News Metal charge

AMANhas been charged over the theft of scrap metal from a recy- cling centre in Lenham.

Calum Osborne, of Eltham, was

arrested in Staplehurst onMonday June 4, five days after the incident at the Countrystyle Recycling Cen- tre inAshford Road. On Thursday May 31, at about

1.20pm, two men began loading scrapmetal fromthe site into a van, and when challenged, it is alleged one of themen threatened the staff memberwith a hammer. They then drove off. Osborne, who is 27, has been

charged with robbery, possessing an offensive weapon in a public place andwith obstructing a police officer in the execution of their duty. He will appear atMaidstone Crown Court on July 4. SamO’Shea (26), of Portsmouth,

was also arrested and has been charged with obstructing a police officer in the execution of their duty. O’Shea was bailed until a later

date. Flooding call

SEVERE flooding at the foot of Hollingbourne Hill is to be taken upwith the county council by Shel- lina Prendergast. The county councillor will press

KCC Highways for action to pre- vent flooding at the junction of Upper Street and Church Ap- proach. Thematter has been reported by

residents repeatedly. In the recent floods a huge

mound of gravel was created by debriswashed down the hill.

Geing active

COUNTY councillor Gary Cooke has signed up to this summer’sAc- tive 10 campaign. The Public Health England

campaign – backed by Kent County Council – urged adults to take 10 minutes of brisk walking each day using the free Active 10 app. Last year, 8,519 Kent people

were recorded as using the app – the highest number in the south- east – chalking up an impressive 155,000 hours of activity.

Pop in for trim

A NEW barber shop in Holling- bourne has been opened by Amba Waghorn. Coming from a family of hair-

dressers, Amba has launched the new salon, Rock, Paper, Scissors, in Eyhorne Street. It is situated in the premises for-

merly occupied by Stone Hair and Beauty and Boniface.

12 Maidstone East July 2018

Castle opens restored manor house to locals

BATTELHall, the 14th centurymanor house on theLeedsCastle estate, has reopened for rental after a £1.5mrefurbishment. Castle management threw open

thedoors on June 16 so that villagers inLeeds couldlook aroundits luxu- rious interior. The wisteria-clad house had pre-

viously been the family home of for- mer chief executiveVictoriaWallace, her husband Sean and daughters Emily andGeorgia. Locals were clearly impressed by

the new-look, five-bedroomed Bat- tel Hall, which can sleep up to 14 guests, and its oast house annexe with high-end furnishings, fixtures and fittings. Prices range fromabout £6,000 to

£14,000 perweek, depending on the time of year. It is also available to be used forweddings. Villager Alastair Pollock, who

visited with his son Jamie, was very impressed with Battel Hall’s refurbishment. He said: “They’ve done a great job. “In someways, it is hardly recog-

nisable frombefore, although the ac- tual building has changedlittle from the outside, it is just smartened up. “Once the gardens bed in, the

placewill be stunning.” The gardens have been exten-

sively landscaped and the parking area has been resurfaced. Battel Hall was built in the 14th

century by the master mason to King Edward II. Leeds Castle chief executive Sir

David Steel said: “The recent open- ing of Battel Hall after a £1.5m re- furbishment has been a significant change for the estate, improving our hospitality offermassively.” Sir David said Lady Olive Baillie,

who bequeathedthe castle to a char- itable trust after her death, wanted the public to enjoy it as a place of

“enjoyment, fun, interest, education and tranquility”. He added: “She did not want the

regulation thatmight have been im- posed by a bigger ‘corporate’ um- brella organisation – hencewe have no ‘keepoff the grass’ signs andvery fewother restrictions. “Shewanted a place inwhich the

visitor can feel at home and, whether one stays overnight in the castle, Battel Hall or the Stable Courtyard, or simply comes for the day, it is the aimof all ofmy teamto make being here feel like being in a very special home, andone towhich the visitor will wish to return time and time again.”

School’s life’saving gift

A JUNIOR school inMaidstone has taken delivery of a life-saving defibrillator thanks to the fund-raising efforts of theMaidstone Lions. Sue Heather, head at St Michael’s in Douglas

Road, was presented with the equipment by Lions member Malcolm Luxton. He was accompanied by colleagues Bryan McCathy, who attended St Michael’s School during World War II, and Julie Wickens. Malcolm said he hoped the school would never

have to use themachine, but would be reassured to know that should a pupil or teacher at the school have an arrest, it had the technology at hand to help.

Leeds residents were invited to

look around the elegant Battel

Hall, which has just been


Below right, visitor Alastair Pollock

and his son Jamie were very

impressed with what they saw

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