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The Community Website for Walmer, near Deal, Kent

Local News Archive: January to June 2005
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Library users are being given a chance to say which new books they'd like to see added to the shelves. At Deal Library, staff will be on hand to talk about the current catalogue and hear suggestions for additions during a special "drop-in" day on Saturday, 9 July. (30 June 2005)



Walmer residents are reminded that the extremely popular annual evening concert by The Railway Swing Band is at Deal Memorial Bandstand, Walmer Green at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 6 July. The organisers suggest bringing a picnic and some wine. As with the Sunday band concerts, it's free. (30 June 2005)



The result of the by-election on Thursday, 23 June for Dover District Council's Walmer ward is as follows:

  • Ernest Samuel Brimmell (Labour Party) 449
  • John Charles Featherstone (Liberal Democrat) 211
  • Christopher James (Kit) Smith (Conservative Party) 1,031 ELECTED

The "turnout" was 29.23% of the 5,805 local electors. The by-election followed the retirement of Cllr Gordon Henson. (24 June 2005)



Gerry Costa took his camera along to the Walmer Summer Fayre at Walmer Green on Saturday, 18 June. Here are a couple of the photos he took.

Walmer Summer Fayre, 2005 (photo: Gerry Costa)
Walmer Summer Fayre, 2005 (photo: Gerry Costa) Walmer Summer Fayre, 2005 (photo: Gerry Costa)

Funds of the Parkinson’s Disease Society (PDS) have received a boost thanks to the generosity of members of the South Foreland Rotary Club. The local Rotary made the Society its nominated charity over the past year and, on Wednesday, 8 June, president Rob Riddle was able to present PDS representative, Gavin Gunter, with a cheque for £2,300.

PDS is the UK's only charity reaching out to the 120,000 people with Parkinson’s and supporting their family members, carers or friends.

cheque presentation (photo: Gerry Costa)

The organisation has a network of 70 community support workers covering the UK. They provided a one-to-one service with a single access point for information, advice and emotional support. A vital part of the work is provision of technical expertise for hospital staff through training and educational packs.

Gavin Gunter of the Parkinson's Disease Society (left) receives the gift from South Foreland Rotary president
Rob Riddle
(photo: Gerry Costa)

There are 2,300 people in Kent registered with the disease, and by coincidence, this mirrors the Rotary club's £2,300 gift. The money will support the general work of PDS and, for example, could pay for six months salary of a part-time support worker or the helpline’s freephone number costs for three months.   (12 June 2005)


Kent County Council wants to know what people in Kent think about minerals and waste issues. A discussion pack has been designed to get people talking and gather feedback about residents' priorities, hopes and concerns. It's not necessary to have a special interest in these important environmental topics to take part. And for those who make their views known, there's a chance of winning an attractive prize.

For a copy of the discussion pack and more detailed information about the development of the county's plan for minerals and waste, go to: http://kent.dialoguebydesign.net/. Alternatively, to request a discussion pack by post, call 020 8683 6602. Comments and suggestions need to be submitted by 1 July. (9 June 2005)



Walmer resident Gerry Costa - a regular contributor of photographs to WalmerWeb - was ready with his camera when two baby squirrels braved the wet to raid a peanut feeder in his garden. Since moving to Walmer early in 2004, Gerry has been fascinated by the rare white squirrels found in the area around Walmer Castle. His latest picture, taken in the past few days, is now featured full size in our on-line photo albums. (3 June 2005)

Baby squirrels (photo: Gerry Costa)


Deal's sixth annual Vintage Bus Day is on Sunday, 19 June. The all-day event - which includes free rides on vintage buses from the Middle Street car park, a display of static vehicles and a range of stalls appealing to transport enthusiasts - also marks the 100th anniversary of Deal's first motor bus service. (3 June 2005)



