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The Community Website for Walmer, near Deal, Kent
 

 
Local News Archive: January to June 2008
 
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EARLIER START FOR CONCESSIONARY BUS PASSES

From today (Monday, 30 June) concessionary bus passes can be used from 9am Mondays to Fridays as well as all day weekends and bank holidays. All councils in Kent and the bus companies have agreed to reintroduce the 9am start time on weekdays to help overcome the problems experienced by some people when the Government's national bus pass scheme, with its 9.30am start, was introduced in April. The new 9am start only applies to journeys begun in Kent. Although the passes provide free bus travel anywhere in England, the 9.30am start may still apply in other counties.    (June 30, 2008)

 

SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS IN PROSPECT FOR BUSY ROAD

Demands by local residents for measures to improve road safety along St Richards Road in Deal may have moved closer to being met. Road engineers from Kent Highways Services say they are to draw up a scheme based on the results from recent traffic and pedestrian surveys for the very busy route. The announcement has been welcomed by local roads "watchdog" body, the Dover Joint Transport Board.   (June 26, 2008)

 
FIRST LADY PRESIDENT FOR SOUTH FORELAND ROTARY

Rotarian Pauline Goldsack, from East Langdon, has become the first lady President of the Rotary Club of South Foreland. Pauline is Senior Solicitor with Canterbury City Council dealing with litigation.

She was a member for 5½ years of the Isle of Thanet Sunrise Rotary Club, taking on responsibility for its programme and international activities and serving as its President. Just over three years ago she became the first lady member of South Foreland Rotary. She has also served on various Rotary District committees including International and Community and Vocational.   (June 26, 2008)

Pauline Goldsack (photo: Gerry Costa)
New first lady president:
Pauline Goldsack
 
NEW CRAFT CENTRE LEAPS AND BOUNDS INTO HIGH STREET

Actor Shaun Williamson was on hand on Saturday (21 June) to officially open the new "Leaps and Bounds" craft shop opposite the Saturday Market in Deal High Street. The non-profit-making venture not only sells a wide range of hobbies supplies including art equipment, craft kits, fabric paints, beads and Fimo, but also stocks handmade local crafts goods and has a hire service for card- and cake-making equipment.

A unique feature is an on-site workshop area offering work placements for adults with learning disabilities so they can learn and experience everything involved in dealing with the public in a real working environment. The project is fully backed by Social Services. There are also opportunities for the public to use the workshop including Saturday morning craft sessions for children, accompanied by a parent, at £3 per craft.  (June 23, 2008)

actor Shaun Williamson opens "Leaps and Bounds" on 21 June
Former Eastenders star Shaun Williamson
officially opens the Leaps and Bounds craft shop.
 

SOUTH FORELAND ROTARY'S NEWEST MEMBER

Dover businessman Richard Blackman has maintained a family tradition by becoming a member of the local Rotary Club. His father, Bill Blackman, was a Dover Rotarian, and Richard was a founder member of the Rotaract Club of Dover (now sadly no longer in existence), serving as its president in 1980/81 and also as chairman of Rotaract District 112 in 1983/84.

Richard is director of a family firm started in Dover in 1919 by his grandfather, Arthur T Blackman, to repair war damage. With the company having served the local community for almost 90 years, Richard says: "I like to think that we are doing something right to be in business after this long". In his private life Richard was a football referee for 24 years, also serving on local and national referees' associations. He has lived in Dover all his life, and is married with a daughter who also lives in the town.

Richard was welcomed to the South Foreland Rotary club by its president Peter West at their regular meeting earlier this month.    (June 22, 2008)
 

AMERICAN CHOIR TO SING IN WALMER

Members of the congregation at St Mary's parish church in Walmer will be acting as hosts for Chorus Angelorum, a semi-professional choir from Houston, Texas, when they come to Walmer as part of a trip to England at the beginning of July.

Although the main reason for their visit is to sing at a Summer Residency in Canterbury Cathedral from July 7 to 11, their director of music Mr Ed Franklin and 23 members of the choir insisted on spending a couple of days exploring East Kent - thanks to a long-standing friendship with Walmer resident Mr Terrance Gilbert. The choir arrive at Gatwick on Thursday, July 3 and will head straight for Walmer.

On Friday, July 4 (American Independence Day),

Chorus Angelorum choir at their church in Houston, Texas
Some of the American choir
outside their church in Houston, Texas

they will rehearse in St Mary's Church in the morning and, at a special Evensong at 6.30pm, sing several works by early English composers. These include: Thomas Weelkes' Sixth Evening Service, Preces and Responses by Thomas Tomkins and a stirring anthem, also by Tomkins, "Almighty God, the Fountain of All Wisdom".

Following Evensong the choir will give a brief concert featuring early American Shaker tunes and spirituals from the southern States including "Hark, I hear the harp's eternal", "Sometimes I Feel Like a Moanin' Dove", "Wondrous Love" and "Great Day!". Local residents are being invited to come to the free concert - due to start at 7.30pm - and, if they wish, the service beforehand. The choir will also sing at the church's Communion Service at 9.30am on Sunday, July 6. After a picnic "brunch", they will leave for Canterbury and a week singing in the Cathedral. Chorus Angelorum have a website at: www.chorusangelorum.org/  (June 21, 2008)
 

ROAD ENGINEERS IDEAS TO IMPROVE A258 SAFETY

Kent Highways have told the Dover Joint Transportation Board that a range of improvements are being considered for the A258 road between Deal and Dover. An analysis of all accidents involving injuries along the road over the past three years has highlighted the need for additional safety measures. These could include double white lines, better signs, anti-skid surfacing at some junctions, more speed cameras, speed limit reminder roundels on the road and traffic police observation areas.    (June 19, 2008)

