Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 18th July 2018
VENUE: Rusthall Village Club
TIME: 1930 hours

Committee members present: Vice Chair: Beryl Woodall, Secretary: Sue White, Website Editor: Nigel Suckling


Apologies were received from the following committee members: Alex Britcher, Chris Perry, Bjorn Simpole


Beryl welcomed everyone to the meeting and said that unfortunately James McInroy had sent his apologies, as he had been asked to an important meeting with the KCC Leader. Councillor Thelma Huggett will pass on his comments, and report back to him.


Councillor Huggett had received the following information from James McInroy:

• Following yesterday's Tunbridge Wells Joint Transportation Board meeting, it is clear that Kent Highways is still in recovery mode, due to the pothole blitz and more recently the flooding around the Pantiles.

• The pothole repairs and resurfacing works are scheduled to continue until November. The flooding causing damage to roads and problems with drainage resulted in over 500 enquiries

• James has spoken with the District Highways Manager about work delays and she stressed that no matter what the issue is, it is more important than ever to use the KCC Highways system to log the issue. This system allows you to pinpoint the problems which could be anything from a faulty footpath, column, pothole, light or salt bin request. So long as the request is logged, the issue will be allocated a reference and will be resolved by an engineer

• The Woodside Road one-way scheme has been assigned as now at the design stage. Costs will have to be assessed, then it will be a question of funding and priorities.

Q & A

• The work done on Coach Road and Lower Green Road was of a very poor standard. This has now been resurfaced and is better. This will understandably cost the Council a great deal of money, but hopefully the contractors redid the work at their own expense. Does the KCC have a register of contractors? If so, those who give poor quality work should be removed from the register. Cllr Huggett said that the lowest tender is usually taken.

• Every drain on Coach Road and in other areas of Rusthall is blocked with silt and shingle. Cllr Huggett said that if cars are parked over the drains when they are being cleared, they could not be cleared. Once again, blocked drains should be logged on the KCC website. If access to a computer is a problem, any issues can be reported at the Gateway in Tunbridge Wells.


Celia began by saying she has been looking after the courtyard garden in the doctor's surgery for some years, and realised there were a lot of keen gardeners in Rusthall who did not have a common voice. She made enquiries in the library to see if a gardening club would receive support from them. An inaugural meeting was held in March, which 20 people attended. Ideas were put forward and it was agreed to meet on the last Thursday in the month in the library at 2.30pm. Since then they have had a speaker from a garden in Bidborough, and in July will have a talk about bees.

A lively discussion followed and the following suggestions were made:

• Could the gardening group support Rusthall in Bloom? Possibility of encouraging the children at school

• Dennis Penfold said that there used to be a Rusthall Horticultural Society, which held 2 shows a year. It may be worth trying to contact anyone from that society

• Run an article in Rusthall Life magazine

• RVA will put it on our website and update it with relevant information

• The Gardening group could have a stall at the Rusthall Fete – maybe in association with the Allotment group


The 2018 Rusthall Village Association photographic competition is now open for entries. As usual, there are 2 categories – under 16's and over 16's. Photos should have been taken in the last year (September 2017 to September 2018), and be of Rusthall – the theme being 'What Rusthall means to you'. Photos should be submitted digitally to the website editor with your name, contact number, email, age (if under 16) and where and when the photograph was taken. Alternatively you can post a print with all your details to Alex Britcher at 1 Manor Road which runs beside the first One Stop in Rusthall High Street. See the RVA website for further information. Closing date is 2nd September 2018


TWBC Thelma Huggett

Cllr Huggett said there was nothing in particular to report that affected Rusthall. There are lots of new developments in Tunbridge Wells, including the old cinema site, the Royal Victoria Place, the Union Place redevelopment and the new theatre site. A member of the audience asked if there was any information available about the RVP and what the new company will do to encourage new business, as so many shops are closed. Cllr Huggett said that there had been some uncertaincy so leases had not been renewed, but the sale of the site is now secured.


History Group – The talk on Monday 23rd July will be on The History of Sailing. There will be no meeting in August.

On 9th , 10th and 11th November this year the Battle's Over event will take place commemorating the end of WW1. The History Society will be putting on a display in the Rusthall Club, covering the village as it was 100 years ago, the VAD hospital, the effects of the war on Rusthall etc. Many other events will be taking place over the weekend with many Rusthall organisations taking part. There will be a display of knitted / crocheted poppies, so volunteers to produce these will be welcome. Thelma Huggett kindly offered a personal donation of £50 for wool for this project.

Rusthall Community Cinema - The following report was received from Eugene Gardner:

There is little change from before to report, particularly as many people keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter. The most significant change is probably the addition of rear speakers for our cinema to give a surround sound experience. Those who took the advice on Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook offered before our last film were able to buy raffle tickets safe in the knowledge that good things would come of it. They didn't know what until the end of the film when I was able to announce that everyone who bought a ticket would win three DVDs in addition to any prizes won by the six that were pulled out of the hat.

Our post film discussion groups are sometimes small but always well worth attending. They enable so much more enlightenment to come from the evening and I am really surprised that more don't take up the opportunity.

Alas we continue to find it hard to get sufficient volunteers to enable us to do more than offer basic entertainment. We will be promoting ourselves on Saturday 21st from 12pm - 2pm at The Camden Centre in TW, and welcome anyone who would like to visit us. Please see the attached information about this.

Our general meeting will be on Friday 24th August and all are welcome to attend. Suggestions for next season's films must be received by me by 11th August to enable members to consider how to vote. At this meeting some of our Trustees will stand down; we welcome anyone who would like to take on this role and I would be happy to discuss the matter with anyone interested. According to our constitution the current chair of the RVA is an ex-officio trustee unless they nominate a representative.

8. AOB

• The RVA and the Fete & Bonfire society could both do with more members

• Mike Heasman expressed concern about the speed of cars in Rusthall. Modern cars are so quiet it is difficult to judge how fast they are going. Unfortunately speed signs are not always adhered to and it is difficult to enforce a speed limit. Mr Heasman said he would be willing to man the Speedwatch equipment just to gather information – he would require other volunteers to help. Cllr Huggett said that in her opinion people do not take notice of any letters sent out following a speedwatch incident. It was agreed that a better solution could be speed bumps (the sort that lie in the centre of the road so that emergency vehicles can straddle them). Kevin Mullery suggested a leaflet drop as this had provoked response for him when he was campaigning about a one way system. Signage could also work, such as 'Remember our Children'. The question was raised: Who is responsible for making people aware of speed limits?

The raffle raised £14
Meeting closed at 21.15
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 19th September 2018

Chair – Alex Britcher
Vice Chair: Tel: 01892 540018
Website editor Nigel Suckling
Secretary: Sue White
General contact: