Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 16th March 2016
VENUE: Rusthall Village Club
TIME: 1930 hours

Committee members present: Alex Britcher: Chair, Sue White, Hazel Duncombe, Beryl Woodall

Apologies received from the following committee members: Nigel Suckling, Ann Tyler

1. Alex Britcher welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Chair's Report:

Alex reported that the Association has had some excellent speakers during the past year, including from Family Mosaic home improvement agency, Thelma Huggett – Borough Councillor, Eugene Gardner on the Rusthall Community Cinema, Jeremy Cross on the role of the Citizen's Advice Bureau, and Ed Langridge on the launch of Rusthall Life.

The photographic competition had once again been very successful with 66 entries. The 2016 calendar had sold 65 copies.

Alex thanked the following committee members who had stood down during the year: Maggie Fraser, Irene Heskett, Steve and Lynne Lane.

She also thanked everyone for their support during the year, for providing raffle prizes and buying tickets, and for generally supporting the village. We should all be proud of a village that is so proactive in its events.


Karen Gardner on Rusthall ArtsFest Trust

Karen began by asking what the RVA members knew about the ArtsFest. For further up to date information they should check out Streetlife, Facebook, Twitter, Rusthall Life magazine and their own website

At the Open Day in January there was an excellent response, which resulted in discovering that Rusthall has a rich community of artists from all areas of the arts. The concept of the ArtsFest is to collaborate with everyone and get as much of the village involved as possible.

Leading up to the ArtsFest weekend there will be workshops to include music, poetry writing, drawing etc, for all who wish to attend. These will start in April, and will be free, with a maximum of £5 donation to cover any materials used. The ArtsFest weekend itself will take place on 28/29/30 May. A list of the workshops will be delivered to all houses in Rusthall so people can sign up. Jenny Blackburn will see if the volunteers who deliver Rusthall Life are willing to help with deliveries.

Following the workshops, a map will be created showing what is happening over the festival weekend and where all the events are taking place. Karen explained that this year's ArtsFest will be a 'test fest', hopefully resulting in an annual event which will get bigger and better, and will be eligible to apply for grant funding.

Volunteers will be required throughout the festival, both at the workshops and over the weekend. This can be either general help, or specifically with one event. Going forward to next year, people will be needed to help with secretarial, accounting, photography, funding and grant application work. If anyone can offer any help, please contact Lisa at

* Break for Raffle ticket sales and socialising *


The following committee members were elected as follows:

Chair: Alex Britcher was proposed by Jenny Blackburn and seconded by Irene Heskett

Vice-Chair: Beryl Woodall was proposed by John Barber and seconded by Alex Britcher

Secretary: Sue White was proposed by Alex Britcher, and seconded by Jenny Blackburn

Treasurer: Hazel Duncombe was proposed by Irene Heskett and seconded by John Barber

Website Editor: Nigel Suckling was proposed by Lisa Lindfield and seconded by Dennis Penfold

General Committee member: Ann Tyler was proposed by Alex Britcher and seconded by John Barber

All present were in agreement with these appointments.

There are still some vacancies on the committee if anyone is interested in getting involved


No Borough Councillors were present

RPC Cllr Jenny Blackburn

a) Rusthall Life. The first edition of this magazine has been delivered throughout the village. Jenny has a pool of 30 people to deliver, which has worked well, but she would like to have a supplementary list in case some people are not able to deliver on the designated date. The deadline for articles for the next edition is the first week in April – contact details are in the magazine (Ian Campbell, tel 07765 902139, email: A small loss was made on the first edition, so more advertising is required. If anyone knows of a small business that may like to advertise, please encourage them.

b) The Queen's 90th birthday celebrations.

April 21st. The parish council is buying a portable gas fired beacon, which will be erected on the corner of Coach Road and Rusthall Road, in the area opposite the fountain. Villagers will be invited to watch the lighting of the beacon but will be required to stand on the other side of the road.

June 12th. The Queen's official birthday. The parish council will be purchasing red, white and blue bunting to be put up along the High Street shops.

c) The new Rackcliff Community Centre will be officially opened on 23rd April, in conjunction with the annual parish council meeting. A number of bookings have already been taken. Booking rates appeared in Rusthall Life magazine.

d) Jenny reported that she will be standing down as Chair of the Parish Council in May this year, although she will still remain as a Councillor. John Barber commended Jenny on all the excellent work she has done.

5. Rusthall Fete 2016 – Lisa Lindfield

The fete will take place on 16th July this year. If anyone would like a stall, or can volunteer to help, please let Lisa know. The Fete committee have purchased tables and chairs, and need the use of a van to transport these to and from the event. If anyone has access to a van and would be willing to help transport, set up on the Friday and clear down on the Saturday, please contact Lisa ( There will be some new attractions this year. For up to date information, please see the RVA website, Twitter or Facebook

Lisa also said that the Bonfire and Fete committee would appreciate help for this year's Rusthall Bonfire, which will take place on 25th October.


a) Eugene Gardner gave an update on the Rusthall Community Cinema. There have been some delays in setting this up, firstly from the bank in setting up the account. Discussions have been had with the Charity Commission regarding the objectives of the cinema – these have not yet been finalised. A screen is needed, and discussions have taken place with the Trustees of Sunnyside Hall, who hopefully will buy this for us. Once all these have been finalised, the cinema will be ready to open. A meeting of all those who volunteered to help with the catering will be taking place on Monday 28th March. The first 3 films to be shown will be decided as a result of a survey. To take part in this survey please visit The cost of membership will be £36 per year, and then £2 per film. Guests will pay £7, but first priority will go to members.

b) Dennis Penfold – Rusthall Local History Society. Meetings take place monthly in the United Reform Church, and the next meeting will be held next Monday, 21st March. Dr Ian Beavis will be speaking on The Salomons of Tunbridge Wells. The April meeting and AGM will take place on 25th April, where Clive Roberts will give a talk on the WW1 war memorial outside St Paul's Church, followed by a film produced by the BBC in 2014 on the memorial.

Membership of the society is £10 per year, and visitors pay £2 per visit. Dennis reported that there will be history displays for the opening of the Rackcliff centre and at the ArtFest, as well as at this year's Fete and Heritage Open Days.

c) Eugene Gardner said that the AGM for Sunnyside Hall will take place on 25th April and everyone is welcome.

The raffle raised £16

Meeting closed at 21.00

Chair – Alex Britcher 07967 011 467
Website editor Nigel Suckling 01892 544345

Minutes: Sue White