Higham Parish Council

Annual Parish Newsletter and Reports 2007

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CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

Dear Friends,

I begin with two pieces of good news! School Lane has been re-surfaced and the Dickens signs are now in place on the roads leading to the village.

Looking back over the year, I have to report that the problem with vandalism continues. The Memorial Hall windows were covered in graffiti before the refurbishment paint had dried. Other acts of wilful damage followed. All villagers must have noticed a lack of Christmas lights around the centre of the village and Lower Higham. This decision was taken by the Councillors. There is really no point in paying for something that will simply be smashed soon after installation. The Merseyside police proposal to evict families harbouring young criminals is perhaps going too far for Higham, or is it? We are still plagued with dog excrement on the footpaths but we now have dog bins in place, so, hopefully, what dogs leave behind will find its way into the bins!

Large lorries continue to pose a problem as they pass through the village, as do the drivers who do not heed road signs, such as those out of  Hermitage Road and Forge Lane.

Our relief Community Warden, Sarah Port, who temporarily replaced Steve Enright, gave excellent service and we were sorry to see her go. We have now welcomed Steve Gray and hope he will be successful in the various responsibilities that he inherits. Alison Duffort, our Police Officer is on maternity leave and we welcome Kerri Mulrooney who having attended our last meeting, shows great promise.

On a very sad note, we were shocked by the sudden death of Councillor Colin Jupp who had been a member of the Parish Council for 12 years – a most loyal and hard working colleague, who will be sadly missed by us all. One of Colin’s last tasks for the village was to oversee the installation of the Dickens signs I mentioned earlier. The signs point to our heritage and form a fitting memorial to such a loyal Councillor. Our sincere sympathy goes to his wife Pat, daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.
 

We have also said goodbye to Sylvia Saunders who has left the village to be nearer to her family. Sylvia worked unstintingly on behalf of the Parish Council. She was responsible for initiating the youth club and was one of our representatives on the Kent Association of Parish Councils.

This year is Parish Council election year. Dougall Goring, a member for many years, has decided not to seek re-election. Dougall’s particular interests have been the Memorial Hall, the multi-purpose games area and the Recreation Ground. It would be impossible to guess the hours of physical DIY work he has put in for the benefit of us all. To him and to Sylvia I say a heart-felt thank you.

I am sure that Sylvia and Members of the Parish Council will be saddened to learn that we have received the resignation of Barrie Howes, who has been the Youth Leader at the Higham Youth Club for the past five years and who has worked tirelessly for the Youth in this village. We thank him for his dedication and wonderful leadership skills during this time.

I must also thank all the Members of the Council, particularly Linda our Clerk. As a team we have pulled together well.

I hope to meet many of you at the Parish Assembly on 19 April 2007. In the meantime alluding to John F Kennedy, please do not only ask what the village can do for you, but together we should all seek ways of doing what is right for our village.
 

My best wishes to you all,

 

Jennifer

 

FROM THE PARISH CLERK

 

photograph of new play equipment sponsored by Strood Rotary Club

The Parish Council is once again most grateful for the grant aid that it has received during the past year. The front cover of this newsletter shows the new play equipment in the Recreation Ground generously provided by Strood Rotary Club. In addition, another elderly bus shelter has been replaced in Lower Higham with 50% funding from the KCC Rural Shelter Grant. Fencing improvement works to Higham Pavilion have been made possible by donations from the County Council Community Wardens’ budget, organised by Relief Warden Sarah Port, and a most generous Member’s Grant from Councillor Mike Snelling, County Councillor. Our grateful thanks are extended to them all.

Did you attend our Assembly in 2006? If not, make a note of this year’s date and make sure you come along for an excellent evening’s entertainment with refreshments!
 

Linda Carnall

Parish Clerk

 

 

DATES FOR PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS – 2007

at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall on:

Thursday, 19 April

Monday, 14 May

Monday, 2 July

Monday, 10 September

Monday, 8 October

Monday, 12 November

Monday, 26 November

ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY.

Annual Parish Council meeting with parish Council meeting after Elections.

 

 

 

Budget and Finance meeting only.

Christmas meeting with the Mayor of Gravesham.

 

Members of the public are welcome to all meetings.

 

 

 

SIMPLIFIED DRAFT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2006/2007

INCOME

£

EXPENDITURE

£

Balance B/Fwd

13,753.85

Recreation Ground etc

500.00

Precept 2006/2007

22,949.33

Administration Expenses

 5,893.29

Allotment Rents

491.50

Allotments

27.35

Other Receipts

2,672.24

Miscellaneous Expenses, (including Pavilion insurance)

 

 

14,033.26

Flexi A/C Interest

120.34

Subscriptions and Fees

920.85

National Savings Investment a/c Interest

 

17.47

Clerk's Salary and Expenses for provision of office

 

 

5,863.00

VAT Reclaim

2,345.99

VAT paid

2,418.89

Grants received

3,785.00

Grants made

1,115.00

 

 

 

 

 

£46,135.72

 

£30,771.64

BALANCES IN HAND AS AT 31.3.2007

 

 

£

£

TSB Current Account

5,224.68

 

 

TSB Flexi Account

9,554.02

 

 

National Savings Investment Account

 

584.84

 

 

TSB Special Projects Account

 

1.00

 

 

 

£15,364.08

 

£15,364.08

 

 

 

£46,135.72

The balance carried forward reflects the unused general and specific contingency funds, as well as funds for work carried out, and for which invoices are still awaited.

A copy of the audited accounts for the financial year ended 31.3.06 is available for public inspection in Higham Library.

 

HIGHAM GARDENS FOR PLEASURE COMPETITION 2006

This is an annual competition organised by Higham Parish Council and judged on our behalf by Morton Grey, retired local government horticultural expert. There are no entry forms for Parishioners to complete as every front garden in the village is considered when the judges tour the Parish looking for gardens that give the passer-by the most visual pleasure. In reaching a final decision the judges award points for colour, choice of plants and cultivation, and the overall design of the garden.

 

Last year marked the 22 nd anniversary of the competition and the following prize-winners received their awards from the Chairman of Higham Parish Council, Councillor Jennifer Papadopulos, at a presentation before the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday, 11 September 2006.


FIRST PRIZE (Silver Rose Bowl Trophy/Garden Gift Token/framed certificate)
Mr and Mrs T. Greenshields – ‘Courtlands', Crutches Lane .


SECOND PRIZE
(Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)
Mrs G. Stowers – 42 St. John's Road .

THIRD PRIZE (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)
Mr and Mrs F. Waterhouse – 14 St. John's Close.

HIGHLY COMMENDED (Framed certificate)
Victor Message and Jennifer Stopher – 2 Martins Close.

Ann Bigwood – 72 Forge Lane.

'BEST HANGING BASKET AND CONTAINERS' (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)
Mr and Mrs J. Leach – 32 Telegraph Hill.

MOST COLOURFUL PUBLIC HOUSE WITHIN HIGHAM (Framed certificate)
The Three Crutches Public House.


Linda Carnall

TOUR DE FRANCE 2007

 

On Sunday, 8 July 2007 history will be made as the Tour de France competitors travel at high speed through the village on the A226, en route between London and Canterbury on the first stage of this year's competition. Yes, the world's biggest annual sporting event, every bit the equal of the World Cup or Olympic Games will be coming to Higham!

 

We have been warned that there will be an entourage of 4,800 people and a cavalcade of over 2,000 vehicles at any one time and during the Tour 2,300 accredited journalists and 1,200 photographers, cameramen and television directors will transmit live coverage of the race to an estimated two billion viewers on 78 television channels in 190 countries. PHEW!!

 

Further details of the timings have yet to be confirmed but we understand that the A226 will be closed to traffic several hours before the event and local diversions set in place. The publicity caravan, travelling along the same route as the riders, will clear the way as they approach and will arrive at the finish exactly one hour before the race.

 

It is expected that large numbers will turn out to watch the race as it enters the village. Further details will be posted on our website and in the local press as soon as they are available. Early indications are that the whole cavalcade will pass through the village between 10.30am and 12 noon.

