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Heritage award announced

THURNHAM Parish Council will give an award to a corpora- tion, charity, group or individ- ual that has made an outstanding contribution to her- itage protection. Now in its third year, the Thurnham Heritage Award seeks to recognise people within Kent or beyond who have gone that extra mile to help save a piece of their his- tory.

The prize, given in honour of

the late Lord Sandy Bruce-Lock- hart, previously leader of KCC and chairman of English Her- itage, is a trophy carved from wood grown at 800-year-old Thurnham Castle, built on the highest point in Kent. Chairman Daniel Skinner

said: “This is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to all the people

Revised homes

scheme agreed PERMISSION was given for a development of four new homes to replace a former fence manufacturing site in the Kent Downs, between Bredhurst and Yelsted.

Maidstone Council’s plan-

ning committee had previously blocked a similar scheme for the Purple HillWorks in White Hill Road, though they ac- cepted a proposal to convert ex- isting buildings into nine light industrial units. Applicant Weldrite UK said renting out the accepted indus- trial units was proving difficult in the current economic climate and asked again for the land to become residential. At a recentmeeting, the plan-

ning committee unanimously accepted this proposal without debate. An officer report said: “The opportunity to clear the site and replace it with a high quality redevelopment, de-con- taminate it, landscape it and improve its ecological value should be given substantial weight here.”

Rene Davies IRENE Evelyn Mary “Rene” Davies (90) made headlines last year when she and husband Irwyn “John” celebrated 70 years of marriage. Born in Loose, she briefly lived in Capel Bangor, Wales, near her husband’s birthplace until the cou- ple returned to live locally 62 years ago. They lived in Mangravet, Shepway and SenacreWood. Rene was mother to Jennifer

and Marilyn. Jennifer said: “My mother worked for Alabaster Passmore when she was young

who put something into pro- tecting our heritage. People put a lot of time and effort into her- itage projects, but their work often goes unrecognised.” Last year’s winner was The Linton Boundary Stone Project, a community initiative over- seen by Linton Parish Council, which sought to discover, pre- serve and document a series of

stones that surround the parish. Of the 62 stones identified on maps as having existed, 32 have so far been found intact during the ongoing project. Before that the award was

given to Lady Tess Bruce-Lock- hart in recognition of various projects she was involved with. She is pictured passing on the award to Jerry Whitmarsh, of Linton Parish Council. There are no forms to fill in – applications can be sent by email or applicants can phone or speak to the parish clerk face to face. Call Sherrie Babington on

01634 867173, email thurnham- parishcouncil@sherriebabing- or write to 4 Birkhall Close, Walderslade, Chatham, Kent, ME5 7QD. The deadline for applications is April 26.

A NEW venture will allow Maidstone residents to learn skills free over the next four months. The U, in partnership with Maid- stone Council,will offer 90-minute sessions in areas such as first aid, defusing conflict and practising positivity. It is designed to bring people together as well as developing their skills. Activities will take place across the town and will be led by community volunteers who will be trained as part of the scheme. Cabinet member for community and leisure services, Cllr John

Learn skills to help others

Wilson, said: “The free learning sessions are a great opportunity to learn important skills and meet new people. I am delighted Maidstone council has been able to support this venture.” The U is a Young Foundation venture supported by NESTA,

the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, which aims to make the UK more innovative. Training sessions for people wishing to lead activities take

place on March 9 and 16. For more details call 0800 254 0154 or visit

School’s inspection deferred A GROVE Green school is performing well enough to not need an- other Ofsted inspection until at least next summer. St John’s Church of England Primary School was graded “good” at

its last full inspection in March 2010. Following an interim inspec- tion of the ProvenderWay school in January, Her Majesty’s chief in- spector Sir Michael Wilshaw, said: “The school’s performance has been sustained and we can defer its next full inspection. As a result, the next full inspection will not take place any earlier than the sum- mer term 2014, unless we receive information that causes us to in- spect earlier. Iwish everyone involved continued success.” An interim inspection looks at areas including pupils’ achieve- ments, progress and attainment.

We will remember

and once my sister and I were at school she went back to work in the kitchens at Oldborough Manor School. People knew her as a homemaker who loved gar- dening, and took a pride in keep- ing her home clean.” Rene leaves her husband, her daughters, grandchildren Nichola and Darren and great-grandchil- dren Matthew, Daniel and Fras

Ellis Powell THE tragic death, following an epileptic seizure, of dancer and stage school student Ellis Powell (21) made local headlines and brought tributes from many who knew and admired the young

woman from Grove Green. Aformer student of Cornwallis Academy, Ellis was in her final year at Mandy Ellen Performing Arts College in Earl Street, and had progressed to teaching tech- nique to younger students. Elected the academy’s head girl

in 2011, she was tipped for a bright future, and staff at the academy believed her capable of achieving her ambition of ap- pearing on theWest End stage. Mandy Ellen Performing Arts College opened a book of remem- brance next to a photo of Ellis in their reception area and future shows will be dedicated to their star student.

Visit Downs Mail’s website —


turned down AN APPLICATION to replace a conservatory at Grade II listed Brook House, Lower Street, Leeds, has been refused. Mr and Mrs Greeff wanted to install a dark woodgrain hard- wood framed structure, with the existing brick base wall to remain, but Maidstone Coun- cil’s decision notice said: “The design of the proposed conser- vatory is inappropriate by rea- son of its shallow pitched roof, poorly-proportioned window design on the side elevations and the dark hardwood finish. “It would neither enhance

nor preserve the historic char- acter or architectural integrity of the Grade II listed building, its significance or its features of special interest.”

Annex rejected MATTHEW Baker has again been thwarted in his attempt to convert a garage at Bishops in Avery Lane, Otham. In September last year, an ap- plication to convert the garage into a three-bedroom home was refused by Maidstone Council on account of causing harm to the character and appearance of a rural area. The council has now refused an application to convert it into an annex. The decision notice said:

“The proposed development wouldresultinaunitofac- commodation capable of being occupied as an independent residential unit in an unsus- tainable location, which would result in consolidation of exist- ing sporadic development in the countryside.”

Caravan can stay JAMIE Chapman has been given permission to station a residential caravan, office and store in Fairview, Faversham Road, Lenham, for 18 months. Last summer, Mr Chapman

was given planning permission for a replacement family bun- galow. He said he required the caravan as temporary accom- modation during construction.

Ellis was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of two, but medication and her own will to succeed had ensured it didn’t hold back her ambitions.

Alfred Powell PENENDENHeath’sAlfred Pow- ell died amonth after celebrating his 100th birthday. He marked his centenary with

a party for 50 of his family and friends. London-born, he could remember both world wars. Alfred had lived locally for 40

years, working with WH Smith first in London, moving to Bris- tol and finally becoming area manager for Kent. His niece, Marian Honey, said he was “a wonderful man.”

East 41

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