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Local News Archive: July to December 2008
 
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CALL TO "SHOP LOCALLY" AS WOOLIES AND THE REGENT CLOSE

The imminent closure of two long-established Deal businesses has prompted calls for people to "shop locally". Woolworths store in Deal High Street and the Regent Bingo Hall on the seafront will both shut in the next few weeks with an estimated loss of close on 30 jobs. Deal town mayor Councillor Bill Gardner has stressed the importance of shoppers using Deal as much as possible for their spending. He said: "I urge everyone to stay in the town to shop." Chamber of Trade chairman Peter Varrall is reported to have sounded an optimistic note. He felt that the closing premises would soon attract newcomers. Deal, he said, remained fortunate in still having a wide variety of shops.   (December 17, 2008)
 

PUBLIC'S VIEWS SOUGHT ON MARKET MOVE

Should Deal's Saturday market - currently held in the Union Road carpark at the northern end of the High Street - move to a new location and even be held on a different day? Dover District Council is thinking about a possible change to free up the space in the car park used by traders to provide much needed parking. Before anything is decided, the council wants to hear the views of the public. There's more on the Dover Council website at www.dover.gov.uk. If you would like to offer your thoughts, contact Dianne Hopper by before 2 March 2009.   (December 17, 2008)
 

FLOOD DEFENCES ARE FAST TRACKED

Work to strengthen sea flooding defences at north Deal is being brought forward to the coming year. The Environment Agency says that it expects to have £200,000 available in 2009 so it can make a start on designing improvements to the wave wall and topping up the protective embankment between Sandown and Sandwich Bay. The cash was originally scheduled for 2010 and 2011 but has been brought forward as one of the measures in the Government's budget plans.   (December 11, 2008)

 

ACTION TO SAFEGUARD COUNCIL CASH

Walmer parish councillors have been looking at the security of council funds should their bankers default. Councillor Derek Murphy advised them that he had discovered that the Financial Services Authority does not provide the same guarantee to parish councils that it offers to private individuals for loss of funds on amounts up to £50,000. The Clerk reported that the Kent Association of Local Councils had confirmed this and, because of the current instability in the banking world, had advised councils to spread their funds among several financial institutions. In view of this, councillors agreed that the parish council's funds should be deposited in three different accounts - with two amounts of £50,000 and one of £60,000. Authority was given to the chairman, vice-chairman and two council auditors to determine appropriate accounts in which to make the investments.  (November 23, 2008)
 

CASH HELP FOR LOCAL CLUBS AND SOCIETIES

Several local groups are to receive cash help towards local projects thanks to grants from Walmer Parish Council. They are:
£662 for Deal, Betteshanger and Walmer Rugby Sports and Social Club towards the continued upkeep and maintenance of the grounds at the Drill Field off Canada Road;
£350 to the 5th Deal (Sholden) Scout Group towards refurbishment of ladies and gents toilets and provision of a disabled persons toilet;
£300 to the Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade to help improve the 2008 Christmas Lights display; £250 to the Deal and Walmer Handelian Choral Society to support staging Bach's Christmas Oratorio;
£150 to Blades Fencing Club for their Walmer Children's Project; and
£300 to the Dover Museum for the "Eleven Empty Spaces" project (an oral history of an IRA bombing of the Royal Marines School of Music at Deal).  (November 23, 2008)
 

SPRING OPENING FORECAST FOR REVIVED ASTOR

Deal Arts Management, the group selected to run the Astor Theatre in Deal, is working towards a grand re-opening of the venue in April 2009. The group's artistic director and chief executive James Tillitt said that, to date, it had managed to gain £6,000 in grants towards bringing the building back into use. He anticipated one of the first users of the refurbished building will be the Interludes stage and screen club offering an expanded program of classic and art films. Deal Arts Management is also keen to create a team of volunteers able to offer practical skills towards running the theatre. For more details, call 0780 2702071 or send an .

