Higham Parish Council

Annual Parish Newsletter and Reports 2015

[ Back to:  Home Page | 2004 Newsletter | 2005 Newsletter |
2006 Newsletter | 2007
Newsletter | 2008 Newsletter | 2009 Newsletter
2010 Newsletter | 2011 Newsletter | 2012 Newsletter | 2013 Newsletter
2014 Newsletter | ] 


Photograph shows our Chairman, Councillor Jennifer Papadopulos
and the Mayor and Mayoress of Gravesham, Councillor John Caller and Mrs Sue Caller,
at the 2014 Proms Concert.
 

CHAIRMAN’S LETTER

  

Dear Friends

When I was a child my mother used to say ‘time passes more quickly the older one gets’. I used to think, ‘how stupid’. A year is a year; a day is a day, etc. Now I am getting older I understand what she meant. I can hardly believe 12 months have passed since I last wrote to you all.

The year 2014/2015 is not one I will treasure with good memories. Of recent months two valued parish councillors have had to resign through ill health, Barry Sutherland and Malcolm James. Both worked tirelessly in different aspects of our village life. They could always be relied upon for whatever activity or meeting attendance was asked of them.

As you will be aware by now, we have had an on-going conversation with representatives of St John’s College, Cambridge, who are the landlords for the Recreation Ground. Three years ago I received a letter saying that the annual rent was increasing from £500 to £7,500. It was Easter time and I was convinced it was a typing error! But, it was not. Negotiations have been long and drawn out but, as I write this, we hope to soon sign a more reasonable tenancy. We were thanked by St John’s for not going public with this matter, so now we must ensure that we use their goodwill to our advantage. There is a proposal that the Pavilion will be taken over by Higham Youth Club and, hopefully, it will become a ‘Community Youth Hub’.

The Parish Council, as a team, shortly draws to the end of its four year term as it approaches the next Parish Council election and I would like to thank very sincerely all the members of the committee for their involvement and care in running our village. I thank: County Councillor Bryan Sweetland, Borough Councillors Harold Craske and Les Pearton, and our elected members, Councillors Pat Oakeshott, Graham Ashby, Anne Carroll, John Grey, Alan Howard, Amanda Mendzil and Stewart Wright. We must not forget our Parish Clerk, Linda Carnall, who works long hours, tirelessly, on behalf of us all. Where would we be without her? Even on holiday in Scotland last year, she kept in close contact for any local developments. I thank too, Liz Jeffery, who provides well prepared reports of our meetings, which I am sure you all enjoy reading. I expect too, many of you look at our web site. This is taken care of by Clive Stanley. His wife, Judi, prepared this Annual Newsletter. Thank you both. There are other individuals in the village who contribute a great deal to our community; leaders of the uniformed groups, who organise youngsters’ activities, Jo Raff and her team who run the Youth Club, presidents and secretaries of other clubs, and, of course, Barbara West and Carol Mason who run Age Concern on a Friday (my passion!) with their teams of helpers, Anne Carroll who organises the drivers’ rota and Joan Campbell who organises the team of cooks, to name but a few. The Memorial Hall is a very important building in our village and we are grateful to the Committee that runs and looks after this on our behalf, headed by
Keith Bradley and Peter Morriss.

To all of you who help in any way, and to those who support all the activities, a sincere thank you. Without your involvement, our village would be the poorer.

I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Parish Assembly in April.

My best wishes to you all.

Jennifer

¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

“FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE PROMS”

We are sorry but we will not be running the Proms Concert this year. Please see the Clerk’s report and respond to the consultation so that we know what to plan for future years.


INVITATION

 You are cordially invited to attend the

 ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY 

at HIGHAM MEMORIAL HALL 

on THURSDAY, 16TH APRIL 2015 at 7.30pm

 ...................................................................... 

Sandra Soder, Honary Secretary of the Gravesend Histprical Society,
will give a talk entitled
Royal Visits to Gravesham


THANK YOU


A big thank you to our Gravesham Borough Councillor, Harold Craske, who single-handedly planned and oversaw the Borough Council Commonwealth War Graves Memorial Services last year.  

 

This celebration focussed on the commemoration of the beginning of World War One and the 75th anniversary of the start of World War Two.  Churches throughout the Borough were visited in turn by the Mayor and Mayoress of Gravesham and following a short service, a candle was lit for each fallen serviceman.  At each war grave a cross and poppy were laid and poppy seeds from fields in Flanders scattered.  The ceremony ended with a bugler sounding the Last Post before a blessing was given.
 

FROM THE PARISH CLERK

 

It seemed to us that our annual Friday Night Proms Concert had become a firm favourite with you all and we, therefore, continued with the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ philosophy.  However, last year the numbers attending fell dramatically and for the first time ever we ran the event and made a huge loss.  WE blamed the British weather but then news reached our ears that the village view was that the event needed a ‘makeover’ and was too predictable year after year.  Unfortunately this news came during a year in which your Parish Council continued to fight to save the Recreation Ground for the village and in doing so both ran up a huge legal bill and, sadly, lost the services of our Kindergarten.  As we cannot consider running an evening at such a loss again we have decided to consult with you to find out what sort of event you would be willing to support in the future.

