Heart of Kent HospiceWE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS…

Fundraising Collection Days
The Heart of Kent Hospice is looking for willing/enthusiastic volunteers to help us with Fundraising Collection Days in 2011.  If you can spare just a few hours to help raise vital funds for your local Hospice we would love to hear from you.

The following collections are booked at various Tesco Supermarkets in the local area on the following dates:

Thursday 31st March 2011 – Grove Green
Wednesday 13th April 2011 - Lunsford
Thursday 14th April 2011 - Lunsford
Thursday 30th June 2011 – Farleigh Hill

To register your support, please telephone Karen Dockwray (Volunteer Services Development Officer) on 01622 792200 or email karen.dockwray@hokh.co.uk

Bluebell Walk – Sunday 1st May 2011
Volunteer Marshals are needed to help at our 24th year of the Bluebell Walk, starting at Harrietsham Village Hall.  This is an 8 ½ mile walk and Marshals are required at certain points of the course and to man the walkers car park, not only to ensure peoples’ safety but to give walkers that much needed encouragement.

Marshals will be required from 8.30am to approximately 1pm.

This is one of The Heart of Kent Hospice’s biggest fundraising events of the year and we want you to be involved in the fun. To register, please telephone Karen Dockwray (Volunteer Services Development Officer) on 01622 792200 or email karen.dockwray@hokh.co.uk

The Moonlit Walk – Saturday 16th July 2011
This is the biggest Fundraising event of the year for The Heart of Kent Hospice with nearly £90,000 raised in 2010.  The Hospice is hoping this year’s event will be an even greater success but none of this is possible without…VOLUNTEERS!

We are looking for 100 people to help us with this event and are counting on you to fill one of these spaces.  From registration, drink stops to marshals, there are loads of ways you can get involved.  Starting and finishing at David Lloyd Fitness Centre, Kings Hill – walkers have the opportunity to complete either 6 or 10miles.  Fancy dress is encouraged!

If you can stay awake (you will have no option with this party atmosphere!) from 10pm to approximately 2am, we would love you to sign up to join our volunteering extravaganza! To register to volunteer, please telephone Karen Dockwray (Volunteer Services Development Officer) on 01622 792200 or email karen.dockwray@hokh.co.uk


10th April 2011 - Brighton Marathon – Brighton
A fun packed day for all the family. £350 minimum sponsorship required. We’ll provide you with a Race Pack, sponsorship forms and guidance on creating your own Justgiving page. For more information please visit www.brightonmarathon.co.uk
1st May 2011- Bluebell Walk – Harrietsham
In its 24th year, an 8 1/2 miles sponsored  family walk through beautiful private woodland.
Registration fees are £8 for an adult, £3 for a child, and £20 for a family of two adults and two children. Pre-registration is advisable due to the number of walkers on the day.
11th June 2011 - Charity Abseil - Miller House, Lower Street, Maidstone
200 ft drop abseil to generate sponsorship for the hospice. This is an exciting and adrenalin pumping experience for the not so faint hearted. If you raise a minimum of £75 sponsorship you can abseil for free.

For more information or to book any of the events above, please visit www.hokh.org or call Fundraising and Marketing on 01622 790195


Did you know that the Ditton Twinning Association arose from a competition that was organised to celebrate the construction of the channel tunnel. This competition was for villages in Kent and the area around Calias in France who were linked to each other depending on the size of the villages. Ditton was linked to Rang-Du-Fliers a village about 40 miles south of Calais and between the two villages a programme of events had to be organised to show how the tunnel would bring England and France closer together. Ditton got through to the final part of the competition and were very pleased to become the final winners with Rang-du-Fliers, A short time after this it was proposed at a Parish Council meeting that we should approach Rang-du-Fliers with the idea of making the link an official twinning, which they agreed to whole heartedly. A lot of water has gone by since then and there has been many visits to both villages for such events as the 100th anniversary of the Ditton Parish Council, Bastille Day, Football, Petanque and Short Mat Bowls as well as individual visits by families.

photograph of Santa Claus at Ditton Twinning Association Christmas Fayre
To raise funds towards the cost of running the twinning association we run a Boot Fair and the Christmas Fayre at the community centre each year. Did you visit the Xmas Fayre? if not why not? You missed a wonderful scene with Santa sitting in his sleigh amid a decorated stage, he was a great hit with the many children who came along to visit him and receive a present just ask Summer Carlyle.


