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No free tickets Mystery man at scene of fire

for fireworks THERE will be no repeat of last year’s fireworks night in Bearsted when residents from roads close to the action received free tickets. To compensate for noise

and nuisance caused by the parish council-organised event at the Elizabeth Harvie Field, residents in Sutton Street, Trapfield Close, Church Lane and Cross Keys were last year offered free tickets. But these addresses will

have to pay their way if they want to witness this year’s fireworks display, which takes place on Friday, No- vember 1. Cllr Richard Ash, chairman

of the parish council, said: “These areas are not as af- fected as they are around The Green.” Eight councillors voted in favour of not offer- ing free tickets, with three ab- stentions. Cross Keys was closed for

traffic last year for safety rea- sons, but this time it will re- main open, with a marshal patrolling the entrance to the road to ensure emergency services have access. Church Lane will be closed between 5.45pm and 8.15pm.

Bearsted Parish Council page 28

POLICE investigating the cir- cumstances of a fire in Bearsted are looking for a man seen in the area shortly before the blaze broke out. Damage estimated at about £5,000 was caused by the fire at Marino’s Fish Bar, in Ashford Road, although the premises are again open for business. It is thought the fire began in

a bin. The cause was unknown and may have been accidental, but was recorded as possible arson. DC Madeline Brackley from Maidstone Police Station said: “Kent Fire and Rescue Service

said no ac- celerant was used and it was possi- bly a ciga- rette that started it. We have since re- viewed local CCTV and a manisseen in an alley- wayatthe rear of Marino’s about 30 min- utes before the fire flares up. “It may be that he smelt smoke and went round to see

what it was, but he does not ap- pear to have called the fire brigade, as the first call came in later, at 9:04am. “We would like to trace him

to possibly rule him out of our enquiries.” The unidentified man is de- scribed as being aged from 30 to 50, of medium build, balding with greying hair and possibly a grey beard. He was wearing glasses, a green and white polo shirt and dark trousers. Anyone able to identify the

man is asked to call DC Brack- ley on 01622 604282, quoting incident YY/17237/13.

Bench a place to remember Maureen

VILLAGERS have a new place to meet and to chat in Lenham. The bench outside the community centre in Groom

Waywas the idea of Bill Taylor,who lost hiswife Mau- reen to cancer in June. As Bill explained: “Both of us have been community

players since moving to Robins Avenue in 1973, and Maureen spent a lot of time at the centre. “She was very, very sociable, loved to get involved,

and was at her happiest when she was meeting peo- ple.”

Maureen organised events for the Len Valley Active

Retirement Association and was also involved in the Brownies and with the carnival committee, alongwith Bill, her husband of 50 years. The couple had two chil- dren. Bill said: “Iknowpeopleare alreadyusing the bench

Bill Taylor with the bench

dedicated to his wife


to sit for awhile and have a chat, and rememberMau- reen, which is exactly what the family hoped would happen.” Bill is pictured with the bench outside the commu-

nity hall,where he and his wifewould play bowls every Tuesday.

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