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The Community Website for Walmer, near Deal, Kent

Local News Archive: January to June 2006
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Walmer resident Andrew Eberlein has been elected as the president of the South Foreland Rotary Club for the next 12 months.

Andrew has lived and worked in the area since 1978 when he joined Megger Limited (formerly AVO) where he is site manager. He married a local teacher Shirley in 1982, and they have one son and two daughters.

Andrew is committed to service to the community and has been the Chair of Governors of Warden House primary school in Deal for many years. He is also a trustee and director of St Martin’s Emmaus, which is based in the Archcliffe Fort on Dover's Western Heights. Andrew joined South Foreland Rotary in 2002.    (June 30, 2006)

Andrew Eberlein (photo: Gerry Costa)
New Rotary chief:
Andrew Eberlein


Major changes to local bus services come into effect on Sunday, 16 July. Operators Stagecoach say that a combination of more modern "easy-access" buses and new routes and timetables should produce an improved and, on some routes, faster service for passengers.

New timetables will be available on the buses or from Stagecoach offices in Dover, Canterbury and Folkestone. They can also be seen at www.stagecoachbus.com; alternatively, phone 08702 433711.   (June 30, 2006)



Gerry Costa of the South Foreland Rotary Club has sent an update on the news item we published on 21 May. He says: "Further to the report about Shelter Boxes at the Fun Day, we did not know we were going to need them so urgently..."

On Monday (29 May), 400 Shelter Boxes were despatched by local Rotary to the affected area of Indonesia. They should arrive within a few days. Also one Rotary contact from the town of Yogyakarte has been in touch with the UK and says that, on the ground, Rotary is heavily involved in distributing food, canned milk, medicines and blood supplies. They have also volunteered to support health needs and running food kitchens.

And here's our earlier news item about those Shelter Boxes and the 11 June event where you can learn more about them....


Members of local Rotary are helping with a Family Fun Day to be organised by the Rotary Clubs of Kent and East Sussex at the Kent County Showground at Detling, near Maidstone, on Sunday, 11 June. South Foreland Rotary member Pauline Goldsack will arranging a display of 'Shelter Box' and 'Aquabox' emergency supplies, thousands of which have, in the past year or so, been sent to areas hit by the tsunami disaster and south east Asian earthquakes.

South Foreland Rotary's PRO Gerry Costa says the public, who have been so generous with donations, and many Rotarians have probably never had the opportunity to see the contents of the relief boxes. He anticipated they would find them fascinating. Proceeds from the fun day will go to the Kent Air Ambulance Trust and local hospices.     (May 21, 2006; updated May 31, 2006)


WalmerWeb has just celebrated its second year as Walmer's community website. Started in May 2004, it is run on an entirely voluntary basis. The main aim is to provide a useful source of local information for local residents and anyone interested in the parish of Walmer.

Webmaster Harold Wyld says: "Quite a lot of the content is the result of excellent support and interest by local people. However, any community website only succeeds by being reliably up-to-date and offering useful and interesting information. That's where everyone can help by offering text or photos to fill any gaps and checking their club, event, business or whatever is featured on WalmerWeb."     (May 31, 2006)



Walmer, Deal and the surrounding area are strongly represented among the skilled artists and craftspeople from Kent, Sussex, Surrey and south London who will be opening their studios and workshops to the public on a number of days in June. Local participants in the 10th annual South East Open Studios event are:

Melony Walton, 8 Mill Road, Deal ( 01304 366798) who works in oil paint and collage. Her open days are: Saturday 10 June (10am-5pm and 7pm-9pm), Sunday 11, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June (10am-5pm).

Helen Hanson, 13 Admiralty Mews, The Strand, Walmer ( 01304 370250) who specialises in landscape etchings. Opening: Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June; Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June and Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June (10am-5pm each day).

Terrance Gilbert, Foxes Leigh, Church Street, Walmer ( 01304 367220) who specialises in original quilting and patchwork. Opening: Sunday 11 June; Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June and Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June (11am-9pm each day).

Valerie Thoresby, 6 Granville Road, Walmer ( 01304 372475) paints in mixed media. Opening: Friday 9, Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 June (10am-5pm each day).

John Blezard, 18 North Road, Kingsdown, near Deal ( 01304 373579) a land- and seascape artist working mainly in watercolours and pen and wash. Opening: Thursday 15, Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June and Thursday 22, Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June (11am-6pm each day, plus 7pm-9pm on 24 and 25 June).