 

FAYRE RAISES £4,000

Over £4,000 was raised for local church funds by the Walmer Parish Summer Fayre at Walmer Green on Saturday, 14 June. The combination of entertainment, tests of skill and sales of work attracted good public support.    (June 19, 2008)

 
£1,050 BOOST FOR CANCER SUPPORT GROUP
Local publicans' £1000 gift More help from the Inner-Wheel Club of Deal (photo: Gerry Costa)
Local publicans' £1000 gift: Bert Finnis (Chairman of the LVA) presents a cheque to Graham Edwards (PSA Secretary) - with (on the left) Alan Prior (PSA Chairman) and Gerry Costa (PSA Treasurer) and (right) Phil Bailey of the Clarendon Hotel.
More help from the Inner-Wheel Club of Deal:
Joan Finney (President) and
Barbara Cox (Secretary) holding the cheque.

Deal and Walmer Licensed Victuallers Association have boosted the local Prostate Cancer Support Association with a cheque for £1000. The proceeds of the LVA's golf tournament on April 24 were presented to representatives of the support group at the Clarendon Hotel, Deal at lunchtime on Monday 2 June. The event was organised by the hotel's licensee Phil Bailey.

There was more good news for the support group in the evening when the Inner-Wheel Club of Deal presented them with a cheque for £50, raised as part of their community service activities. The support group's treasurer Gerry Costa said: "In both cases, all these monies have been raised from members of the public in Walmer, Deal and surrounding villages. We are extremely thankful for the public support we continuously receive."    (June 3, 2008)
 

COUNCIL SUPPORTS IDEA OF NEW JULIUS CAESAR MEMORIAL

Deal businessman Peter Jull has suggested that a significant new feature on Walmer seafront recording the invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar in 55BC and 54BC could bring more visitors to the area. Speaking to the Annual Meeting of Walmer Parish Council on Wednesday 7 May, Mr Jull requested the Council's support for his proposal. His plan is to create a full-size tableau including the prow of a Roman warship, a figure representing Caesar at the bow and several Roman soldiers on the shore in front. He expected the idea to be developed by the Chamber of Trade and an application had been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for help with the likely cost of around £120,000. Parish councillors agreed that they liked the idea of a new memorial on the seafront and they would support the concept in principle, subject to receiving fuller details. Cllr Derek Murphy volunteered to liaise with Mr Jull should the project prove feasible.    (June 2, 2008)
 

TIME TO ENTER "BLOOM" CONTEST

Householders, proud of their front gardens or hanging baskets, have until Friday, 27 June to enter the 2008 Walmer In Bloom competition. There are also separate categories for local businesses, licensed premises and residential homes. Entry is free and there will be small prizes or certificates for the best displays. For details or to enter your own display or someone else's that has caught your eye, contact the Parish Council Office on 01304 381506.    (June 2, 2008)

 

FLOODED AGAIN!

A violent storm in the early hours of Wednesday (28 May) brought more flooding misery to the Church Street residents mentioned in our report immediately below. Householders rose from their beds to see yet another mass of water threatening to pour over thresholds and into basements. Pausing from the following morning's task of drying out carpets and clearing mud and debris from the pavement, one weary resident voiced a common complaint: "We're sick of this. Every time any rain is forecast we have to barricade our homes with sandbags and flood boards. It's a constant worry!"    (May 29, 2008)

 
MORE FLOODING IN CHURCH STREET

Residents in part of Church Street, Upper Walmer, are up in arms at yet another bout of flooding during the Bank Holiday Monday (26 May) deluge. At 7pm, storm water swept down Church Street converging on a low lying dip at the junction with Green Lane. Householders watched in horror as the water lifted a heavy manhole cover and quickly created a lake up to two-feet deep in places. It then started to seep into their homes, overcoming the sandbags and flood boards which are now a permanent feature in this part of the road. The police were alerted and turned out to place warning cones round the open manhole.

Flooding in Church Street, Walmer, on 26 May 2008 (photo: Judy Wilson) Flooding in Church Street, Walmer, on 26 May 2008 (photo: Chris Harbridge)
Deep water route for motorists The "great lake" of Church Street
Flooding in Church Street, Walmer, on 26 May 2008 (photo: Judy Wilson) Flooding in Church Street, Walmer, on 26 May 2008 (photo: Judy Wilson)
Putting out the "road closed" signs The flooding threatens residents' parked cars

With plenty of practice from previous flooding, local residents have a well-rehearsed routine of displaying "road closed" signs at either end of their street. Speaking on Tuesday morning, one householder explained that it was vital to discourage vehicles from driving through the water. She said: "The wake from any traffic overwhelms our flood defences. Fortunately last night we did manage to get the signs out quickly and nobody tried to go past." But water had still got into her house, spoiling carpets and ponding in the basement. It was, she said, a similar story for several other neighbours.