In July 1989 Lee came to the Parish Council on a week’s work experience. He impressed the Council so much that he was invited back to work for the parish council on a two day school release scheme for 6 months.
In April 1990 Lee was engaged by the parish council as an employee trainee. The Youth Training Scheme covered a period of 2 years and counted towards an ATB Apprenticeship Certificate.
Following the completion of the training scheme Lee was offered a permanent position with the Parish Council.
During the following years Lee proved to be a competent member of the outdoor team, and a knowledgeable mechanic and now maintains most of the Council’s machinery with the help of grounds man Graeme Sedgwick.
Lee passed many exams over the 20 years including grounds maintenance, Fire Warden, 1st Aid at Work and Inspections of children’s playgrounds etc.

photograph of Lee presented with an engraved tankard by Parish Council Chairman, Cllr. Mike Porter
During December of 2010 Lee was presented with an engraved tankard by Parish Council Chairman, Cllr. Mike Porter, to commemorate 20 years of loyal service to Ditton Parish Council.


Ditton Bowls club has started the year off by holding their Annual Presentation Dinner on Saturday the 8th January at the Masonic Hall, Tovil, Maidstone. There were some 88 members in attendance and a very nice three course dinner was enjoyed by the members and friends. Grace was proposed by Mrs Julie Bremer, the Loyal toast by Mr Brian Martin and the Club toast was proposed by Club Captain Tony Mulcuck. The presentation of the awards was undertaken by the Club President Mrs Lin Goldsmith. A bouquet was presented to Mrs & Mrs R. Deere who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary the day before.
A series of club dinners, held in the club house will take place during the ensuing months culminating with the club pre-season meeting to be held on Sunday 17th April at the clubhouse at 10.00 am. If you are interested in finding out more about this thriving and very successful and sociable bowls club please contact the secretary Mr Robin Deere on 01732 321085 or call in at the club which is situated along the left side of the Kiln Barn Road just after the entrance to the Community Centre.

photograph of Ditton Bowls Club Competition Winners 2010

Can you spot the difference in these two pictures of the Ditton Bowls club?
photograph of Ditton Bowls Club Pavilionphotograph of Ditton Bowls Club Pavilion
Answer: left picture was taken in January 2010 and the right picture in December 2010


B & D Dance Club: Sec: Tel: 01233-628298
Ditton Active Retirement Club: Sec: Tony Mulcuck: Tel: 01732 844195
Email: anthony.mulcuck@sky.com
Ditton Bowls Club
: Sec: Robin Deere: 01732 321085
Email: robdeer@blueyonder.co.uk
Ditton (Bowls Club) Short Mat: Sec: Win Cooper: Tel: 01732 843608
Email: robwin1939@talktalk.net
Ditton Brownies: Sec: 331 Lunsford Lane, Larkfield, ME20 6HZ Tel: 01732-845401
Ditton Church: The Rectory, 2 The Stream, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6AG
Ditton Church Hall Playgroup: Sec: Church Hall, New Road, Ditton, Aylesford
Ditton Gardening Club: 5 Cherry Orchard, Ditton ME20 6QS Tel:01732 844892
Ditton Guides: Sec: 79 Woodlands Road, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6EF Tel: 01732-845692
Ditton Heritage Centre Ltd: Sec: Mrs Maralyn Mulcuck: Tel: 01732 844195
1st Ditton Scouts (Beaver Section): 1 Gorse Crescent, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6ER
Ditton Infants School: Sec: Pear Tree Avenue, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6EB
Ditton Junior School: Sec: New Road, Ditton, AylesfordME20 6AE
Ditton Minors Football Club: Sec: 9 Acorn Grove, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6EJ Tel: 01622 716280
Ditton Scouts: Sec: 34 Albert Reed Gardens, Maidstone, Kent ME15 8JY.
Ditton Short Mat Bowls Club: Sec: Mrs Jean Banks: Tel: 01622 200910
Email: mjbanks@virginmedia.com
The Kilnbarn: Ditton Community Centre, Kilnbarn Road, Ditton Aylesford ME20 5EF Tel:01732-844749
Ditton Petanque Club: Sec: 37 Fernleigh Rise, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6BS Tel: 01732-840699
Ditton 2374 Air Training Corps: Sec: 552 Tonbridge Road, Barming, Maidstone ME16 9DH Tel: 07889-437721
Ditton Toddlers: Sec: 19 Primrose Drive, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6EG Tel: 01622-715866
St. Peter & St. Paul’s Pre-School: Sec: 44 Ragstone Court, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6AJ
Tel: 01622-710985
Ditton Youth Group: Sec: Mr John Newton . Tel: 07813-712081