Joan Weston, White Cliff Bungalow, The Front, St Margaret's Bay ( 01304 851867) for vibrant paintings, quilting and wallhangings. Opening: Friday 9, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June; Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June and Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June (4pm-6pm on 9, 16 and 23 June and 11am-6pm on the other days).

Admission to all venues is free with some work available for sale but no pressure on visitors to buy. Many of the studios will open at other times by prior appointment. Full details of all the 253 studios taking part are given in a free full-colour booklet available from libraries, council offices and tourist information centres.     (May 21, 2006)


Plans for a new café bar on Deal Pier have take a step forward with selection of a winning design in a competition organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of Dover District Council. Created by Niall McLaughlin Architects, the new end-of-the-pier structure features timber frames and glass walls, designed to give stunning views of the seafront and Channel shipping.

Dover Council anticipates a planning application could be submitted at the end of June and, if successful, work on the new café might begin in October. The improvements to Deal Pier will help boost the pier's Golden Jubilee in 2007. More details are on the Council's website at: www.dover.gov.uk/pr/template.asp?search=585     (May 21, 2006)



Local musicians The Railway Swing Band have helped to raise £2,000 for street children in India through a concert held in the Dover Harbour cruise terminal. Arranged by local Rotary clubs, the event was supported by over 250 people. The money will go to the Koshish School in New Delhi which provides basic education for needy children. Impressed by the UK support, the Delhi Rotary Club is hoping to match this amount with a further £2,000.

This summer, The Railway Swing Band will be giving two free concerts at Deal Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green. The dates are: Wednesday, 5 July for an "Evening of Swing" starting at 7.30pm and Sunday, 3 September from 12noon to 2pm as part of Walmer's annual community picnic event.     (May 8, 2006)



Walmer residents have an opportunity to hear what their parish council is doing and learn about local initiatives on tackling crime, the current water drought and the new Fowlmead country park at the annual parish meeting on Wednesday, 31 May. Speakers at the meeting include Paul Wootton, project manager for Southern Water, Anne Denne of the Betteshanger Coalfield Regeneration Team and Justin Marriott, Walmer's police community support officer. People will also be able to air ideas and local concerns for parish councillors to consider. The meeting is in the Sea Scout Hut, Marine Road, Walmer and starts at 6.30pm.     (May 25, 2006)



Families are being invited to join "Queen Victoria" and "Prince Albert" when they make a two-day royal visit to Walmer Castle and Gardens over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend (Sunday, 28 and Monday, 29 May). In a celebration of the Victorian era, children can enjoy a flower fairy hunt while adults can hear a talk on Victorian gardens and the language of flowers, play croquet and indulge in a cream tea. Visitors will also see the Queen being dressed in full evening regalia - from corset to coronet - and hear top tips for ladylike etiquette.

The special event is 10am-5pm each day and costs £7.20 for adults, £5.40 for concessions, £3.60 for children or £18 for a family ticket; free for English Heritage members. For more information, call 01304 364288.     (April 23, 2006)



Concern at a lack of opportunities for some people in the Walmer and Deal area to meet and socialise has prompted one local resident to set up a new website. Linda who is 42 and single moved to Deal with her retired parents four years ago. She told WalmerWeb: "Although I like the local area immensely, I have found it very difficult to meet and socialise with people of my own age group."

Failing to find anything suitable, Linda has turned to the Internet. She explained: "I have created a forum for Deal and Walmer people who, like myself, want to make and meet local friends. It is not a dating agency, but is strictly a forum where locals can make friends online. I am sure that there are many!" You can see Linda's new forum at http://groups.msn.com/dealwalmerkent.     (April 23, 2006)



Fed up with those expensive "national rate" 0870 phone lines that seem to be the only way of contacting many companies and organisations? The "Say No to 0870" website at www.saynoto0870.co.uk could offer a solution - by providing alternative less publicised (and cheaper) local or national numbers.

Links to other useful services - like BT's (free) on-line phone directory, a currency converter, weather forecasts and tide times, national newspapers and the current time locally and worldwide - are also available on WalmerWeb. Check out the Useful Links page.     (April 13, 2006)



Local fans of the Royal Marines Band may well be interested in their forthcoming concert at the Winter Gardens, Margate on Friday, 5 May. Full details are on the WalmerWeb Forum (see the Coming Events section). Don't forget the Forum provides an excellent (and free!) means of publicising any events or activities you are involved in.     (April 13, 2006)



With the encouragement of members of the South Foreland Rotary Club, around 300 shoppers in Dover town centre were persuaded to have a free blood pressure checkup on Saturday, 8 April.