 

What time of year should it take place?  What day of the week is best for you?  Should it be held inside or outside?  If it is to be a musical event what type of music would most people support?  We have decided that until we hear further from you we will not plan to run an event this Summer but will ask you all to support the evening concert of music by Straight Eight in St John’s Church on Sunday, 28 June and the
Summer Concert by the Higham Choral Group, in St Mary’s Church, on Saturday, 11 July (full details of both of these events to be found within this booklet).

 

PLEASE get in contact with me to let me know your ideas for the future. All of my contact details can be found here.

 

Did you attend our Assembly in 2014?  If not, make a note of this year’s date (16 April 2015) and make sure you come along for an excellent evening with refreshments.

Linda Carnall, Parish Clerk
 

SIMPLIFIED DRAFT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2014/2015

INCOME

£

EXPENDITURE

£

Balance B/Fwd

23,855.53

Recreation Ground

500.00

Precept 2014/2015

50,332.07

General Administration

7,408.67

Allotment Rents

1,215.00

Allotments

214.03

Other Receipts

 

 

2,294.00

Miscellaneous Expenses, (including Pavilion insurance)

 

 

11,136.97

Flexi A/C Interest

30.91

Subscriptions and Fees

1,281.42

National Savings Investment a/c Interest

 

 

 

4.78

Clerk’s Salary, N.I., PAYE, LGPS and expenses for provision of office

 

 

 

18,021.72

VAT Reclaim

1,882.61

VAT Paid

1,831.19

2014 Grants received

0.00

Grants made

1,310.00

2014 Community Events

502.00

2014 Community Events

1,025.00

 

£80,116.90

 

£42,729.00

BALANCES IN HAND AS AT 31.3.2015

 

£

 

£

Lloyds Current Account

3,824.22

 

 

Lloyds Flexi Account

32,920.22

 

 

National Savings Investment Account

 

642.46

 

 

Lloyds Special Projects Account

 

1.00

 

 

 

£37,387.90

 

37,387.90

 

 

 

£80,116.90

                 

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 31.3.14 is available for public inspection in Higham Library.

 


DATES FOR PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS – 2015

at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall on:

Monday, 30 March

 

Thursday, 16 April

ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY.

Monday, 11 May

Annual Parish Council Meeting.

Monday, 6 July

 

Monday, 7 September

 

Monday, 12 October

 

Monday, 9 November

Budget and Finance meeting only.

Monday, 23 November

Christmas meeting with the
Mayor of Gravesham.

Members of the public are welcome to all meetings.

DON’T FORGET!

Hard copies of the Agendas and Minutes of all our meetings are available within Higham Library, as well as on our web site, here.

 

Dates for Parish Council meetings during 2015 are listed above.  Members of the public are welcome to all meetings.
 

SNOW!!

A big thank you to those Parishioners who have volunteered to be members of our Snow Clearance Team in the village and kindly clear and grit the pavements in times of snow.  Your Parish Council has placed several mobile grit bins in strategic positions throughout the village and is still seeking volunteers to help in a snow emergency.  If you would like to volunteer please contact the Parish Clerk with your details (01474 822642).
 

HIGHAM GARDENS FOR PLEASURE COMPETITION 2014

 

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 30th anniversary of the competition.  The following prize-winners received their awards from Morton Grey, at a presentation before the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday, 15 September 2014.


FIRST PRIZE  (Silver Rose Bowl Trophy, Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

Jennifer Stopher, 2 Martins Close.

SECOND PRIZE  (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

Margaret and Terence Greenshields, ‘Courtlands’, Crutches Lane.

THIRD PRIZE  (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

George Simmonds, 4 Carton Road.

HIGHLY COMMENDED’  (Framed certificate)

Ian and Stacey Shaw, 2 Colewood Drive.

Greta Stowers, 42 St. John’s Road.

Heather Golding and Trevor King, The Banks, Chequers Street.

BEST HANGING BASKET AND CONTAINERS’ FIRST PRIZE  (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

Evelyn and John Leach, 32 Telegraph Hill.

BEST HANGING BASKET AND CONTAINERS’ SECOND PRIZE  (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

Carren Beattie, 37 Brice Road

BEST HANGING BASKET AND CONTAINERS’ – HIGHLY COMMENDED (Framed certificate)

John Thornton, 26 Chilton Drive.

MOST COLOURFUL PUBLIC HOUSE WITHIN HIGHAM’ (Framed certificate) – Not awarded again this year.

KENT ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL COUNCILS (KALC)

The KALC serves Parish and Town Councils in Kent. The Gravesham Area Committee is represented by six Parish Councils including Cobham, Luddesdown, Shorne, Meopham, Vigo and Higham who each have two representatives.
At the latest meeting in February local and county-wide topics were discussed including the senior citizens bus pass, dualling of the A21, the role of the Environment Agency, Strategic Transport issues, the Lower Thames Crossing and the Consultation regarding the Community Warden Service.