Concerned by reports that the rail authorities wish to reduce staffing at Walmer and several other local stations, Walmer parish councillors are asking for a meeting with representatives to learn exactly what is being proposed. The fear is that Martin Mill would be totally unmanned, Walmer and Sandwich would only be staffed 6.30am-10.30am Monday to Friday and Deal manned 6am-2pm six days a week. Councillors say this would be unacceptable with potential for problems obtaining tickets from the unmodernised machines and increased vandalism threatening passenger safety. (3 June 2005)



Local participation in the national SeaBritain celebrations began over the Spring Bank holiday weekend. For details of events in the Deal Maritime Festival 2005 and the special Taste of Deal promotion (30 May to 12 June) see the WalmerWeb events listings and the www.dealfoodfestival.co.uk website. (26 May 2005 - updated 3 June 2005)



The work of Walmer photographer Harold Wyld is featured in "Maritime Britain", a new book on Britain's coastline by writer and broadcaster Paul Heiney. Harold was approached by the publishers who had spotted his photographs on the Kent Coast in Pictures website. He agreed to their including his photos of Whitstable Harbour, Foreness, North Foreland, Ramsgate Harbour, Sandgate and Dungeness.

"Maritime Britain" (300 pages) is published by Adlard Coles Nautical, price £12.99. (26 May 2005)

North Foreland lighthouse (photo: Harold Wyld)


Walmer voters may be interested in the following results of the Parliamentary and County Council Elections on Thursday, 5 May:

DOVER Parliamentary Constituency
Antony Hook Liberal Democrat
Vic Matcham Independent
Gwyn Prosser Labour
Paul Watkins Conservative
Michael Wiltshire UK Independence Party
DEAL Kent County Council Division
Patrick Acarnley Liberal Democrat
Terence Birkett Labour
Michael Eddy Labour
John Featherstone Liberal Democrat
Raymond Grinney Green Party
Julie Rook Conservative
Michael Terry Conservative

For all the Parliamentary election results go to: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/constituencies/default.stm
For all the KCC election results go to: www.kent.gov.uk/your-council/elections/elections-2005/results-by-district/     (8 May 2005)


There's a happy ending to our appeal for information on the whereabouts of Monty, a white and ginger persian cross cat, missing from Walmer Castle Road since last Saturday.

Owner Anthony May says "We have now been re-united with Monty. His appetite for food was his undoing. He was caught sneaking into a house who had cats of their own. Fortunately we were quite thorough in our notes through doors so the house owner knew where he was from." (11 May 2005)

Missing cat Monty

Long-serving Walmer parish councillor Leslie Alton is standing down at the Council's Annual General Meeting on 4 May. His resignation means the Council will need to recruit a new member - through co-option or a by-election process. (29 April 2005)


Walmer Parish Council's annual competition to find the parish's best front gardens and floral displays is on again. Categories for 2005 are: residential front gardens, best hanging basket, licensed premises, general businesses and residential homes. The parish will be divided into three areas for judging - lower Walmer, middle Walmer and upper Walmer.

The first round of judging is in early July, with a second round to choose a "shortlist" soon after and final judging by an independent expert at the end of July. The lucky winners will be invited to an award ceremony on Sunday, 11 September. For more details or to enter, call 01304 381506. (29 April 2005)



WalmerWeb celebrates its first year as Walmer's community website in May. Thanks to the efforts of webmaster Harold Wyld and the enthusiastic support of a number of local residents and organisations - not least Walmer Parish Council - the content has developed enormously. Run on an entirely voluntary basis, the website is seen as a useful source of local information for local residents and anyone interested in the parish of Walmer.