 

Linda Carnall

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

 

Once again, may I ask that you let me know of any special birthdays – 90s/100s or special wedding anniversaries, 50 th /60 th . Your Parish Council would like to acknowledge these events in the community.

 

Pat Oakeshott

KENT ASSOCIATION OF PARISH COUNCILS

(KAPC)

Higham Parish Council continues to subscribe to the KAPC ensuring that information and procedures on law and best practice are always available. The Parish Clerk makes good use of this service throughout the year.

Two members of the Parish Council are elected to the Gravesham Area Committee of the KAPC. Two members of this committee are elected to the KAPC Executive Committee, where comments from all Parishes in Kent are discussed and forwarded to the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) or appropriate government department.

Further information about the KAPC can be found on their web site: www.kapc.org.uk

Sylvia Saunders

KENTCARSHARE IN YOUR PARISH

 

Carsharing is when two or more people share a car journey to get to the same place. Kentcarshare, run by Kent County Council, is a FREE internet based service available to everyone in Kent . It links drivers and passengers who make similar journeys, online and encourages them to share a vehicle. You do not have to be a car driver or even own a car to use this service.

 

Register your journey details at:

www.kent.gov.uk/carshare

 

and

 SHARE YOUR CAR - SHARE YOUR COSTS

 

PLANNING

Every year a lot of time is spent going to see the over 60 planning applications which come into the village. Most of them are for extensions or small building works, but each is checked to make sure that nothing threatens your privacy or is felt to be unsuitable in Higham.

 

Several applications for major works have been passed, against the advice of the Parish and we have fought against an appeal but, regretfully, lost.

 

If you have any complaints or planning objections, I am always happy to hear from you.

 

Pat Oakeshott

RURAL HOUSING

By now you will have seen the developments at the bottom of School Lane, which will result in seven houses and two flats for the benefit of our young families in the village. Four houses will be to rent, as will the flats and three houses will be for ‘Buy to Rent'.

 

I am still looking for a small piece of land for a few more houses and/or a larger piece of land for a sheltered housing unit in the village (another Merston Court for our elderly residents).

 

Pat Oakeshott

WASTE /RECYLING

 

Thank you all for your valiant efforts to improve the village recycling rate. We are now up to 23% (this does not include glass, which it is impossible to evaluate), which is very good compared to other areas. Please carry on and hopefully we can do better next year. Our thanks to Pat and Kevin at the Village Dry Cleaners for keeping the spare white bags.

 

Pat Oakeshott

KCC COMMUNITY WARDEN

 

My name is Steve Gray and as of 21 November 2006 I have been deployed to the Parishes of Higham and Chalk as a member of the Kent Community Safety Partnership, whose aims are:

 

1)   To provide a reassuring conspicuous presence.

 

2)   To address and hopefully successfully tackle low level crimes such as Anti-Social Behaviour, Vandalism, Graffiti, Fly Tipping and Abandoned Cars.
3)   To promote community solidarity and assist and enable the Community to solve local problems.
4)   To provide information and advice on County Council, Local District Councils and other Public Services.
 
5)   To act as eyes and ears for other Agencies.

In addition to the above aims which are on-going it is my hope in 2007 that I can work closely with the various Neighbourhood Watch representatives in Higham to try and establish a more cohesive network within the Parish.

 

It is only through us all working together that we can achieve these aims.

 

I can be reached or messages left on:

 

Mobile : 07811 271256

  

Steve Gray

KCC Community Warden

KENT POLICE

This year has been a very successful year for North Kent Police. We are now one of the top areas for performance in Kent . On a more local level, residents will be pleased to know that this last year has also seen a drop in the local crime levels for Higham. For those with access to the Internet, these figures are available on our website www.kent.police.uk/ along with other information.

 

I am also pleased to advise that we are expecting to appoint a Police Community Support Officer to Higham in the first part of this year. This is very good news as this Officer will be specific to Higham. By the time of publication I will have changed roles but you can contact my successor on the same telephone number and you will be able to find their details on the website above.

 

Although we have suffered less anti-social behaviour recently I would urge residents to continue to report any incidences of, no matter how minor, to either the local Police Officer or Steve Gray, the KCC warden. In this way we can target our patrols to areas of concern.

 

WPC Alison Duffort         

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

First and foremost, I would like to introduce myself. I am Kerri Mulrooney and am your new local Police Officer. I have taken over this role from
PC Alison Duffort. I have been in post since 1 February 2007. I am enjoying my new role immensely. I have been a Police Officer for nearly six years and have spent all of my service at North Kent . The area I now cover includes Higham, Shorne, Istead Rise and Cobham. As you can see this presents some geographical problems for me so I will not often be seen walking around Higham. However, I do have a marked police car at my disposal, which allows me to complete my daily tasks and respond to the needs of the community. I am in close contact with my colleague, KCC warden Steve Gray and together we will endeavour to do all we can to help you with any issues you may have.

The past year for North Kent Police has been very successful and we are one of the top performing areas throughout Kent for detecting crimes. Higham itself has a low crime rate and this is something I intend to keep. Crime rates for all of Kent are regularly updated on the Kent Police website, www.kent.police.uk/ which is available for everyone. For those who do not have access to the Internet, I will be giving the Parish Council monthly updates on the local crime figures that can be passed on to all who want them.

 

I understand that a big problem for some residents of Higham is nuisance motorbikes that are often seen riding in a dangerous and unsuitable way. This is a problem that I am looking into already and will be running an operation to try and catch some of the offenders. We have powers to seize and destroy bikes that are being ridden illegally and we will enforce these powers. If residents are unsure of the law relating to bikes then please contact me and I shall inform you of the up to date legislation, especially in relation to the ‘mini motorbikes'.

 

I am happy to report that from May 2007, Higham will be getting a dedicated Police Community Support Officer. This, I hope, will give the residents more reassurance and more access to talk to someone about any issues they have.

 

I would like to thank all people that support Kent Police by reporting incidents and helping us by sharing information with us. It is only through working together that we can deal with crimes and improve the quality of life for all residents.

 

I look forward to meeting you all soon. However, please feel free to contact me should you feel the need. Any messages left for me will be dealt with as soon as I can.

 

Telephone: 01474 812208

Mobile : 07800 675306

E-Mail: kerri.mulrooney@kent.pnn.police.uk

 

Anyone requiring immediate Police attendance should always call Gravesend Police on 01474 331055 and if urgent 999.

 

PC Kerri Mulrooney

RIGHTS OF WAY

I am pleased to report that all the rights of way in the parish are usable and way marked. In the past month my husband and I have walked all the rights of way. There are about 12 miles in the Parish. All the clearance work requested by the Parish has been done by Kent County Council. The Parish has had steps repaired/replaced in Taylors Lane, Lower Rochester Road and Hermitage Road and have also had some new steps put in by Station house.

 

You may have noticed a few new wooden way marking posts. These will replace the old metal ones. The whole of Shorne Parish has been done and the Rights of Way Officer informs me that, as money becomes available, the whole of Gravesham will be done.

 

I hope you have another pleasant year exploring the rights of way in the Parish.

 

Anne Waugh

PARISH ALLOTMENTS

 

I have to report that we have a waiting list for vacant plots for our Parish Council Allotments. This very pleasing situation is due to a number of factors and reflects many areas of the country where demand outstrips the supply of plots available, although of little comfort to those of you on the waiting list.

 

There is the challenge to grow your own fruit and vegetables without contributing to the food-miles. We are all becoming more sensitive to the need for locally produced seasonal food and what better than growing your own and helping the environment too. Also, there is the exercise and

improvement of individual lifestyle involved in the working of plots and I know that there has been some exceedingly hard work put into the Parish allotments.

 

If you would like to have your name added to the waiting list for a Parish Allotment, please contact the Parish Clerk.

 

Happy Gardening

 

Alan Howard

 

DICKENS COUNTRY PROTECTION SOCIETY

The Society is continuing to work to try to improve and protect the area. We still meet every two weeks and regularly monitor the planning applications in Gravesham and Medway. Our two major concerns at the moment are the projected Lower Thames Crossing which could be an engine for developing the area, and the Barker report which poses a serious threat to the Green Belt. With the congestion we experience every day the Society acknowledges there may be a need for a Lower Thames Crossing but we do not recognise a need for development.