John Grey

PARISH PLAN

Members of the various Gravesham Parish Councils had a meeting with The Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis, at the House of Commons recently. The visit was organised by Adam Holloway, MP. With the various threats to the Green Belt (and with a review of the Green Belt boundaries proposed) the Minister was anxious that Parishes should produce a local plan showing their priorities for the future, such as land that could be available for housing (perhaps in-fill sites) and land that would not be available. It would explore the whole vision for the future of Higham. This would be a complicated process and to help the Parish could employ a planning consultant to spearhead the process. Grants would be available for this and if the Gravesham Parishes pooled their grant money there would be a cost saving if they all employed the same consultant. This process would involve the whole Parish being consulted and all residents could make their views and priorities known. It would be a further protection of the Green Belt, which is so important.

Harold Craske

PLANNING COMMITTEE

Your Parish Council has had 60+ applications for development in 2014. Each one has been closely inspected by the Parish Council and plans checked with neighbours so that nothing can cause potential problems to residents or to the village as a whole.

One cause for concern at Lower Higham has been the application for development on the Railway Tavern site. Your council has objected strongly to this overdevelopment of the site. This has now been refused by the Borough Council.

Pat Oakeshott and Les Pearton

RURAL HOUSING

Gravesham Housing Committee has recently developed a new Housing Strategy, but your Parish Council has ensured that the STRICT Higham Policy (residential qualifications) is still in place. Your Parish Council strives to make sure that all housing vacancies fall under the Higham Policy.

May I remind everyone that to be considered for any village housing, you must be on Gravesham Borough Council’s Housing List. If you or your older sons and daughters are likely to need housing in the future, make sure that you/they are on the Register/Housing List.

Pat Oakeshott and John Grey

PROBLEMS!

If you should spot a street light not lit or a pothole developing in a road please report direct to Kent Highways on 03000 418181 or via their web site at www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-problem providing as much information as possible, for example, which property is the problem outside of, number on lamp standard, how deep the pothole is, etc, as this means that it will be dealt with more quickly. Thank you.

PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY IN HIGHAM PARISH

During January I walked every public Right of Way in Higham Parish. I am pleased to report I did not find too many problems. There were only two footpaths not reinstated and a wire fence across the line of a footpath. I have reported these problems to Kent County Council Rights of Way Department.

There are four footpaths being used by horse and rider which has ruined the path and makes it very difficult to walk along. Each of these paths has a KCC sticker on the sign post stating no horses but this is being ignored.

We are so lucky to have so many Rights of Way in the Parish with lovely views and it is nice to see many people using the Rights of Ways.

A very nice walk out of the Parish is to go down Salt Lane off Buckland Road. At the end of the lane there is a RSPB car park and there are many paths across the marshes that walkers can use. The car park is free. I walked there near sunset and it was stunning. Also at the start of Salt Lane there is a new cafe overlooking the chalk lakes just as you enter Salt Lane. Well worth a visit.

Happy walking and riding everyone and if you have any queries please contact me.

Anne Waugh

BONFIRE NUISANCE

Whilst we appreciate that there is no law or any set times that you are not allowed to light a bonfire, your Parish Council always receives complaints on this subject.

PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE TO OTHERS ESPECIALLY DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS. COULD YOU WAIT UNTIL AFTER 8PM BEFORE LIGHTING YOUR BONFIRE? OR PLEASE, AT LEAST, WARN YOUR NEIGHBOURS IN ADVANCE THAT YOU INTEND TO LIGHT ONE. THANK YOU.

LOCAL VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT BY KCC for COUNTRYSIDE ACCESS WARDENS

Do you love to be outdoors and want to help your community? If your answer is yes then volunteering as a Countryside Access Warden may be ideal for you. Wardens carry out simple tasks on Public Rights of Way such as clearing overgrown vegetation and improving waymarking so people can use footpaths, bridleways and byways easily. Kent County Council are looking for volunteers to become Countryside Access Wardens in Higham and surrounding areas. You need to be over 18, fit enough to carry out light physical duties and able to spare at least a couple of hours every month at times convenient to you.

Knowledge of Public Rights of Way is not necessary as free training and equipment will be provided. However, a basic knowledge of map reading and regular access to a computer would be useful.

For more information and to apply to become a Countryside Access Warden for your local area please telephone Jennie Scott on 03000 413453 or search the web site at www.kent.gov.uk for ‘Countryside Access Wardens’.

Jennie Scott, Volunteer & Additional Workers Officer, Kent County Council

HIGHAM PARISH ALLOTMENTS

The majority of our allotment tenants did a fine job last year but it is disappointing that some plots were left uncultivated allowing weeds to spoil the hard work done on adjoining allotments. It is a condition of occupancy that allotments are kept tidy and we would encourage any individuals that are finding cultivation difficult to hand them back to the Council so that they may be issued to new tenants.

Please contact the Parish Council Clerk if this appeals to you. Allotment rents for the new growing season will be £25 per plot per annum.

Happy Gardening,

Alan Howard

RECREATION GROUND

The Parish Council is still in negotiation with its Landlord over the renewal conditions for its lease. Jennifer Papadopulos and Linda Carnall have both worked overtime to try and secure our future use of the ground, the tennis courts and the Pavilion. At the time of writing, we are very optimistic of reaching a reasonable agreement. It will be as a result of the tremendous efforts of your Parish Chairman and Parish Clerk.