Although sympathetic to the theatre project, Walmer parish councillors took a cautious view over providing financial support when they met on Wednesday, 12 November. After the parish clerk updated members on the latest position regarding Deal Town Council's proposal to take on the lease for the facility and sub-lease management to the Deal Arts Management Group, members felt there should be more solid guarantees that the project would come to fruition and that protection should be placed on any monies provided. They agreed that a sum of £12,500 for the Astor Theatre be included in their budget for the coming year but this would only be handed over when they were satisfied about security and the long term viability of the project.  (November 23, 2008)
 

SWITCH ON FOR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ON FRIDAY, 21 NOVEMBER

Deal's town centre Christmas lights will be switched on at 7.30pm on Friday, 21 November. Special guests for the lighting-up ceremony outside St George's Church in the High Street will be this year's Marlowe Theatre panto stars Stephen Mulhern and Emma Barton. The festivities start at 6pm with entertainment by KmFm radio presenter Johnny Lewis. Father Christmas is due to appear at 7pm and there will be a hog roast to tempt anyone feeling peckish.  (November 12, 2008)
 

NEW LOOK PIER RESTAURANT TO OPEN

The new restaurant at the head of Deal Pier is set to be open for business by the end of next week. Admiral The Lord Boyce, the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, will be performing the official opening ceremony on Friday (21 November). The £1.35-million timber and glass building replaces the former Goodwins Cafe and will provide spectacular views for diners of Deal seafront and Channel shipping. Managing the new licensed restaurant will be local businessman Jasin Kaplan, the owner of the award-winning Telegraph Chippie in Deal. He anticipates providing a broad menu, ranging from established favourites like all-day-breakfast to steaks, salads, fresh local fish and panini. Opening times will be from 8am daily until 9pm Sundays to Thursdays and until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.  (November 12, 2008)
 

BANKING CRISIS PROMPTS COUNCIL CASH REVIEW

Concerns over the security of sums of more than £50,000 deposited with any individual bank have prompted Walmer Parish Council to look at how best to handle its funds. At their meeting on Wednesday (12 November) councillors will be considering a report by Cllr Derek Murphy that outlines the possible risks to any cash balances that exceed the £50,000 guaranteed by the Financial Services Authority in the event of a UK bank collapsing. So far, he warns, it is not clear whether any losses by a local authority beyond this would be covered by the government or other bodies.

Walmer Parish Council currently has around £160,000 lodged with NatWest and the decision facing councillors is whether to leave the cash where it is or split it across a number of banks and building societies, keeping each deposit below the £50,000 limit. Cllr Murphy says that although the latter option is "safer", it could mean a loss of interest and involve more administrative work at the parish office.  (November 7, 2008)
 

SIGNS COULD HELP SORT OUT LORRY PROBLEM

Concerns at the problems caused by large vehicles trying to use Church Street, Walmer as a route between the A258 Dover Road and Court Road have been taken up by Walmer Parish Council. There has been a growing concern by local residents at the increasing numbers of very large goods vehicles tempted to use the road - often persuaded by their sat-navs - only to discover that part of it is very narrow with a sharp bend. As a result, some are forced to reverse and seek another route, blocking the road and causing congestion while they do so. The parish council has suggested to Kent Highways Unit that a warning sign could usefully be placed at the Court Road junction and, possibly, at Dover Road as well.  (November 7, 2008)
 

LOCAL CHURCHES ON THE WEB

Three of Walmer's churches have launched a new website giving details of their activities and range of services to the local community. To find out more about St Mary's in St Clare Road, St Saviour's on The Strand and the Blessed St Mary of Walmer Church in Church Street go to: www.walmerparishchurches.org.  (November 7, 2008)
 

WALMER BLOOMS ON "YOU TUBE"

A film clip of the 2008 Walmer In Bloom competition has been placed on the You Tube website. To take a look, go to: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qNIeTREhkLY (November 7, 2008)
 

SITE VISIT FOR CONTROVERSIAL HOUSING SCHEME

Dover Council's planning committee has agreed with a suggestion by Walmer Parish Council that they should visit the the site of a proposed housing development on land at the corner of Court Road and Station Drive before making any decision. The parish council has strongly objected to the scheme, saying that it would be cramped, cause traffic congestion and road safety problems, have inadequate parking, add to existing flooding problems and lose privacy for the rear gardens of a number of existing houses in Court Road. The site meeting is scheduled for Monday, 17 November and several parish council members say they will be there.  (November 7, 2008)
 
CIVIC HONOUR FOR GERRY'S PHOTO

You saw it here, on WalmerWeb's local news page, first! And now Walmer resident Gerry Costa's dramatic photo of Deal's seafront lashed by heavy seas in March 2008 has a place of honour in the Mayor's Parlour in Deal Town Hall.

