This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Leeds Castle is a real local treasure

I HAVE not been to Leeds Castle for years, but I took my family there recently. What struck me was how many different nationalities there were in one place.We met visitors from the United States, France, Japan and Ireland – all of whom seemed to be enchanted with the place.

There were a fair few Brits too, judging by the accentswe could hear. What a pity that some folk leave their

cars in the village andwalk into the grounds without paying the entrance fee, as reported in your newspaper recently. That is such a shame and, worse still, if it prompts the management to pull out of its duties and commitments to the local communities its activities affect. Leeds Castle is a treasure and, in my opinion,we should count ourselves jolly lucky to have such a place on our doorstep. MGibson, via email

into print when in posession of only half the story – a mistake which has unfortunately been made by Mr Roy F. Wilsher, of Blenheim Close. Bearsted, in his leer on the subject. It was, in fact, the eyesore of those

unswept guers fronting the shops that first took me to a parish council meeting. My subsequent words of praise were directed at the harmony existing between councillors in recent months, and equally directed at Cllr Ash, the longest serving member of the council, who took it upon himself to take a shovel and broom to the said guers on Sunday morning. Sadly the area is again looking sad, less

than a month after this 83-year-old also weeded and swept it, completely filling a black bag in the process. So now, how about you, MrWilsher?

Are you as good with a shovel and broom as with a pen? Or should we all sit and wait until “they” do something? TerenceMTurner, Madginford Road, Bearsted.

Trek to help Demelza

MY family has been privileged to be able to use the services of Demelza Hospice Care for Children for the past few years as my son Stanley has Crouzon syndrome. This condition is a fusion of the skull

which prevents it from growing normally and means my lile boy has had to have more than 25 operations and was on life support when he was only two months old.

Stanley is very unsteady on his feet, he’s partially blind in one eye and he’s been diagnosed with global development delay. He has a suction machine which he needs with him at all times to keep his airways clear. He needs to be checked all the time, even at night from anything from every half an hour to every 10 minutes so we sleep very lightly. I have three other children, so being able

to come to Demelza Kent in Siingbourne for a break means a lot to me and my

Claire Turner and Stanley

husband, Clint. Stanley loves the art room, he loves music, he loves the computer room. It is a place for making special memories. Demelza was the first place we were able to go swimming together as a family. That’s a really big achievement. It’s a place for our eldest daughter, Harriet to go. She’s made some lovely friends there, she loves it. Last year I trekked up Ben Nevis as part

of the Demelza 101 challenge, as my way of doing something for Demelza. I love walking so it was right up my street. It was fantastic – more than I hoped it

would be. I met some great people and I loved every minute of it. Everybody supported each other – it was

a real team effort.We had never met each other before, but we all had something in common. Demelza is now looking for people to

take on a triathlon or a trek in the Lake District as part of its next Demelza 101 challenge next May and I’d like to urge you to sign up and do something amazing for Demelza. It will be an experience you will never forget and you will be helping to make

things a lile bit easier for families like mine. You can find out more at events or by contacting Emma Cox on or 01795 845249 Claire Turner, Demelza mum

Toughen up on inmates

I READ with interest your article about the prevalence of drugs in Maidstone Prison. The means of smuggling illicit goods into modern prisons are sophisticated these days, with the use of drones a favourite. To be honest, with their colour TVs and

mod cons to keep them occupied, it is a wonder Her Majesty’s guests require further stimulation. Perhaps if prison regimeswere harsher –

ie no privileges – and sentences adhered to in full, there might be a deterrent factor. At present, there is none. Modern prisons

are holiday camps, often run by profit- driven companies who cut corners to make a beer boom line. There is nothing wrong with running businesseswell, but there is something wrong with businesses running prisons. B McGann, via email

School site unsuitable

I READ your report that a new school may be built in Eclipse Retail and Business Park to serve Bearsted. Such a location is some 2.5km from that vil-

lage and in a very busy area of Maidstone poorly served by any transport except the pri- vate car. It can therefore be expected that a large amount of peak hour traffic will be im- ported into the area. This is unwanted by local people and cannot

be considered convenient for the people of Bearsted. By all means provide new schools but

please make sure they are sensibly located to serve the people they cater for. John Payne, Ardenlee Drive, Maidstone

Maidstone Town September 2016 37


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