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Mystery over car key failure in Maidstone


A MASS failure of key fobs across Maidstone has left motorists scratching their heads in bewilder- ment. No one seems to know why the devices have failed, despite having previously been in working order. The issuewas first reported earlier


this month at Quarry Wood Indus- trial Estate in Aylesford, when mo- torists visiting stores such as PC World, Halfords and Sainsbury were unable to lock their cars. But there were other reports of fob fail- ure in Romney Place, Maidstone, and Alexander Grove in Kings Hill, according to police. AKent Police spokesman said: “It doesn’t appear that the Aylesford Retail Park was reported to us. We received two calls on September 1 reporting issues with car keys not working in Romney Place, Maid- stone, and in Alexander Grove, Kings Hill. However, no offences have been reported.” The key fob failure was news to


Kerry Heard, of Pat Heard Garage Service in Bearsted, who said: “It’s a


found interference from a resident's faulty device which transmits a TV signal to other sets in the homewas to blame. The device was switched off and the key fobs worked. The Timpson’s branch inside the


Aylesford Sainsbury store report- edly did a roaring trade in replace- ment key fob batteries. Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch (below), a regular shopper


at


strange one and I have never come across it before. “I wouldn’t have thought the big retailers would be very happy if their customers were using the car park and not being able to lock their cars. It’s bound to knock their busi- ness.” In recent years, householders ex- perienced a similar problem in a res- idential area of Southampton. In that case, the government agency Ofcom


Quarry Wood, said she had not been contacted by any con- stituents. She added: “I shop there fairly often and it hasn’t hap- pened to me.” An RAC spokesman said: “Some-


times our engineers will be called to reports like this and when they tow the car a little way up the road, the fob starts working again.” Ofcom has investigated the Maid- stoneincidents, but has been unable to find adirect cause of the problem.


Fundraisers earn their wings in latest stunt


TWOMaidstone women will face their fears when they perform a WingWalk forMacmillan Cancer and Parkinson’s UK on October 1. Helene Poursain and Fiona Marriner (pictured) had the idea while talking about wanting to do a different kind of challenge to the usual to raise money for these two causes. Both Helene and Fiona have


been touched by cancer. More recently, Fiona’s father in


law has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and she has been motivated by seeing how the condition affects lives of sufferers and their loved ones.


Pub vacancy


BREWERS Shepherd Neame are looking for new tenants for The Swan pub in Maidstone. The pub, which is on the corner


of County Road and Woollett Street near the prison, shut in mid-Au- gust. It is advertised on the Shep- herd Neamewebsite as an available tenancy. A brewery spokesman said: “We


can confirm The Swan in Maid- stone is currently closed, and we are hoping to reopen the pub as soon as possible.We would like to thank our customers for their sup- port.”


Julie takes on new charity role


ANEWchief executive has been ap- pointed to lead Maidstone and Mid- Kent Mind. Julie Blackmore (pictured) joined the mental health charity more than two years ago as a bid writer, applying for grants from chari- table foundations, public bodies and corporate supporters.


She has also worked as a commu-


nity development manager for Swale Council, and as an adminis- trator and youth worker for Sheppey


Youth Action. She worked for nine years with Lloyds of London. Julie said: “I'm looking forward to building on the terrific work being done by Maidstone & Mid Kent Mind, aswell as extending the reach of our services, and replacing the funding we, and other charities, have lost as a result of local authority funding cutbacks.” Julie and her team of 16 at the Col-


lege Road, Maidstone headquarters offer services for people with mental health problems, including a cafe, social and educational groups and support in returning to work.


News Wartime art


AN EXHIBITION based on two paintings in Maidstone Museum’s collection goes on show this month. Coming Home: Conflict and Care


in 1916 is a First WorldWar exhibi- tion featuring two works by the artist Frank Hyde. The paintings are Trones Wood


and Wounded Soldiers Arriving at Maidstone East. They are accompanied by items, sounds and other images from the conflict. The exhibition opens on Satur-


day, September 24 and runs until the new year.


Youth club


A NEW youth club is opening at the Union Street Methodist Church in Maidstone. Young people in Years 7 to 11 can


drop in any time between 3.30pm and 6pm onWednesdays. There is pool, table tennis, board games, cards and the chance to buy snacks for a small price. Drinks such as tea, squash and hot choco- late are free. Entry is though the car park in


Brewer Street, which is at the back of the church. Call Dennis Makowski on 07739 184051 for fur- ther information.


Driving ban


A MAIDSTONE woman who failed to give a breath test has been banned from driving for three years and given a community serv- ice order. Frankie Jo Schock (29), from St


Peter’s Street, denied failing to pro- vide a breath specimen but was convicted at West Kent Magis- trates’ Court. Magistrates imposed the ban and ordered her to carry out 79 hours of unpaid work in the community. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.


Computer help


OVER 60s can get free help to learn about using computers as sessions being held at Invicta Grammar School in Maidstone. The one-to-one slots are running


everyWednesday from 11.20am to 12.20pm starting from September 28. Contact teacher, Maria Pope, on 01622755856 for more details.


Badminton call


THE Monday Badminton Club which meets at the New Line Learning Academy in Loose is looking for new players. The club meets between 7.30pm


and 9.30pm on Mondays using six courts. Call Simon on 07770900244 for details.


Formore local news


www.downsmail.co.uk Maidstone East October 2016


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