 

Ms Barker, who is an economist, was given the brief to look at ways of increasing the housing stock. Her answer, in part, is to increase the land supply, which if her recommendations are accepted, is likely to put pressure on the Green Belt. In the Society's view, the Green Belt between Gravesend and the Medway towns is strategically important and we must fight to protect it. Without it we could have continuous development from London to Rainham and beyond. The Society's worry is that developers appear to have the ear of Government and environmental concerns are in danger of being disregarded.

 

On a lighter note, the Society held a successful Barn Dance at Buckland Farm last year and we are looking forward to another this year. You may bump into us at some point in the summer since we are planning to have a stand travelling around some of the Village events.

 

Robin Theobald, Chairman

 

HIGHCLIFFE MEDICAL PRACTICE

 

The highlight for 2006 was the award of an MBE to Dr Grace in the Birthday Honours List for services to Healthcare. I am sure you will join me in congratulating Dr Grace on this wonderful and very well deserved achievement.

 

In June we took delivery of two Defibrillators which were partially paid for from the very generous donations of patients and friends to our Heartsave Fund. The remainder of the payment was made by the British Heart Foundation. Mick Troth from the Ambulance Service came to the surgery in June to train everyone in the use of the defibrillators and we were also trained on Basic Life Support. Dr Grace attended both Higham and Cliffe Parish Council meetings to tell everyone about the defibrillators and to ask for volunteers to be Responders. We had a good response and the names of the people willing to become responders have been given to the Ambulance Service who organise training. As we still have money left in the Heartsave Fund, we have decided to continue fund-raising to try to purchase a stair lift. I would like to thank everyone who is continuing to donate books as this has proved to be a very popular way of fund-raising.

 

We continue to operate the new system of booking hospital appointments which is called Choose and Book. It would appear that in some hospital specialities, appointments are becoming available more quickly than before we used this system.

 

We have had some staffing changes over the year. Dr Myo left us at the end of June and we would like to thank him for the contribution which he made to the care of patients at both Higham and Cliffe. We wish him well for his future career. In October Dr Markwick became a Partner in the Practice. Dr Stone will complete her registrar training at the beginning of February and I am pleased to be able to tell you that she will be staying with the Practice on a part-time basis. Dr Mahil, our new registrar, started at the beginning of December and in February Dr Bolina will also be starting his registrar year with us. We welcome them both to the Practice.

We now have a member of staff who has been trained by the Wisdom Hospice for Bereavement Counselling. If you feel that you would benefit from this service, please ask one of the doctors or receptionists for details.

 

Isobel Meredith, Practice Manager

 

HIGHAM MEMORIAL HALL

 

Huzzar and double huzzar, the main refurbishment to your village hall has finally come to fruition. Not withstanding a few mishaps and horrendous misfortunes, we are there! Everyone that uses the hall has said what a great improvement it is. Locking the gates seems to be working quite well, as it does keep the n'er-do-wells from the car park thus cutting down on potential damage.

 

Now we start all over again trying to raise more money for new chairs and other bits and bobs, also the flat roof above the storeroom needs replacing. It is Higham's equivalent to the Forth Bridge only it's got windows! And no the heating will not be changing, the system that is in place is the most efficient for the size and use of the hall, so please no more suggestions about replacing the heating!

 

We have had to put the hiring fees up this year but there has been no increase since 2000. We will do a price review every year.

 

We are still desperate for a secretary to help out on the committee: it will involve attending one meeting a month to take the minutes and send the occasional letter, nothing too arduous and I can guarantee that you will enjoy the experience. Just ask Eric!

 

Don't forget the boot fairs on the 2nd Sunday in the month.

 

To finish off, as always, a big thank you to all the unsung heroes that keep the hall going, you know who you are, I just wish the village realised how much work you put in to keep their hall open.

 

Keith Bradley, Chairman

 

THE PARISH CHURCH OF S. JOHN

Diocese of Rochester in the Church of England

 

Due to CCTV cover in the building S. John's continues to remain open every day (from about 9am-7pm) for meditation, quiet, private prayer as well as three daily acts of public worship.

 

After 18 months of fund-raising the £12,000 needed to repair the huge stained glass window at the west end of the Church has been raised and the work began in January 2007. We continue to raise an equal amount to repair the Organ. About 80% of this has already been raised.

 

In May the Bishop was with us for a very happy celebration of Confirmation and First Reception of Holy Communions.

 

The former Parish Church of S. Mary, Lower Higham , was used again four times for worship in 2006 and will, if possible, be used four times in 2007. Please look in the Church Magazine for details as work will be undertaken there in the summer by the Trustees.

 

Christmas Eve saw the largest congregation ever for the Crib Service. We do have children's work going on throughout the year. Our Toddler Group meets on 1 st and 3 rd Wednesday of each month from noon to 2pm. A Junior Church (sort of Sunday School) meets on Sunday mornings –unaccompanied school age children may be left with a Leader before the 9.30am Service and be collected afterwards. The 11+ age group meets twice monthly on Sunday evenings from 7.15pm. More details on all of these children's activities from the Vicarage.

 

In the autumn we signed up to the diocesan pledge to use only Fairtrade teas and coffees as Church refreshments.

 

If you are thinking of joining us for worship but have a hearing, sight or mobility problem please be aware of some of the ways we can help. We have a loop system and we also provide large print books and sheets. There are access ramps for wheel chair users or those with walking problems.

This year we also hope to have specially designed handles attached to the walls of the main door to aid those who may find the steps into Church difficult.

 

Details of any aspect of S. John's worship or other activities can be obtained from the Vicar of Higham - Fr. James Southward, telephone 01634 717360.

 

Father James Southward

 

HIGHAM CHAPEL

 

The past 12 months at Higham Chapel have seen a concerted effort to maintain our role in the community. As in recent years, from April to September, coffee mornings were held once a month, which were open to all. It is hoped that these will continue. The proceeds from these were given to charities – Demelza House, Wisdom Hospice and the Kent Air Ambulance amongst others.

 

The special services held in December were well supported. They included a popular annual visit from the Gravesend Corps of the Salvation Army Band, and a Gift Sunday in support of London City Mission.

 

During the year, too, Easter service was followed by hot-cross buns and beverages, an opportunity to get together. Harvest produce was given for distribution by the London City Mission, and speakers came from well known missions.

 

All in all, a year devoted to service, in the wider world, and the local community. All of you in Higham are invited to share with us, the work that has been going on at our chapel since 1821, a total of 186 years. For it to continue, we need your support and encouragement. Come along and meet us, you are welcome.

 

Peter Christopher

Leader

Telephone: 01634 362939

SHAVES' CHARITY

 

The Trustees received seven individual applications and agreed to distribute all of the Trust's annual income, resulting in payments of £50 each. The distribution was made by Councillor Waugh. The trustees remain the same: Father James Southward; Mrs Kate Haselden; Councillor Anne Waugh and Mr Les Baker.

 

Les Baker

* * * * * * * * * *

 

SHAVES' CHARITY

 

2005 was the 250 th anniversary of the commencement of Shaves Charity. Thomas Shave gave by will, in 1655, ‘two dozen of bread to the poor of this Parish, to be disposed of every Sunday'; for which purpose he settled the Sun-House, with the yard, and ‘three acres and three roods of lane, now vested in the minister and church wardens, foeffees in trust, and the annual produce of £7.'

 

Another local charity to benefit Higham is as follows: ‘This Parish of Higham has a right of nomination to one place in the New College of Cobham, for one person, inhabitant of this parish, to be chosen and presented to so, and by such as the ordinances of the college have power to present and elect for this parish; and if the parish of Halling make default in their turn; then the benefit of election devolves to this parish.'

 

Shaves Charity continues to this day and the needy of Higham receive money at Christmas to assist them at this expensive time of year.