Any other clubs or organisations who wish to be included in this list please contact:
01732 844195 or 01732 844195


In February the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership organised a work day in Ditton Quarry Nature Reserve to carry out some essential maintenance work. Our TAG volunteers were helping in two distinct areas. Firstly we were aiming to improve the conditions for orchids in the area immediately adjacent to the path. Many orchids favour disturbed sites with low nutrients, lime rich soils, plus plenty of light, hence the removal of the buddleia from this area. I have attached a couple of photographs of the targeted species for people to look out for.

photograph of a Bee Orchidphotograph of a Pyramidal Orchid

Secondly we were clearing what is known as the “bee cliff”. This is an excellent site for solitary burrowing bees and wasps, one of the best in Kent in fact. However, they require a nice sunny aspect with an exposed rock face into which they can burrow. Consequently we were clearing the cliff face to improve the habitat for these species specifically. A side benefit is that the strata of the rock have also been revealed which the geologists will appreciate.

Both of these tasks will be required over the forthcoming years in order to maintain the right conditions for the species we are targeting and for which the site is, in part, designated as a local nature reserve.

There were some great photographs taken of the Annual Remembrance Day Service parade to the War Memorial at Ditton Corner in November 2010, unfortunately we were not able print them owing to the Child Protection Act, this was because we had not asked all the parents if we could use these photographs. This does seem a bit over the top when you consider how many parents were taking pictures during the march. We shall try to get a blanket permission to use the photo’s at this years parade from the organisations involved. Editor.

The future’s bright, the future’s Red & Black Stripes

Under 16s meet Chris Kamara

photograph of Ditton Minors U16 Team with Chris Kamara

Ditton Minors under 16s team bumped into Chris Kamara, “Kammy”, the Sky Sport’s pundit on a recent visit to the New Den to watch Millwall. The team were also asked to be the guard of honour at the start of the match against Middlesbrough.

Soccer AM

A small group of boys from Ditton Minors FC visited the Sky TV studios to watch the popular Saturday morning broadcast of Soccer AM recently.

photograph of the boys from Ditton Minors FC on a visit to Soccer AM studiosphotograph of the boys from Ditton Minors FC on a visit to Soccer AM studios
The photos show George Bunn with presenters Helen Chamberlain and Max Rushden, and Jacq Dennison with Rocket, assistant producer on the show.

On Tour to Holland

Ditton Minors under 16s team have been invited over to Holland to play against two local youth teams DWV FC and Purmerstijen FC, in Amsterdam, during the Easter holidays. Both manager Ian Dennison, together with head coach Steve Bunn thought it would be a great opportunity for the boys to experience European football at their level, following on from their visit to Rang-du-Fliers previously.