Gerry had heard that there was a Turner painting depicting the same angry sea at Deal beach in the Town Hall. He had a look and was surprised by the similarity. Town mayor Bill Gardner said he'd like a copy of Gerry's photo and has now written to him to say that the print has been displayed alongside the Turner painting.  (October 31, 2008)
Storm at Deal on Easter Saturday, 22 March 2008 (photo: Gerry Costa)
 

CHARITY CARDS AT THE LIBRARY

There's an opportunity to help good causes with their funds by buying charity Christmas cards at Deal Library in Broad Street, Deal. A Cards for Good Causes "shop", manned by volunteers, will be at the Library on Mondays to Saturdays, 10am to 4pm, between Saturday, 1 November and Saturday, 20 December. The organisers say that 79p in every £1 goes to the charities.  (October 30, 2008)
 

NEW SKATEPARK OPENS

Local youngsters will have a new place to practice their skills at skateboarding , BMX riding and in-line skating when a state-of-the-art skate park opens at Victoria Park in Deal at lunchtime on Friday (31 October). The new facility with its concrete bowls and jump wall has been created by the district and county councils working with several sports groups and helped by cash from a number of funds including the Lottery and the government's Respect scheme.  (October 30, 2008)
 

ALL CHANGE ON THE BUSES

There are a number of important changes to the times and routes for buses serving Walmer, starting today (Monday, 27 October). For much of the day, Mondays to Saturdays, there will now be two Diamond 15/15A buses every hour linking Deal and Walmer to Dover and Canterbury. For those travelling from Walmer to Deal, Sandwich and Canterbury, the Diamond route 13 buses remain hourly but now offer a number of late evening route 14 services to and from Canterbury. For more details, see the new printed timetables or log onto: www.stagecoachbus.com/eastkent/timetables.php?  (October 27, 2008)

 

CHANGES TO REFUSE AND RECYCLING COLLECTIONS

Dover District Council has unveiled its plans for collecting more items for recycling. From Monday, 3 November plastics bottles and cardboard can also be put out with paper, cans, glass bottles and jars as part of the fortnightly black box recycling scheme. Householders are being given a blue reusable bag for paper and card while their existing black box should now be used for the storage and collection of plastics bottles, cans, glass bottles and jars.

The green garden waste collection scheme will also be extended to a further 13,000 properties from Monday, 3 November. Newcomers will receive a green reusable bag along with a leaflet explaining how the fortnightly collections will work. The regular collection of ordinary household waste remains weekly.

The new services mean that the Council has had to re-organise its collection rounds and many householders will find that they have different refuse, recycling and green waste collection days. Details are given in a leaflet being delivered to all affected properties and are also on Dover Council's website at: http://www.dover.gov.uk/recycling/new/  (October 27, 2008)
 

BEWARE OF ROGUE TRADERS

Kent Trading Standards has reminded local householders to be very wary when people turn up out-of-the-blue to offer home repairs or improvements. The warning follows reports from a neighbouring part of Kent about unsolicited callers offering to carry out driveway work which then proved to be costly and unsatisfactory. Although consumers have a legal right to cancel any doorstep agreements inside seven days, Trading Standards recommend people should always get written quotes from reputable traders. Very often asking friends, family and neighbours will produce some reliable recommendations. Alternatively, for details of a range of approved traders, call Consumer Direct on 0845 4040506.  (October 23, 2008)
 

DOWNTURN THREAT TO LOCAL JOBS

There are signs that the downturn in the national economy could be having a serious impact locally. Ferry company P&O is reported to be planning to cut 63 jobs from its Dover to Calais services. There are worries for staff at Dover Council as well. They have been told that some jobs - possibly up to 15 - may have to go in a drive to reduce costs and balance the books.  (October 23, 2008)

 

LOCAL ARTS GROUP TO RUN DEAL'S THEATRE

Moves to breathe new life into Deal's Astor Theatre have taken a vital step forward with the announcement that Deal Town Council is backing a bid by local arts group Deal Arts Management to run the Stanhope Road building. The theatre closed earlier this summer and, since then, the town council has been consulting with local organisations interested in its future. On Monday (29 September), councillors agreed to support Arts Management's proposals for operating the venue as the "Astor Community Theatre".

