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The Community Website for Walmer, near Deal, Kent

Local News Archive: July to December 2006
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The suggestion by a Deal town councillor to use the Borrow Pit parking area on Kingsdown Road, Walmer, for a "park and ride" scheme to Deal town centre has received a "thumbs down" from Walmer parish councillors. At a full meeting of the parish council on Wednesday 6 December, they agreed with local residents that the suggested site was unsuitable for a variety of reasons. They decided that a letter should be sent to the Joint Transportation Group recording the parish council's opposition to any such scheme.    (December 17, 2006)



A regular contributor of news and photos to WalmerWeb, local resident Gerry Costa now has a display of his extensive collection of old picture postcards matched with current views at a new artists' gallery in Deal.

Set up by photographer Elisabeth Sephton, The Studio at 4 St George's Passage, off the High Street, will be open from 10am until 5pm every Saturday before Christmas. Work can also be viewed most weekdays but visitors need to ring the bell downstairs or call 01304 371111.    (December 15, 2006)



Kent Police have launched a campaign to combat an increasing number of thefts of satellite navigation systems from cars. They are advising motorists to remove all valuables - including sat nav systems - when leaving their vehicle, even if only for a few minutes. The police suggest cleaning "telltale" suction marks from the windscreen if you have a portable sat nav and not hiding valuables in the vehicle. The boot or glove compartment are the first places thieves look.

People can also help if someone tries to sell them a second-hand sat nav system in unusual circumstances. Either by reporting what has happened with a call to a local police station or Police HQ on 01622 690 690 or to Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. The Kent Police website at www.kent.police.uk has more crime prevention information and details of local police stations.    (December 10, 2006)



A round-up of local services over the Christmas and New Year period....

The main council offices at Whitfield will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22 December to 9am on Tuesday 2 January.
The Deal and Sandwich area offices will close at 4.30pm on Friday 22 December, and reopen at 9am on Tuesday 2 January.
There is an emergency line over this period on 01304 821199.

All refuse and recycling collection days are "as normal" except:
Refuse and Black Box Recycling: No collections on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 December. (The two weeks' refuse and black box items will be taken on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 January respectively.)
Green Waste Recycling: There will be no collections between Saturday 23 December and Sunday 7 January inclusive. Collections restart Monday 8 January. Collection times may vary so please ensure waste is out for collection by 7am.

Deal Pier will be closed all day on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 December and Monday 1 January.
Other opening times over the holiday period are:
Saturday 23; Friday 29; and Saturday 30 December: 8am-12midnight;
Sundays 24 and 31 December: 8am-4pm;
Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 December: 8am-10pm; and
Tuesday 2 January: 8am-10pm.

For more details, see the Dover District Council website.  

The Dover and Tides leisure centres, run by Vista Leisure for Dover District Council, will operate as follows:
Sunday 24; Monday 25; Tuesday 26 and Sunday 31 December - closed;
Wednesday 27; Thursday 28; and Friday 29 December - open 8am-10pm;
Saturday 30 December - open 8am-12noon;
Monday 1 January - closed; and Tuesday 2 January - normal hours.

The Parish Office will be closed from 2.30pm on Friday 22 December to 9am on Tuesday 2 January.

There are no services by local bus operator, Stagecoach, on Monday 25 December (Christmas Day); Tuesday 26 December (Boxing Day); and - except for routes 10, 22A and 25A - on Monday 1 January (New Year’s Day).

Saturdays 23 and 30 December: normal Saturday service.
Sundays 24 and 31 December: normal Sunday service except for some changes to late services with all buses finishing by about 9pm.
Wednesday 27; Thursday 28; and Friday 29 December: normal Saturday service.
Tuesday 2 January: normal school holiday service.
Wednesday 3 January: normal school term timetable resumes.

For more information: 08702 433711 or see the company's website: www.stagecoachbus.com .

South Eastern Trains have no services on Monday 25 December (Christmas Day) and will operate modified services from Saturday 23 December to Monday 1 January inclusive. To check times, see the rail timetable website .

For parish church services at Christmas, see December's coming events.

Recommended final posting dates for Christmas:
UK 2nd class: Saturday 16 December
UK 1st class: Tuesday 19 December
UK parcels: Wednesday 13 December
Airmail for Western Europe: Wednesday 13 December
Airmail for USA and Canada: Monday 11 December
Airmail for rest of world: Friday 8 December.

(December 4, 2006)



Several local organisations have received a boost to their funds through the latest round of grants awarded by Walmer Parish Council. Blades Fencing Club get £100 to help with staging fencing sessions in Walmer. Local Scouts will receive £200 towards the costs of their next District Camp and new activities. Dover District Carers' Support Scheme have £100 towards new gardening tools and there's £300 for Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade to help with the cost of staging this year's Christmas Lights displays.

The next round of grants by the parish council is in February and local clubs and voluntary groups requiring details should contact the Parish Office.  (December 1, 2006)



Parish councillors will be on the look-out for the best festive displays by Walmer householders between 11 and 18 December. Lights and decorations need to be easily seen from the street and to make sure they are included in the judging process residents should contact the Parish Office right away.     (December 1, 2006)



Revived proposals by a Deal town councillor to develop a "park and ride" scheme between the Borrow Pit parking area on Kingsdown Road, Walmer, and Deal town centre have angered a number of residents near the seafront car park. They fear the extra traffic would seriously affect their quality of life. Walmer Parish Council - which has firmly opposed previous proposals for a scheme based on the Borrow Pit - is to discuss the matter at its meeting in the Sea Scout Hut (next to the Paddling Pool), Marine Road, Walmer on Wednesday 6 December at 7pm. The meeting is open to the public.    (December 1, 2006)


Two of the stars of Jack and the Beanstalk, this year's panto at The Marlow in Canterbury, came to Deal to switch on the Christmas Lights on Thursday (23 November). Shown here in Gerry Costa's photos of the ceremony, outside St George's Church in Deal High Street, are Amanda Barrie (from ITV's Coronation Street) and John Altman (from BBC-tv's Eastenders) together with Deal mayor Cllr Jim Cronk, and Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade president Cllr Pat Heath.  (November 26, 2006)

Members of the Deal Memorial Bandstand Trust are busy preparing for their fourth "Carols on the Bandstand" which takes place on Saturday 9 December. This year accompaniment will be provided by local former Royal Marines Band musicians and a choir of 50 children from Sandown Primary School. Hosted by the Vicar of Walmer, the Reverend Seth Cooper, and organised in conjunction with Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown Regatta Association, carols will be sung from 5.15pm to 6pm. Everyone is welcome for the free event and the organisers recommend bringing a torch for the free songsheets they will be providing.

The community carols are immediately followed by a Christmas Parade including visiting floats from East Kent beauty queens. Route of the procession is The Strand, Sondes Road, Beach Street, King Street, High Street and finishing at the car parks by the Landmark Centre.  (November 14, 2006)



Two local Rotary Club members - former president Robin Dodridge and treasurer Simon Ovenden - had "starring roles" on BBC television's "Countryfile" on Sunday 12 November. Some pictures from the programme, which strongly featured Dover, can be seen on the South Foreland Rotary website at www.rotary1120.org/southforeland/Club%20News.html (scroll down to ROTARIANS IN THE NEWS).  (November 14, 2006)


South Foreland Rotary Club members have just said farewell to one of their founder members, Jack Boyle, and welcomed new member Alaistair Lyons from St Margaret's.

Jack, who is moving to Wales, was for 30 years with the Merseyside Police and then Chief Officer of the Dover Port Police, until his retirement. Local community involvements include working with Dover Citizens Advice, managing the district census in 2000 and supporting several local charities.

Alaistair (seen here - on the right - with local Rotary president Andrew Eberlein) has been farming in St Margaret's for many years.  (November 14, 2006)

Andrew Eberlein (left) with new member Alaistair Lyons (photo: Gerry Costa)


East Kent Theatre Productions latest production - "David Copperfield" adapted by Ian Mullins from the novel by Charles Dickens - comes to the Astor Theatre, Stanhope Road, Deal on Wednesday 22 to Saturday 25 November. Performances are 7.15pm nightly with tickets available £8 in advance from Soundhouse, High Street, Deal ( 01304 381134) or the theatre’s Balcony Restaurant; or £9 at the door. Concession for parties of eight and school groups: £6.

Nathan Sewell of the East Kent Theatre group says Dickens was especially fond of the Copperfield novel, probably because the story is partly autobiographical. Ian Mullins’ adaptation draws in the story's unforgettable characters like the warm-hearted Peggottys, the eccentric Mr Micawber (forever hopeful that “something will turn up”) and the conniving, sinister, "‘umble" Uriah Heep. For more information, call 01304 361712 or 07852 295 367.  (November 14, 2006)

Dan Nicholls
Dan Nicholls stars asDavid Copperfield in East Kent Theatre Productions' latest venture.


There is free parking in Dover Council's carparks and on-street parking bays in Deal for three days in the run up to Christmas. Shoppers will be able park for nothing after 10am on Wednesday 20, Thursday 21 and Friday 22 December.  (November 7, 2006)



The official lighting up ceremony for Deal's Christmas lights is on Thursday, 23 November. Stars from this year's Canterbury Marlowe Theatre pantomime will switch on the town centre illuminations at 7.30pm.  (November 7, 2006)



Friday evening Discos for 11 to 14 year olds return to the Quarterdeck in Beach Street, Deal, starting on 17 November. Organised by the police and local authorities, the sessions are 7pm-10pm every Friday up to Christmas. Tickets are £3, available from Soundhose music shop in Deal High Street or on the door.  (November 7, 2006)



A joint fundraising effort by the Rotary Clubs of Calais Risban and South Foreland has raised £185 for the current Walmer Lifeboat 150th Anniversary Appeal. During a recent social weekend, held locally, the two clubs organised a raffle for Lifeboat funds and a tombola for one of their International projects.

The cheque will be presented to the local RNLI chairman during an open day at Walmer Lifeboat Station on Saturday, 21 October.  (October 20, 2006)

Rotary Clubs of Calais Risban and South
Foreland get together
(photo: Gerry Costa)


Walmer allotment holders who install guttering and waterbuts on their sheds will qualify for £30 off their tenancy fee for the coming year (2007). The parish council agreed to contribute towards the cost of the water saving measure at their September meeting. Contact the parish office for details.    (October 6, 2006)



Parish councillors have issued a reminder that it is important for local residents to report all incidents of crime to the police and obtain an incident number. This should then ensure that the statistics accurately reflect the level of crime in the area.    (October 6, 2006)



Dover District Council is now offering to help owners remove any graffiti that is daubed on boundary walls of their property. Until recently, the council has only dealt with public properties. To report problems, call 01304 872428 (option 4) or e-mail: waste-resources@dover.gov.uk.    (October 6, 2006)


The Royal Marines Band and Corps of Drums from Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth are presenting a special concert in the Winter Gardens, Margate, on Sunday, 5 November. The programme will have a traditional start with quick and slow marches featuring the Corps of Drums, followed by solo items from the musicians plus a balanced mixture of traditional and modern pieces.

This will be the third appearance of this band at the Winter Gardens. Their previous concert in 2004 was received with great acclaim by their many regular supporters. It will also be the 44th such concert presented by local company Cinque Port Music, founded in 1984 by two retiring Royal Marines Warrant Officer Bandmasters.

The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets are now on sale at £12, £13 and £14 and are available from Cinque Port Music by telephoning 01304 362181 and at the door on the night. However, the organiser warn that they expect not many seats will be left by 5 November as these concerts are always heavily subscribed.  (October 3, 2006)



A new organisation responsible for overseeing local health services comes into operation on Sunday, 1 October 2006. The Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust will be created by merging five existing primary care trusts (PCTs): Ashford PCT, Canterbury and Coastal PCT, East Kent Coastal Teaching PCT, Shepway PCT and Swale PCT. For more details, see the Kent and Medway Health website.  (September 28, 2006)



Chalet owners at Kingsdown Holiday Village are expressing fears at plans by the site owners, Colonial Homes (Europe) Ltd, to redevelop the holiday park. The company has submitted a planning application to Dover District Council to extend permitted use of the site from the current 37 weeks a year to 48 weeks.

The present users see this a first step in a major changes on the site in which their Scandinavian-style chalets would be replaced by brick-built apartments, townhouses and penthouses with a gymnasium, health spa, restaurant and 30/40 room hotel. Brief details of the company's proposals are featured on its website at www.colonialhomes.co.uk/.

The chalet users say the site should remain remain unchanged, providing "a quiet and unspoilt family holiday park" and are asking Kingsdown villagers to support them in objecting to the current planning application. More can be seen on the chalet users' own website at www.kingsdownpark.plus.com and their web log (blog) at http://colonialhomeskingsdown.blogspot.com/. Comments to Dover Council planners (referring to application no: DOV/06/01042) need to be with them by Friday, 13 October; in writing or by commenting on line at www.dover.gov.uk.   (September 25, 2006 - updated September 28, 2006)



New opening times at Deal Library come into operation on Monday, 25 September. The library in Broad Street will now open 9am-6pm Mondays-Fridays, 9am-5pm Saturdays and 9am-4pm Sundays.   (September 22, 2006)



Members of the South Foreland Rotary Club are supporting an international drive to provide wheelchairs for the disabled. Thanks to a barbecue in one of the rotarian's gardens in Hawksdown, Walmer, they have raised enough for the purchase of four wheelchairs through the Wheelchair Foundation UK. The charity supplies disabled people worldwide with new wheelchairs suitable for their environment.

The wheelchairs cost £100 and, for every £50 raised by rotarians, the Foundation contributes a matching sum. When the chairs arrive at their destination, rotarians or non-governmental-organisations ensure that the distribution is free and only to those in need.  (August 20, 2006)
  cheque presentation (photo: Gerry Costa)
South Foreland Rotary president
Andrew Eberlein presents a cheque to
Rotary district governor Norman Jones


Following their hugely succesful "debut" last year, 40 former Royal Marines bandsmen will gather at the Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green on Sunday, 27 August to present a second Old Comrades concert under the direction of former Corps Bandmaster Phil Hughes. It is completely free and starts at 2pm.

The concert is the brainchild of the bandstand’s PRO, Stephen Misson, also a retired bandmaster. He says: "There is a huge amount of musical talent in Deal, much of it inherited from the Royal Marines during their 132 years in the town. It seemed only natural to put this talent to good use.” The Old Comrades musicians play entirely without rehearsals which Stephen reckons will "prove that we can still perform as the Royal Marines trained us".

The Royal Naval School of Music moved to Deal in 1950, becoming the Royal Marines School of Music, and many musicians settled locally upon retirement. The bandstand was built as a memorial to eleven Royal Marines musicians who were killed by an IRA bomb in 1989.

Stephen added: “Last year’s concert was supposed to be a one-off event but the sheer amount of people that attended convinced us that this must become an annual event. We received many congratulatory telephone calls from the public which is almost in itself a unique happening. It is the anticipation of the unexpected – not knowing if it is all going to work – that creates an electric atmosphere with both the band and the audience. This will be amply demonstrated by our final item - Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture."    (August 17, 2006)



The Trustees of the Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust are inviting applications from churches in Kent for grants to help with repairs and maintenance. A total of £2.5million is available and will be split into a number of major awards ranging from £150,000 to £750,000.

