Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 15th January 2020
VENUE: Rusthall club
TIME: 1930 hours

Committee members present: Chair: Alex Britcher, Vice Chair: Beryl Woodall, Secretary: Angela Funnell, Membership Secretary: Sue White, Treasurer: Bjorn Simpole, Website: Nigel Suckling, Committee members: Joseph Baldwin, Carol Mellors and Chris Perry

1.   Alex Britcher, Chair opened the meeting and welcomed all present.

2.   Guest speaker, Karen Gardner, MA spoke about her recently opened “Life Drawing” class for over 18s and of her enthusiasm for the benefits of participating in life drawing, an activity which serves to develop one’s analytical as well as creative skills. Personal styles come into this art form. Beginners generally start drawing by using charcoal. Classes take place on the 4th Friday of each month. The next class is on 24th January at Sunnyside Hall, Rusthall Road. There will be a tutored session from 7-8 pm for a cost of £7, and this is followed by a two hour period for untutored drawing at a cost of £10. Each pose by the model is of twenty minute duration. It is a personal choice to be at either or both sessions. Karen has previously tutored at the Adult Education Centre. Registration for period February, March and April will be starting on 25th January.

3.   Open Forum Discussion on “Crime & Safety in Rusthall” led by Bjorn Simpole: PCSO Matt Hill spoke to us last year but is no longer available. Rusthall currently does not have a PCSO but hopefully it will have by mid-March of this year. Rusthall is considered to be a relatively low crime area. Even so, incidents of theft, damage to car wing mirrors and keying of car body work plus a recent spate of damage to the catalytic converter in hybrid cars is being reported. Cars in Meadow Road, Ashley Park Gardens and Erskine Park Road seem to be being targeted more than in other places. The village bus shelter continues to be a target for vandalism. House windows have been broken in Allen Close. Burglaries and car theft are being reported in nearby areas. Also, theft of water troughs in various parts of Tunbridge Wells are being reported which raises concerns for Rusthall’s water trough at the crossroads. More police recruiting is happening but the public are not yet feeling the benefit of this.

4.   Break and Raffle Ticket Sale

5.   Councillors Reports: Over Christmas and New Year David Funnell, TWBC, updated local residents on bin collection days. The collection performance over the borough has been very poor. Two joint councils have sent a letter of complaint and warning to the company responsible.

Public car park charges are being reduced for the next week only.

Eugene Gardner is trying to raise £130,000 for an extension to Sunnyside Hall. If he can raise £20,000 the Borough Council is willing to donate £30,000.

From Friday 20th January the public may have a say on the TWBC web site regarding TWBC’s budget plans.

Rusthall Parish Council: Flower Planters are being reinstated in the High Street this weekend. Appreciation has been expressed for the High Street Christmas Lights. On Sunday 23rd February at 10.30 am the Parish Council Litter Pick will commence, meeting at the Ratcliffe Centre. At the Parish Council Assembly local groups are invited to have a presence on 8th April when William Benson, the Chief Executive of TWBC will speak.

6.   Village Events and Updates: The next RVA Litter Pick will take place on Saturday 4th April, meeting at Southwood Road playing field entrance at 10.30 am. Litter sacks, picker sticks, high viz jackets and gloves will be provided. Social refreshment will be from 1 pm at the Red Lion Pub. Please notify Alex Britcher of your intention to participate.

There will be a Nature Day on Saturday 21st March from 11.00 a.m. to 2.45 p.m. at the United Reformed Church Hall to learn about how we can protect our garden visitors and wild life. Speakers will be from “Paws for Food” in the village to talk about protecting our garden birds, Alison Daykin to talk about hedgehogs, and Steve Budden, Commons Warden.

An application for a grant towards funding these two events has been made by the RVA to Rusthall Parish Council.

Rusthall Local History Group: Dennis Penfold informed us that this organisation is enjoying its twentieth year since its founding and he paid tribute to Jenny Blackburn who initiated its founding and who is still a co-founder member with Dennis. Meetings take place normally on the last Monday of each month at the Rusthall United Reformed Church Hall from 7pm to 8.30 pm. Non-members are welcome – admission £2. The next meeting is on 27th January, subject: Our Wonderful Women in WW2, an illustrated talk by Anna Astin. On 24th February Dennis himself will be giving an illustrated talk on Horse & Bus Services for Rusthall. On 30th March the subject will be Harry Houdini – an illustrated presentation with a little magic by local resident, Joe Mendel.

The United Reformed Church is also booked for a new exhibition RUSTHALL IN WORLD WAR TWO over the V.E. Commemoration Weekend of Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May. Precise opening times and other details will be announced soon. Dennis will be liaising with Ian Campbell, Editor of Rusthall Life magazine and full details will appear there. Dennis also mentioned Field Marshall, Lord Bramall who fought on D-Day and rose to the highest position in the British Army. It was said in his obituary that Edwin Noel Westby Bramall was born in Rusthall on 18th December, 1923. If anyone has any information on the Bramall family in Rusthall it would be appreciated if they could share what they know.

Rusthall Community Cinema: Eugene Gardner reports that new lights are being installed for car parking at the cinema site of Sunnyside Hall. Also, a defibrillator has been installed in the hall by donators British Heart Foundation. Free Ist Aid training is to be made available to six to twenty attendees at each session at the hall. Apart from cinema, other hall uses are for a pre-school nursery opening soon and for table tennis. The film society announces an extension to Sunday afternoon film showings. Please send in your suggestions for future films before 6th February.

Family History Group meets on 3rd Thursday of each month in the Rusthall Library at 10.30 am.

Bonfire & Fete Committee: Annual Burns Quiz Night is on Friday 28th January at the St. Paul’s Parish Church Hall. Entrance £8. The organisation needs new volunteer helpers.

Red Lion Pub jazz evenings on alternate Saturdays.

Toad Rock Retreat monthly music nights from 7.00 to 9.00 pm. Pizza van in attendance. Next: Tues. 21st Jan. Kent Duchaine & Leadbessie – Delta blues.

Next RVA Open Meeting on Wed. 18th March, 7.30 pm Speaker: Andy Ishbel, Director of Arriva Bus Services. *Annual membership subscriptions of £3 due.

7.   AOB: Nil

8.   Raffle Draw

9.   Close of meeting at 9.45

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