Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 19th September 2018
VENUE: Rusthall Village Club
TIME: 1930 hours

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


Apologies were received from the following committee members: Alex Britcher (Chair), Chris Perry (Treasurer)


Beryl welcomed everyone to the meeting and said that unfortunately the Chair Alex Britcher was unable to attend following recent surgery


There were 53 entries to the annual photographic competition, which was once again judged by Gary Francis, chief photogapher of the Courier Media Group. He commented as follows: "In Summary: another great year of images from the people of Rusthall and probably even harder to judge than in previous years as the subject matter gets wider and wider. Once again I also found it difficult to judge if you base 'Rusthall' as the criteria.

"Slightly disappointing this year to have no under sixteen entries as in previous years there have been some stunning pictures from younger children."

The prize-winners were as follows:

Overall winner: Rusthall Common in July 2018 by Julian Britten

1st Runner up: Shadwell Woods April 2018 by Jenni Matthews

2nd Runner up: The Night by Aleksandra Sejdia

3rd Runner up: Girl with Puddle near Ashley Gardens by Jenni Matthews

There were also several Highly Commended entries. All the entries can be seen on the RVA website. Thanks go to Rusthall Parish Council for a grant for the cash prizes.


Hazel Duncombe and Jenny Blackburn outlined the events which will take place over the weekend of 9th - 11th November to commemorate the centenary of the end of WWI. This is intended to be all inclusive for the whole village.

Events which will take place over a longer period will include a display of knitted, crocheted etc poppies, bunting in the High Street, and photographic displays. There will be a film at Sunnyside Hall on Friday 9th, concerts with songs and poetry on Saturday 10th, an evening event at the Rusthall Club on 10th. The main events on 11th November will commence with a 6am rendering of Battles O'er piped from the Church Centre, followed by a 10am Remembrance service at St Paul's Church. At 6.15pm there will be a torchlit procession to represent all those Rusthall servicemen killed in the conflict – this will culminate with the names of the fallen being read out and the torches extinguished at the beacon on the Common. At 6.55pm the Last Post will be played, then the beacon will be lit and bells rung.

Final details of the events will be outlined in the November edition of Rusthall Life and will be on the RVA website.


The next village litter pick will take place on Saturday 13th October in the area north of the Toad Rock. Meet at 10.45 at Rusthall Grange (off Apsley St). This will be followed at 12.30 by a social at the Toad Rock Retreat. For further information or to express an interest in coming along, please email

There has been a suggestion that instead of, or as well as a twice year litter pick, areas could be allocated to volunteers to take charge of on a regular basis. It was considered that this was un-necessary as some people do this anyway, and the idea of a community litter pick meant it is a more social event.

Regarding the event, it was suggested that areas should be allocated so that a larger area could be targetted without people going over areas already done. The RVA will endeavour to do this.

Jenny Blackburn said that there has been a lot of rubbish dumped in Nellington Road. This is in fact in Speldhurst parish. TWBC will not get involved, as the rubbish is on private land, but it has not been established whose land it is.


Apologies have been received from James McInroy (KCC), Thelma Huggett (TWBC) and Joy Podbury (TWBC)

Parish Councillor Jenny Blackburn reported that

• At a recent finance committee, it had been agreed to try to keep the precept the same this year. There are no new initiatives expected. The parish council still does not know when they will take on responsibility for the Mary Caley playground

• It has been decided to keep the Christmas decorations to the lamp-posts again this year.

• An idea had been suggested that Rusthall join Tunbridge Wells in Bloom. However this will involve the expense of the lamp-posts being assessed for stability. There is also the problem of watering the planters.

• Bunting will be given out to shops for the Battle's Over commemorations.

• The fountain. Dennis Penfold has come across an old photograph of the fountain at the junction of Rusthall Road and Church Road. This shows that originally there was some sort of gravel or stone area around the fountain. A suggestion has been made to replace the grass with a similar base.

• An idea for a village sign is being investigated

• There has been a rise in vandalism in the village – in particular damage to the bus shelters. The police are aware and the parents of some 9 year old youths have been visited in connection with this.

• Councillor Hazel Duncombe has been in touch with a KCC Highways rep about the entrances to shops, particularly those with steps, being marked out in white paint to help the visually impaired. The parish council have also been requested to do a highways plan to prioritise any highways issues in the village.


• Local History Group – The next meeting of the history group is on Monday 24th September at 7pm in the URC Hall. The talk will be on Pluckley, the most haunted village in England, by Dennis Chambers. The meeting on 29th October will be by John Arkell – A snapshot in time – Digitising Tunbridge Wells museum's lantern slide collection.

• Rusthall Bonfire – Saturday 27th October. If anyone can spare the time to volunteer during the day or evening, including help with marshalling on the procession or on a road closure point please contact Lisa Lindfield 07738 662687

• The Zone Youth Group – for 9-11 ages has opened again. Meet at the Zone, Rusthall Library, 6.30-8.00pm for youth from Rusthall and those that attend school in Rusthall. For further information contact Mike or Chris Bassett on 01892 543544

• Rusthall Community Cinema – A free film 'The Greatest Showman' will be shown on Sunday 30th September at 3pm. Tickets: Free for the first 100 arrivals. Come in costume or just as you are: bring a Lotto ticket for draws between 26th and 29th September.

• Apsley Street Clear Up – Volunteers wanted to start to clear the bank by Apsley Street to expose the rocks and flora. Proposed dates are 29/30 September; 6/7 October or 13/14 October. Please see the RVA website for up to date information

• Archaeology – If anyone is interested in joining a Saturday morning meeting to hear more about the work the archaeologists have been doing in Rusthall, please contact Beryl Woodall on

8. AOB

• Janet Collins emailed to state her objection to the white boards being left out at the bottom of St Paul's Street and Gladstone Street, advertising Slimming World, on the grounds that they pose a safety hazard. Jenny Blackburn said that the parish council was aware of this and would be writing to the Slimming World representative asking her to remove them at the end of each session.

The raffle raised £13
Meeting closed at 21.00
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 21st November 2018

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