 

Malcolm L James

FATHER CHRISTMAS VISITS HIGHAM

 

Father Christmas was taken around the village in a 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and, as usual, stopped off at Higham Primary School to make sure the children had been good! He then returned to his Grotto at Hunt Equestrian, Buckland Farm, and waited for the children to visit him. Tea, coffee and biscuits were served to the parents and each child who visited the Grotto left with a small gift. This year Father Christmas had over 110 visitors.

 

Sadly the horses and carriages, supplied free of charge to take Father Christmas around the village as in previous years, were not available due to the sudden death of the proprietor, Jane Cox. A family friend, Ivor Odds, stepped in with the offer of a Rolls Royce to take Father Christmas around the village, and a collection raised £140 for Arthritis Care in memory of Jane.

 

Mel Taylor, Hunt Equestrian

 

The Parish is very appreciative of the annual visit of Father Christmas to his Grotto at Buckland Farm and such community spirit by Hunt Equestrian is welcomed by us all.

 

Pat Oakeshott

 

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN THE VILLAGE

 

Several complaints were received that the village had no Christmas decorations and, consequently, looked very dull and uncared for.

 

Your Parish Council took a deliberate decision not to pay for Christmas lights, due to the excessive vandalism the previous Christmas when the lights only lasted two days. Festive lighting in the village (lights, trees and decorations) costs approximately £600 and your Parish Council did not feel able to spend your money if, once again, the vandals struck.

 

I would be happy to receive your comments concerning Christmas lights – it is your village!

 

Pat Oakeshott

 

HIGHAM LIBRARY

 

Higham Library will be celebrating its 20th anniversary during 2007. The new building was officially opened on 13 May 1987 and replaced the weekly mobile library service. The library is a very popular service in the village and a focal point for the local community. Over 17,000 items were issued last year.

 

Many regular activities are held in the library and these include:

 

Rhyme Time for pre-school children, every fortnight starting on Friday 12 January, between 9.30-10am. Children, parents and carers are welcome to join in the fun, by singing and playing along, with our instruments, to their favourite rhymes.

 

Higham Writing Group meets every Monday morning at 10am led by Denise Leppard. There is currently a waiting list for this group, please contact the library if you are interested in joining.

 

Coffee & Chat Group meets every third Tuesday in the month at 2.30pm for an informal discussion about books and occasionally a speaker is invited along too.

 

The library started an after school Homework Club on Thursdays, which began in February. If you would be interested in volunteering to help run this, please contact Glynis Selby at the library.

 

There will be a number of events taking place in 2007 to celebrate our anniversary. These will include a Guided walk around Higham, led by Christoph Bull, on Sunday 13 May, starting and ending at the library.  Also a Community Day, on 27 July . This event was held last year for the first time and was such a great success, that it will be repeated. There will be displays and stalls representing various village organisations, face painting, refreshments and a book sale.

 

Since October 2006 the library is now open every day as follows:

Monday

9am -1pm

Tuesday

2 - 5.30pm

Wednesday

9am - 1pm

Thursday

2 - 5.30pm

Friday

9am -1pm

Saturday

10am - 2pm

Telephone: 01474 823822 for further details of events and services, or to renew items on loan, or e mail highamlibrary@kent.gov.uk

 

Zoë Gray

Senior Community Librarian

 

HIGHAM RECREATION GROUND

 

We are still continuing the never ending task of maintaining the Recreation Ground as a lovely area for everybody to enjoy. You will recall that Gravesham had, very kindly, donated two picnic tables to the Recreation Ground. Well one of these tables has been completely burnt by vandals and, at present, the Parish Council does not have sufficient funds to purchase a replacement. However the two old picnic tables over by the swings have been refurbished and, although covered in graffiti, are back in use.

 

On the plus side, with sincere thanks to Strood Rotary for a very generous donation, we have been able to purchase a junior slide for the little ones to use and this has been placed inside the arc of the Adventure Trail. (Please see photograph earlier.)

 

Hopefully this year we will make a start at repairing the boundary fence and making some improvements to the surface area under the main swings.

 

Finally, once again, our thanks go to Gravesham for keeping the grass well cut, not just on the main field but also round the Adventure Trail and the
multi-purpose game courts.

 

Dougall Goring

 

STARTRITE KINDERGARTEN

 

StartRite Kindergarten had a very successful year last year. We made a successful application to Kent County Council for community funds. The funds were used to purchase three steel doors to secure the building and to enable us to start redecorating and replenishing the Kindergarten after the dreadful vandalism. The Kindergarten has also benefited from the installation of a new kitchen.

 

Our most recent success was the most important one for the group in terms of safety, peace of mind, and in terms of improving our childcare service.

 

Our ex-Community Warden, Sarah Port , worked tirelessly with us and managed to secure a community grant for the group to contribute towards the cost of palisade fencing that would encompass the building and provide the children with a safe and secure outside space. Combined with the Parish Council, money from Mike Snelling (private KCC Members Fund) and myself we have now raised all the funds required for this exciting project. Installation took place at the end of March.

 

The children had a busy time and as a result of a sponsored Easter Hunt raised an enormous £1,100!!! This money will be used to develop the outside area for the children, in the form of a sensory garden, once the fencing is in place.

 

We continue to operate in the Pavilion building on the recreation ground Monday-Friday 9am – 3.15pm and use the Memorial Hall on a Thursday and Friday.

 

We offer a friendly, quality childcare service. We promote children's opportunities to develop and learn through a balance of structured activities and play.

 

For more enquiries please contact Suzanne Green on 07813 705136 or, alternatively, drop in and visit us in action.

 

Suzanne Green

 

HIGHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL

 

2006 was another busy year for Higham Primary. Our Year 6 pupils said goodbye with a wonderful production of ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream'. They have now all moved happily on to an array of secondary schools in Gravesham and Medway. In September we welcomed a new intake of
40 reception children.

 

Throughout the year our house system has continued to be successful with the children enthusiastically working hard to support their house team. Our Year 6 children elected four new house captains and four new vice house captains who have settled into their roles with renewed vigour and a proud sense of responsibility.

 

From within the staff our new site manager, Mr Shaun Walton, was appointed and he has transformed areas of the school through his hard work and dedication since his arrival. In September we welcomed Mrs Jerushah Jardine to our teaching team and she has settled in well taking up her new role with enthusiasm and energy. We are looking forward to welcoming Mr Pip Harris back onto the staff team.

 

As in previous years the school has been well supported by parents and staff through our dedicated PTA who work very hard to raise much-needed additional funds for the school.

 

Throughout 2006 our enthusiastic and dedicated school teams have taken part in various sporting challenges both within and outside of school. Trips, visiting speakers, workshops and theatre groups enhance the curriculum and these take place regularly. The good behaviour of the pupils is regularly commented upon and this makes us very proud of the children and the way in which they represent themselves, the school and the village of Higham of which we are an integral part. As in previous years we held our annual Easter and Christmas services at St John's Church where the school's choir played an important role in the presentation of the services. Our annual residential visit to Rippledown House took place in April last year. Here pupils take part in practical environmental studies and they have the opportunity to develop their social, personal and safety skills.

 

Mrs S Greenfield, Headteacher and Mrs C Grattan, Deputy Headteacher

 

GOVERNORS OF HIGHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL

 

2006 has been an eventful year for Higham Primary School .

 

As with most schools, we are experiencing falling rolls, although our intake into the Reception classes this year was oversubscribed! With the agreement of the Local Authority, we are working towards having one class for each year group, as against split year groups, as we have at present. Notwithstanding the extra effort that teaching staff have to put into their lessons due to the split classes, the outcome has been a tremendous ‘Value added figure' of 100.4 from the end of Key Stage 1 to the end of Key Stage 2. This means that the outcome of the results of the progress made by the children at the end of their time at Higham (ie before going onto Secondary school) has been greater than average, placing the school in the top 30% of schools in the UK.

 

Additional professional help has been available from the Local Authority. This very valuable guidance has helped the school towards the achieving of its aims of providing an excellent education for all children covering all abilities and for preparing them for their future.

