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Where I live... East Malling and Larkfield Parish Council


Local history exhibition The parish council is to put on a display of local history information to coincide with Heritage Open Days from 11am to 4pm on Saturday September 13, at Church Farm Hall, New Hythe Lane. There will be refreshments supplied by Larkfield WI, and East Malling Conservation Group has agreed to participate.


Put the date in your diary and if you have any items such as old photographs or documents of East Malling, Larkfield or New Hythe which we could copy to display, please contact the council chairman David Thornewell on 01732 847415.


Street lights After many months of complaints we understand the street lights along the footpath to New Hythe station should soon be fixed. KCC says vandals destroyed some of the lights which are hard to access, and it apologised for the delay. Perhaps they will be working by the time you read this.


Railway footpath crossing open Network Rail has put up new gates where the footpath from Rocks Road down to East Malling church crosses the line. The gates have padlocks on them but these are not secured and the gates open with a push. It seems all such gates are supplied with padlocks


Manor Park Café Although in West Malling it is pleasing the Green Cafe is now open again. It is possible it will be included as a stop on the parish walk from East Malling church at 2.15pm on Sunday, October 19. Another advance diary date.


Country Park pipe Later this year SE Water will be laying a new water pipe through the country park from the Papyrus Way


Future of the Church Centre


LEADERS of St Mary’s Church, West Malling, are having to think about the future of the Church Centre now that the Betty Lewis nursery school is moving to new accommodation at the primary school on Norman Road.


The nursery school has been at the Church Centre for 36 years but the building has become expensive to run and does not have the facilities needed for a modern parish centre. Unfortunately, the cost of heating and maintaining the building has got progressively harder over the years and for more than 10 years now it has been costing the church thousands of pounds more than it receives in income.


The Priest-in-charge, the Rev David Green, has said that nothing about the future of the Church Centre has been decided yet and that local people will be kept informed on any changes. However, he added: “The Church Centre incurs enormous costs and we need to spend our money wisely, especially when one considers there are


no facilities at the church itself for toilets, refreshment facilities, changing rooms for the choir and those who come to give concerts at the church.


It’s very hard to justify spending thousands of pounds on an empty building which we cannot


afford while the church itself has clear needs befitting the expectations of people in the 21st century.”


The Priest-in-charge has promised that St Mary’s will keep the people in West Malling abreast of plans as things develop and as St Mary’s Parochial Church Council considers its options.


The listed building was left to the parochial church council by a former resident and was one of the first West Malling schools.


roundabout in New Hythe Lane through to Lunsford Lane. It replaces an old pipe and should provide a water supply for the extra houses in the area. SE Water promised to keep disruption to park users to a minimum.


New Road flooding Over recent months there have been periods when water has appeared or run down New Road, East Malling, and flooded Church Walk. The position is that there used to be a stream which ran down the side of New Road next to the playing fields, rather like the stream in Rocks Road. It is of course the same stream. However at different times over 40 years ago, KCC piped the stream so the pavement could be provided and the estate at Clare Park built. The stream joins the one from Blacklands, also piped, in the vicinity of the junction with Chapman Way. It then runs through East Malling Research and on to Ditton Ford in Bradbourne Lane. The piped stream is the responsibility of KCC as highway authority and whenever a flood occurs, the parish has taken this up with the county council.


It has recently been jetted again and we wait to see if this has finally done the trick


There is also another part of the stream that runs from Church Walk via Court Lodge and the former "research" houses in New Road and through their land to rejoin the piped stream before they go through Bradbourne Lake. Responsibility for this stream is not clear and the parish council is still awaiting a clear answer from the authorities.


THE GREEN CAFE


THE eco-friendly Green Café at Manor Park, West Malling, is now under new management.


Within walking distance of the High Street, it is located in the shrubbery just beyond the car park at the country park.


Open seven days a week from 9am, it offers a range of light meals, snacks and drinks and a relaxed setting to take it easy after an enjoyable stroll through the park grounds.


The café specialises in Fairtrade products and the menu includes ice cream, Panini, sandwiches, cakes and biscuits and milkshakes. There is also a play area for the children.


MEN’S CLUB


A NEW club has formed in West Malling for retired men. They meet at 2.30pm on alternate Thursdays, downstairs at the Clout Institute for a couple of hours to play cards, darts and dominoes or just to chat. Tea, coffee and home-made cakes are served and the cost is £2.50 per session. For more information just turn up and join us. The next meeting is on July 24.


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