Charity walk THE North Downs sponsored

walk for Cancer Research UK will take place Sunday, August 8. There will be three, six and nine- mile routes, all starting and finish- ing at Glebe Field, Harrietsham. The event is organised by the Ro- tary Club of the Weald of Kent. Half of any sponsorship raised will go to charities of the walkers’ choice. Register online at

Driving ban

A MAIDSTONE man who was three times the legal limit for alco- hol has been banned from driving. William Ward (74), of The Priory, Maidstone, gave a reading of 105mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg. He was disqualified for 23 months and fined £450, with a sur- charge of £45 and costs of £85.

Service thanks

ST Peter & St Paul’s Church in Headcorn will host a service on Sunday, July 4, encouraging peo- ple to celebrate the sense of com- munity brought about during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Prep school to close as COVID hits numbers

SHERNOLD Preparatory School in Maidstone is to close after 86 years because of falling numbers. Parents and staff were told ear- lier this month of the decision to shut at the end of the summer term, with the expected loss of 28 staff members.

The fee-paying, co-educational

school in Hill Place, Queens Av- enue, has been a family-run busi- ness since 1986. Set up in 1935, it was rated ‘good

‘at its last Ofsted inspection in 2018. Coronavirus hit the business's viability but the school, which catered for pupils aged three to 11, was 60 short of its 160 capacity three years ago. Proprietor Valerie Waite said:

"The reason for the school's closure is that it requires long-term invest- ment to secure its future." The pandemic hit the school hard, and as families started to

drift away, it could not rely on state funding to survive. Mrs Waite added: "We will do

everything possible to help find school places for the children and try to enable the transition to their new schools to run as smoothly as achievable.

"Our doors will close to our pupils at the end of July. This will be an incredibly sad day for us all, and one we never envisaged." Shernold's final head girl, Fran

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Head girl Fran Brickwood and Shernold School, left

Brickwood, wrote last year as she entered year six: "I am proud of my school, we are like one big family and I have made so many friend- ships. “As I start my final year at Sher-

nold, and although this year may be different, I look forward to car- rying out my responsibilities whenever possible.

"Most of all, I look forward to making memories, which I will re- member forever."

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