 

The link between the Parish Council and the School has become more active and Councillors have been welcomed to attend several events at the School. It is a community school, in the heart of the village and so the involvement of villagers whether they have children at the school or not, is always very welcome. The support of the PTA in funding extra items is invaluable.

 

Our thanks to the hard work of all the staff needs to be noted here.

 

Malcolm L James

Chair of Governors

 

HIGHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL

PARENTS TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

 

A big Thank You goes out to all the Community, Family and Friends of the school for their continued support to our fund-raising events. Once again, I am pleased to report that the PTA have yet again had another successful year of fund-raising. Last Summer we purchased ten solid wood picnic tables and benches for the children to relax in their breaks. We have assisted the school with Broadband, made numerous purchases for the ICT Suite, provided the children with class presents, Digital Cameras, DVD Players and are currently on a five year programme to aid the school equip each class with the latest technology by means of Interactive White Boards.

 

The Summer Fayre held in June was a glorious day with record attendance and the Christmas Fayre, despite being held much earlier last year, was once again a record breaker. In addition to the Fayres, our childrens' discos remained as popular and well-supported as ever and our twice-yearly Bag2School is proving to be better and better each time. The driver who collects now knows that a small van is not big enough for our collections and cannot have a double booking on the same van. So, keep clearing all your clutter. Two dates for this year have yet to be arranged but will be after Easter and after the first Autumn Break in November – so hold on to those unwanted clothes, bags, blankets and shoes, etc. and; look out for the dates which will be notified. Help the Third World .

 

Everyone has again helped tirelessly this year but new blood will always be welcome to give fresh new ideas and also to help spread out the hard work. Finally, once again, I thank everyone for their help and support.

 

Leslie Pearton

Chair

Telephone: 01474 822080

 

GAD'S HILL SCHOOL

 

This year has seen two remarkable changes in the way we educate our children here at Gad's Hill school. Self assessment, to raise academic standards and a Combined Cadet Force to develop our children's life skills, maturity, sense of purpose, self reliance and other similar qualities.

 

This year has seen Gad's introduce a quite radical system of continuous self assessment of teaching and learning. This is designed to ensure that teachers (and children) frequently evaluate their lessons and look for ways of improving them. The result (we hope) is better teaching, learning and improved standards.

 

What teachers have learned, and what we all need to realise, is that the system of self evaluation is not designed to ‘catch-people-out'. It is designed to enable people to learn of any weaknesses and to do things differently in order to improve. What is particularly interesting is how well the children have adapted to this. They don't use their feedback forms to stick-the-boot-in or to get back at the teachers. Pupils are remarkably mature about the whole thing. Even when being negative, they do so in a way which is constructive and helpful. I think that even the pupils appreciate that it is all designed to make lessons better, more interesting and useful. Surely that can only be a good thing for everyone!

 

The Combined Cadet Force meets on Wednesday afternoons and gives all pupils from Year 8 upwards a small taste of military life. Activities include shooting, map reading, first aid, drill and field craft. It is all carefully and safely managed under the Army's rigorous Cadet Proficiency Syllabus. The CCF certainly provides something different and we like to think it helps develop pupils in ways other activities might struggle to do.

 

I hope the above gives a flavour of life at Gad's Hill School . Do look at our website www.gadshillschool.org

 

In 2006 Gad's completed another successful year with another 100% GCSE pass rate and the highest pupil point score in Kent.  

David Craggs, Headmaster

 

1ST HIGHAM SCOUT GROUP

2006 saw another challenging year for the Group. We camped, went on marches and hikes, played many games and learnt new skills. Above all both young people and adults had a great deal of fun.

 

As you may know, 2007 is the centenary of the Scouting Movement and there are many exciting events planned for the coming year. In May we are participating in a District Centenary Camp at Hopehill where there will be several hundred Gravesham scouts celebrating together. On 1 August we are being invited to renew our Promise at sunrise with other Scouts across the World.

 

Despite a heavy rainstorm in the evening the Group still managed to raise approximately £1,100 for ‘Children in Need' in November. Thank you all for your support.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Parish Council for their support in helping us purchase equipment. We currently have 67 members and, at the moment, there are some vacancies in Beavers. If your son or daughter would like to join us or you would like to help please contact Carole on 01474 823492.

 

To celebrate their centenary, the Scouts and Beavers are planning to plant trees throughout the village.

 

Our meeting times are:

Scout Group
Meet
Contact
Beaver Scouts Fridays: 5.30-6.30pm Carole Rough: 01474 823492
Cub Scouts Fridays: 6.30-8pm Louise Warner: 01474 822355
Scouts Fridays: 8-9.45pm Peter Allinson: 01474 823806
Explorer Scouts Various Carolyn Shulver: 01474 823187


If your son or daughter would like to join us or you would like to help, please contact Carolyn on 01474 823187.

 

Carolyn Shulver, Group Scout Leader

 

1ST HIGHAM GUIDES

 

Higham has a flourishing Guide Company with 21 members at present. We meet weekly in the Memorial Hall and take part in various activities such as cooking, eating, crafts, make-up, football, parties and games.

 

During 2006 we took part in the annual Kay's Garden Sponsored Walk and raised £140 in total. Half of this is given to Kay's Garden. In June and July we were unable to use the Memorial Hall and instead hired the tennis courts for a netball tournament and rounders match. To round off the summer term we went Ten Pin Bowling and Ice Skating.

 

In October a group of very excited Guides attended the Big Gig Pop Concert held at Wembley Arena. This is an annual event for Guides. The noise was deafening!

 

One Patrol organised a Halloween Party and we finished the year with our normal Christmas Party.

 

Without adequate adult help the Guide Company could not continue to provide the range of activities it currently does and I would like to thank the band of willing mums who help out each week. We are always looking for adult helpers and if you have an hour-and-a-half to spare one evening a week and would like to help please contact Mary Lane on the telephone number below. If your daughter would like to join Guides or find out more details please contact Mary Lane on 01474 822107.

 

Mary Lane

 

2ND HIGHAM BROWNIES

 

Brownies have had a big change this year as Jackie Mendez after 17 years decided to retire from Brownies so that she could spend more time with her family, we wish her all the best for the future.

In September I, Karen Pennells, took over as Brown Owl and as a pack we have been spending the autumn getting to know each other. The Brownies have been doing crafts, cooking and achieving some more badges. We have had a Halloween and Christmas party; we had a visit from Father Christmas. We also had an excellent turn out at Remembrance Sunday when 14 Brownies came to the church service, to remember, I was very proud.

 

We have had five new Brownies start, and they have settled in well. We have lots of things planned for this year including a trip to Wildwood, Bowling, Bike ride, and a visit to Shorne Park .

 

The parents have really helped and supported Brown Owl and I give a very big thank you as Brownies could not run without their help.

 

And, finally before I close, I am looking for somebody who would like to team up with me to run Brownies and make it a really exciting and enjoyable experience for the girls. Please contact me, I would love to have you on board.

 

Karen Pennells

Brown Owl

 

COPPERFIELD QUILTERS

 

Our patchwork and quilting group now has a full membership and a waiting list. We continue to meet every other Thursday.

 

The friendship quilt project is nearly complete with 12 members receiving a quilt of their choice. Our next project will probably be cot quilts to be donated to a baby unit.

 

We have visited the eight or so annual Quilt Exhibitions held around the South East this past year. Each venue has an amazing array of quilts to admire and techniques to learn.

 

Linda Parr

 

HIGHAM YOUTH CLUB

Over the past year, the Club has been open 29 Wednesday evenings, with an average attendance of 31 and on one evening 45 youngsters. On these evenings, youngsters have taken part in activities from table tennis, pool, table-football and a variety of team sports, from football, rounders, cricket and team building exercises.

 

One evening, the girls had a Glitter Party to include, Hair Makeover, Hair Accessories, Nail Art, Glitter Makeup, Temporary Tattoos and Jewellery Creation, with a Karaoke Competition. On another evening, the Beautician, Venessa Marshall, showed the importance of skin care and gave a mini manicure. Other activities that the young people of the Club have attended are as follows: t he ever popular midnight Ice Skating, Unit 1 indoor skating complex (three times), rock climbing at Arethusa and canoe training, resulting in a 30-mile marathon weekend.