Are you interested in getting involved in local youth football?
If so Ditton Minors FC are looking for people prepared to become Managers and/or football coaches for various age groups for next season.
The opportunity to obtain FA qualifications is available, in return for a commitment to the football club.
For more information please contact Club Chairman – Stuart McLellan on 07736374049 or email dittonstuart@hotmail.co.uk

photograph of advert for training and trials day with Maidstone United FC


The club held their 27th Annual Presentation Lunch on the afternoon of Sunday 16th January at the Grangemoor Hotel, Maidstone. Some 58 members attended and had a very friendly, enjoyable and filling lunch. The presentation of the awards was made by the club President, Mr Graham Hawes to the following winners:

Ted Bird Trophy: L. Broad, K. Marchant & J. Phillips.
Winter League: R. Jolliffe, L. Tuohy, R. Germany & W. Andrews.
Founders Trophy: C. Coppin & B. Tills.
Ladies Singles: B. Crittenden. Mens Singles: S. Crowther.
Ladies Pairs: L. Broad & J. Ide. Mens Pairs: D. Ford & R. Bryant.
Mixed Pairs: M. Huthwaite & Tony Mulcuck.
Presidents Cup: M. Staple. Club Champion: G. Hawes.
The Victor Ludorum: R. Broad.

photograph of Ditton Short Mat Bowls Club award winners


The Parish Council has been negotiating with Kent Highways for some 18 months now and, apart from getting the railings and a lamp standard painted, we have had no progress made with getting the site cleaned up and new bollard posts installed. We thought at the end of 2009 that it had all been agreed that should be done but we are as frustrated as the residents with the slow decision making by the Kent Highways.

We are aware of the feelings of the residents about the large concrete slabs, which have affected the stream when you look at the muck and debris that has now collected in the water and we are doing our best to get them changed. Why not write to the Kent Highways expressing your concern about their very slow action on this matter.


Last year the Ditton Heritage Centre ran a village quiz, unfortunately not very many residents took part, but those who did said what a good quiz it was. The winner was Nigel Saunders of Fernleigh Rise, this is very apt as Nigel is the Parish Council Head Groundsman and this goes to prove that he has taken a keen interest in the village. The picture shows Nigel receiving his prize from Liz Day, a director of the Heritage Centre.

photograph of quiz winner Nigel Saunders receiving his prize from Liz Day
A lot of research was required to find the answers to the quiz, but this meant that those who took part learnt a lot more about the area they live in.
This is what the Heritage Centre is hoping to do when it opens. Provide a place where residents and others can come and learn all about the history of Ditton and the surrounding environments, school children from schools all over Kent and other neighbouring counties will be able to come and visit and dress up and act out the Victorian way of education as part of their school curriculum.
Why not support this very worthwhile local charity by becoming a Friend of the Ditton Heritage Centre by contacting Maralyn on 01732 844195.


Do you grow a few house plants, cultivate an allotment, or just have a small garden? We can help you to improve your results in the friendly and supportive atmosphere of our small Club which has been running for over 15 years.
By joining us you would be in a group of keen gardeners who all want to learn to do better.
Our programme is varied and includes monthly talks and occasional garden visits. For example in 2011 we have planned talks on:

Perennial plants. Soft fruit
Pruning. Keeping poultry.

We shall be visiting a Japanese garden in Sevenoaks in May and through our membership of the Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies we have contact with a large number of amateur and professional gardeners.
Each summer we ask members for their suggestions for the following year’s programme; each member can therefore influence the subjects we cover.
We usually meet at the Community Centre on the Third Friday of the month at 7.30 pm for a 7.30 pm start. For more information, please contact either Coral or Gary Smith on 01732 844892 or Email: garyandcoral@talktalk.net

History of the Parish

photograph of the unveiling of Ditton War Memorial, September 1920

Opposite the village sign on the A20 at Ditton Corner is the Ditton War Memorial, the land was donated by and the monument designed by Mr Gilbert Scott and was unveiled by General Archibald Murray on the 26th September 1920.
The Lord Bishop of Rochester dedicated the memorial. A tablet on the front of the memorial records the names and ranks of those service people from the village who died in the 1914-18 and 1939-1945 World Wars. This memorial is unique in that all other war memorials have an open top, whereby Ditton War Memorial has a closed top over the cross, This was part of Mr Gilbert’s original design and even though comment was made at the time it was agreed to keep this part of the design. In fact it is so important that when in 2000 the parish council requested the assistance of the War Memorial Society in having some work done on restoring the memorial the Secretary of State agreed to make the war memorial a listed structure.

logo of the Explore Kent Walking FestivalThe Explore Kent Walking Festival 2011 – Let’s Get Kent Walking!