Heading up the new arts group is its chief executive and artistic director James Tillitt. He will be supported by a team of local people including project coordinator Colin Whittington and marketing and publicity manager Denis Hart. They are currently preparing a detailed programme of events and activities that they intend will have broad appeal and involve the Deal and Walmer community. It is understood that Lord Astor of Hever has been interested in the plans to bring the theatre back into use and has agreed to become its patron. Although the arts group is keen to "open the doors" as soon as possible, they must wait for the town council to finalise conditions of a lease with Dover District Council, the owners of the theatre.  (October 2, 2008)

 

FREE EVENTS AT SCIENCE COLLEGE

Walmer Science College in Salisbury Road, Walmer is to run a series of talks and events open to local residents. Subjects lined up for coming months will include photography, astronomy, horticulture, sport, food and science. The first session could be of particular interest to people who want to get the best results from their digital camera. Paul Andrew will hold a "Photography in Focus" evening on Thursday, 16 October at 7pm. Admission is free but places need to be booked by phoning 01304 375212.  (October 2, 2008)

 

ACTION ON DEAL TOWN CENTRE TROUBLEMAKERS

Deal town centre has been designated as a "dispersal area" under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. The move by Kent Police and Dover District Council means that the police now have stronger powers to deal with any groups of people behaving badly. The legislation is designed to deal with incidents where two or more people are causing "intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress" to other members of the public. They can be ordered to disperse by a police officer and failure to comply could result in a fine or even up to three months in prison. Young people under 16 who are not with a responsible adult can be taken home if out between 9pm and 6am. The Deal dispersal area scheme has been introduced for the next six months after which it will be reviewed by the authorities.  (September 28, 2008)

 

AUTUMN CONCERTS SEASON FOR DEAL TOWN HALL

Deal Festival of Music and The Arts have announced their programme of autumn concerts to be held at Deal Town Hall. On Friday, 26 September at 7.30pm students from The Yehudi Menuhin School - Ben Baker (violin), Tom Ellis (guitar), Ricky Gore (violin) and Ayaka Shigeno (piano) - will play in a programme that will include Chausson Poeme Opus 25, Tchaikovsky Valse Scherzo and Henze Drei Tentos. On Friday, 10 October at 7.30pm the Cinque Ports Ensemble comprising John Georgiadis (violin), Anthony Halstead (horn) and Malcom Riley (piano) will present a programme that includes: Lennox Berkely Horn Trio Opus 44, Frederick Delius Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 and Brahms Horn Trio Opus 40. On Friday, 24 October at 7.30pm Jessica Beeston (viola) and Andrew Johnston (piano) will provide a programme that includes: Shostakovich Sonata for Viola and Piano, Vaughan Williams Romance for Viola and Piano, Brahms Sonata in E flat Opus 120 No 2, Chopin E flat Nocturne and Chopin F minor Nocturne. Tickets are £10 per concert, £15 for two concerts or £21 for all three concerts. Call 01227 786111 or or visit the Box Office at The Sounds House, Deal ( 01304 381134). For more details, see www.dealfestival.co.uk/.  (September 18, 2008)

 

IT'LL BE EASIER TO RECYCLE PLASTICS AND CARDBOARD

Plastics bottles and cardboard are due to be included in Dover Council's "black box" recycling collections from mid-November. The current fortnightly kerbside collections only cover paper, tins and glass. Details of the improved scheme will be notified to householders nearer the time.  (September 17, 2008)
 

DEARER PARKING COULD DETER SHOPPERS

Plans to increase the cost of parking in the Sainsbury's car park in West Street, Deal have been criticised as a threat to town centre shops. Due to be introduced on 30 September, the new charges are £1 for one hour (currently 70p), £2 for two hours (currently £1) and £3 for three hours (currently £1.50). The car park is owned by Sainsburys and, at present, shoppers in the store can claim a refund on the first hour of their parking fee. The supermarket is reported as saying that this will be extended to a two hours refund. Dover Council's Labour group leader Councillor Ben Bano is concerned that the big increase will discourage people from shopping locally. Deal had seen shop closures in recent weeks and the local economy was "increasingly fragile". It was, he said, essential to keep parking charges reasonable.   (September 17, 2008)
 

