This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Richard Corben

RICHARD Corben (77) of High Halden, and formerly of Maidstone, made a major contribution to local life. He ran the Corben construction firm based

on the Tonbridge Road for many years until it ceased trading in the 1990s. The site of his firm has recently been redeveloped as the Corben Yard business park. Amongst other local roles undertaken by Richard Corbenwas the post of High Sheriff of Kent in 1984. In the Maidstone area, he remained heavily involved in the business community and served as a magistrate. Richard served the Cobtree Charity Trust

as chair for 23 years, standing down late in 2015 due to ill-health. Hewas married to Roseanne and father to Josephine, Caroline and Simon. Former Area Commander of Maidstone

Police, Roger Hext, who succeeded Mr Corben as chair of the Trust said: “Richard was a respected chair who gave many years of service to the trust.” In a death announcement placed in the

Daily Telegraph, Richard’s family stated: “His courage and sense of humour stayed with him to the end.” Richard leaves his wife, children and nine grandchildren.

SirNicholas Fenn

SIR Nicholas Fenn (80) of Maidstone Road, Marden,was a distinguished career diplomat who had retired to Kent. He became active in public life again in

2014 when his anger at the development plans of Maidstone Borough Council prompted him to stand as a Liberal Democrat councillor in opposition in 2014. That effortwas unsuccessful, but Sir Nicholas’ working life had seen him take a range of positions in the diplomatic service including ambassador to Ireland, High Commissioner in India and spokesman for Britain at the United Nations. Hewas knighted for his diplomatic service in 1989. Sir Nicholas read mediaeval history from

the University of Cambridge and joined the Diplomatic Service from university. He served as vice counsel in Burma during

the military coup in that country in 1962 and served a total of 37 years as a diplomat. Sir Nicholaswas involved in the Lancaster

House talks over the future of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) andwas our man in China during the last days of leader Mao Tse Tung. He later worked for three years as chief executive for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Sir Nicholas served as a churchwarden for St Michael and All Angels’ Church and

supported the charity Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide, which is based in Marden. Sir Nicholaswas married to Susan and

father to Robert, who has followed his father into the diplomatic service.

Dave Long

THE death of Dave Long, who had been known to sleep in a doorway between Tiger and the Halifax bank inWeek Street, Maidstone – prompted the laying of flowers and tributes where he had previously slept. Dave died in Kings College Hospital, London. Hewaswell known to staff and clients at Maidstone Day Centre on Knightrider Street which helps the homeless.


DAVID Heaver (74) lived locally in Kingswood for about 20 years and before that in Langley. Born in London he met Val, his wife of

over 50 years, when the couple aended a youth club as teenagers. He began work for Beefeater Gin andwent

on to work as a sales rep for Lyons tea. He worked for the financial firm SlaterWalker in Lewisham and a local financial firm before establishing Rumwood Industrial Finance. The couple moved to the Maidstone area

from Orpington. Hewas father to Deborah. Val said: “David

loved his music. He also loved cycling and golf. He played golf at theWeald of Kent Golf Club and had been captain there. He was a life-long Arsenal supporter who aended games as a boy with his father. People will remember him as someone who got on with everyone and had a good sense of humour. Davidwas a loving and generous husband and a genuine person.” David leaves Val, his daughter, grandchildren Emma, Cara and Michael and great-grandchildren Bethany and Isabelle.

Dr JGavin McLaggan

DR J Gavin McLaggan (82) who lived in Detling for 47 years, served the local community for decades as a GP. Hewas also known in the village for his involvment in all aspects of community life. Born in London and raised in Surrey,

Gavin aendedWinchester College and went on to study medicine at the University of Cambridge, completing his studies with the clinical phase of his course at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. He moved to Maidstone where he worked as a GP. In more than 30 years of general

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practice in the area, Gavin worked out of surgeries on Church Street and King Street. Gavin married Sue, his wife of 48 years, in Maidstone andwas father to Sheena and James. Sue said: “My husband worked locally for so long that hewas eventually delivering the babies of patients who had once been babies at his surgery. “Hewas involved in many aspects of

Detling life, including chairmanship of the parish council, and serving on the Village Hall Management Commiee. “Hewas involved at the start of the Detling Players amateur dramatic group and part of the Detling Singers from 1976 to the end of his life. People will remember him as someone whowas enthusiastic, energetic, cheerful and smiling. “He also contributed to local life as chairman of the Trustees of the Heart of Kent Hospice and through his long-standing commitment to free palliative care. Hewas also an associate hospital manager under the Mental Health Act; a post in which hewas involved in reviewing the care of people detained under the act.” Gavin leaves his wife and children.

Laurie Springe

LAWRENCE “Laurie” Springe (95) lived locally for most of his life and spent the last 39 years in Allington. Born in North Street, Barming, he also

lived on the Tonbridge Road. He worked for Len Cabinet Makers and – afterwartime service in the Navy – returned to work locally for Kent County Council. Hewas involved in hospital administration for Sheppey Hospital and Chatham Hospital before working for KCC at County Hall and then spending years working for the county whilst based at Medway Old People’s Home. Lauriewas father to Brian and Jocelyn and step-father to Shelley, Vincent, Michael and Stephen. Laurie’s second wife, Jean, said: “Laurie had a real passion for fishing and was a member of the Victory Fishing Club. Hewas also a life-long supporter of Arsenal and had aended games for years.We enjoyed camping holidays in our motor caravan and after that enjoyed cruises. People will remember Laurie as a gentleman of the old school for whom the values of decency and honestywere really important.” He leaves his wife, children, step-children,

four grandchildren, seven step- grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild.

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