There is a long history of localised flooding in this section of Church Street. One resident said it had happened regularly for many years and knew of reports as long ago as 1980. Despite some earlier improvement works on the roadside drains, there had been three serious flooding incidents in 2007 alone. Many local people are convinced that a combination of new housing development in the locality and the introduction of block paving and concrete hard standing at many properties have greatly added to problems for an inadequate drainage system to cope with heavy rain. As one put it: "Until Southern Water and the Highway Agency sort this out, we think there should be a total moratorium on any more development in this area. We've had enough!"    (May 27, 2008 - with new photos added on June 2 2008)

 
HISTORIC BOAT AT DEAL
MTB 102  heads for Sandwich escorted by Walmer Lifeboat (photo: Gerry Costa) Service of Commemoration at Deal Pier (photo: Gerry Costa)
A bit of history sailed from Deal to Sandwich at lunchtime on Saturday, 24 May. Motor Torpedo Boat 102 is believed to be the only remaining Royal Navy vessel to take part in the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. She also carried Churchill and Eisenhower when they observed the troops preparing for the D-Day landings. A large crowd attended the Service of Commemoration at Deal Pier and watched the MTB102 sail to Sandwich, under the watchful eye of the Walmer Lifeboat. (Photos by Gerry Costa.)    (May 25, 2008)
 

MARINES PARADE REQUEST FOR 2009

Steve Misson, the proprietor of Cinque Port Music - the local company specialising in Royal Marines Band music -, has written to the Deal town mayor requesting that he should invite the Royal Marines, as Freemen of the town of Deal, to exercise their right in 2009 to march through the town "with Colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed". Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Deal bombing.

Steve says: "I envisage this to be in conjunction with a concert and beat retreat at the Deal Memorial Bandstand. If this comes to fruition, it will be a fantastic day for the town and surrounding villages with many thousands of people visiting for the day. "    (May 25, 2008)
 

CHANGE OF DATE FOR BANDSTAND CAROLS

This year's annual Carols at the Bandstand has had to be moved from 13 December to 6 December because the mayor, who hosts the Regatta at the end of the procession through the town, is not available on the 13th. All other details remain the same as for previous years.    (May 25, 2008)

 

LEARN ABOUT NEW 100 HOUR PHARMACY

Eastern and Coastal Kent NHS Primary Care Trust is holding a Public Meeting to explain the 100 hour pharmacy regulations at the Parochial C of E Primary School, Gladstone Road, Walmer from 6.30pm to 8pm on Tuesday, 27 May. For local residents and patients it provides an opportunity to find out more about the Trust's application for a 100 hour pharmacy at the new Balmoral Surgery in Canada Road, Walmer. The surgery is currently located at Victoria Road, Deal and will be moving to its new purpose-built premises early in June. For more details about the meeting, call Hannah Price on 01304 216852.     (May 23, 2008)

 
THIRTY QUILTS FOR PRISON BABIES

Thanks to the skills of patchwork enthusiasts from East Kent, 30 babies currently with their mothers in prison will each be receiving an attractive quilt. Made by supporters of the Helping Hands Quilt Project, run by Walmer-based quilter Terrance Gilbert, the quilts were handed over to Canterbury and Herne Bay Volunteer Bureau manager Margaret Packer at the project's latest quilt-making day in Walmer Parish Hall on Saturday (17 May).

Mrs Packer, who coordinates the prison babies quilt scheme in this area, thanked the 31 quilters who had joined in Saturday's sewing session for their interest and support. She explained that the scheme had, so far, donated over 500 quilts to infants in nine "mother and baby" units across the UK.

Baby quilt presentation on 17 May 2008 (photo: Harold Wyld)
Margaret Packer and Terrance Gilbert with
Helping Hands quilters and some of the 30 baby
quilts presented to the "prison babies" quilts scheme.
Terrance Gilbert said he had been pleased at the level of support for Saturday's quilting workshop. He added: "We had one of the best turn-outs ever with 31 people from quilting groups in Walmer, Thanet, Faversham, Whitstable and Aldington. As well as presenting the baby quilts made over the past few months, they were also able to put together a further nine larger quilts on Saturday. Some need a little more work and will form part of a batch which will be given to the national Fostering Network in the Autumn."      (May 18, 2008)
 

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING FOR WALMER RESIDENTS

Walmer Parish Council's annual parish meeting is on Wednesday, 21 May. Open to the public, it provides a good opportunity to hear about the parish council's recent activities and future plans and for residents to raise matters of local interest or concern. Special items will include reports on the work of the Kent Air Ambulance, plans for the 2008 Deal Festival of Music and Arts in July and current initiatives for tackling crime in Walmer. The meeting is in the Sea Scout Hut, Marine Road, Walmer and starts at 7pm.      (May 15, 2008)

 

MORE BANKING HOURS

The branch of Lloyds TSB bank in Deal High Street is now open on Saturday mornings from 9am - 1pm.      (May 15, 2008)

 
CELEBRATING FOUR YEARS OF WALMERWEB

WalmerWeb has just celebrated its fourth year as Walmer's community website. Started in May 2004, it is run on an entirely voluntary basis. The main aim is to provide a useful source of local information for local residents and anyone interested in the parish of Walmer.

Webmaster Harold Wyld says: "Thanks to the interest of a number of local people, it's been possible to continually add to the content on the site. For example, one resident kindly lent me an old book on Walmer published in 1890 and this has yielded several fascinating insights into life in the parish over 100 years ago plus some new photos for the 'Times Past' photo album."

The development of the area around Nevill Gardens at Upper Walmer also features on the website - thanks to a brief history compiled by another local resident Mike Hirst. Harold says new material is always welcome and that's where everyone can help by offering text or photos to fill any gaps and checking their club, event, business or whatever is featured on WalmerWeb.     (May 15, 2008)

 

NEW MEMORIAL BANDSTAND WEBSITE

The Deal Memorial Bandstand Trust, the organisers of the free concerts at the bandstand on Walmer Green, now have a website. To take a look, go to: www.dealbandstand.org.   (May 10, 2008)

 

TRAFFIC FEARS FOR STATION ROAD HOUSING NOTION

Concerns have been raised by Walmer parish councillors at the suggestion that 165 houses might be developed on land to the south of Station Road, Walmer. The scheme is one of a number of proposals for new housing in Dover District Council's Local Development Framework (LDF). This document - which is currently open for public consultation - sets out the district council's ideas for meeting demand for housing, employment and leisure facilities over the next 20 years.