BIG WEEKEND AHEAD WITH FOLK FESTIVAL AND BRADERIE

The annual three-day Deal Maritime Folk Festival starts on Friday (19 September) and features a range of musical events at various venues in the town. For details, pick up a leaflet from outlets in Deal, see the Festival website at www.dealmaritimefolkfestival.org.uk or phone 01304 369576. Deal's annual Braderie collectors and antiques fair is also in Deal High Street on Sunday (21 September) from 8.30am to 4pm.  (September 17, 2008)
 

NEW DAYS AND VENUES FOR POLICE AND COUNCIL "SURGERIES"

Walmer parish councillors are hoping that new arrangements for the public to "drop in" and discuss any matters of local concern with representatives of the council and the police will prove more popular. A series of earlier "surgeries" on Thursday mornings at Walmer Parish Hall attracted very few people, so councillors have decided to see if different days and locations will work better. The venues being tried for the new surgeries are the Landmark Centre in Deal High Street, the RMA Club on The Strand and the Upper Walmer Sub-post office. No appointments are necessary and the sessions provide an opportunity to not only raise concerns but put forward ideas for local improvements. The first session is in The Landmark Centre on Saturday, 20 September from 10am to 12noon. Details of future dates and times will be published in the WalmerWeb events listings.    (August 31, 2008; updated 17 September 2008)

 

CALL FOR WIDER CONSULTATION ON ROAD CHANGE

Walmer parish councillors say that all local residents need to be consulted before any move to make Walmer Castle Road a one-way street. At the full meeting of the council on Wednesday, 3 September, members considered a letter from a local resident outlining local traffic problems and requesting a one-way flow. Cllr Les Alton reported that he had previously made enquiries about this and the Highways Unit had indicated that they were not keen to create one-way systems as they tended to encourage speeding. Parish councillors also wondered whether all residents would be in favour of such a move and there were concerns over the potential effect on neighbouring streets such as Granville Road and Grams Road. They agreed that they should ask the Highways Unit to undertake a survey of local residents to establish the level of support for a change. (September 12, 2008)
 

INTEREST IN ASTOR THEATRE CHANGES

Walmer parish councillors are keeping a close eye on current discussions about the future of the Astor Theatre in Deal. At the full meeting of Walmer Parish Council on Wednesday, 3 September, Council member Mrs Marguerite Beard-Gould reported that she had attended several meetings about the future management of the theatre. Currently, there were two groups being given consideration over their ability to manage the facility. Councillors agreed that Walmer Parish Council would continue to express its general support for the facility but would not offer any financial commitment until they had more information on the business plan for the theatre and its future management. Mrs Beard-Gould agreed to carry on attending meetings to provide the Council with first hand information on the process.   (September 12, 2008)
 

ALLOTMENTS PLAN "ON HOLD"

Plans to provide new allotments on a piece of land at Churchill Avenue, Walmer have suffered a setback. It had originally seemed that Dover District Council, who own the site, would give it to Walmer Parish Council for a token sum. But now Dover's Head of Housing has said his council is "unable to dispose of any housing revenue account land without due consideration to its market value". Letters have been sent by Dover Council to all neighbouring properties asking if anyone is interested in purchasing some or all of the land. Answers are expected by 30 September and Walmer councillors are hoping that will confirm whether their allotment plans remain viable.    (September 12, 2008)
 

CALL FOR "ONE-WAY" CASTLE ROAD

Traffic damage to a roadside wall has prompted a number of residents in Walmer Castle Road to call for their street to be made "one way". They say that the narrow road and the need for many residents to use on-street parking creates major problems. Introducing a one-way flow from Liverpool Road to the Dover Road would, they suggest, improve safety. Walmer Parish Councillors will be considering whether to support the residents' request at their next full council meeting on Wednesday, 3 September.    (August 31, 2008)
 