Once again, we would like to thank the people who use the ground, principally the footballers, for leaving the area in good condition.

We have had a small amount of vandalism to the play equipment, which is not helpful, and which uses scarce funds to repair. Once again, may we remind parishioners who take dogs on to the ground, to make sure that they clear up after their pets. Our young footballers do not appreciate slipping about in mess.

Stuart Wright

HIGHAM VILLAGE SPORTS ASSOCIATION

The multi-purpose courts have had continual use during 2014. Most Wednesday evenings, weather permitting, the Youth Club have five-a-side football. A few ‘hardy youngsters’ use the courts for tennis during the winter months, though obviously most use is in the Spring and Summer.

A reminder to anyone interested: the keys for the courts are let out at the village greengrocers, who also keep lighting tokens. The courts are let out at a very reasonable price of £3 per group of children, and £5 per group of adults, for one hour.

As regards work gradually being done in the changing rooms, the electric has now been completed and is working. As regards the plumbing this has not yet been replaced but, hopefully, this year depending on finances.

Ann Kevill

STRAY DOGS AND DANGEROUS DOGS

1,242 stray dogs have been found in the Borough since 2008. This note is intended to show you what to do if you find a stray or what to do if you have lost your own dog. It also includes some changes to the law.

Should a member of the public find a stray dog in the Borough telephone Gravesham Borough Council on 01474 337334. The dog will be collected by the kennelling service. Outside of normal office hours (9am – 5pm) ring 01474 564422. If it is not safe to contain the dog you should still ring the above numbers giving as many details about the animal as possible; colour, size, breed, if known, and where seen.

Should your own dog be lost then you should ring the above telephone numbers to see if it has been found and you will be told where it is and arrangements made for you to collect it. It may still be at the Council’s temporary kennel at the Civic Centre or have been transferred to Viking Oak Kennels, Borough Green. A fee will be payable on collection.

The Council also has a policy of checking for tags and chips of any dog found dead in the street so that the owner may be informed. Should you find a dead animal in the road, on the pavement or verge please ring the Council on 01474 337449.

As a responsible dog owner you will always pick up and dispose properly of your dog’s waste. However, not all owners are as responsible as you. Should this become a nuisance, then please ring the Council on
01474 337000 giving as much information as you can. This will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The Borough Council has now employed wardens to issue on the spot penalties for dropping litter and failing to clean up after a dog. Although they are initially operating in the town centre, they will move into areas outside the town and I will be pressing for them to make visits in Higham.

From April 2016 the law will require that ALL dogs are micro chipped. The Council will be the enforcing authority. To assist owners the Council carries out six free micro chipping events each year. The service is provided by The Dogs Trust by trained staff. All stray dogs are automatically micro chipped. Any person claiming a dog is offered free micro chipping of any other dog they may own. These events will continue when the law comes into force.

There are other measures being introduced across the Country relating to dangerous dogs. It is now an offence, not only if a dog injures someone, but makes that person afraid that it might injure them. This can extend to the home in which the dog lives. An offence can also occur if the dangerous dog injures or kills another animal. Anti-social orders can now also be extended to cover dogs in designated areas requiring the dog to be on a lead at all times, muzzled, etc. Specialist officers of the Council will have the responsibility of judging whether a dog is on the banned list.

This note is not intended to worry you as I know you are responsible owners but to set out what is in place in the Borough and beyond to protect not only you but your own animals as well. I hope it is helpful.

Harold Craske, Borough Councillor

WEBMASTER’S REPORT

Visit: www.higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

The Higham Parish web site contains useful news, photographs and information on village organisations, as well as Parish Council meeting dates and documents. Coverage of the main village events and celebrations are also there for you to see. Other information includes: Estuary Airport, Higham Neighbourhood Forum, Higham Youth Club, Lower Thames Crossing proposals, public meetings and information; notable local planning applications; local Police Contact Point dates and much, much more.

Any village group or society is welcome to publish important information for the community. Please contact Linda Carnall, Parish Clerk on 01474 822642 or e-mail enquiries@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk.

Clive Stanley, Parish Webmaster

HIGHAM CHRISTMAS MARKET

Our 3rd Higham Christmas Market, in School Lane outside the Greengrocers and Chemists, held on Friday, 12 December 2014, was as successful as our previous two Markets.

Again, the Hot Mulled Wine, Mince Pies and Home Made Cakes proved to be very popular, especially as it was one of the coldest days of the year! Along with the Raffle, Christmas toys and decorations the Market raised £266 which was split between The Kent Air Ambulance and the EllenorLions Hospice.

We would like to thank all the shops in School Lane, Forge Lane, The Knowle Restaurant, The Gardeners Public House and Anisa Restaurant, Gravesend Road, for their generous support, sponsorship and donation of some quite magnificent Raffle prizes.

Last year in the Annual Parish Newsletter we invited individuals and organisations in Higham to come and join us at the Market to make it a bigger and more enjoyable event for the residents of Higham, as well as raising money for local charities. We would like to thank those who responded and helped us, by donating more prizes for the Raffle, Christmas items to sell and the ‘Girls’ in the Chemist for their help and the excellent Home Made Cakes.

