Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 21st September 2016
VENUE: Rusthall Village Club
TIME: 1930 hours

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

Apologies received from the following committee member: Ann Tyler

1. Alex Britcher welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Sarah Bailey from the Daily Bread

Sarah began by saying how welcoming Rusthall village has been to them and how pleased she and her partner are that they decided to establish the Daily Bread here. The Daily Bread supports the local community and businesses by using local shops as much as possible for their produce. They also run a number of events to support charities. Recently they had a dinner for Syrian refugees, and on 11th November will be putting on a dinner plus circus entertainment to support Hospices of Hope and Life and Soul. This will consist of 1 hour's circus entertainment (tricks, juggling, fire breathing etc), followed by a 3 course dinner plus drink. Tickets will cost £35.

A board games evening takes place on a monthly basis on Friday evenings (6.30 – 10.30pm), the next one taking place on Friday 7th October.

The Daily Bread also supports local artists by exhibiting their work, and was involved in the Rusthall Arts Festival.

Responding to a question as to what her best events had been, Sarah said Burns Night, the Pudding Club (supporting Oxfam) and the Midsummer Night's Ball (supporting Syrian refugees). December will see lots of Christmas events.

The total seating is approx 60 and there is a large garden outside for summer use. The cafe can be hired for private events and recently they have hosted wedding receptions.

RVA Photographic Competition - Alex Britcher

Alex reported that we had a record breaking amount of entries this year (79) and a record amount of under 16's entering. Gary Francis, The Courier's Picture Desk Co-ordinator, has independently judged the entries. Gary said “This year’s task of judging the annual Rusthall photographic competition has been more challenging due to the number of entries, particularly in the under sixteens class and also the overall high standard of entries”.

The winning entries were as follows:

Under 16's

3rd runner up – Nick Moon with 'Dark and Beautiful'

2nd and 1st runner up - Enya Turner with 'Dolly the Dachshund' and 'Roots to Success'

Winner – Marie Dunne with 'Welcome!!'


3rd runner up – Alex Britcher – 'Didgeridoo at RAFT'

2nd runner up – Duncan Jay – 'The Phoenix Rises'

1st runner up – Suzy Philips – 'One Day of Snow at Denny Bottom'

Winner – Angelo Gifford – 'Walking the Dog'

All winners and runners up were presented with prizes. Thanks go to The Toad Rock and the Daily Bread for vouchers and to Rusthall Parish Council for a grant for books and cash prizes.

All the photographs entered into the competition can still be seen on the RVA website . A calendar using some of the photo entries is planned, and the Venture and The Daily Bread have offered to sell them. They will also be available at the November RVA meeting, and hopefully in the Calendar Club in Tunbridge Wells. Suzy Philips said they could also be sold in the Gallery in Ely Court in T Wells.

Please could you let Sue White ( know if you would like a calendar so we can judge numbers to order.

* Break for Raffle ticket sales and socialising *


Borough Councillor reports

1.The next stage of the Theatre / Town Hall development is going through the 2nd stage of design process. The original design had an underground car park, but this has now been deemed too expensive. Councillor Huggett stressed that these are really early days and nothing has been decided yet.

2. 20's Plenty. Kent County Council is proposing to introduce a 20 mph speed limit in some parts of Tunbridge Wells. There is an online petition at

3. Fiveways. Thelma stressed that the Council were in no way to blame for the ongoing disruption at Fiveways. The contractors had used substandard materials when they laid the surface, which now needs to be replaced. Money has been witheld and will not be paid until the job is done satisfactorily. The buses are being temporarily re-routed.

4. The TWBC website now has a page dedicated to tree queries.

RPC Cllr Jenny Blackburn:

1. The parish council will be in receipt of 105 trees (from the Woodland Trust) which will be planted to fill gaps in hedges around Southwood Road allotments and elsewhere in the village.

2. The parish council have started discussions regarding taking over the management and funding of the Mary Caley recreation ground. If the parish agree to this, the Council will take on the costs.

3. It is hoped that a new highways steward will be allocated to our area

4. The parish council are trying to get the signs outside the school replaced

5. The school received a 'Good' report from Ofsted

6. Jenny asked the meeting if they had any comments or suggestions about the parish council. Councillor Hugget said that from a Borough Council point of view, having a good parish council is very helpful to them.

7. A question was asked about the belisha beacons at the crossing outside Simmons Court. These were turned off when the gas works were taking place and have not been turned back on. The resident had phoned the council who said they would look into it. Councillor Huggett said this will now have been logged and should be on a list to be sorted out.

8. Jenny Blackburn asked everyone to continue to report any potholes

9. Barry Edwards (chair RPC) has had a meeting with regard to the area outside Common View where a man was killed last year. The police are of the opinion that the traffic / parking was not an issue in this instance.

10. Kent High Weald Partnership will be having a working day at Fremlin Pond on 13th October, when they will be digging out brambles and laying sleepers to make steps to the pond area. Any volunteers will be welcome.

4. A.O.B

1. The main speaker at the next meeting will be William Benson, the Chief Executive of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. Mr Benson will be speaking about his role on the Borough Council and matters which may affect Rusthall.

2. Thelma Huggett said she will be meeting with an interested party regarding Target Follow. This is separate from the Borough Council, who cannot get involved in this matter. Target Follow are looking to swap pieces of land, but the Commons Conservators are resolute in turning down any idea of this.

3. Peacocks Farm. Thelma Huggett said that there are ongoing problems with burning rubbish, which in her opinion should be dealt with by the Environment Agency. Peacocks Farm have no licence for trade.

4. Jenny Blackburn reported that monitoring of aeroplanes over Rusthall is still ongoing

5. Alex Britcher reported that Marker Study have put in for planning permission for residential accommodation on the Salomons site.

6. Eugene Gardner had sent a report about the Rusthall Community Cinema. There was a general meeting on 23rd September to discuss the first 6 months of the cinema, and to select the next set of films. Currently the next films will be: Bridge of Spies on 8th October; Under the Skin on 28th October; Beetlejuice on 29th October. All start at 7.30pm apart from Beetlejuice, which will start at 9pm after the bonfire – this show will cost £2 per person as opposed to the normal £7 for non members and £2 for members. There is always a lively discussion group after the film showing.

7. The Rusthall Community Arts will be holding an Open Day on Sunday 25th September from 1 – 4pm in the Rusthall Club. Events will be taking place throughout the year and the culmination will be a celebration weekend on the 3rd weekend in September 2017.

8. Suzy Phillips reported that a Rusthall Abstracts Group has been set up, and meet on the last Monday in the month in Sunnyside Hall. This will be linked to the Rusthall Community Arts. Each session costs £8 and any profit will go into a fund to use for speakers etc. Anyone may join – any ability and any medium. The next session is on Monday 17th October.

9. Alex reported that Lisa Beaumont of the Rusthall Community Arts will be leading storytelling sessions, where local people can come and share their knowledge of the village. Times and dates to be confirmed. Please watch the RCA website for further details Information will also be on noticeboards, Rusthall Life, shops and leaflet drops

10. Jenny said that Rusthall Life will be very interested in receiving any human interest stories.

11. Dennis Penfold informed the meeting that the postcard in the recent publication of Rusthall Life showing an off licence supposedly in Rusthall, was in fact nothing to do with the village. He has done some research and found no evidence of it being in the local area at all, and has contacted the editor, who can shed no further light on the matter.

The raffle raised £23

Meeting closed at 21.15

The next meeting will be on 21st September

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

Minutes: Sue White