The Trust has a long record of grant-giving in Kent with £6.8million awarded to churches and charities in the county over the past 10 years. The aim is to protect the heritage of Kent’s churches and help overcome the problem that few parishes can raise enough money to meet the cost of major repairs. Any Christian church, listed or un-listed, may apply, so long as it is formally constituted and located in Kent. Schemes must include a detailed project plan and be supported by a registered architect or chartered building surveyor.

The types of works that could qualify include repairs to foundations, walls, roofs, rainwater goods, drainage, internal surfaces, floors, stairs, landings, lightning conductors, doors and windows. Schemes that will NOT be considered are for new facilities, general redecoration, adaptations to toilets or kitchens and car parks.

Applications need to be submitted between 1 September and 30 November 2006 using the Trust website www.cfct.org.uk. Successful winners are due to be announced in March 2007. For more details, contact Jacqueline Rae by or call 020 8288 9101.    (August 12, 2006)



Regular WalmerWeb contributor Gerry Costa went along to the Deal Memorial Hospital fete on Saturday, 5 August and let us have the two photos below. He reports that it was a very busy with plenty of interesting stalls plus lots of visitors and entertainment. BBC Radio Kent presenter Pat Marsh opened the event. Money raised on the afternoon will help purchase new beds for patients.    (August 11, 2006)

Deal Hospital Fete 2006 (photo: Gerry Costa) Deal Hospital Fete 2006 (photo: Gerry Costa)
Good attendance: The busy scene at the Deal
Hospital Fete on Saturday, 5 August.
Gymnastics display: Deal Marine
Cadets entertain visitors to the fete.


Walmer Science College in Salisbury Road, Walmer has a new head teacher. He is Simon Heaton (42) who takes up the appointment following the retirement of Roger Cross, the school's head for the past 27 years. Mr Heaton is a graduate of the University of London, has taught in Brighton, Basildon and Margate and will be leaving his current role as head of Senacre Technology College in Maidstone to come to Walmer.    (August 6, 2006)



Nine years after the gates of the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal closed ending a relationship which had lasted 137 years, the Royal Marines Band are once again honouring their promise to return every year to present a concert at the Deal Memorial Bandstand.

The concert this year is on Sunday, 6 August at 2pm and is completely free. It will be conducted by the principal director of music Lt Col Chris Davis and Major John Kelly who lives in Walmer. The afternoon also includes a re-dedication service conducted by the bandstand’s chaplain the Reverend Frank Kent, a former warrant officer bandmaster who is a resident of Walmer and currently the rector of Eastry. The bandstand, which stands upon an ancient capstan mound on Walmer Green, was built as a memorial to 11 young musicians killed by an IRA bomb detonated in their locker rooms on 22 September 1989.

The annual Marines concert regularly attracts an audience in excess of 4,500. Seating is limited and people are being encouraged to bring their own. Parking on Walmer Green will be restricted to disabled drivers. For further information, call Stephen Misson on 01304 362181.   (July 27, 2006)



Members of The Guild Players have sent us some photos of rehearsals for their forthcoming comedy"The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society production of The Haunted Through Lounge and Recessed Dining Nook at Farndale Castle" by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr. It opens at The Kilshawe Theatre, St George's Hall, High Street, Deal on Thursday, 24 August, playing nightly at 7.30pm until Saturday the 26th. Tickets are £7 and you can call 0870 7700311 for advance booking.    (July 21, 2006)

Guild Players Rehearsing a seance
Guild Players in rehearsal Guild Players in rehearsal


Musicians from Deal's local Railway Swing Band recently staged an evening concert at the Pines Gardens in St Margaret's.

Walmer resident Rob Riddle went along with his camera and let WalmerWeb see the results, one of which is featured here.    (July 21, 2006)

Pines Gardens concert (photo: Rob Riddle)