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Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

December 2016

Village parade could be last for RBL flag

THIS year’s Remembrance Day in Headcorn could be the last one at which the standards of the Royal British Legion are carried on parade. The men’s and women’s branches

in the village are battling to survive. They desperately need new mem- bers and could be forced to close if they cannot find enough volunteers. Alan Port, who is secretary of the

men’s section, and its standard bearer, said: “Ifwe have to close,we will not be able to parade the stan- dard on Remembrance Day.” Former Royal Engineer Mr Port

said: “We have had a branch in Headcorn for a long time, but the numbers have dwindled.We have a chairman and a president, but the treasurer moved away and we haven’t got enough active members to fill these posts and enable us to have meetings.We are in desperate need of members, particularly a treasurer.” If the branch has to close, the stan-

dard cannot be paraded, but will be “laid down” in Headcorn Parish Church. The parish council is sup- porting his plea with an appeal on its website. Parish clerk Caroline Carmichael said: “It would be a

FREE No. 236

News Eliana’s US op hope

BRAVE Eliana Farragher (2) has gone to the US for an operation which her family hopes will allow her a normal life. 3

Drunk caused death

A DRUNK driver’s actions ended in the “needless” death of a Marden man.

4 School plan delayed

MARDEN Primary’s plans to double capacity have been delayed. 5

Ditch flood scheme

A KENT farmer has a drainage plan which could help prevent flooding.

Daily drug-testing Alan Port (left) bears the RBL standard on Remembrance Day in Headcorn

great shame if they had to close and we will not have a standard bearer at our future parades.” The branch isamongseveral in the

area who are fighting to survive.At Staplehurst, the battle has been lost and the branch has closed.However, that has meant some good news for Headcorn, as one former member has contactedMrPort with a view to

joining his section. He said: “Groups are dwindling

away all over the place. We have tried to find some younger mem- bers, but people just think it’s for old men. TheRBL is there to help all mil- itary personnel, whether serving or discharged, and their families.” Contact Alan on 01622 890514. Barracks closure, page 30

FORMER MP Ann Widdecombe has called for daily drug-testing in prisons.

13 Relief road ‘action’

A COUNCIL transport boss wants action on a relief road for south Maidstone.

25 Obituaries

RAILWAY passengers rallied round after a Poppy Appeal col- lecting tin was stolen from Head- corn railway station.

Leon Greenwood, who runs the refreshment kiosk at the station started a collection after the box was stolen from the booking hall on Tuesday, November 8 – three days before Armistice Day.

Passengers donated a total of £500 which Leon has handed to the Poppy Appeal co-ordinator. Parish clerk Caroline Carmichael told Downs Mail: “We were devastated when the box was stolen. This is such a lovely thing for Leon to have done.” The theft of the tin was reported to British Transport Police.

A spokesman for Southeastern, which manages the station, said: “This money was being raised for a very good cause and we would urge anyone with any information to contact the British Transport Police.”

Anyone with information can call 101 or Crimestoppers anony- mously on 0800 555 111.

Best for babies MAIDSTONE is the best place in the country to have a baby, accord- ing to a newly-published review. Maternity services in this part

of Kent were rated number one out of 200 in an official study.


Comment 33-34 36

Passengers replace stolen Poppy Appeal cash Parish Councils 46-47

THE parish council in Coxheath is to replace a bin in the Heath Road bus shelter; erosion of Busbridge Road, Loose, is a cause of concern; a new pool table has been bought for the youth club in Sutton Valence; speeding on Lenham Road, Ulcombe, caused damage to property.

Crime Reports 47

A PADLOCK on a building in Amber Lane, Chart Sutton, was damaged; a ride-on mower was stolen from a garden in Boughton Monchelsea; a window was smashed at a property in Coxheath; a shed was broken into at East Farleigh.

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