 

On 8 February 2006, the Club launched its own Web Site www.highamyouthclub.co.uk This has proved to be a success, where past, present and future activities can be seen. Go on, have a look.

 

In 2006, The Lord Lieutenant of Kent visited our Club : The Lieutenancy is an ancient office, dating from 1558. Its holder was originally concerned with protecting the County, being responsible for the maintenance of order and for local defence. Today, it has evolved to play an increasing and significant role in serving the Monarchy in the County, celebrating Kent 's unique history and culture – and projecting the interests of its people. Once he managed to get past the welcome committee, of youths in the car park (one actually asked him for a ride in his Lexus), he spent 35-minutes at the club, where he was shown what the club is about. He took the time to talk with most of the youths and every adult volunteer and enjoy a cup of tea.

 

In December 2006, Donna Wells from Demelza, gave a 15-minute talk on how they support terminally ill young people and their families. Look out for events and projects where HYC are hoping to raise money for Demelza.

The Club is a place where the youngsters can socialise in an environment with no pressures, exchange views and ring-tones, take part in activities if they want to, listen to those Ipods, share music and talk to each other in a group, without being asked to move on. The Youth Club is about social education for youngsters, so they can learn from each other and gain knowledge for the life ahead.

 

I would also like to say that as from March 2007 I have decided to resign from the role of Youth Leader at the Club. Over the last five years there have been some exciting times at the club involving several great projects, which would not have happened without the continual support of the unchanged band of volunteers (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE). Thank you. If you fancy a challenging position in your local community there is one available. The young people of Higham need a Youth Club.

 

Barrie Howes

AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM YOUR PARISH COUNCIL

 

The Parish Council is appealing for volunteers to enable the Higham Youth Club to continue to provide the youngsters of the village with a place to meet and enjoy organised activities. If you feel you have the time or expertise you can offer please contact the Parish Clerk, Linda Carnall, on 01474 822642

or e-mail enquiries@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

 

EAGLES FOOTBALL CLUB

 

This year we have seven teams running, two in the Medway league and five in the Gravesend Boys and Primary League. We have two under-9s, one under-10s, one under-12s, two under-13s and one under-14s. Next season we hope to run under-8s to under-15s, so any boys or girls interested in football are welcome to come along and join us. Training is on Saturday mornings 9.30 to 11am, 5 to 10 year olds at Higham Primary School and 11-15 year olds on the Recreation Ground.

 

If you require more information please contact the Secretary on 01474 822607.

 

Pat Jeal, Secretary

 

HIGHAM VILLAGE HISTORY GROUP

 

The Higham Village History Group was formed in May 1997, for those interested in local history. Membership has steadily grown and is £5 per person, with visitors at £2, which includes all refreshments. Membership is for 12 months, renewable in May.

 

Further interesting talks were held in 2006. In March, we heard about ‘The History of the Pillar Box' where the speaker brought two suitcases full of items relating to the Postal Service. She was like a magician, as more and more was being emptied!!


Our 9 th AGM in May, involved a talk on ‘The History of Nursery Rhymes'. Other talks were on ‘The Politeness of Princes (The Truth about Medieval Etiquette & Table Manners)', ‘Were the Good Old Days that Good?' and a very entertaining evening on ‘Puppets, Piers & Pantomimes', complete with working puppet!

 

In May, as part of the Gravesham Heritage Festival, we opened St Mary's Church, with The Churches Conservation Trust, splitting all donations. Then in July, we held a local history Quiz on Higham, as part of the Library's Community Day.

 

In March we heard about the ‘The Waterman's Company of the River Thames'. This is to be followed by ‘The Archaeology of Shorne Woods' for our May AGM. Once again, as part of the Gravesham Heritage Festival, we will open St Mary's Church, also in May.

 

For July, we have been invited to participate in Higham Library's Community Day and at the Big Day Out Festival, by the Riverside Leisure Area. Then in September, we will take part in the ‘Local & Family History Open Day' at Strood.

 

Our Website is proving very popular, with many people sharing information on Higham, whilst tracing their family history. It is updated regularly with photos and relevant information. www.highamvillagehistory.org.uk

All talks commence at 20.00 hrs in the Memorial Hall and please look out for the posters displayed around the village. If you would like more information on the History Group, please contact Claire Howes on 01474 822847 or via the Website.

 

Claire Howes

 

HIGHAM VILLAGE CLUB

(Formerly Higham Working Men's Club)

 

Our facilities include two comfortably furnished bars, Snooker, Pool & Darts. We have recently started an afternoon bingo session on the first Wednesday in the month from 2-4pm open to everyone in the village. We still run our regular Sunday night Bingo. Our ladies section ran several outings during the year to cater for various interests and have more planned for 2007. We have an excellent friendly Golf Society which caters for all levels of player. We also hold Rock & Roll and Country Music nights once a month, so why not come along & try your hand at Jiving or Line Dancing. We also have several Allotments for hire at a reasonable rent.

 

New members especially from the village are always welcome.  Call 01474 822456

 

Lynne White, Secretary

 

HIGHAM GARDEN & ALLOTMENT SOCIETY

 

The year started with some of our members joining Cobham Gardeners to hear a talk given by Mr Medwyn Williams on the subject of ‘Growing and Showing Vegetables'. Our programme for the year included a talk on the work of ‘English Heritage', two of our members spoke about their visit to South Africa , The Propagation of various garden plants and finally a talk and slide show given by the RSPB. August saw our Chairman bring samples of fruit and vegetables ruined by the extreme heat and lack of rain; not a good growing year! The AGM of the Society was held in October and our year ended with a ploughmans supper at the December meeting.

 

Our meetings are held in the Memorial Hall's small hall the second Thursday of each month, at 8pm. New members most welcome.

 

Peggy Husband

 

HIGHAM WI

 

Looking back over the past year it has been a varied one during which we reached our 60 th birthday. This was celebrated in style with a meal, musical entertainment, a sketch from our drama group and a beautiful birthday cake.

 

During the Hall closure we met in the Church Hall, which was a bit cramped for our large group but we were pleased to be able to stay in the village.

 

Our February speaker was Tom Hart Dyke from Lullingstone Castle and following his talk we visited his garden on a beautiful day in July and enjoyed a packed lunch in the grounds. We have had talks on Chinese Cookery, Bodyguard to the Queen and the History of Quilting. Following a cancellation, Mike Cavender our local driving instructor, stepped into the breach and gave an informative and entertaining talk on Safe Driving for Women.

 

We have had a special casserole tasting evening, which proved to be so popular that it was a bit of a squash in the Church Hall. We also met for a pub lunch in March and again in May, this time with a walk.

 

We turned our Resolutions evening into a Cheese and Wine affair with a cheese quiz. On a beautiful day in June 18 ladies attended a lunch and talk at Chilston Park Hotel for one of their ‘Ladies Days'. In September we booked a guided walk of Rochester with lunch, a fascinating way to learn about our local area. We were also given the opportunity to look around the new Gravesend hospital.

 

Fund-raising has included a cake stall and a lovely lunch at Pat Oakeshott's home. We also manned a stall at the Library for their Village Awareness Day.

 

We are looking forward to another busy year of events, especially those accompanied by meals!

 

Sue Buck

 

OPTIONS SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB

 

In 1991 I started ‘Options'. I was told by many people that it would not last and I should be thinking of it as a short term project. Well here we are
16 years down the line and still going strong. Every Monday between 1.30-4pm we meet at St Johns Church Hall to chat, play games, join in a quiz, have a party and entertainers, speakers, bring & buys, fish & chip afternoons and much more. We arrange about eight trips a year going to different places. Most of the trips are geared up for members that really cannot do the walking, so we do our best to find places like shows, two centre days out where the walking is minimal. Whenever we can a free coach will be laid on, this happens when we have made sufficient profit from the fund-raising. This year we will also be going to the Isle of Wight for five days in March for a winter warmer at one of the Warner resorts.