LOCAL PLANNING GUIDE STILL COUNTS

Dover Council planners say that they are continuing to use the Walmer Design Statement as a "material planning consideration in the assessment of planning applications". The Design Statement provides a detailed picture of Walmer at the beginning of the 21st Century and is available, price £4.95, from a number of local outlets including the Parish Council.    (August 31, 2008)
 

GRANTS HELP LOCAL PROJECTS

Three local groups have received a helping hand from Walmer Parish Council. There's a £100 grant for Castle Community College to help with its "Hellfire Corner" project, £200 for Deal and Walmer Allotment Holders Association for new fencing to help improve security on their site and £400 for the Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown Regatta Association towards the cost of staging the children's Teddy Bears' Picnic on Walmer Green.    (August 31, 2008)
 

FILMS RETURN TO DEAL

A new venture to bring films and live performances back to Deal launches in September. Behind the scheme - to be run as the Interludes Stage and Screen Club - are local residents Denis Hart and Colin Whittington. They are promising that Interludes will present live performances by established actors, authors, broadcasters and musicians and also screen a wide variety of films including classic and foreign language movies and documentaries and films with a local interest.

Local interest is certainly a feature of the first film for the season on Friday, 12 September. It's "Ruby Blue" starring Bob Hoskins and uses several Deal locations, including the pier and Jenkins fishmongers on the High Street. Interludes co-founder Denis Hart said: “This is a fantastic coup for us and Deal. The film only went on general release, mostly to independent cinemas around the country, earlier this year. I contacted the production company and not only did they let us have the film for a single screening, the acclaimed director Jan Dunn agreed to attend to introduce the film and answer questions.”

The other co-founder Colin Whittington explained: “We decided to take the initiative and launch Interludes following the shock closure of Deal’s only cinema last year. Our aim is to provide a welcoming atmosphere where the audience can feel relaxed and the entertainment on offer, be it film or live performance, is going to be stimulating, interesting and fun.”

There are two film screenings a month on a Friday evening using the latest digital equipment projecting onto a large screen approximately 15ft wide by 12ft high. The live performances are once a month on a Saturday night. The club will be based in St Georges Hall, off Deal High Street, although other venues may be used when appropriate.

Although Interludes will be offering annual membership, tickets will also be available to the public "on the night" or in advance from a number of outlets in the town. Details of the Interludes programme appear in this website's coming events listings. And for further information, contact Colin Whittington on 01304 375 533 or .    (August 13, 2008)
 

IS YOURS AN OPEN HOUSE FOR THIEVES?

As part of their "Safer Summer" campaign, Kent Police warn that the temptation for householders to air the house by leaving windows and doors wide open when the weather is good can also be very tempting to thieves. Although over the last decade burglaries in Kent have halved, research shows that when burglaries occur, one in four is because a thief has managed to get into a property through an open window or door.

People can help avoid attracting the unwelcome attentions of these crooks by some simple measures. The Police advise:

  • Keep doors and windows shut if you are not in the room;
  • Think about which windows you leave open in hot weather;
  • Consider outside lighting - it helps keeps thieves at bay;
  • Remember, some burglars could get through small spaces such as a cat or dog flap so, if in doubt, shut and lock it;
  • Keep valuable garden equipment locked away - use a strong padlock;
  • Make sure garden sheds are secured properly;
  • Lock ladders away;
  • Don't leave keys in obvious hiding places or near doors and windows;
  • Mark your property - this helps deter burglars;
  • Avoid leaving boxes and other packaging outside your home, as this could advertise what is inside your home to burglars;
  • If you are offered second hand goods, think twice as they could be stolen. If you are suspicious, report it.
There's more crime prevention advice on the Kent Police website at www.kent.police.uk. Also worth checking out are:
HomeSafe - a scheme to help people who have experienced burglary for the first time or may need specific advice due to their circumstances.
HandyVan - run in partnership with Kent County Council and Help the Aged - which provides safety and security advice and products for the elderly in residential homes.
Senior Link - a 24-hour phone number that gives help in an emergency and advice to those answering a door to strangers. For more details of these, call 08458 247247.    (August 13, 2008)
 