Members of the parish council's planning committee considered that the new housing could create congestion in Station Road and cause problems at the junctions of the A258 Dover Road with Cornwall Road, Church Street and Station Road itself. Traffic flow surveys at these locations would be vital and a solution to congestion and better emergency vehicle access in Mayers Road should be included in any scheme. There were also worries that the LDF didn't include an expansion of Social Services that extra development across the district would require.

The public consultation period for the LDF ends at 12midnight on Wednesday, 7 May. To see the on-line versions of all the documents and submit comments, go to www.dover.gov.uk/localplanreview/corestrategy.asp.   (May 1, 2008)
 

BROCANTE SUCCESS PROMPTS CALL FOR ANOTHER IN 2009

Walmer Parish Councillor Mrs Christine Orridge and her local events team should be feeling pretty pleased. Their Brocante antiques, collectables and craft goods fair at Walmer Green on Sunday, 20 April not only attracted an estimated 5,000 visitors but, when all the bills were paid, made a profit for the Council's coffers of £572. The great success of their first Brocante has encouraged the events team to recommend that the parish council repeats the event next April.   (May 1, 2008)
 

LOCAL HISTORY MUSEUM OPENS FOR SUMMER SEASON

Deal Maritime and Local History Museum in St George's Road, Deal, reopens today (Thursday, May 1) for its summer season. Museum secretary Mrs Judith Dore says that details of the opening arrangements for coming months appear on a number of local websites. Most - like the Dover Council, Deal Town Council and Best of Deal websites - have got it right but it seems that some others are still showing ancient and incorrect information. WalmerWeb isn't one of them and we are pleased to pass on the latest information from Mrs Dore.

The Museum will be opening on Mondays-Fridays (2pm-5pm) and Saturdays (11am-5pm) between 1 May and 31 October 2008. The Museum is closed on Sundays.   (May 1, 2008)
 

LIBRARY TO HELP OUT WITH HOMEWORK

Deal Library is providing a free homework club for children age eight and over every Saturday afternoon in school term time. The first session is on Saturday (3 May). The idea is that youngsters can drop in between 2pm to 3.30pm when adult helpers will be on hand to assist them in using the library's books, computers and other resources to do their homework. Joining in is free and doesn't need library membership. It's also likely to provide a good opportunity to make new friends and work with them on projects.   (May 1, 2008)
 

LAUNCH OF 2008 BAND CONCERTS

The 2008 programme of Sunday afternoon band concerts at the Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green starts on Sunday, 4 May at 2pm. Launching the season will be the Betteshanger Welfare Brass Band. Organised by the volunteers of the Deal Memorial Bandstand Trust, all the concerts are free with free printed programmes and seating. Details of the concerts can be seen in the coming events listings on this website and a free leaflet available from a number of shops and other outlets in Deal and Walmer.   (April 24, 2008)
 

LOTTERY BOOST FOR LOCAL KIDS

Local youngsters can look forward to a new play area, due to be built at Marke Wood over the next few months. The scheme at the Dover Road recreation ground is one of several by Dover Council, made possible thanks to a £275,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund's Children's Play Programme. It is expected the new area will be open in time for the July school holidays.    (April 24, 2008)
 

TOP AWARD FOR DEAL PIER

Deal Pier has been awarded the title "Pier of the Year" by the National Piers Association. The award will be officially presented at a reception at the Royal Hotel, Deal, on Saturday, 10 May.    (April 24, 2008)
 

HAVE YOUR SAY ABOUT THE A258

Local organisers for the A258 Deal-Dover Road Safety Campaign have arranged a meeting at the Deal Welfare Club, Cowdray Square, Deal on Friday, 25 April at 7.30pm. Concerned at the number of accidents and fatalities on this road over the years, they say the meeting will provide a fresh opportunity for the public to hear latest developments and express their opinions. Representatives from the Highways Agency, local councils, Kent County Council and Kent Transportation Board and also Dover and Deal's MP Gwyn Prosser have been invited to attend.    (April 16, 2008)

 

FIND OUT WHERE SPEED CAMERAS ARE

A new website has gone online showing the location of speed enforcement cameras across the county. Introduced by the Kent and Medway Safety Partnership, the site details where the cameras are and the reasons for their installation. Although the cameras are criticised by many drivers as just another means of taxing motorists, the Safety Partnership maintains they help reduce traffic speeds at accident black spots. By advertising the location of all cameras, the Safety Partnership believes it can help motorists plan journeys, know where to slow down and avoid risking a £60 fine and three points on their licence. To see more, log onto www.kmscp.org.    (April 15, 2008)
 

APRIL SHOWERS - OF SNOW!

An unseasonal cold snap brought a light snowfall to Walmer - as well as much of the rest of the UK - on Sunday, 6 April. For some residents it was an opportunity to dust off tobogans and find the nearest slopes. Others braved the elements for a bracing walk or cycle ride along the seafront. And our regular contributing photographer Rob Riddle found plenty to keep his camera busy. His record of the local wintery scene is featured here.    (April 7, 2008)

These photos are now featured in our "Walmer in Winter" photo album. To take a look, CLICK HERE.
 