We would be grateful for help for our 4th Market on Friday, 11 December 2015 – let’s try and make this bigger and better than our third Market!

Please contact Peter Allinson on 01474 823806 to help or for more details.

Peter Allinson and Nigel Gillett

CONGRATULATIONS

Congratulations to our Chairman, Councillor Jennifer Papadopulos, and her husband Michael, who will celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary in May.

MEMORIAL HALL

I cannot believe how quickly the year passes from one report to the next!

As usual there have been various on-going repairs through the last 12 months, the major one being the roof lifting in the storm and letting water in. That is all sorted now but I am sure we will have a big jump in our next insurance premium. For all those who use the dishwasher, ‘good news’! - we will be purchasing a brand new machine in the coming months thanks to a grant from the Council via the Parish Council (a big thank you to Les).

General running costs, ie, electric and gas and maintaining the fabric of the hall go up every year. If we did not run the boot fairs our funds would soon be rather depleted. These fairs we could not run without all our willing helpers especially Rodney and all his young ladies!!!!! so a big thank you to you all. Regarding fairs we are thinking of running a few Craft Fairs in the hall later on this year. If you would be interested in taking part please give me a call on 01474 824150 with your details. We now have full CCTV coverage around and in the hall so please make sure you are smiling at all times. If you are thinking of having a bit of a do please bear in mind we have a large catering kitchen and comfy chairs for the sit down events. We also have a 3mt sq screen if anyone would like to show films plus a high quality sound system.

Keith Bradley, Chairman

THE SHAVES CHARITY

The Trust’s funds earned no interest in 2015 and, accordingly, no distribution was made. A lunch for elderly people living alone was held in the Church Hall on Christmas Day. The Trust contributed towards the cost of this lunch and will consider making this an annual contribution, when the trustees next meet.

The trustees remain unchanged.

Les Baker, Trustee

HIGHAM LIBRARY

The library has undergone a substantial amount of repairs and re-opened with new IT equipment. Our library courtyard has also been tidied up this year and grateful thanks must go to North West Kent College who rebuilt our flowerbeds from bricks donated by the community. Thanks also to the ladies who keep the garden so beautifully.

The library is regularly a hub of activity, the Children’s Centre use the library space every Tuesday morning when the library is closed for their own ‘Stay & Play’ sessions.

Our regular Wednesday morning Talktime group meet at 10.30am; the group is thriving with over 20 people attending on a weekly basis. They once again held a very successful coffee morning in aid of MacMillan and raised over £275 for the charity.

On a Thursday morning a Games Group was set up within the library, this group meet to play popular board games like Scrabble or just to chat and meet new friends.

Our lively and friendly Rhyme Time session for parents and grandparents with babies and toddlers is led by our volunteer mums on Friday mornings during school term time at 9.30am.

Our Coffee & Chat group have read some enjoyable books over the past year and meet the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 2.30pm. If you enjoy reading, come along and join them.

We have free access to computers within the library, for those of you looking to improve your skills or learn the basics or you can look at our online resources including information on health, local and family history and a great deal more.

We offer a free Home Library Service to people unable to visit the library because of ill health, disability or caring responsibilities. Volunteers deliver books and other library items to the individual’s home.

Many of our groups and activities run so successfully due to the commitment we receive from our volunteers. If you have some spare time on your hands and are interested in becoming a volunteer Time2Give offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities in Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives.

If you are interested in any of the groups or activities that have been mentioned, please contact the staff at Higham Library on 03000 413131.

Nicola Tubbs,
Customer Service Development Librarian, Gravesham District Libraries

HOME LIBRARY SERVICE

Are you unable to visit the library because of ill health, disability or your caring responsibilities? Let the library come to you. Our friendly volunteers can call at your home on a regular basis bringing you books (including large print), audio books, films and CDs of your choice. They will be happy to chat about the books you are enjoying and listen to what you would like to read.

If you are interested in this service or know of anyone else who may need it please contact us on 0300 333 6022.

Kent Libraries

SURE START

Sure Start’s Stay and Play scheme meets at Higham Library every Tuesday morning from 9.30 to 11am. Children from 0 to 5 years are welcome to come along and enjoy family fun with craft, singing, toys, books and lots of fun activities. Guest speakers are arranged on a regular basis.

For more details please contact The Riverside Children’s Centre on 01474 535301.

HIGHCLIFFE MEDICAL PRACTICE

Highcliffe Medical Practice has seen another busy year during 2014. There have been challenges throughout the year in terms of the demands on our services, however, the dedication and commitment from all staff at the practice has seen us deliver our services and overcome these challenges.

The practice administered in excess of 1,400 flu vaccines from October to December 2014 to those eligible patients. These were mainly carried out during our Flu Clinics on Saturday mornings as we found this to be the most convenient and more accessible to our patients. This year our dedicated nursing team decided to take on the responsibility of visiting all of our housebound patients to administer the flu vaccine to our most vulnerable patients. This proved to be a huge success and something that we will continue for the foreseeable future.

