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Call to close A249 junction ‘rat-run’


DETLING residents want KCC to close the junction between Pilgrims Way and the A249 to stop people using their village as a rat run. That was the feeling of the majority of


the 100-plus villagers who met at Detling Village Hall to discuss how to stop more than 200 vehicles a day driving past their homes in order to avoid queues on the busy dual carriageway. Villager Bob Hannah organised a survey between October andNovember to find out how many cars were using the village as a rat run.One volunteer stood at the junction of Pilgrims Way and The Street to count how many vehicles came into the village from the A249 between 7.45 and 9am, while Mr Hannah stood further down The Street, where it joins Church Lane and Hockers Lane, to see where those vehicles went. Mr Hannah said vehicles cutting through


the village included private cars, taxis, vans, HGVs and a 40ft low loader lorry. He concluded that an average of 221 vehicles take a short cut through Detling each day,


Local history


is revealed By Dennis Fowle


ROBIN Ambrose, of Faraday Road, Pendenden Heath, digs deeply for his books. He did it first at Boxley, then Penenden Heath and now for his new book on Sandling. You may


think there is not much to tell about Sandling – but


you


would be wrong!


Sandling is


the home of Cobtree Park and the old zoo, Tyland Farm and Barn, the Malta Inn and its riverside, the Running Horse and Yew Tree pubs, Sandling Place and Park House as well as many other fine houses and farms, the Royal Engineers and much more. The well-illustrated book (£7


Robin Ambrose


from Waterstones, Earl Street) also looks at the colourful per- sonalities so significant to this area and their ways of life now long gone. Many endured some tough times. Iwas fascinated too by the chapter devoted to the busy history ofWorldWar II.


Villager of the year DETLING’S villager of the year for 2012 has been named as John Faller. John, who has lived in the vil-


lage for about 40 years, received his award at the Christmas fair, in recognition of his work as editor of The Detling News, and all his work around the village, which includes organising the cakes for the church coffee morning.


taking the shortcut in the first place. County Cllr Jenny Whittle said Kent Highway Services was “very amenable” to putting signs on the A249 telling vehicles not to turn left into PilgrimsWay. She said a consultation would take place first and advised villagers to “have an agreed posi- tion and give a clear consensus on what you want”. Borough Cllr Nick de Wiggondene told


Drivers take a short cut through Detling to avoid congestion on the A249


entering via Pilgrims Way, driving down The Street and rejoining the main road via Church Lane, in order to queue-jump on the A249. Mr Hannah said the two problems in Detling appeared to be traffic volume and speeding. He was hoping to borrow a speed gun to assess howfast drivers travel through the village. An alternative or additional so- lution suggested at themeetingwas putting speed restrictions along The Street to slow traffic down and discourage drivers from


themeeting: “I am in support of closing the junction and putting in a 20mph limit. It’s clear that many of these cars are just trying to get further down the A249.” If the junction was closed it would still


be open to local buses and emergency ve- hicles, and people would still be able to leave the village via PilgrimsWay. A hand- ful of villagers felt that closing the junction would cause The Cock Horse Inn to lose passing trade and cause difficulties for people living on the other side of the A249. The parish council will liaise with KHS


and the Joint Transportation Board will discuss the matter before a public consul- tation takes place.


Community work is rewarded


TWO more Mynn Awards have been presented by Bearsted Parish Council to those who work tirelessly on behalf of the community. The awards, established in


2004 and bearing the name of Bearsted’s best-known resident, the legendary cricketer Alfred Mynn, are awarded annually to persons nominated by the com- munity, in the community. However, due to the council’s recent troubles, the 2011 awards have only just been pre- sented – to another cricketing “legend” Ian Lambert and to Sharon Bayne, a former em- ployee of the Medway Valley Conservation Project, who has been instrumental in helping with the work of the Bearsted Woodland Trust. Sharon was nominated for the


award by BWT president Peter Willson, who said: “She was so inspired by our project, she re- turned as a volunteer and has given up so much of her time and professional expertise.” Sharon, who nowworks as an environmental officer with KCC, and is studying for a de- gree in European Law, stepped down from the trust at the end of 2011, but was previously the driving force behind many funding projects, starting with securing £24,700 through the Living Spaces Programme to


POLICE will not prosecute any- one over the death of a human cannonball at the Kent County Showground. Matt Cranch, 23, was perform-


Steve Pearce, Ian


Lambert, Richard Ash,


Sharon Bayne and Peter Willson


build the first path around the site. In total, Sharon has helped


the trust secure some £176,000. “She doesn’t even live in the village – but with her husband Richard and daughter Rebecca in Loose,” addedMrWillson. Although Sharon has stood


down from the BWT manage- ment team, the trustees have commissioned her as a consult- ant to work on a draft plan for the legacy that is Pauline Moore’s land. Mrs Bayne said: “I am very


proud to have been involved, especially seeing how much the land is loved, enjoyed and cher- ished by local people, who hold it very dear in their hearts.” The second recipient, Ian “Larry” Lambert, president of Bearsted Cricket Club and a life member, has been involved with the club for 50 years, tak- ing part in 42 playing seasons, being a past chairman, former


No charges over stuntman death


ing with Scott May’s Daredevil Stunt Show on Easter Monday when he was fired 40ft into the air from a cannon in front of thou- sands of spectators. But the land-


first team captain, team secre- tary and even a groundsman. He was the third highest post-


war scorer for the club and also played badminton, football and golf and helped with the local Scouts, said proposer, cricket club chairman Steve Pearce. Mr Lambert is also a member


of the local history society and a published author on matters of local history. The former chartered engi-


neer had also drawn up a com- prehensive traffic calming strategy for the whole of Bearsted in 2004/5, which parish council chairman Richard Ash said the council could do well to re-visit. The duo were selected by a committee comprising council- lors Pat Marshall and Barbara Dunford and Brian Clifford, vice chairman of Bearsted andThurn- ham Society. Parish council chairman Cllr Richard Ash pre- sented them with their awards.


ing net collapsed and Mr Cranch crashed into the ground, suffering multiple injuries. Police have now confirmed they will not bring any criminal charges in re- lation to the matter. Maidstone council launched its own investi- gation, and will now consider whether there is a case under health and safety laws.


You can e-mail the Downs Mail — info@downsmail.co.uk


Yellow line plans KCC HAS proposed put- ting yellow lines on the bottom of Hockers Lane, Weavering, about 100m from the junction with Ware Street on the west side of the road, and up to Pennies Day Nursery on the east side.


East 27


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