Harold said: "There's scope for improving many of the listings on the website - including local clubs and societies and coming events. I'd also like to add more text and photographs covering Walmer's history. If people can help, I'd love to hear from them."    (29 April 2005)



Walmer Parish Council has written to South Eastern Railways to highlight its concerns over the quality of services for passengers. Councillors believe there is a need for clean, modern rolling stock, lower fares and a better appearance for stations. They also would like to see pleasant, well motivated staff, faster services and much better information and publicity.     (29 April 2005)



Justin Marriott, Walmer's police community support officer, has drawn attention to a spate of bogus callers who it is believed could be linked to burglaries and other criminal activities in the area. Walmer parish councillors have agreed to try to help publicise the problem. (There's also some advice on this website: CLICK HERE.)     (29 April 2005)



Local children are being invited to join in an "activity workshop" on Hawkshill Freedown on Sunday, 29 May from 2pm to 4pm. Organised by the parish council's Hawkshill Working Group with the support of Pfizer, the afternoon will provide an opportunity to learn about the birds that visit the common and take part in a craft project to create a model bird using recycled materials. For details, call 01303 862236 or 01304 381506. Please mention you read about it on WalmerWeb.     (29 April 2005)



Walmer parish councillors will be reporting on their work over the past year at the annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday, 18 May at 7pm in the Sea Scout Hut, Marine Road, Walmer. Open to all residents, the meeting is expected to include latest information on the parish's Design Statement which is intended to provide strong local input when Dover Council considers local planning matters. There will also be opportunities to discuss problems with anti-social behaviour and the possibility of skateboarding facilities for youngsters.     (29 April 2005)



The East Kent Heritage no:85 bus service is proving a hit with users. The route links north Deal with the town centre and Upper Walmer and passengers report that the buses are running on time with the drivers both friendly and helpful. For details of the route and timetable CLICK HERE.     (29 April 2005)



Concerns over the state of land on the approach to Walmer rail station and recent use for parking heavy plant vehicles has prompted Walmer Parish Council to press Dover Council planners to find out what is happening.     (29 April 2005)


Several shoppers in Dover on Saturday, 9 April may end up thanking their lucky stars that they took up an invitation by local Rotary Club members to have a free blood pressure check. As part of Stroke Awareness Day, the Rotary Clubs of Dover and South Foreland combined forces to persuade passers-by in Cannon Street, Dover, to step into St Mary's Parish Centre where a team of nurses was ready to take their blood pressure for free.

Out of 300 people tested, the majority were found to have normal blood pressure. A few, though, were advised by the nurses to take the readings to their GP and have a further check. To demonstrate that young and old can benefit from this type of simple precautionary check-up, Miss Dover agreed to be one of the nurses' clients during the day.     (10 April 2005)

Checking blood pressure (photo: Gerry Costa)
Nurses carry out blood pressure checks
on Dover shoppers as part of Stroke
Awareness Day
(photo: Gerry Costa)


Walmer householders are being invited to make use of a new "on-line" recycling scheme that lets them obtain useful items for nothing and give away useable but unwanted goods.

Organised by local councillor Paul Dawkins with the backing of Dover District Council, the new Freecycle scheme covers Dover, Deal, Sandwich, the surrounding villages and, of course, Walmer.

Originally an American idea, the Freecycle concept has spread to many other countries including the UK. Getting involved is really easy but does require access to the Internet. All people need to do is:

It's a great way to let useful items find a good home, save money and avoid dumping unwanted goods at the waste tip.     (updated 10 April 2005)


Walmer should be looking very "patriotic" this summer. Walmer councillors have agreed they would like their hanging baskets and roadside displays to be planted up in red, white and blue.     (15 March 2005)


2005 has been designated "Year of the Volunteer" with a different theme each month. In May, it's "environment month". For more details, see www.yearofthevolunteer.org.     (15 March 2005)



News that parish councils are not included in the list of "interested parties" to be consulted under the new Licensing Act 2003 has dismayed Walmer parish councillors. They were especially angered at a suggestion that they were not considered to be "a body representing persons who live in that vicinity*". (*The locality likely to be affected by granting of a license by the District Council.) The parish council is taking up the matter with the Kent Association of Parish Councils.     (15 March 2005)