The Explore Kent Walking Festival is back and planning to bigger and better than last year.

From Monday 18 July to Sunday 7 August, we’ve got loads of great walks taking place across the county so whether you’re a family looking for a big adventure, a long distance professional seeking a new challenge or someone looking for a relaxing stroll, wanting to walk alone or make new friends there is something for everyone.

Online guided walks
You can search for and book a guided walk in Kent, including the walks featured in the Explore Kent Walking Festival online with the new guided walks web pages. Why not search for a walk near you, on any given date that meets your needs and interests? Themed walks during the festival will include food and drink, nature, coastal and heritage walks plus lots more. Booking will start in May but why not try one of the many other guided walks featured on the website today.

For more information on the Explore Kent Walking Festival 2011, visit www.kent.gov.uk/explorekent

Keep up to date with all the latest guided walks and Explore Kent Walking Festival news by following us on Twitter @guidedwalks.


Despite the bad weather the two Christmas dances went ahead, on the Friday night there was nearly a full house but on Saturday it was a different story. After some three inches of snow had fallen very quickly during the afternoon we went ahead, but unfortunately only about half the patrons turned up. This was very sad as the evening produced by Todd Miller and the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Joe Loss Orchestra did us proud.

photograph of a dance band at Ditton Community Centre

With music and singing from the early 30s up to the present day it was as usual a night to remember. It also turned out to be a celebration night because this was the 80th anniversary year since the orchestra had been formed, and actually stayed together without any break, making them the longest serving band in the country, indeed there was a double celebration because it was also the 36th anniversary of the Joe Loss Orchestra playing at Christmas here at the Ditton Community Centre.
There was music for all types of dancing and because of the low turnout plenty of room to swing ones partner. Todd had produced some nostalgic photographs of the bands passed eras but to me the most moving one was the photograph of Joe Loss together with Vera Lynn and Glen Miller at an airfield in England during the 2nd world war, taken several days before Glen Miller went missing.
These evening dances are held every Christmas and also New Year’s Eve so if you have happy feet and want to have a fantastic evenings dancing or are budding learner dancers and want to practice your steps or even just have an evening listening to top class musicians then get in touch with the parish office for tickets on 01732 844749.


The Parish Council are pleased to be able to give an update on the situation following the public meeting concerning the HGV traffic in New Road that took place in July last year. As agreed at the initial meeting, various meetings took place with Kent Highways, the Police and East Malling Trust who own the land. Various road tests including the condition testing of the road were undertaken by Kent Highways. However it became clear within a short period of time that legally there was going to be very little that could be done to stop access to the premises as they had a legal right of access under Highway Law.
The Parish Council was approached by East Malling Trust who informed us that they were intending not to renew County Logistics contract when it expired at the end of
December 2010, you would probably have noticed a drop in the HGV traffic and we can confirm that the lease expired on the 31st December 2010 and the company have now moved to new premises at Detling Aerodrome Estate.
As you may already be aware, there is a proposal for a new residential development at this site in Kilnbarn Road, details of which you were able to view at an exhibition held at the Ditton Community Centre on Saturday 5th February.
Parish and Borough Cllr Stone commented that whilst this issue might not have been resolved the way we intended, he believes that the pressures brought by the local residents ensured that the company moved to their new premises.

photograph of notice for Kilnbarn Quiz Nights


We hope you like the new format for the Ditton Gazette. The council felt that by producing an A5 publication it would provide a better means of distributing the news from the parish to you the parishioners.
We hope to be able to include more information regarding past and future events that are being held in the parish and also information that would be beneficial to the residents as well. We shall be looking forward to regular contributions from all of the clubs, both young and old, who are based in the parish as well as news from St. Peters church.
If you are a member of or on one of the committees that help to run the local clubs please ask your secretary to get in touch with the Editor of the Ditton Gazette (01732 844195) or the Parish Office (01732 844749) and come onto our data base that will be used to collect news, views, advertisements and local information for the Gazette.
We would also like contributions from individuals about special events such as special anniversaries (with photographs if possible) special achievements (did you run the London Marathon) Family History that dates back many years in Ditton, have you a special story about your past years living in Ditton. It is these sort of articles will help to make the new Ditton Gazette so much more interesting.