Thanks to the annual project by Rotary, several people discovered that they had higher than average readings and were recommended to consult their GP.     (April 11, 2006)

Rotary members in Dover (photo: Gerry Costa)
Ready to encourage shoppers: Andrew Eberlein of Walmer
(South Foreland Rotary president elect) and David Benton
from St Margaret's (the current Rotary president).


Young people between 11 and 18 years of age are being invited to have their say on the services they use and would like to see in a district-wide survey. Forms for the first annual Dover District Youth Survey will be distributed through local schools, youth clubs and leisure centres. It's also possible to take part on-line by visiting the www.dover.gov.uk/youth website.     (April 7, 2006)



Revised plans for the redevelopment of the Campbells Garage site on the approach to Kingsdown village have been submitted to Dover Council planners. Anticipating strong interest by local residents, Walmer Parish Council's planning committee scheduled for 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18 April is moving (from the Parish Office) to the larger venue of Elizabeth House, St Mary's Road, Walmer. According to local protest group WAKEUP, individual comments on the plans need to be submitted to Dover planners by 14 April.   (April 7, 2006)



Walmer parish councillors have reluctantly decided to scrap plans for their lampost flower basket displays for the coming summer. The current drought and severe restrictions on the use of water seem certain to mean that they cannot be satisfactorily maintained. The Council's much larger roadside planters will be planted up with drought resistant plants and, as far as possible, kept going with the aid of "recycled" waste water.

Another casualty of the water shortage will be the "Walmer in Bloom" competition. The annual challenge to find the best floral displays by local householders and businesses has been cancelled for 2006.   (April 7, 2006)



Children can celebrate in traditional style by taking part in a popular Easter Egg Trail at Walmer Castle and Gardens over the Easter weekend. Clues will be hidden around the grounds and every child who finds them and cracks the Easter Egg Trail code will win a chocolate prize. There will be trails for two age groups: six-years-and-under and over-sevens.

Adults can enjoy a spring afternoon stroll around the herbaceous borders, the woodland walk and admire the working kitchen garden. A moat, grassed over since the 19th century is abundant with flowers of all kinds; and the Queen Mother’s Garden has a tranquil pool, clipped hedges and roses.

Times are: 10am-5pm daily, from Good Friday (14 April) to Bank Holiday Monday (17 April). Entry to the Easter Trail also allows admission to the castle. Admission is £6.20 for adults, £4.70 for concessions, £3.10 for children and a family ticket available at £15.50. English Heritage members admitted free. For further information, call: 01304 364288.



With the onset of the annual ritual of spring cleaning, there's a timely reminder that unwanted clutter needn't end up at the waste tip. It's very likely that many serviceable items are just what someone else wants! Something that over 270 local people have already discovered by signing up for the Dover area "Freecycle" website.

Organiser Paul Dawkins said the completely free service helps people to advertise items they wish to give away or ask for things they want. He explained: "There have been 60 new members since Christmas and a good flow of messages about items offered or sought. I reckon around eight out of ten 'unwanted' goods find new homes." There is certainly plenty of variety with offers and requests for everything from plant pots and compost bins to cars and computer parts!

The Freecycle idea started in America but has spread to many other countries including the UK where there are now dozens of voluntarily-run groups. It all relies on Internet bulletin boards covering specific areas - such as Dover, Deal, Walmer and the surrounding villages. People asking for the free service receive regular e-mails listing details of all new messages added to the bulletin board. And they can, of course, post their own messages for anything they'd like to offer or they require.

Paul says: "It's a good system for finding out 'who wants what'. And it certainly helps the environment by diverting tonnes of perfectly useable items away from dwindling landfill sites." To check out the local scheme, go to: Dover Freecycle Website.   (March 23, 2006)



Deal Area "Churches Together" are holding a "Dealing with Rubbish" clean-up on Deal beach on Saturday, 15 April (not Sunday, 16 April as previously advised). People can meet at the Baptist Church, Victoria Road, Deal at 9.30am or join in near the Pier. It is expected to take two-and-a-half hours but volunteers can give as much or little time as suits them. Bags, gloves and litter picking tongs will be provided.

