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FREE Maidstone Town | Maidstone East | Maidstone South | Malling Stones pay tribute to fan Charlie


TWOand a half thousand football fans stood in tribute atMaidstone United’s ground to Aylesford Scout Charlie Girling, whowas due to be in the crowd at the team’sweekend match against York City. Instead, fellow soccer fans


remembered the 12-year-old footballer with aminute’s applause – in the 12th minute of the match. Club secretary Ian Tucker described the tribute to Charlie, a regular at the ground, as touching and united. He added: “Charliewas well-known and would have been here for the game. The applause started at one end of the ground and made itsway around the pitch, with everyone on their feet,


including those in the dug-outs from both sides.” The tributewas the latest show of emotion for the Maplesden Noakes schoolboywho died on July 24 while in Finland with the 1st Aylesford Scout Troup on an international Scouting jamboree. Family and friends gathered to


release balloons in his memory at Ferryfield in Hall Road, Aylesford, as mumHelene, dad Les, brother Jack and sister Abby cope with the devastating turn of events that saw Charlie collapse and die 1,500 miles fromhome. In a statement fromthe family,


they spoke of their pride for their son and their thanks to 6


Bank building’s new life as pizza parlour


THE former NatWest bank in Snodland could become a pizza takeaway. Details were emerging this week


about the High Street building being turned into a Domino’s pizza shop. The bank, which closed in January


2015,was bought earlier this year at auction for £360,000 by Niraz Mad- lani – one of six people behind Bar 6 in Maidstone’s Middle Row. The 48-year-old Orpington busi- nessman is said to hold the franchise for nine Domino’s outlets, including the one at Kings Hill. He told the Downs Mail a survey


of the building had been carried out and his architectswere looking at its suitability. He added: “I serve so many people from Snodland order- ing meals from Kings Hill that it seems a good idea to investigate the


possibility of opening a business in the town.” He says clauses in the lease cur-


rently prevent the bank being used as a bar, bookmaker or sex shop. Even so, he would need to apply for change of use and as a condition of the sale of the bank, the cash ma- chine must stay in place for five years. When he opened a Domino’s franchise in Woolwich in 2012, it cre- ated almost 30 full and part-time jobs.


Snodland Town Council, locals


and the chamber of commercewere vocal about NatWest’s decision to pull out of the town, leaving their nearest branch some three miles away in Larkfield. However, resi-


dents hope a bank and the post of- fice, will be incorporated in a new Co-op in the old Bull public house. The town council’s vice chairman


AnneMaloney said: “Unfortunately, banks don’t do real banks any more They don’t open them, they just close them. Something definitely needs to go in here but it won’t be a bank.” She said she would be interested


to see any such proposal, adding: “A Domino’s would be interesting, al- though those living next door would want to comment, particularly if they had concerns, like mopeds starting up at all hours.” Rezali's Pizza & Kebabs in Snod- land is nearby in Rocfort Road.


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SNODLAND’s Parties in the Park returned after a seven-year gap – see Town Talk in this month’s Downs Mail. The bi- monthly independent magazine is dedicated to Snodland and Halling residents.


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August 2016 No. 233 News Bra full of blooms


WI LADIES from Aylesford and Eccles mark anniversary with a show of support for recycling challenge. 3


Safety fear at shops


TRADERS advised to close after asbestos is found in a flat above stores. 3


Papa’s is plaice to go 4


DITTON chippy hoping to hook yet another top award at fish-frying “Oscars”.


Hall plan under fire


VILLAGERS fight to save primary school’s WWII air raid shelter from development. 5


Drivers seeing red


COUNCIL urged to turn off new traffic lights as queues build up at junction. 8


Rachel’s a good sport


GRATEFULmum gets £500 boost from police in her efforts to help baby unit. 12


Plans for prime site


COUNCILS buy up Royal Mail site as part of town centre regeneration.


16 Stones on big screen


GALLAGHER Stadium is to get a high-tech message board for match news.


26 Crime Reports 28


A WINDOW was damaged at a school in Larkfield; a TV and Playstation were stolen in Snod- land; parts were removed from cars in Kings Hill and West Malling; a shrub was damaged in an Aylesford garden.


Obituaries Comment


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