Karen Peaurt, one of our ‘long term’ members of the nursing team has left for pastures new to work with the police. However, we are very lucky to have recruited Jenny Shaw and Amie Thomas to enhance our existing team. The practice continues to train qualified doctors who are looking to specialise and become General Practitioners (GPs). Our current Registrars are Dr Haroon Yazdani and Dr Janakan Ratnarajan, who many of you will have seen already.

In November 2014 the practice was inspected by the Care Quality Commission. The inspection was challenging for all of our staff, including David Pankhurst, our Chair of the Patient Participation Group, who came in and answered questions from the inspecting team. We are still awaiting the final report.

Finally, we are fortunate that the practice has an extremely supportive and dedicated group of local patients from Higham and Cliffe who take the time to attend and contribute as part of the Patient Participation Group. Members have the opportunity to be the voice of our patients to consult with the practice to ensure it meets the needs of the local community. We are always looking for new members to join the group and especially those with young families so we have a fair representation from our population.

Kevin Creasey, Practice Manager

HIGHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL

2014 was a busy year for Higham Primary School. Many changes were introduced nationally, including a new National Curriculum, Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs, and methods of assessment for the majority of pupils. Staff have worked very hard to ensure these have been implemented smoothly.

During the year pupils enjoyed many enhancements to the curriculum. Pupils have enjoyed lots of visits and visitors which help bring lessons alive, including an African Drumming workshop; an Astrodome science day; theatre groups; and a visit to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant to make pizzas. Our Year 5 pupils spent a week at Marchant’s Hill participating in adventurous activities, while our choir and recorder groups have grown considerably, and large numbers of our pupils performed at the Woodville Halls. Year 6 pupils organised a highly successful Enterprise Week, and enjoyed end-of-year activities including a day at the Arethusa Centre participating in activities such as abseiling and rock climbing.

Our boys’ football team won the O’Reilly Shield in March, and won the Early 7s ‘Cyril Ford’ competition in September, while our girls football team reached the semi-final of the Girls 7s competition, losing out to the eventual winners.

Our PTA has had a very active and successful year. Events such as the Christmas and Summer Fayres, discos, and film nights raised lots of money, some of which the PTA used to help fund improvements to our Early Years outdoor area.

We look forward to continuing to do the very best for our pupils in 2015.

Mrs T Coombs, Headteacher

GOVERNORS OF HIGHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL

You will recall that in last year’s report the Governors of Higham Primary School were delighted to advise you that the Ofsted Inspection in October 2013 had confirmed that Higham Primary School was a Good School.

To be completely accurate we were good in 3 of the 4 areas (Achievement of Pupils, Quality of Teaching and Leadership and Management) and outstanding in the other area (Behaviour and Safety of Pupils).

As a result of this Ofsted Inspection Report, I was proud to attend a Celebration Event in December 2013 along with the Head Teacher, Mrs Coombs hosted by the Local Authority to recognise those schools in Kent who were Good or Outstanding.

At the first Governors meeting after the Ofsted inspection the Leadership team had reviewed the development areas of the Ofsted report and already started working on these by rewriting the School Improvement Plan.

The big challenge that I see for Higham School (and every other school in the country) was the introduction of the new National Curriculum in September 2014. Any new process in any field of industry is a challenge and whilst there has been some guidance locally and nationally, the real ‘proof in the pudding’ will be in the way the teachers and teaching assistants adapt the curriculum to deliver outstanding lessons to the pupils. Those that adapt and embrace the new curriculum will succeed. I have every confidence in every member of teaching staff that they will adapt and embrace the new curriculum – but it won’t be easy.

September 2014 also saw the introduction of free school meals being offered for all infant age children so more resources and planning has been needed to cater for the expected increased uptake.

An on-going issue that is frustrating and worrying to all Governors are the traffic problems outside the school each morning and afternoon coupled with inappropriate speed of some motorists past the school. Zig Zag lines outside the school are there for safety reasons (and must not be parked upon) and whilst 30mph is the legal speed limit for School Lane that is far too high when there are 210 children arriving or leaving school. Please, please proceed with care and attention at these peak times to avoid any children being injured.

I would like to thank the Governors for their time and dedication in providing and overseeing the education of Higham’s children

Finally, I would like to add my special thanks to Malcolm James who was a Governor at Higham Primary School from September 1996 until his retirement in October 2014, including being Chair of Governors for a number of years.

Brian Maynard, Chair of Governors

HIGHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL
PARENT TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

Higham PTA continues to grow from strength to strength and we welcomed on board several new parents whose children joined the reception class in September 2014. We have had another successful year with all our regular events and many days for the children and parents of Higham Primary School to enjoy.

Much hard work goes into organising and arranging the events throughout the year and a huge Thank You goes out to all our committee members and extra helpers who have made 2014 a great success.

We have given funds to the school which have been used towards educational trips and visits, workshops, lots of new equipment including up to date IT facilities, football kits and pantomimes to list but a few.