Dover Council and their contractors SITA will supply two men to get under the Pier and handle any dangerous items. SITA will also arrange to collect the filled bags at the end of the morning. The Baptist Church is arranging post-event food (soup, rolls and beverages) at the Church at 12.20pm. For more information, contact John Wakeman on 01304 380763 or 07968 436462 or by      (March 15, 2006, updated March 23, 2006)



Walmer Parish Council is planning a second local community picnic on Walmer Green on Sunday, 3 September. Last year's event was hugely popular and this year's could be an even bigger draw with a concert featuring the Railway Swing Band on the Memorial Bandstand.

Local clubs and community groups are invited to join in and put on promotional displays in marquees provided by the council. It's a great opportunity to give out information about when and where they meet, what services or activities they provide and, not least, attract support and new members.

For details, contact the Parish Clerk on 01304 381506 or Places are limited, so apply now.      (March 10, 2006)

South Foreland Rotary President David Benton and his
members present their £1,100 cheque to Mrs Sheila Lloyd.
A colourful hand made quilt, showing
the Operation Sunshine activities.

A joint fund-raising effort by South Foreland Rotary Club and colleagues in the French Calais Risban Rotary has swelled the coffers of Folkestone-based charity Operation Sunshine by £1,100.

Sunshine chairman Mrs Sheila Lloyd, MBE, met Rotary members and spoke of the charity's work at a recently held cheque presentation. Sheila explained that Operation Sunshine is supported by churches all over Kent, Devon, France and Andorra as well as many other groups and individuals. It sends vital clothing, food, medical equipment, tools, sewing machines, blankets, soaps, toiletries and other necessities to Africa for those in need. As Sheila said, "the poorest of the poor; people who have nothing".

The Folkestone branch was started in 1984 by Sheila and, this season, has seen the 218th container despatched to Africa. At present they buy used containers which, once unpacked at their destination, are converted into medical training rooms for the local communities. For more information, see their web-site: www.operation-sunshine.org    (March 10, 2006)


English Heritage and Walmer Castle have come up with a novel idea for making mum a "Queen for a day" for Mother’s Day on Sunday, 26 March. They suggest a day out at Walmer Castle and Gardens (once home of Walmer’s most famous "mum", the Queen Mother) could be right royal treat.

They are putting on special Queen Mother afternoon teas in the Lord Warden’s Tea Rooms with homemade Dundee cake and shortbread on the menu in special recognition of her strong Scottish roots. Cost is £2.95 per head and the tea room is open until 3.30pm.

A beloved mother and grandmother, the Queen Mother stayed at Walmer Castle each year in her capacity as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The castle's reception rooms, used by the Queen Mother, will be on display just as she used them. Outside, the gardens feature a woodland walk, working kitchen garden and The Queen Mother’s Garden with spring flowers and its 95-foot long lily pond.

Walmer Castle is open 10am-4pm. Admission is £5.95 adults, £4.50 concessions, £3 children, £14.90 family ticket. For more information, call 01304 364288 or see the English Heritage website.      (March 10, 2006)



Users of Dover Council's concessionary bus passes will be able to travel free of charge on off-peak buses throughout Kent from Saturday, 1 April. Currently the passes provide half-price fares. Existing passes will qualify for the new free travel and only need to be changed when they reach their expiry date.   (March 5, 2006)



WalmerWeb would like to enlist the help of local historians in updating its information on Walmer's history. A recent addition to the history page is a list of significant dates. We are sure it can be improved! To provide information, please .   (March 5, 2006)


Walmer Parish Council has published its Design Statement for Walmer. The 40-page illustrated document outlines the historical development of the parish and the buildings and natural features that contribute to its character and even make it special. The report was adopted by Dover District Council in December and will be used as part of the process of deciding future local planning applications.