MARKE WOOD'S NEW PLAY AREA

Walmer youngsters now have a bright new play area at Marke Wood recreation ground - thanks to a £257,702 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The upgraded facility includes a multi-use climbing frame and a novel "storytelling area" - all designed to encourage creative play. The cash boost will also help with a new skateboard park at Deal's Victoria Park.    (July 28, 2008)
 

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT TO HELP GREET VISITORS

People with an enthusiasm for the local area and its attractions are being asked to consider volunteering to serve as "meeters and greeters" to visitors. The White Cliffs Country Greeters scheme is backed by Kent county and Dover district councils. For more details, call 01622 69693 or .    (July 28, 2008)
 

WALMER'S ANNUAL PICNIC EVENT

Walmer's big annual get-together, the Community Picnic at Walmer Green, is on Saturday, 9 August from 1pm to 4pm. Organised by Walmer Parish Council, the afternoon will feature live music, sideshows and games and a range of displays by local voluntary groups. As in previous years, the organisers are expecting a good turnout for the free event with, given fine weather, many bringing a picnic meal and making an afternoon of it.     (July 28, 2008)
 
TEA PARTY RAISES £750 FOR HEALTH CAUSES

Two health charities are £750 better off thanks to a Summer Tea Party on Saturday, 19 July. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of South Foreland, the fund raising social was held at Gerry and Viki Costa's home in Knoll Place, Walmer. The cash will be shared by the Prostate Cancer Support Association (PSA) and Beakthrough Breast Cancer.

About 70 people attended and, in addition to the South Foreland members, there were members of other local Rotary Clubs of Deal and Dover and their Inner Wheel Clubs, the ladies of the colourful Red Hat Roses of Kent Group and many other friends.

Red Hat Roses of Kent, with Gerry Costa (centre) and Viki Costa (far right)
Red Hat Roses of Kent with hosts
Gerry Costa (centre) and Viki Costa (far right)
Gerry said the fund raising had been greatly helped by very generous donations of goods and services for the tombola by various trading companies in Deal.    (July 22, 2008)
 

HERSCHELL'S CORNER STORE TO REOPEN

Frances Nuttall, the owner of the shop on the corner of Herschell Road and Dover Road in Walmer, says she is planning to reopen on Wednesday, 30 July. The small general stores had been closed for business for some months.

Among the range of items Frances is hoping to sell are fresh locally-grown vegetables. She explained: "I am looking for local people who have allotments or grow their own veg and wish to sell their surplus." There could also be an opportunity for people who produce local goods and craftwork to offer their work through the shop. For more details, call Frances on 01304 368681 or .    (July 9, 2008)
 

ROYAL MARINES BAND SET FOR SUNDAY, 13 JULY VISIT

The annual visit by The Royal Marines Band (Portsmouth) to the memorial bandstand on Walmer Green is on Sunday, 13 July at 2pm. For this hugely popular free event, the organisers emphasise the importance of arriving early and, as there is limited seating, it's sensible to bring your own.    (July 9, 2008)
 
SO GOOD, THEY DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE!

A four-day visit to Walmer by American choir Chorus Angelorum has been hailed as a huge success. Parish priest the Reverend Seth Cooper said that he and the members of his congregation who had hosted the 24 singers had experienced "a fabulous weekend".

"Everyone from St Mary’s church has had a great time showing our visitors around our part of East Kent," he said. "It was an excellent demonstration of the value of bringing people together. I’m sure a number of lasting international friendships will have been forged over the past couple of days." While in the parish, Chorus Angelorum sang at Evensong and Communion services in St Mary’s and gave a short Independence Day concert in the church on Friday, 4 July.
The Rev Seth Cooper greets members of the Houston choir (photo: Harold Wyld)
Visiting American choir Chorus Angelorum are greeted by the Rev Seth Cooper at St Mary's Church, Upper Walmer.
The semi-professional choir from Houston, Texas, are in England to sing at Canterbury Cathedral from Monday to Friday, 7 - 11 July. Their stay in Walmer was arranged by local resident Terrance Gilbert, an old friend of the choir. Its director of music Byron Franklin said the singers had been "knocked out" by the warm and generous hospitality they had received. He added: "It’s no secret that some of the choir would have been delighted if we could have spent the rest of our trip to England in Walmer."    (July 7, 2008)