GRANT AID TO BOOST PROJECTS

Walmer Parish Council has agreed to give a grant of £200 to help the Kent Air Ambulance with the cost of training paramedics. The council is also offering £400 to help meet the costs of specific projects in this year's Deal Festival of Music and The Arts.    (April 7, 2008)
 
VITAL SCANNER FOR MARGATE HOSPITAL

Thanks to a well-supported fund-raising drive by members of the Canterbury branch of the Prostate Cancer Support Association (PSA), the urology department of the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother hospital in Margate now has a vital piece of portable equipment to speed up the process of scanning patients with prostate, bladder and kidney problems. On Friday, 4 April, the PSA group presented its fourth Medi-Scanner to a local hospital.

The money for the equipment came from donations, street collections and contributions from Kent masonic lodges, rotary clubs and others. The PSA group were also able to present a wheelchair, donated by St Martins Emaus, Dover.    (April 7, 2008)
New scanner presentation on 4 April 2008
The picture shows Gerry Costa (PSA Treasurer
and Walmer resident), Mr Nitin Shrotri (Consultant
Urologist at K&C and QEQM hospitals), and Graham
Edwards (PSA Secretary and Deal resident).
 

FREE VALUATIONS FOR THOSE FAMILY TREASURES

An opportunity for local residents to get a free expert valuation of their "treasures" is set to be a highlight at Walmer's first Brocante antiques and collectables fair on Sunday, 20 April. Presenter Tom Keane and several experts from the popular television series "Cash In The Attic" will be at this major local event organised by Walmer Parish Council.

As well as the team of tele experts, there will be over 100 stalls with a wide range of antiques, collectables, memorabilia and art and craft goods. Other attractions will include an authentic French market. The Walmer Brocante is on Walmer Green from 8am to 4pm. The "Cash In The Attic" Experience valuations are from 11am to 3pm. For more information, call 01304 381506.    (April 7, 2008)
 
SCIENCE COLLEGE CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY

This month, Walmer Science College (the former Walmer Secondary School) celebrates its 50th anniversary. As part of a series of events to mark its half century, the school is holding an open afternoon on Monday 21 April between 1.30pm and 5pm. The school is looking forward to welcoming all members of the local community including ex-students, teachers and parents. Visitors will be able to view a large display of photographs, school magazines, programmes and other items from the day the school opened in April 1958 right up until recent times. There will also be guided tours of the school and light refreshments.

Walmer Secondary School opened its doors to the first 308 pupils (152 girls and 156 boys) at 9am on 24 April 1958, immediately after the Easter break. Ultimately the school was to house 600 pupils. The original decision to build a new school on Salisbury Road arose from the post war "baby boom". The existing schools – Deal Secondary School for Boys and Elizabeth Carter School for Girls - were at capacity and overcrowded. The chosen site was on open fields at the top of Salisbury Road - criss-crossed with paths to Walmer Station and to Dover Road and some old AA batteries from the Second World War still in evidence. The school was popular even before it opened. In March 1958 the East Kent Mercury reported 100 children had been refused places at the new school due to oversubscription.

When the school opened for pupils they entered a building that was modern, bright and with excellent facilities. New building techniques with no internal and very little external brickwork had been employed to create bright and airy spaces and specialist rooms for domestic science, science, woodwork, metalwork plus a library. For those who had come from the darker and older primary schools and other secondary schools it was a revelation and a wonderful place to begin a secondary education.

The first headmaster was Mr C.S. Smith MA BSc formerly on the staff at Pitmaston Secondary School for Boys, Birmingham who retired after 21 years as headmaster in 1979. Mr Smith had an initial staff in April 1958 of 12 full-time teachers and one part-time member of staff. The school was divided into four "houses" named Churchill, Pitt, Salisbury and Wellington after holders of the position of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. (A fifth house - Granville was added in the early 1990’s.) The first head girl was Angela Creasey and the first head boy was Ian MacKay.

Looking forward to the 50th Anniversary Open Day on 21 April, headteacher Simon Heaton said: “We hope that people will come along and take the opportunity to reminisce and renew old acquaintances as well as see the 2008 school in action. We very much welcome the community in helping us celebrate this important anniversary.”   (April 2, 2008)
 

SEAFRONT WALK FOR HOSPICE

Women are being invited to take a midnight stroll to raise money for the Pilgrims' Hospice. A ladies-only event, the sponsored walk is for a total of 10 kilometers along the Deal and Walmer seafront on Saturday, 7 June. It starts at 12midnight and the organisers are hoping that up to 600 people will join in. For details and entry forms, see www.pilgrimshospice.org or call 01233 504111.    (March 27, 2008)
 

PLANNING THE FUTURE

Dover District Council has unveiled its ideas for shaping the future of the district and the public is being invited to have its say. It is, in effect, the first major stage in a process of creating a Local Development Framework (LDF), a strategic plan for local employment, housing and leisure facilities over the next 20 years.

The Council's suggestions for what might be included in a final LDF have been published in a series of documents - available on-line and at public exhibitions. They cover overall aims of creating the LDF and identify specific sites for future development for new homes, employment, community facilities and open spaces as well as "areas of change". There are also proposals for making sure that development is supported by the right infrastructure and consideration of the impact of proposed development upon wildlife habitats.

The formal public consultation period starts today (Thursday, 27 March) and will run for six weeks ending at midnight on Wednesday, 7 May. To see the on-line versions of all the documents and also submit comments, go to www.dover.gov.uk/localplanreview/corestrategy.asp.