Trips for 2007
13 April   
Variety show.
21 May
Eastbourne, Newhaven.
25 June
Sheffield Park, Steam train & Cream tea.
30 July
Lavenham and Colchester.
10 September
Burley, New Forest.
5 October   
Winter Gardens T.B.A.

 

Three shows have been booked this year, one of which is to visit the Pantomime at Canterbury and, last but not least, to see Paul James.

 

Our collections of loose change were tremendous last year and we managed to send four charities a donation. We are still supporting our club mascots who we adopted – ‘Rosie', our donkey and ‘Barney' the goat.

 

The next party will be in April – our 16 th Anniversary party, where has the time gone!

 

If you would like to join the club or come on the outings please give me a call on 01474 824110. Many thanks to April, Margaret, John and all the helpers that keep us running every week, I couldn't do it without you all.

 

Delia Goldie

 

HiARA

(Higham Active Retirement Association)

 

We have enjoyed another very successful year and with our membership now approaching 200, we can claim to be one of the largest voluntary organisations in the village. Our programme is proving to be very popular.

 

Our Newsletter, which is published every month, gives details of all our events, rambles, outings, holidays and activities and is delivered to all our members to keep them up to date with what is going on.

 

We meet in the Memorial hall most Friday afternoons from 2pm until 4pm. The first Friday in the month is dedicated to the Art Group where members practice their talents and share information. The second Friday is used for Short Mat Bowls and an Exercise class – nothing too strenuous of course! We also plan to start a reading/book club to follow the exercises at 3pm. On the third Friday we have Short Mat Bowls, a Computer group and a Craft group where, again, many talents are on display.

 

The fourth Friday of each month is reserved for our general monthly meeting when we welcome outside speakers to talk to us about a wide range of topics of interest. Over the past year our speakers have variously kept us pinned to our seats enthralled by their topic or rolling about with laughter.

 

A full programme has been arranged for the coming year and we hope members will continue to help us keep the ‘Active' in ‘Retirement'.

 

Apart from our regular monthly activities, we have enjoyed outings to places of interest. A full programme of outings has been arranged for 2007.

 

Holidays have also become a regular event. This year we have planned a six day holiday to the beautiful Moselle Valley. We have also planned short break holidays to Sherbourne, Scotland and a ‘ Turkey and Tinsel' break on the Isle of Wight .

 

Our ramblers have regular outings.

Although totally voluntary and completely autonomous, HiARA is one of 70+ similar associations in Kent which together form KentARA. This enables us to take advantage of a range of additional events throughout the county.

 

Membership of HiARA is open to the retired or semi-retired over the age of 50. Membership costs £6 for the year (April to March) and members are welcome to all our events and activities.

 

Our activity afternoons (1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd Fridays) cost £1 for members and £2 for guests (which includes tea and biscuit). Our general meetings are free to members, £1 for guests. Afternoon tea is 50p per person.

 

New members are welcome, for more information call Eileen on 01634 715959.

 

Roy George

Chairman

 

HIGHAM BOWLERS

 

Higham Bowlers continue to meet on Fridays in the school hall at 8 o'clock, where we enjoy an informal evening of short mat bowls.

 

On 26 January we held an open evening which was enjoyed by all who came and, hopefully, we will have five new members. We do still have room for a few new members so if anyone is interested in joining us please contact myself on 01474 822958 or our Chairman, Don Phelps, on 01474 335651.

 

Our Chairman presented Joan Johnson, our club champion for 2006, with the shield at our Christmas dinner which was held at the St John Falstaff pub.

 

Audrey Pearce

 

HIGHAM AGE CONCERN LUNCHEON CLUB

 

The Club has now been running for over 25 years and its purpose continues to be to provide a weekly lunch and social gathering for those residents who live alone and may find it difficult to get out without transport.

 

During the year we again provided over a thousand lunches for our Members. In addition, we have organised shoe and clothes sales and regular entertainment in the form of musicians, speakers, etc. In the summer we enjoyed a Strawberry Tea at Little Hermitage kindly provided by Mrs Geraldine Cox.

 

We continue to be very grateful to our volunteer Hostesses, Cooks and Drivers for their hard work during the year, and to our other supporters who give time and financial assistance including the Parish Council.

 

Should anyone wish to add their name to our waiting list for Membership could they please contact Mrs Audrey Smith on 01474 823380.

 

As always we would welcome anyone who would be willing to give a few hours of their time to join our team of volunteers.

 

Dot Figg and Barbara West

 

STAGE ARTS WORKSHOP

 

Every Monday afternoon during school term time, you will find the Higham Memorial Hall bustling with activity as groups of youngsters sharpen their talents in the performing arts under the guidance of qualified, professional teachers. Here the children learn to develop their skills in acting, singing and dance.

 

Last year, 2006, saw yet another very successful year for the workshop. The climax for the year was in October when the children performed a spectacular production of ‘ Alice in Wonderland'. This production, which was performed at the Higham Memorial Hall, was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

 

In June and December, some of our Stage Arts pupils took part in the festivities of the Dickens Festival in Rochester , and we plan to be doing the same during 2007.

 

You might also have seen some of our very talented pupils featured on television during the last year. We regularly receive requests from the producers of the Basil Brush Show for youngsters to appear on their shows.

 

The Stage Arts Workshop is run by Angela Shade. For further details about how your children could benefit from these workshops or to find out how you can obtain tickets for the shows, give Angela a call on 0845 664 7469.

 

Angela Shade

 

THE CLAIRE BUCKLEY SCHOOL OF DANCING

 

Classes are held at the Higham Memorial Hall every Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm. We offer Ballet, Tap and Jazz for children from the age of three years. Adult tap and Jazz classes are also available.

 

We are holding our annual Show this year at the Brook Theatre in July, with preparations well under way!

 

We held our Examination session in December and all children passed with outstanding results, with 13 girls attaining honours.

 

We are currently looking for new children to attend. If you would like any information on any classes please call me on:

Home:     01634 220766
Mobile :   07813 050493
E-mail:     clairebuckley@ntlworld.com

 

Claire Buckley

 

COPPERFIELD CLOG

 

2006 saw another busy season for Copperfield Clog with a full programme of dancing. We started our performances on 29 April at the Rochester Sweeps Festival and continued dancing out most weeks until the end of July. After a short break in August we resumed our dancing on Saturday, 3 September when we performed at the RSPB event in Cooling. We also danced at the Apple Festival at the Cobtree Museum in Aylesford on 8 October, on what turned out to be a lovely sunny day.

 

Copperfield Clog continues to rehearse most Thursday evenings throughout the autumn/winter in St John's Church Hall, Higham. We are already in the throes of organising the 2007 programme and plan to perform at the Rochester Sweeps Festival again this year. To keep up to date with our diary, then please do visit our web site – details below.

 

For any enquiries concerning Copperfield Clog – or to request a copy of our programme – please do telephone our secretary on 01474 824346 or, alternatively, e-mail us at copclog@aol.com. The programme, along with information about Copperfield Clog and several photographs, can be found on our website, at http://members.aol.com/copclog/Clog1.htm

 

Judi Stanley, Publicity Officer for Copperfield Clog

 

HIGHAM CHORAL GROUP

 

Higham Choral Group has had a very successful year. The concert at Easter 2006 was at Shorne Church where we sang a varied programme. The summer concert was at St Mary's, Chalk, where again the music covered a wide range of composers from Schubert (Mass in F) to Simon/Garfunkel's ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water'. At our Christmas concert in St John's , Higham, we sang the work ‘Born a King' by William Lloyd Webber and carols for choir and congregation.

 

Our tour in 2006 was to Kemble near Circencester where we sang at their music festival. This year we are off to Bury St Edmunds to sing over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The group meet every Monday in the Chapel School Room in School Lane . We welcome new members at all times – no experience necessary.

 

Forthcoming concerts are:

 

Spring Concert

Saturday,

24 March 2007.

St Mary's, Chalk

 

Flower Festival Concert

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Shorne Church

Summer Concert

Saturday, 7 July 2007.