Walmer parish councillors have said they won't support an idea by Deal Town Council for a "park and ride" bus service linking the Borrow Pit car park to Deal town centre on three bank holiday Mondays, the vintage bus day and, possibly, six Saturdays in the summer. They considered it unnecessary, unlikely to be used and potentially unpopular with nearby residents.     (15 March 2005)



Walmer Parish Council is supporting campaigns by Deal Town Council for better ticket machines at Deal and Walmer stations and to oppose any reductions in local rail services in proposals by the Strategic Rail Authority.     (15 March 2005)



Volunteers are urgently needed to help with vital maintenance at Walmer's Hawkshill Common. Working parties meet on the first Sunday morning of each month to put in an hour or two to keep scrub and undergrowth under control and help with general clearing up.

Regular helper Graham Harris says more pairs of hands would be hugely appreciated by the small group of residents who turn out throughout the year to keep the beauty spot looking good. Everyone meets at 10.30am at the car parking area on Liverpool Road (opposite Grams Road) and most head for home between 12noon and 1pm. No equipment is needed but stout footwear and practical working clothes are a good idea.

For more details, call Graham on 01304 365125 or working party organiser Stan Stockley on 01304 373304.     (20 February 2005)



Local residents can support a range of charities by taking part in a seafront walk on Monday, 2 May. The local section - a mass sponsored walk from Kingsdown to Deal - is part of the Cinque Ports Charity Challenge which starts in Hastings and finishes in Sandwich over the May Bank Holiday weekend. For more details, contact the organiser John Goodwin on 01304 242625.     (20 February 2005)



Deal and Walmer are set to play a part in the government-sponsored national Veterans Awareness Week, to be held for the first time this year between Sundays 3 and 10 July. For 2005, the special week will also commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

A local Steering Group, with representatives from the area's military and veterans associations, parish and town councils and several other bodies, has started laying plans. They include a Thanksgiving Service in Deal at 3pm on Saturday 9 July and performances of "Time to Remember", a tribute to the men and women of World War II, at the Astor Theatre on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 July.   (05 February 2005)


Bench presentation (photo: Gerry Costa)

  Channel view from new seat (photo: Gerry Costa)
Rob Riddle (President, South Foreland Rotary) and
Simon Ovenden (National Trust) try out the new bench watched by Rotarians and friends
(photo: Gerry Costa)


Channel view from the new seat (photo: Gerry Costa)

Visitors to the South Foreland Lighthouse near Dover can now sit in comfort to admire the view of one of the world's busiest shipping lanes thanks to a gift by members of the South Foreland Rotary Club.

On Wednesday, 23 February, the Rotarians presented a new bench seat to representatives of the National Trust which manages the lighthouse.

An earlier seat had fallen into disrepair and the local Rotarians felt a replacement would be a perfect way to mark the international movement's centennial year.

For more details, call Gerry Costa on 01304 361574.
(24 February 2005)



There are fears that proposed changes to train timetables could result in poorer services on the Dover to Ramsgate line serving Deal and Walmer. The concerns stem from guidelines just published by the Strategic Rail Authority for companies bidding to run south east rail services from 2007. Local protesters say that as well as cuts in services, there is no evidence of good connections to fast domestic trains using the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Concerned residents can sign a petition calling for better local rail services available at the Town Hall, High Street, Deal.     (20 February 2005)



Following a survey of the memorial seats on Hawksdown Common, Walmer Parish Council is keen to contact the original providers of two which are in poor condition and need replacing. The people who originally requested the seats, a Mr H G Franken and a Mr E G Hemmens, have moved and Parish Clerk Jackie Warrington has been unable to trace them. If anyone can help with information, they are asked to contact the Clerk on 01304 381506.     (05 February 2005)



Parish councillors have responded to concerns by residents over a new dog waste bin in Gladstone Road. Although councillors were not convinced the recently installed bin would cause a problem, they have agreed to relocate it on Wellington Parade. The exact site depends on consultation with nearby residents.    (05 February 2005)



Visitors to the South Foreland Lighthouse near Dover will, in future, be able to sit in comfort to admire the view of one of the world's busiest shipping lanes thanks to a gift by members of the South Foreland Rotary Club. At 12noon on Wednesday, 23 February, the Rotarians are formally presenting a new bench seat to representatives of the National Trust which manages the lighthouse.