The public exhibitions are at:
Dover Discovery Centre: Thursday, 27 March (10.30am–7.30pm) , Friday, 28 March (10.30am–6pm) and Saturday, 29 March (10.30am–4pm);
Deal Library: Friday, 4 April (10.30am–6pm) and Saturday, 5 April (10.30am–4pm);
Sandwich Guildhall: Friday, 11 April (10.30am–6.30pm) and Saturday, 12 April (10.30am–4pm).    (March 27, 2008)
 

BRAVING THE COLD FOR CHARITY

Undeterred by Easter Saturday's wintry conditions, members of the Canterbury branch of the Prostate Cancer Support Association (PSA) and Deal's carnival court braved the elements in Deal High Street to raise £215 towards vital screening equipment. Adding glamour to PSA's Daniel Kelly and Graham Edwards efforts to persuade shoppers to contribute, were Deal carnival queen Suzy Chapman and her two princesses Jade Barrett and Alice Scott.

On 4 April, the PSA group will be presenting a new Midi-Scanner to the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate. Publicity officer Gerry Costa of Walmer says that this will be the fourth to local hospitals in less than two years - mainly thanks to the support of people in south-east Kent and local organisations like masonic lodges, rotary clubs and inner wheel.    (March 24, 2008)
Charity collectors (photo: Gerry Costa)
Braving the cold: (L to R) Jade Barrett
(Princess) Daniel Kelly and Graham Edwards
(PSA Canterbury Branch), Suzy Chapman
(Carnival Queen) and Alice Scott (Princess)
 

NEW FOR ANGLERS

One very popular local activity that has, until now, been neglected on WalmerWeb has - at last - gained its own dedicated page. If you are interested in sea or fresh-water angling, you may want to take a look at this new page. And if you can add to the information on local angling clubs, where to fish and local services and suppliers, please let us know.

Only the bravest fisherman will have been out and about on Easter Saturday (22 March), though. However, it didn't stop Gerry Costa capturing this dramatic photo of Deal's seafront lashed by heavy seas.    (March 24, 2008)
Easter Saturday storm at Deal (photo: Gerry Costa)
Storm lashes Deal's Beach Street
seafront (photo: Gerry Costa)
 

RUBBISH AND GREEN WASTE COLLECTIONS TO REMAIN FREE

Responding to questions at a Dover District Council meeting, Councillor Nick Kenton has said that there are no plans for Dover to follow the policy of some other local authorities in charging householders for refuse or green waste collections. He is reported to have said that the services "will be free in our district" and, furthermore, that there were plans to introduce kerbside collections of cardboard and plastics although when this would start had yet to be decided.    (March 16, 2008)
 

CATS SEEKING GOOD HOMES

The owners of the Kingsdown Cat Sanctuary, a registered charity started in 1993, would like to hear from people able to offer a good home to one of the many cats and kittens they are currently looking after. With a never-ending stream of strays and abandoned moggies as well as pets that - for one reason or another - their owners can no longer keep, it's not unusual for the Sanctuary to have as many as 80 "boarders". Despite this pressure, though, prospective owners need to satisfy the Sanctuary that they understand their responsibilities in acquiring a new pet. For more details, see the Kingsdown Cat Sanctuary website at www.kingsdowncatsanctuary.org or call Clare on 01304 363071.    (March 16, 2008)
 

NEW OUTDOOR ACTIVITY CLUB

Ripple Down House environmental education centre on the A258 Dover Road at Ringwould near Walmer has launched a new children's outdoor activities club based at the Landmark Centre in Deal. Sessions are 1pm to 4pm every third Saturday in the month. Run as the 'Kidz Really Wild Club', it aims to offer an introduction to greener living, the local environment and the wildlife and countryside of East Kent. Each month will have a different theme and include visits to local places of interest. On 19 April the theme is "Mammals - how to watch and help small mammals", on 17 May there's a "Pond, Mini-Beasts and Nature" walk with hands-on activities and on 21 June an opportunity to study birdlife during a visit to a local bird observatory and nature reserve. The cost is £5 each child and this includes any transport to activity sites. For more details and the full 2008 programme, see the Ripple Down website at: www.rippledown.com/ or call Paula Moorhouse on 07882 058854.   (March 16, 2008)
 
SUPER STORMS

Exceptional gale-force winds and heavy seas brought travel misery and anxious moments for many across the south of England on Monday (10 March).

Apart from some broken branches and uprooted trees and a few cases of minor damage to buildings, Walmer escaped largely unscathed.

At Dover it was a different story with ferry services cancelled for most of the day and mountainous seas as captured here by Walmer resident Rob Riddle. (March 12, 2008)

Storm at Dover (photo: Rob Riddle)

 

CALL FOR CAMPERVAN BAN

Residents along Walmer's seafront road The Beach are demanding action to prohibit campervans. They say that there has been a big increase in recent years with vans parked for several days at a time, blocking residents' sea views, running noisy engines, filling litter bins with garbage and with no proper facilities to dispose of waste water and sewage. Some fear that the situation is getting out of control.

Several residents believe that the problems in their road stem from restrictions introduced along Marine Parade in Deal. They say that campervans had been a problem there and limiting parking to cars and motorcycles had simply caused van users to relocate. They consider that the off-street parking areas further along the seafront are much better suited to daytime visits whilst overnight and longer stays should be at properly serviced campsites.

