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News Town’s treasures on show

MAIDSTONE is to join the country’s biggest heritage festival, celebrating the county town’s history, architecture, and culture over four days of free events. Taking place from September 8-

11, Heritage Open Days is a na- tional event that sees more than 40,000 volunteers across England organise over 5,000 events. Maidstone will be contributing

seven unique experiences in Maid- stone this year, encouraging resi- dents and visitors to “treasure your treasures”. The open days aim to champion

their local heritage and show sup- port for the cultural and historic assets on their doorsteps. According to Maidstone Bor-

ough Council, which is helping to co-ordinate the open days, the town has a “colourful history shaped by battles, revolts, and mad priests and, later, industrialists and Victorian benefactors”, all of which have left their mark on the town.  The Archbishops’ Palace will be open to the public from 10am to 4pm on Thursday, September 8, providing a chance to view the magnificent ragstone palace, orig- inally built for the Archbishops of Canterbury and now home to the Kent Register Office. Free tours are available at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm for a maximum of 20 people, and must be booked in advance.  Enjoy free entry to the Tyr-

The Archbishops’ Palace and, right, All Saints’ Church

whitt-Drake Museum of Carriages across all four days, op- posite the Archbishops’ Palace. It is open from noon to 4pm daily.  All Saints’ Church on the river- side is open from 10am to 4pm across all four days. Entrance is free.A tour of the bell tower must be pre-booked.  Corpus Christi Hall in Earl Street will also be open on all days, from 10am to 4pm. The 12th-century hall will host special exhibitions by Maidstone Histori- cal Society on September 8 and 9, featuring displays of photo- graphs, documents, maps and newspapers reflecting Maid- stone’s heritage. Maidstone Area Archaeological Group will be

hosting a pop-up museum on September 10.  Mote Park is host to guided tours on Friday, September 9, to discover more about the history of the park. Tours are free but limited to 20 places, with pre- booking advised.  Maidstone Museum is offering visitors a chance to “Explore Egypt” on September 10, with a special peek at the Egyptian col- lections. Places are free but lim- ited to 15 people with pre-booking. At St Michael &All Angels’ Church in Tonbridge Road on September 10, visitors can enjoy a peek inside. It is open from 10am to 4.30pm.

Councillor David Pickett, chair-

man of the Maidstone Borough Council’s heritage, culture and leisure committee, said: “Whether it’s uncovering the magnificent and important collections our mu- seums, or investigating the historic architecture and cultural signifi- cance of structures often closed to the public, this celebration of local treasures will make everybody proud of the region’s history.” For more information, click onto

Call forwaste views

INCREASING recycling and re- ducing the amount of rubbish cre- ated are central aims identified by Kent County Council (KCC) in a re- view ofwaste management. In spite of initiatives to burn rub-

Chair boost to Blue Bus

FOUR members of The Rotary Club of Maidstone Riverside visited the town’s sUrban Blue Bus to officially hand over the patient chair that the club had recently donated. Past PresidentMary Lynn,

volunteered to try out the chair and the Urban Blue Bus team demonstrated howmuch easier this chair is to use rather than the old standard type. The leader of the Bus Team, Val

Jacobs, explained that the chair has already been put to good use on many occasions. She said: “We often have tomove young people fromwhere they have

been taken ill or injured to the bus, wherewe can treat them forminor problems. “Where it is necessary to call for

an ambulance, the chair is a quick and easy means for us to have the patient ready when it arrives.” Every Saturday night, the Urban

Blue Bus team will be available in the town centre to provide medical facilities to those presenting with minor injuries. They also provide emotional support, drug and alcohol counselling and other support to vulnerable people in need of assistance and practical help.

bish at Aylesford; turn glass into jewellery, food into compost and cooking fat into fuel, KCC’s draft Waste Disposal Strategy says more needs to be done to improve Kent’s 70% recycle rate. The report says more budget sav-

ings are needed. It also notes that domestic rubbish is expected to rise by 22% by 2031, from 711,000 to 864,000 tonnes, as the more houses are built and the population in- creases. The county council, which uses

private firms The Slattery Partner- ship, Commercial Services Kent, FCC Environment and Biffa to manage its collection services, says it will continue to commission serv- ices but with an even greater em- phasis on reducing rubbish going to landfill, burning less, recycling and reusing more and using tech- nology to improve the customer ex- perience. Waste that is not reused, recycled

or composted is treated at the Allington Waste to Energy facility near Maidstone, where it is burned under controlled conditions to pro- duce steam, which is used to gen- erate electricity. The facility is operated by Kent Enviropower. KCC is asking the public to com-

ment on its aims and ambitions be- fore the detail of how they might be achieved is consulted on further. It has pledged to review its strategy every five years. To view and respond to the draft

waste management strategy visit Comments will be taken up until October 2.

Maidstone Town September 2016 27

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