An earlier seat had fallen into disrepair and the local Rotarians felt a replacement would be a perfect way to mark the international movement's centennial year. Following meetings with National Trust local property manager Simon Ovenden, the club engaged Norbury Park Wood Products, near Dorking, Surrey to make the new seat. They also ordered a brass plaque from a local company. It reads: "This seat was provided on 23rd February 2005, by the members of the Rotary Club of South Foreland, to mark the centenary of the foundation of the Rotary movement on 23rd February 1905".

Formed in 1985, the South Foreland club takes its name from a section of the White Cliffs between Dover and Kingsdown and has adopted the image of the famous lighthouse as its logo. Members of the public who would like to attend the presentation of the new bench seat at the South Foreland Lighthouse (23 February at 12noon) will be most welcome. For more details, call Gerry Costa on 01304 361574.     (05 February 2005)



The production team for ITV1 daily entertainment programme "The Paul O'Grady Show" are coming back with a second series soon and have started looking for people who may want to appear on the show. They have asked WalmerWeb to help spread the word.

Unlike other shows "The Paul O'Grady Show" likes to use members of the public as roving reporters. Maybe attending a film premiere and interviewing celebrities on the red carpet, reviewing the latest products, games or TV programmes or interviewing a favourite personality. Others may have a crazy nan, chatterbox housemate, embarrassing dad or "know-it-all" in-law? Perhaps you are the life and soul of the party or just have an opinion on anything and everything that you're willing to share.

The producers will be meeting people nationwide nearer the end of the month but at the moment really want people to contact them so they can have a bit of a chat with them. They are looking for outgoing people of ALL ages and are coming to LONDON in February 2005.

Call NOW on 0870 4870 444 or e-mail paulogrady@itv.com     (14 January 2005)


A 12-hour collection by members of Rotary Clubs of Dover and South Foreland outside the Tesco supermaket at Whitfield, Dover, on Saturday, 7 January, raised just over £2,600 for the Tsunami Earthquake Appeal.

Gerry Costa, PRO for South Foreland Rotary, said: "The response from the public was even better that we dared to expect." Shoppers, ranging from youngsters offering pennies to adults with £5 and £10 notes and even a £100 cheque, donated an amazing £200 every hour. Gerry said the normal Christmas collection in the same spot and with the same number of collecting boxes brings in between £30 to £40 an hour. Gerry anticipated that similar tales would be heard from the other local Rotary Clubs.

Part of the public's cash, plus donations by Rotary members, will be used to purchase and ship Rotary Emergency Shelter Boxes and Aquaboxes, needed for shelter and water purification.

The remainder will help meet specific requests received by Rotary International's Disaster Response Committee from Rotary Clubs in the disaster-stricken communities.

A number of the Shelter Boxes, costing £490 each, and Aquaboxes - the small size cost £45 and the larger ones £250 - have already been sent. Local businesses can help by sponsoring one of the boxes and local schools are being asked to provide items to fill the boxes.

  Rotary tsunami appeal collection

Young and old support the Rotary collection at Tesco's Whitfield supermarket.

Rotary tsunami appeal collection

Gerry said Rotary International and the members and the local Rotary Clubs wished to thank the people of East Kent for their generosity.

For more information, ( 01304 852261. Cheques can be sent (payable to Rotary Club Tsunami Appeal) to The President, 11 Isis Close, Lympne, Kent CT21 4JQ. People who pay income or capital gains tax can get the tax man to top up their donation by an extra 28p for every pound, at no extra cost to themselves. Add a note that it is charitable gift aid together with full name and address.      (9 January 2005)