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Crowds turn out for 50th county show

CROWDSflocked to theKent Showground for a three-day celebration of all things Kentish. Early indications were that this

year’s Kent County Show attracted more visitors than the 2013 event when 75,000 people turned out in scorching temperatures. Exact figures for the turnoutwere

not available as the Downs Mail went to press but a spokesman said the Kent Agricultural Society was “pleased” with ticket sales. The show got off to a soggy start

on Friday with drizzle falling most of the day, but bright sunshine drew the crowds during the rest of theweekend for the show’s 50th an- niversary at the site in Detling. Visitors enjoyed the animal shows, admired floral and fruit dis- plays, tasted traditional Kentish produce, browsed craft and trade stalls andwere entertained by mor-

ris dancers, a 25m pole-climbing contest and Titan the Robot. There was plenty to see, with

nine themed areas, a main ring, tra- ditional funfair and six food courts. Arena displays included the

band of the Corps of the Royal En- gineers, the Imps Motor Cycle Dis- play Team and James Dylan Stuntworld, as well as livestock, hounds and heavy horses parades, Pony Club games and heritage ve- hicles.

Among the visitors on the first

day was the Duke of Kent, who is patron of the Kent County Agricul- tural Society. He officially opened the new Maidstone Exhibition Hall, a purpose-built exhibition and con- ference place, before taking a tour of the show.

Sisters Iris Shaw (left) who won a first prize and Ann Hammond, of Wateringbury, who was very highly commended

Lesley Young with Ermintrude at Hadlow College’s Magic Roundabout garden


AlisonWalker, team leader at Spadework, Offham, who won gold in the horticultural section

Sarah Morgan of Hadlow College at its Magic Roundabout show garden

Frederick Green, ofWateringbury Flower Club, whose entry Going Green was commended

J4 improvements Swimmer’s channel challenge Brownies’ plea

FUNDING for improvements at a traffic hotspot in Larkfield has been secured from the Government. Tonbridge and Malling Council

welcomed the £2.19m grant towards an easterly overbridge at Junction 4 on the M20. All the money has now been se-

cured for the £4.4m project. Nicolas Heslop, leader of Ton-

bridge and Malling Council, said: “We hope this will increase the ca- pacity of this key interchange.” The council will also get £2.37m for regeneration in Tonbridge.

A DAD from Aylesford is earning huge respect after swimming the English Channel for the third time. Nick Alford’s 21-mile solo swim

has raised £3,500 for charity and netted a huge catch of positive comments from on-line supporters. TheWard family, who gave £200, posted: “Thanks for having the courage and conviction to see this through. Hero-worthy stuff.” The father-of three, who contin-

ued in spite of being stung by jelly- fish three times, said: “When I run into the sea I’mDavid Hasselhof in

Baywatch, the theme tune pound- ing in my head. “What everyone else sees is an out-of-shape 41-year-old man train- ing for a solo swim across the Eng- lish Channel.” In spite of his self-deprecating comments, Nick has swum the Channel twice before in relay teams, but this time it was on his own, for Demelza children’s hos- pice and Harrison’s Fund. You can sponsor Nick at com/NickAlford.

FIRST Ditton Brownies need a new volunteer assistant leader. The girls, aged seven to 10, need a

female aged over 18, who’s “ener- getic, enthusiastic and willing to try new activities”. Call Sue Hadaway on 01732 845401 or email ditton-

Real ale festival

SNODLAND Real Ale Festival and Twenty20 cricket matchwas judged a tremendous success. The winners of the cricketwere the Snodland All Stars whowon by one run.

Malling July 2014 33

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