Dover District Council has been asked to help sort out the problem. Residents have also contacted Walmer Parish Council to ask for its support in banning campervans from The Beach. It is due to be discussed by the Parish Council at its meeting on Wednesday, 12 March.    (March 8, 2008)
 

"DODGY TRADERS" ALERT

Kent Trading Standards have issued warnings about a couple of organisations using dubious methods to sell their services. One involves a security system company which makes unsolicited phone calls to elderly residents and uses hard sell tactics and false information to set up home visits. The other suspect operation is by traders offering to sell householders' unwanted vehicles for a fee. In both cases, the advice is to be very cautious and, if necessary, seek more information from Trading Standards on 0845 404 0506.    (March 8, 2008)
 

NEW ASSISTANT CLERK

Walmer Parish Council has a new assistant clerk. She is Amanda Brooks who took up her post on Tuesday, 4 March. Amanda will be working at the parish council office in Victoria Road with Parish Clerk Jackie Warrington and her main responsibilities will be for administering the Planning, Walmer in Bloom and Amenity and Environment Committees.    (March 8, 2008)

 

BADGERS CAUSING HEADACHE FOR ALLOTMENT HOLDERS

Badgers have been causing problems for Campbell Road allotment holders. Walmer Parish Council, which is responsible for operation of the site, has responded to concerns about the damage being caused by the animals and has contacted government agency Natural England to get its advice on what action can be taken.    (March 8, 2008)

 

PLASTICS BAGS TOO?

Walmer Parish Council has written to Dover District Council to suggest that its collectors should gather up the plastics bags used by many householders to separate cans, glass and newspapers in the "black box" recycling scheme. Where emptied bags are left behind they often end up as wind-blown litter.    (March 8, 2008)

 

FERRY BERTHED OFF WALMER BEACH

It seems not to have been a good week for cross channel ferry services.

Sea France services were suspended on Wednesday when some of their staff went on strike. The dispute continues (as at 2 March).

Then P&O's Pride of Canterbury was taken out of service and moored up off Walmer beach a day or so later. Walmer resident Rob Riddle who took this photo says it's rumoured that some sort of impact caused damage to one engine/prop and, after limping to and from Calais for a bit, the boat was berthed off Walmer. (March 2, 2008)

Pride of Canterbury moored off Walmer beach (photo: Rob Riddle)
 

WEDDING DAY PREVIEW AT WALMER AND DEAL CASTLES

For couples seeking a stunning location for their wedding day, Walmer and Deal Castles could have just the answer. The two English Heritage venues are holding free wedding planning events on Saturday, 15 March - from 10am until 1pm at Walmer Castle and from 1.30pm until 4.30pm at Deal Castle.

Couples are being invited to look around the two seaside castles to gain inspiration for their wedding day. And at Deal Castle they can meet photographers, toastmasters, caterers and other suppliers to discuss creative ideas, sample canapés and enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly. An expert from the English Heritage Hospitality team will be on hand to talk through the possibilities for ceremonies and receptions at either venue or both. There's a ‘Two Castles Package’ at special rates for a ceremony at Walmer Castle, followed by a reception at Deal Castle.

Walmer Castle will also be hosting Bridal Open Days on every first Saturday of the month, throughout the year. For more information, call 01304 209870 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/hospitality.   (February 29, 2008)

 

DEAL TOWN CENTRE ROADWORKS

Kent Highways road works in the Park Street area of Deal will mean a number of diversions for motorists over the next 12 weeks. For details, see www.elgin.gov.uk or call Kent Highways on 0845 824 7800.   (February 29, 2008)

 

CARNIVAL QUEEN CHOSEN

Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown's new carnival queen is Suzy Chapman (15) from Kennedy Drive, Walmer. She will be accompanied on her carnival and other engagements over the coming year by senior court princesses Alice Scott (14) and Jade Barrett (15).   (February 29, 2008)

 

WEEKEND WORKSHOPS FOR BUDDING AUTHORS

Deal is the venue for a series of weekend workshops with experienced professionals aimed at people keen to improve their creative writing skills. The first is on February 23/24 when Noël Greig and Philip Osment will lead sessions on "Plays for Young People". Workshop organiser Liz Turner says she has three places still available for this.

Further weekends are: March 29/30 - Philip Osment and Lin Coghlan on "Television and Adaptation", April 26/27 - Chrissie Gittins and Moniza Alvi on "Poetry Matters", May 24/25 - Noël Greig and Rosy Fordham on "Plays for Today" and June 28/29 - Noël Greig and Philip Osment on "Human Behaviour in Action".

The courses are in the Royal Hotel on Deal seafront and run Saturday 10.30am–6.30pm and Sunday 10am–6pm. Cost of each course is £200 (which does not include accommodation). For more details or to book contact: Liz Turner on 01304 367625 or . You can also see more on the courses plus tutor biographies at: www.dealingwithwriting.com.   (February 15, 2008)

 

SHOWCASE FOR LOCAL SERVICES

There's an opportunity for small local businesses to present their services to the public at a special event at the Landmark Centre in Deal High Street on Friday, 4 April. Organised by the Best of Deal and Sandwich group with the cooperation of Deal and Walmer Chamber of Commerce, the mini-exhibition will be open from 9am to 4pm. The organisers say their first Local Business Showcase will be especially helpful to companies that do not have a high street presence and also open up the prospect of making valuable new business contacts. For details, contact Jane or Stephanie on 01304 362563 or 07800 813706.  (February 10, 2008)

 

"BAN THE BAG" CAMPAIGN

A local environmental group is campaigning to make Deal the first town in Kent to abandon the use of plastics shopping bags by local retailers. Members of the Deal With It group plan to meet Deal traders at the end of this month. They hope to persuade them that, apart from a huge waste of resources in manufacturing the bags, they pose a massive problem in their disposal, often end up as litter and are a danger to wildlife. The group believes that better environmentally friendly alternatives are possible.   (February 10, 2008)

 

SEAFRONT BAND CONCERTS FOR 2008

A free leaflet giving details of the coming season of free band concerts at the Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green is now available. You can get a copy from Stephen Misson at Cinque Port Music* or from local Tourist Information Centres. Copies will also be available very shortly at the East Kent Mercury office, Ropers, the Library, NatWest bank and Lyndas in Deal, as well shops and the RMA Club on The Strand in Walmer. The leaflet can also be downloaded at: www.cinqueportmusic.com/. The concert dates and times will also appear in the WalmerWeb coming events listings.

