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School ‘striving Home plan was predicted

to improve’ HUNTON and Linton Pre- school has been rated satisfac- tory in a report by Ofsted inspectors – down a grade on last time. The childcare provider at Hunton Village Hall was ad- vised by the inspectors that monitoring staff and the activi- ties it provides would help it better match the needs of indi- vidual youngsters. Offering more challenging activities, particularly in maths and arts and crafts, would also help raise its mark. The inspectors noted that

new management was still “bedding in”,which should ad- dress inconsistent monitoring systems. Sally Clifton and Lyndsey Cooper took over as joint man- agers in September this year. Sally said: “Since our inspec-

tion we have a new arts and craft trolley, so children can make independent choices, and our plans this term include a numeracy focus week,with em- phasis on fun with numbers. “We are really pleased that

we maintained our ‘good’ grade regarding the wellbeing of the children. The support from par- ents and their feedback to Of- sted was overwhelming. “Ofsted recognised that our

staff are very committed and hard-working andwe will work together to continue to make improvements to ensure that we offer the best possible care and learning opportunities.”

A BOROUGH councillor’s warning that a new sports ground could lead to housing in the open countryside near Mar- den might be coming true. Paul Newton has applied to

build a five-bedroom home at Bumpers Hall, which is next to the site of a large sports ground that received planning permis- sion in June. A 637-name petition was lodged against the proposal, and Cllr Annabelle Blackmore, a ward member for Marden, told the planning committee: “This site is north of the railway

WEST Farleigh is fast becoming a retreat not for the glitterati – but the literati! Not only is the village home to

AngusKennedy, theaward-winning culinary writer and author of the top selling “Kitchen Floor Baby”, but it nowboasts a second prolific author – GuyMacdonald. Guy (41), who lives in Charlton

Lane,with wife Anita and two-year old son Finn (with whom he is pic- tured), has written numerous books – chiefly aimed at boys – in- cluding “The Boys' Book: How To Be The Best At Everything”, first published in 2006. Since his first book, “An Eagle’s

Vengeance”, was published in 2002 he has been a prolific writer, more recently with two of his pri- mary school pals MatthewMorgan and David Sinden, who together

Vicar could be your slave if price is right

A VICAR has pledged to be a slave for a day to help raise funds for the church. Rev Paul Filmer, from St Peter and St Paul Church, Yalding, is of- fering his serv- ices as part of an online auc- tion of promises being organised by the Church Preservation Society. However, with a suggested starting price of £250, he is now wondering if he has bitten off more than he can chew! “I’m not sure what people ex-

pect for £250,” he said. “Hope- fully it won’t be clearing a loft or shifting rubble.” The auction website states: “Offered in the area of Yalding, Laddingford and Collier Street. This is no ordinary slave, but none other than the Vicar of St Peter & St Paul. The Rev Paul Filmer has donated his time from 9am to 5pm to do your bid- ding (within reason, as long as it is legal, decent and honest!). So

30 South

use your imagination and make use of this slave in an imagina- tiveway, as this offer is unlikely to be repeated!” However, anyone hoping to get

a cheap wedding by bidding will be disappointed. He said: “I wouldn’t be able to arrange a wedding in a day.” The vicar is a keen photogra-

pher and, ideally, hopes some- one might opt for a photo shoot or some photo manipulation. “Either that or something fun,”

he said. “If they want me to do the vacuuming wearing my dog collar, I could manage that.” Other items in the auction in-

clude a two-week holiday in Florida, a two-night stay at the Carnoustie Golf Hotel & Spa in Scotland, a dinner party for 12 and a framed, signed England Rugby world cup team shirt. Organisers hope the auction,

which starts at 9am onWednes- day, December 4, and finishes at 8pm on Saturday, December 14, will raise £3-4000. To bid, go to www.auctionof- a=4XDDX6V

line. If this line is breached there will be further develop- ments north of the railway line and the village will be sprawl- ing in all directions.” Thesewords appear prescient

after Mr Newton’s supporting statement said the new sports ground “establishes a number of key principles” that favour housing in open countryside outside the village. It added: “The recent plan-

ning permission for a new sports club on land immedi- ately adjacent to the application site has significantly altered its

context and the immediate sur- rounding area. It is a material consideration in the determina- tion of this application. “As a result, the application represents sustainable develop- ment in the context of the Na- tional Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and should be granted planning permis- sion.”

Should the council grant planning permission, the house would be built on the site of an existing ménage, which would be removed, along with a stable block.

‘Beastly Boy’ Guy swaps books for classroom

the Zombies, The Jungle Vampire andWerewolf versus Dragon. The publishing company, Simon

and Schuster, requires its writers to meet their public and the boys have attended book signings, school workshops and book festi- vals in Hay-on-Wye, Bath and Edin- burgh. The threesome must have got something right, however, as the series is nowsold in 25 countries. In 2010, they released their sec-

form the “Beastly Boys”. The trio met at primary school in Shipbourneandallwentontohave literary careers, butcametogether in 2007 to collaborate on six books. Most of the titles are aimed at

children with a fascination for the gruesome, with titles like Battle of

ond and final children's series, Alien Invaders. The 10 action- packed space adventures involve boy hero, Cosmo, battling the out- lawKaos, a five-headed monster. Guy has written more than a

dozen books in his own right, but, having recently qualified as a teacher, fears his writing daysmay be drawing to a close.

Lych gate revives old tradition at funerals

ANHISTORIC funeral tradition has been revived inYalding, fol- lowing major restoration work to the church lych gate. The oak lych gate at St Peter

and St Paul’s Church was re- dedicated on Remembrance Sunday, following extensive re- pairs. The work, costing over £11,000, was carried out by Mighty Oak Timber Framing Company from Ticehurst.Much of the money was raised by the Yalding Church Preservation Society. The congregation gathered around the gates as Rev Paul Filmer said a prayer and the church choir sang an anthem to mark completion of the work. The gates were bought by the

Wyckham family in 1919 in memory of a family member. In theMiddleAgeswhenmost people were buried in just shrouds rather than coffins, the dead were carried to the lych gate and placed on a bier,where the priest conducted the first part of the funeral service under its shelter. The mournerswould

then progress to the graveside – with no ceremony. Since the gates were restored,

Rev Filmer has conducted three funerals in the traditional man- ner, with the coffin being placed under the covered gates for the opening prayers, before being carried into church for the re- mainder of the service. He said: “We are very grateful

for the work of the YCPS in rais- ing the money to have the gates restored and a plaque now com- memorates the fact.”

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