We are always looking for new ideas and suggestions from new members and parents and welcome any relatives of Higham Primary School children, who would like to come along to our meetings and pop in and join our informal discussions. We continue to meet on Thursday evenings once a month at the village club. We are also most grateful for their support in allowing us to continue to use their facility for our meetings.

If you have any questions or suggestions for our PTA please contact either Sarah Blair or Julia Mackie at highampta@hotmail.com.

New members always welcome.

Julia Mackie, Chair

GAD’S HILL SCHOOL

We are living in a time of huge change, not just in our world and society around us, but also in the educational sector. Over recent years there has been, and will continue to be, major changes in the way in which children are taught, learn and are examined in order to gain qualifications to prepare for the career of their choice. The impact it is having is apparent at Gad’s, where those children who achieve the most out of their education (whether it is to go on to higher education or a career of their choice) are often those who are better able to grasp change and adapt the way they do things.

So what are the lessons for the future? For teachers, clearly it is no longer enough to simply prepare our children to pass exams in Mathematics, English, Science and the other academic subjects. Importantly, we also need to provide them with the adaptability, confidence and skills to be able to change in an increasingly evolving society.

Many adults will probably look back at their own childhoods and perceive an era of stability when nothing ever changed and things were pretty much the same year-in-year-out. I am not entirely certain whether this is just perception or whether the world actually was more stable and developed at a slower pace back then. The reality now is that we are living in a time of huge social change akin to that seen during the industrial revolution of the early and mid-1800s, when society changed from a predominantly agricultural one to one based on manufacturing, steam power and electricity.

And so my advice for all our young people today is to make sure that you work hard and get those vital academic qualifications. However, you also need to make sure that you develop those precious soft or transferable skills; be confident, don’t be afraid to explore, to challenge and to adapt. Do these things and enjoy a greater likelihood of a successful and prosperous future.

David Craggs, Headmaster


St John’s, Higham Flower Festival 2015 ’A Celebration of Saints’

26th, 27th and 28th June

The Church will be open to the Festival:

Friday 10.30am until 5pm
Saturday 10.30am until 5pm
Sunday 11am until 5pm.

Private sponsorships and donations welcome.

Refreshments will be served daily throughout the Festival.

Celebrating St Peter & St Paul Sunday 28th, Morning Mass 9.30am

An Evening of Music by ‘Straight Eight’ Sunday 28th at 7pm £7.50 including Pimms and Canapés

All enquiries and bookings to Teresa Joblin Tel: 01474 823186 Mobile: 07956 336134
E-mail: jobbers2005@btinternet.com


THE PARISH CHURCH OF S. JOHN

Open every day, anyone can visit S. John’s to sit, pray, or just to be (under the CCTV!). Worship continues to be offered each morning and evening.


Last Lent charity lunches were held on Saturdays and funds raised were sent to Christian Aid. This will happen again in Lent 2015. Our ‘Coffee & Conversation’ event (1st Saturday of the month) emerged from these lunches. They are especially for those who are alone or need a break from caring. It’s free and the home-made food is great!

On the 3rd Saturday of the month we have a special service with extensive intercession for the village in particular; and the world and church in general. There’s a box for any written prayers (just inside the Church) where you can leave requests for the Parish, those in need, the sick, bereaved and departed; and even thanksgivings! Copies of the daily prayer-cycle (for all areas and aspects of Higham) are in the porch.

‘M4’ group meets on the 1st Monday of each month from 6.30pm to 8.30ish. A supper follows worship with the group discussing the Faith. All are welcome; though at present it’s all S. John’s members.

A new bell-ringing group has started. At present they are ‘learning the ropes’ silently (muffled bells) but will soon be practising on Saturdays.

The renewed Sanctuary floor was completed by Easter 2014 and dedicated, during a celebration service by the Bishop of Tonbridge, in June. Thank you to some of Higham Choral who augmented our singers then; as also at our Carol Service in December. The acoustics for church and school services, as well as Higham Choral concerts, is much improved by the floor; which has beautified our building even more.

On Sunday mornings there are those (police checked) who teach Junior Church. Other Children can be dropped off by arrangement. The space for buggies and prams has had good use – even at funerals!

S. Mary’s, though now redundant, is always used for worship on Mothering Sunday at 5pm; and on the first Sunday of October at 10am. Two other services are planned for the summer. Details of these, and any other event, can be found by:

E-mail: saintjohn.higham@yahoo.co.uk
Telephone: 01634 717360
Web site: www.highamparishchurch.org.uk

The Revd. Canon James Southward (Fr. James)
Vicar of the Ecclesiastical (not Civil) Parish of Higham with Merston

HIGHAM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

Ministers and laity from a number of other churches continue to support us by sharing in the ministry from God’s Word and have shared some amazing stories of God’s love and faithfulness to them in personal ways.

Coffee mornings were again held on the 4th Saturday of each month from April to September. Numbers attending these events increased month by month, as did the amounts raised in support of a number of local charities. Thanks to those who baked and all who came and gave so generously.

In the centenary year of the outbreak of WWI, thoughts were focused on the many in the village who sacrificed their lives. A roll of honour is set out on the wall of the church naming those from the Sunday School, both teachers and pupils who fought for their King and country. Four teachers and 46 pupils are listed. Of those, eight one time pupils died in action. On Remembrance Sunday a service of commemoration was held: we thank God for the deliverance afforded to our nation in those dark days.