Copies of the Design Statement are available from the Walmer Parish Council office at 10 Victoria Road (1st floor), Deal, price £4.95 (or £6 by post). It is also on sale at: Deal Library; the Visitor Information Office in the Landmark Centre, High Street, Deal; Walmer News, The Strand, Walmer; Gillivers newsagents, Dover Road, Upper Walmer; and Walmer Post Office, Dover Road, Upper Walmer. It can also be seen online by clicking here. (The file may take several minutes to load into your web browser, so please be patient.)   (February 17, 2006)



Deal and Walmer Handelian Society and the Becker Ensemble will be performing G.F Handel's "Messiah" at St George's Church, Deal, on Friday 10 March at 7.30pm. Soloists are soprano Angela Giddins, alto Leoni Saint, bass Jolyon Dodgson and international tenor Nigel Rogers. Tickets are £8 (concessions £5); available at Biggs' Opticians, Deal, or on the door.   (February 16, 2006)



Men living with prostate cancer - and those who love and care for them - could find a newly formed branch of the Prostate Cancer Support Association, based in Canterbury, a valuable source of information and fellowship. An inaugural meeting took place at the end of January. Future meetings will be on the last Wednesday of each month. The next one is at 10.15am-12.15pm on 22 February in Conference Room 1+2 of the Canterbury Centre for Health and Clinical Sciences, Kent and Canterbury Hospital. For details, call Graham on 01304 364873 or Gerry on 01304 361574. Alternatively, just turn up at the meeting.   (February 2, 2006)



Police have warned householders to keep external doors secure following a series of "walk in" robberies from homes in the Deal area. Despite the properties being occupied at the time, the thieves took advantage of unlocked back doors to make off with a variety of goods and valuables.   (January 28, 2006)



Early work by Dover District Council planners on a Local Development Framework has sparked fears that close on 3,700 new homes might be built in the Walmer, Deal and Sandwich areas over the next 20 years. Proposals to consider greenfield sites on the southern edges of Walmer and Deal could have a serious impact on Walmer - with significant extra traffic needing to use the A258 Dover Road and new demands on local health and other public services.

Local planners have stressed that the Local Development Framework - a more comprehensive forward planning document that will supersede the current Local Plan - is at a very early stage. They say they hope to present options for the public to consider in March. This should enable the Framework proposals to be refined and open to further public consultation in January 2007.

For more information see www.dover.gov.uk/localplanreview/ on Dover Council's website.   (January 28, 2006)



Architects are being invited to submit ideas for a £480,000 facelift to the cafe at the end of Deal Pier. Details of a design competition, organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects for pier owners Dover Council, are available from the Institute on 0113 234 1335 or its website at www.ribacompetitions.com. Initial applications have to be in by 4pm on Wednesday, 15 February and the most promising entrants will be invited to draw up more detailed plans. It is hoped work on the new cafe will start in October.   (January 28, 2006)



Current major roadworks, started on Monday, 23 January, will mean delays and detours for drivers wanting to use the one-mile stretch of the A258 Dover-Deal road from the A2/Jubilee Way (Duke of York's) roundabout, past the Swingate Inn to the B2058 St Margaret's turnoff. Kent Highways say the works to repair and resurface the road are essential and are scheduled to take about six weeks.

Much of the work will be carried out at night on Mondays to Thursdays between 9pm and 6am when the road will be closed to traffic. Then, the main diversion route will be via the A2, A256 Dover-Sandwich road and A258 Sandwich-Deal road. It is anticipated local drivers may choose to use shorter routes through country lanes off the A258. During the daytime, traffic through the roadworks is likely to be subject to temporary traffic lights and severe speed restrictions. For more details, call Kent Highways on 0845 824 7800 (local rate).   (updated January 28, 2006)



The team of volunteers who regularly help conserve the public open space at Walmer's Hawkshill Common are looking for more people to help - mainly with scrub clearance. They meet at 10.30am in the car parking area on Liverpool Road (opposite Grams Road) on the first Sunday of each month throughout the year. Tools are provided but helpers need to provide their own refreshments and wear suitable clothing and stout shoes or boots. Call Stan Stockley on 01304 373304 for more details.   (updated January 15, 2006)



Walmer Parish Council is offering cash grants to local voluntary groups and organisations keen to offer new services, facilities or events. Up to 25% of the total cost can be given (with a maximum grant of £400). Applications MUST be received before the project has commenced. The next deadline for applications is Wednesday, 1 February 2006. For details of this and an alternative fund for larger capital projects of over £5000, contact the Parish Council Office on 01304 381506.   (January 6, 2006)



There's an opportunity for residents to see and comment on revised plans for redeveloping the Campbells Garage site at Kingsdown when Walmer Parish Council's planning committee meets on Tuesday, 10 January. The meeting in Elizabeth House, St Mary's Road, Walmer starts at 7pm. Having considered local views, the parish council will then submit its formal comments to Dover District Council planners.   (January 5, 2006)