St Mary's, Higham

Christmas Concert

Saturday,

15 December 2007.

St John's, Higham

 

 

If you would be interested in joining us please contact me on 01474 822702 or visit our web site at www.highamchoral.org.uk

 

Wendy Hance

 

     

HIGHAM VILLAGE SPORTS ASSOCIATION

 

Due to vandalism of the courts lighting box during 2005 we have, unfortunately, lost a few of our regular customers playing 5-a-side football and tennis during the evenings. However, we hope to be able to re-start evening use this Spring.

 

We are awaiting the new fencing; around the old boy's club building to be erected, which will provide us with a short, lockable walkway to the lighting box area. Then we hope to have a new box purchased and fitted to enable us once more to use the floodlights. We apologise for the delay in floodlighting use but it has been out of our control.

 

If anyone would like to join our small band of helpers we would be very appreciative – please ring 01474 822448 (we meet roughly once a month during the evenings).

 

If anyone would like to hire the courts, please book through the Village Greengrocers.

 

Anne Kevill and Pat Jeal, Secretaries

 

TENNIS CLUB

 

It is with regret that after nearly 10 years that, due to personal circumstances, I shall not be able to continue with the Tennis Club this year.

Due to the lack of other coaches I would encourage those interested in pursuing tennis to join Gravesham Tennis Club who are well resourced with coaches and courts. Gravesham Tennis Club is only four miles away in Milton Road, Gravesend. In the interim Higham Tennis Club is temporarily suspended.

This last year was disappointing in terms of support but many thanks to the few dedicated players who turned up week after week during the season. I shall be on court on the odd Saturday morning when I hire it for personal use and past members will be more than welcome to join me – I'm sure we could organise a game or two. Well done to Chris Greenwood for winning the Jack Wright trophy.

John Forbes

 

NB:   The editors of this newsletter were very sad to read this.
PLEASE – is there anybody in the village who could help out?

   

 

HIGHAM AND MOCKBEGGAR CRICKET CLUB

 

The cricket season ended with us popping back into Division Two of the Kent Village League, where we are looking forward to playing new teams and catching up with ‘old friends'!

 

Following our successful Cricket Force weekend last year, whereby local businesses supported our ongoing work to improve the ground and facilities by very kindly and generously donating the materials required to do the job, our pavilion and ground are looking very good. The next exciting event on the horizon is our connection to electricity!

Our fund-raising project this year is for a motorised roller, the cost of which is approximately £3,000 for a second hand machine!! Therefore, we will be running quiz nights on 10 March and 6 October, a race night is planned for June along with other fund-raising events throughout the year. For more information please contact Christine on 01634 221677.

 

Our junior section was very well supported last season and enjoyed by those taking part. Our junior fixtures begin Sunday, 29 April for the under-13's and Friday, 4 May for the under-11's. Boys and girls of ages 8-18 will be more than welcome to come along to our Thursday evening training sessions 6.30-8pm at Ham River Hill, Cliffe. For further details contact the Junior Coordinator on 01634 200817.

 

Christine Abernethy, Social Co-ordinator

 

PLAYBALL

The Football coaching company

 

Since starting our pre-school sessions at the Higham Memorial Hall in February 2004, they have always been very popular. The two half-hour sessions start on Mondays between 1-1.30pm and 1.30-2pm. They are a good way at getting your son/daughter playing football and keeping fit at the same time.

 

All the sessions are aimed at co-ordination, balance, listening skills and social skills plus the control of the football, but above all fun and enjoyment. This is a good way of introducing your child to football before school age.

 

The ages we take are from two-and-a-half to five years.

 

For more information on other sessions we run in your area for older children as well as pre-school, please log on to www.playballcoaching.com or ring Neil or Claire on 01634 311481 or Mobile 07919 405749.

 

Neil Stephens

 

BEAVER SWIMMING CLUB

 

Another good year for the Beaver Swimming Club and my thanks go out to all the hard-working Committee who are volunteers that give up their time to maintain the high standards for which we pride ourselves. Also, my thanks to the dedication and professionalism of the Instructors and, most importantly, to the dedication of the swimmers themselves who attend twice a week. Beaver Swimming Club has always had a reputation for being a great teaching club rather than a competitive club and our numbers are continuing to grow. From the age of five, children can be taught through to their teenage years; when some prefer to transfer to competition swimming whilst others are content to remain with Beavers for its fun but positive attitude.

 

We are based at Hoo Swimming Pool and our teaching nights are on Tuesday and Friday evenings. Although not exactly in the jurisdiction of the Parish of Higham, it has been established and run, amongst others, by many residents of the village.

 

We have just held one of our Bi-Annual Swim Parties at Cascades Swimming Pool. This is a chance for the swimmers to relax from training and be accompanied by their friends and families for a fun swim followed by a disco with buffet.

 

For anybody who is interested for their child/ren aged five and over to join this successful teaching club, please contact either myself (see below) or Mrs Mary Hassell (Membership Secretary) on 01634 270374.

 

Leslie Pearton

Chair

Telephone: 01474 822080
 

CONTACTING YOUR VILLAGE ORGANISATIONS

 

Age Concern

01474 822654

Age Concern Referrals

01474 823380

Beavers

01474 823492

Beavers Swimming Club

01474 822080

Brownies

01474 824174

Choral Group

01474 822702

Claire Buckley School of Dancing

01634 220766

Community Warden

(Steve Gray)

07811 271256

Congregational Church

01634 362939

Copperfield Clog

01474 824346

Copperfield Quilters (Higham Quilters)

01474 823129

Cubs

01474 822355

Dickens Country Protection Society

01322 275389

Eagles Football Clubs

01474 822607

Garden and Allotment Society

01474 822368

Guides

01474 822107

HiARA

01474 822476

Higham & Mockbeggar Cricket Club

01634 713060

Higham Bowlers

01474 822958

Higham CP School PTA

01474 822080

Higham Library

01474 823822

Higham Rainbows

01474 822008

Higham Village Club (Working Men's Club)

01474 822456

Higham Village History Group

01474 822847

Higham Village Sports Association

01474 822448

Higham Youth Club

 

Memorial Hall (Bookings only)

01474 822007

Options

01474 824110

Parish Clerk

01474 822642

Playball Football

01634 311481

Saint John's Church – Fr. James Southward

01634 717360

Scouts

01474 823806

Stage Arts Workshop

0845 664 7469

StartRite Kindergarten

07813 705136

Women's Institute

01474 823772


HIGHAM PARISH COUNCIL AS AT APRIL 2007

PARISH COUNCILLORS

Chairman:
Cllr Mrs Jennifer Papadopulos ‘Hanklit’, 12 Charles Dickens Avenue, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7NL 01634 717113

Vice Chairman:
Cllr Mrs Pat Oakeshott 30 Ash Crescent, Higham, Rochester Kent ME3 7BA 01474 822771

Cllr Dougall Goring 9 The Larches, Higham ME3 7NQ 01474 822666

Cllr John Grey 61 School Lane, Higham ME3 7JR 01474 822789

Cllr Alan Howard 1 Taylors Lane, Higham ME3 7AX 01474 822108

Cllr Malcolm James ‘Hollybank’, Crutches Lane, Higham ME2 3UH 01634 724483

Cllr Mrs Maggi Scott  41 Walmers Avenue, Higham ME3 7EH 01474 823091

Cllr Mrs Anne Waugh ‘Mill Barn’, Hermitage Road, Higham ME3 7ND 01634 712012

Cllr Stuart Wright ‘Hillyfield’, Hermitage Road, Higham, ME3 7PB 01634 717336

BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

Cllr Mrs Pat Oakeshott 30 Ash Crescent, Higham, Rochester Kent ME3 7BA 01474 822771


COUNTY COUNCILLOR

Cllr Mike Snelling 5 Dormers Drive, Meopham, Gravesend DA13 0ES 01474 812404

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Adam Holloway, MP c/o House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

CLERK TO THE PARISH COUNCIL

Mrs Linda Carnall 24 Chilton Drive, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7BW
Tel: 01474 822642 Fax: 01474 824437
E-mail: enquiries@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

Copies of the Minutes of all Parish Council meetings are available for public inspection within Higham Library or on this web site.

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Last Revised ~ 19 April 2007

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