graphic of a water tapPRIVATE WATER SUPPLIES

Under the Private Water Supplies Regulation 2009, all Local Authorities must now monitor private water supplies intended for human consumption within their areas.
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council are currently undertaking investigations to identify local private water supplies and need to ascertain whether there are any in Ditton.
Private water supply entails any supply that is NOT provided by a statutory water undertaker (i.e. South East Water or Southern Water). Private sources may include such things as springs, boreholes, rivers, wells or lakes.
Water for human consumption includes normal domestic processes such as drinking, cooking, food preparation and personal washing (such as hand washing and showering).
If you know, use or know of any private water supplies in Ditton please either contact the Parish Office at Ditton on 01732 844749 or the Environmental Protection Officer at the Borough Council on 01732 876182.


Youth Centre: Thanks to the Ditton Parish Council and the speedy work of J & W Construction the Cedar rooms now have a new roof and new external walls. Now the work begins. We need to refurbish the interior, so can you help? Do you have any pots of paint that you don’t want or even better can you help paint the internal walls. We need to erect two walls to create an office area, so if your expertise is constructing internal walls and/or you can help with the materials please get in touch with me on 07813 712081 or via the Parish Council on 01732 844749 (fax 01732845572).
Dog Owners: Please ensure you clean up after your dog, you are spoiling the area. The Dog Warden at Tonbridge & Malling Council will be patrolling the area and will prosecute anyone not cleaning up the mess left by their dog. If you see anyone offending please report them to me, with a description of the owner (and name if known) the breed or description of the dog and where the mess was left. To those responsible owners who do bag the mess, please place the bag in any waste bin, designated dog bin or take it with you and place in your own bin. It is not acceptable to leave the bag in the bushes or on the path.
School Parking: I have arranged for the Civil Enforcement Officers to attend the Ditton schools at the beginning and end of the school day. This will happen without notice and on their last visit they issued two tickets with many warnings given. I personally witnessed a mother nearly run over her own child because she was parked on a zig-zag line. Some people think I am just an inconvenience standing outside the school, but my position is quite simple, I want your children to be safe and that is why the zig-zag lines and double yellow lines are there. Please take some responsibility and report anyone to me who does not care for the safety of their own and other children and parks on these no go areas. All I need is the vehicle registration and the name of the driver (if known) and I will pass this on to the authority that will deal with it.
John Newton. Community Warden.

announcement of the Ditton Christmas Lights Competition 2010 winners


If you are considering holding a street party to celebrate the royal wedding this year or the queens jubilee in 2012, or even if you want to have a party to celebrate something else, you may be interested to know that you have to apply to the Tonbridge & Malling B C for permission to do so.
Here are two web sites that have lots of information that you can look up:
www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/streetpartyguide and


Ditton Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre committee are looking for any photographs and memorabilia of past times in the Ditton and surrounding area that may be lurking in your attic or garage. We have already obtained quite a lot of pictorial history and are planning to produce a “Pictorial History of Ditton” later in the year, some of this history will be on display when we have our open days on Saturday and Sunday 10th & 11th September as part of the National Heritage Week.
We wish to enlarge our collection and have more information that we can include in this book and are asking residents to have a look in their attic or garage and discover if you have any items you may wish to donate to us or let us duplicate for our collection.
We are installing a Victorian classroom, as well as the heritage part, where pupils from all over Kent can come and experience the methods used in Victorian education, as part of the school curriculum, this includes the fearsome schoolmistress with her cane at the ready!.
So if you do find any treasures can you please get in touch with either Tony Mulcuck on 01732 844195 or Liz Day on 01732 840937 and we look forward to hearing from you.




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Copyright © 2011 Ditton Parish Council

25 April 2011

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