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IT was smiles all round for these GCSE students at Cornwallis


where nearly half of entrants earned five A*-C passes, including English and maths.

Their efforts provided an 11% im-

provement on last year’s results – just one of the many positive per- formances put in by teachers and students, who celebrated the rewards of their studies with their GCSE and A-level results at schools across the region.

For all the details and the names of some of the top performers turn to page 25 and 26.

Locals set to turn pub into community hub

VILLAGERS have put their money where their mouth is in Ulcombe and are about to exchange contracts on their local pub.

A team of four from the village

came up with the money for the Grade II Harrow Inn pub – where the last pintwas pulled more than a decade ago – after securing the back- ing of volunteers and pledges of fi- nancial support from the village. Now they hope to be just days

away from exchanging contracts with plans to open the pub by Christmas. The new owners have the supp-

port of localMPHelen Whately (pic- tured), who has promised to visit. It follows a failed attempt by the current owners to sell the former drinking establishment, in the heart of the village, at auction in London. Amongthose behind the fresh bid

is fruit farmer Charles Tassell, who described the chance to buy the pub

as a golden opportunity to provide “a heart” for the close community, which has just 600 houses. He said: “We

have a hall, pri- mary school and a church that have lots going on, but without a pub or a shop it has always been hard work

bringing people together. We used to gather when the rubbish freighter visited the village, but even that has stopped. “We have received huge support

from locals offering to get involved, from gardening, to running the busi- ness for us; it’s really exciting.” Church Farm backs on to the pub


and Charles’ sister Rosemary Cass- well lives next door to The Harrow Inn, as does the other share-holder Simon Odan, with villager Richard Sim making up the four. They say the business will be run

by an independent management committee, with a licensee already stepping up. There are ideas of op- erating the business as a micro-pub, with guest ales and cider, and a café and possibly, a post office and creche, too. Charles (55) said: “Had the pub

been two milesdownthe road, none of us would have been interested in buying it, but because it is in the heart of the village and our nearest pub is a mileaway, thiswas a golden opportunity to make it our own.

6 Flood insurance

THE landlady of the Chequers pub in Yalding says businesses hit by floods in 2013 are now facing huge insurance premiums. Julie Chalker, who runs the pub with her son Christopher, warns many traders may have to close.

3 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

New homes delay

START on 800-home Langley development could be at least a year away. 8

Cricket club setback

YALDING Cricket Club is struggling to survive after thieves took their mower.

10 By-election battle

OPENING shots are fired in the battle for a seat on Maidstone Council. 11

Cornfield fire

FIREFIGHTERS at Marden used their new fire engine to tackle a cornfield blaze. 12

Wild birds slaughter

DUCKS were killed in an attack by a gang of men with dogs at a village pond. 12

Birthday girl is 111

A STAPLEHURST woman is heading towards being the oldest in Britain. 16

Dog waste bins to go

BINS for dog waste are being removed in a bid to cut council costs.

Obituaries Comment

20 36

37 Crime Reports 47

Twenty wooden storage bins for apples were burned at a farm in East Farleigh; a climbing frame and slide were stolen from a gar- den in Langley; Thieves took a heavy statue from a garden on Linton Hill; and plants were re- moved in Marden.

September 2016 No. 233 News Olympic gold

A RIO gold medallist will visit pupils to inspire a new generation at her former school in Sutton Valence. 3


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