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July/August 2014

Serving local people, businesses & events in Addington, Birling, East Malling, Kings Hill, Larkfield, Leybourne, Mereworth, Offham, Ryarsh, Trottiscliffe, West Malling

Treasures on your doorstep

THERE’s a once-a-year chance to explore historic and interesting places on your doorstep completely free of charge during Heritage Open Days.

A number of venues in West Malling will be among those in Tonbridge and Malling which will be throwing open their doors on Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14, as part of a national initiative.

Now in its 20th year, Heritage Open Days celebrate historic and architectural treasures, including some little known jewels in the nation’s crown that normally charge for admission or are closed to the public.

In West Malling, there’s a chance to visit the beautiful parish church of St Mary the Virgin which dates back to Norman times. It will be open from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, September 14. There are spectacular views from the top of the tower as far as the Medway high speed rail link bridge.

The Clout Institute in West Malling High Street will be open between 10am and 4pm on both the Saturday and Sunday, with a fascinating exhibition on West Malling and the Great War, including photographs and memorabilia, remembering those who are recorded on the town’s war memorial.

The legendary Twitch Inn at Douces Manor, opposite the entrance to Manor Park Country Park, will also be open on both the Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. The cellar bar was used by World War II pilots, including Dambusters hero Guy Gibson, when they were stationed at RAF West Malling and billeted at the manor. Graffiti is still visible which the pilots scratched in candle dust on the ceiling. The exhibition is in two parts - RAF West Malling and Serving West Malling.

MBE for dedicated Trudy

TIRELESS community stalwart Trudy Dean has received an MBE for her voluntary work in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Trudy, who moved from Derbyshire to West Malling with her family in the late 1970s, made the conscious decision to join community life, as “a way to meet people”.

After starting out as booking clerk for the village hall, she is chairman of West Malling Parish Council, having been a member for 31 years and a county councillor for 29.

The Liberal Democrat Leader says receiving the MBE came out of the blue, and has made her even more determined to do more, for fear of feeling a fraud!

Her recent successes have included the purchase of a community orchard for the village and the formation of West Malling Community Choir.

Cllr Dean, (67), of Offham Road, said: “It is very rare that any one person can achieve much on their own. I am immensely grateful to many local people who work to ensure that West Malling is a better place to live for us all. "

A Malling Action Partnership publication

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