* You can contact Stephen at 1 The Maltings, Walmer, Deal, Kent CT14 7AR ( and fax: 01304 362181; or ). If requesting a copy of the new leaflet by post, a stamped addressed return envelope would be appreciated.   (February 4, 2008)

 
TOP HONOURS FOR GERRY

Walmer resident and regular contributor to this website Gerry Costa has been honoured with two prestigious Rotary awards.

Gerry, who hails from Catalonia, is a very active member of the South Foreland Rotary Club. On Wednesday night (23 January) his sterling work in promoting his club, setting up and running its website and boosting its international contacts was acknowledged by a Certificate of Appreciation Award.

The rare and distinctive award - granted by Rotary District 1120, which covers Kent and East Sussex - was presented by Past District Governor Norman Jones at a special club meeting in Dover. What Gerry didn't know was that his club's members had an extra surprise for him.
 

Gerry Costa receives two awards (photo Rob Riddle)
L to R: South Foreland Rotary president Peter West, Gerry Costa with his two awards, and past Rotary District governor Norman Jones.
South Foreland Club President Peter West revealed that the Club had arranged, in great secrecy, for the award to Gerry of Rotary's highest honour - that of a Paul Harris Fellowship. (Paul Harris was the founder, in 1905, of the Rotary movement.) This award had arrived and President Peter duly presented the coveted medal with its blue and yellow ribbon to an astonished Gerry.  (January 25, 2008)
 

BLOOD SERVICE NEEDS MORE DONORS

Existing and potential donors are being urged to support the next NHS Blood Donor session at Trinity Church, Union Road, Deal on Monday, 11 February. The organisers say that current blood stocks are lower than they'd like and it's vital they are replenished so hospital patients can receive life-saving transfusions when necessary. For more details or to book a donor appointment call 0845 7711 711. There is also information on the www.blood.co.uk website.  (January 24, 2008)

 

SEARCH FOR THIS YEAR'S CARNIVAL QUEENS

Lasses who are tempted by the idea of being part of the Deal carnival court need to enter their names for the selection event on Saturday, 23 February. There are three categories: Rosebud Queen for five- to eight-year-olds; Junior Court for nine- to 13-year-olds; and Senior Court for 14- to 24-year-olds. All entrants have to live in the CT14 postal area.

The 23 February selection meetings are at the Landmark Centre, Deal High Street with the Rosebud and Junior contests in the afternoon and the Senior selection in the evening. Entry forms and details are available from the Tourist Information Centre in the Landmark Centre, the East Kent Mercury office at 13 Queen Street, Mark One Music and Trish's Haberdashery.  (January 24, 2008)

 

ROAD PETITION TAKEN TO DOWNING STREET

Local road campaigners have delivered an 11,000 signature petition to 10 Downing Street. Their trip to London on Thursday, 17 January was organised by Dover MP Gwyn Prosser. The petition calls for safety improvements on the A258 Deal to Dover road following a series of accidents and fatalities in the past couple of years.  (January 24, 2008)

 

"GREEN LIGHT" FOR NEW £1.4MILLION PIER CAFE

Increased costs to replace the cafe at the head of Deal Pier have not deterred Dover Council from deciding to go ahead with the project. The original estimate in Spring 2007 has now risen by £590,000, so the likely cost of the new glass-walled cafe bar is £1,400,000. The contract for the new building has been awarded to Barwick Construction Services. Work is expected to start before mid-March.  (January 5, 2008)

 

GROUNDED SHIP MOORS OFF WALMER

Local residents and visitors had a grandstand view of the container ship LT Cortesia when it was moored off Walmer for seaworthiness checks on Thursday, 3 January. The previous day it had grounded and had to be refloated on the Varne sandbank south of Dover. Rob Riddle took this photo from Walmer beach on Thursday at about 10am.  (January 5, 2008)

Grounded container ship - January 3 2008 (photo: Rob Riddle
 

"GO AHEAD" FOR NEW ALLOTMENTS

Walmer parish councillors have agreed that they'd like to go ahead with development of land at Churchill Avenue as allotments if the money needed for the project can be found. When allotments become available, the Council will offer them first to people on the current waiting list.  (January 5, 2008)

 

NEW SPORTS HALL

Walmer parish councillors have reminded Dover Council that Walmer Science College's new sports hall needs to be included in its Sports and Recreation Strategy document. They are also contacting the school to ask about possible use of the new indoor sports facility by the public.  (January 5, 2008)

 

CALL TO "THINK AGAIN" AT CAR PARKING INCREASES

Deal and Walmer Chamber of Commerce are making a last minute bid to get Dover Council to reconsider its proposed hike in car parking charges. If plans to increase parking fees at the end of January are implemented, it could mean a £1.60 fee for two hours stay in many of the Council-operated car parks instead of the current £1. Traders say that shoppers will be put off visiting the town and the viability of some shops threatened.  (January 3, 2008)

 

FESTIVE LIGHTS AWARDS

Winners of Walmer Parish Council's Christmas lights competion were:

  • The Watkins family, St Clare Road (winners);
  • Carl Felvus, Thistledown (runner up #1);
  • Blake Close (runner up #2);
  • The Fuller family, Newlands (judges' special mention);
  • The Bourner family, Station Road (children's choice award); and
  • Kennedy Drive (community effort).  (January 3, 2008)