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News


Dancer Tilly’s date with Billy


A TALENTED teenager has been wowing audiences during a tour of the hit musical Billy Elliot. Tilly Cook (13) played to audi-


ences throughout the UK and Ire- land after being selected for the show, which also visited Germany. The youngster,whocamehomein


July after touring since last Septem- ber, played the part of TraceyAtkin- son, one of the pupils in the ballet class which the lead character joins. Tilly, a pupil at Sutton Valence School, was previously on theWest End stage for a year when she played Hortensia in the musical Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre. Her mum Mandy, who runs MandyEllenPerformingArts Studio in Earl Street, Maidstone, said: “She has had a fantastic time. The day she finished in Matilda, the Billy Elliot company flew her to Scotland and she thenwent on tour with them. “I took her to see Matilda when


shewas nine. She sat there and said: ‘Iwant to be in that show’. She audi- tioned for it three times before she got the part. Itwas her dream show and she was determined to be in it.


Village bid to restrict A-boards


It shows that dreams can come true.” Tilly, who has been attending her mum’s stage school since she was five, has been continuing her studies while away. Mandy said: “It has been a wonderful experience for her. She is very level-headed and has worked hard with her school work. They are tutored while on tour and her school has been very supportive. “She is a very clever girl and has managed to get all A and B grades. She has been working non-stop for two years and now she is going to have awell-earned rest.”


SHOPKEEPERS in Lenham are to be asked to sign a new county-wide policy restricting the number of advertising boards outside their premises. Lenham Parish Council is


expected to become the first parish in the borough to adopt the new guidelines, which limit each shop to one A-board per premises. Councillors say the move is not designed to discourage trade. The council will discuss


introducing the Kent County Council policy at its meeting in October, but parish council clerk MargoMcFarlane said every store


and business would be invited to sign up at the end of September. She said: “We have had complaints about the trip hazard and obstacle these boards create for pedestrians and mobility scooter users. In the square, we also have cobbles, which adds to the problem. We feel businesses with three or four advertising boards is too much and we want to see amore ordered and tidy approach to advertising.” Those contravening the guidelines will receive warning letters and time to respond before KCC staff exercise their right to seize offending boards.


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