All are most welcome to join with us. The 11am Sunday service is followed by a time of friendship at which refreshments are served. Other notifications of meetings and services can be found on the notice board at the church.

Blessed are all they that put their trust in the Lord.  (Psalm 2:12b)

Peter Relf, Secretary 01474 322195 or e-mail: pmyrw65@gmail.com

FRIENDS OF ST MARY’S CHURCH, HIGHAM

The Friends’ Group Event Programme for 2014 was very successful.

The long awaited provision of electricity finally arrived in June and has made the running of events far easier.

We started in April with a talk by Walter Roberts who explained how he restored a medieval house at Upnor and also his current project the Manor Barn at Frindsbury. Our annual Jazz evening attracted the biggest audience in three years with The Rochester Swing Quintet and the Barrett Brothers.

In June we held our Midsummer Tea Party to participate in The Churches Conservation Trust’s national event. This year the focus was on St Mary’s and the surrounding area with a talk by Ian and Howard Milton about Lillechurch Farm and the Friends of St Mary’s also presented ‘The Real Story of the Nuns at Higham Priory’.

In July we held our Art in the Church event with Medway Open Studios. New visitors to the Church, and the artists, appreciated the venue for the display of art.

On 2 August, in conjunction with Higham History Group, we marked the centenary of WW1 with our evening event of talks, poetry and reminiscences. This was followed on 4 August with the laying of a wreath to mark the last day of peace in 1914.

September saw the return of the Scarecrow Festival and the Celebration of the Marsh Day as part of Heritage Open Day.

Our final event for the year was on 30 October with St Mary’s being one of the chosen churches for Gravesham Council's Commonwealth War Graves Memorial Service with the Mayor in attendance.

The Friends’ would like to convey our sincere appreciation to everyone who generously contributes their time to care for St Mary’s, in so many different ways – cleaning, flower displays and to our volunteers who help at our events. A particular thank you to our members whose continued support through membership is invaluable. We also thank The Churches Conservation Trust who maintains St Mary’s for us all to enjoy. St Mary’s is one of 347 churches cared for by the CCT. We, as the Friends of St Mary’s, support and work in partnership with the CCT to raise funds to assist with their work. Finally, thank you to all our supporters who enjoy attending our events and supporting us.

For information on membership and our events please visit our web site www.stmaryschurchhigham.com and our Facebook page www.facebook.com/StMarysChurchHigham. Please e-mail any specific queries to friends@stmaryschurchhigham.com.

We are planning a fabulous event programme for 2015 – a talk by Andrew Davis, an expert on Higham Priory, the popular Jazz evening and a weekend Summer Art Exhibition to name just a few. We look forward to seeing you at our events.

Linda Franklin, Chair, Friends of St Mary’s Church

CALLING ALL ARTISTS ……………

The Churches Conservation Trust • Friends of St Mary’s Church Higham • Medway Open Studios


‘Art in the Church’ – A Summer Exhibition, Part of the Medway Open Studios Programme for 2015

In July 2015 the amazing and beautiful ancient church of St Mary’s in Higham will once again host the works of local artists. Artists are currently being invited to be part of this unique show. Up to four pieces can be submitted for selection. Works can be in any medium – art, craft, music or film – with any subject, although we would especially love to see any pieces of art that reflect the church and its surrounds – the building, the churchyard, the marsh or the river.

The art works will be on show in the Church on Saturday 25 and Sunday, 26 July 2015.

For information check the web site: www.stmaryschurchhigham.com
You can visit the church at anytime – St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Lower Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7LS.

Background information: The St Mary’s Church, Higham is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The Churches Conservation Trust is the national charity protecting historic churches at risk. The Trust has saved over 340 beautiful buildings which attract almost two million visitors a year. They are kept open and in use – living once again at the heart of their communities. For more information visit www.visitchurches.org.uk

Medway Open Studios: http://medwayopenstudios.co.uk
2015 is the fourth year of the festival with more venues, more artists and more visitors! As artists sign up information will be loaded on to the web site – so keep checking. For further information contact The Friends of
St Mary’s Church, e-mail: friends@stmaryschurchhigham.com or telephone Sue on 07875 761974.

Sue Sparks

ART CLASSES

• Enhance and stimulate your creativity!
• Come and learn how to use your imagination!

EVERYBODY is welcome: any age, beginner, experienced artist, art student, business man. You make your own progression in your art.  Please come with your material and pay on the door:

• EVERY MONDAY 10am to 12 noon.
• HIGHAM MEMORIAL HALL, ME3 7JL.
• £15 for a two hour session.

Web site http://improvise-your-art.weebly.com/w-questions.html or contact Nathalie on 07544 396113.

Nathalie

KENT POLICE

I have received a number of reports from residents complaining about inconsiderate and nuisance parking in the village.

May I remind you that it is illegal to park your vehicle:

• On the footway causing an obstruction.
• On yellow lines.
• Opposite a junction or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction.

Parking in Higham, as in most places, is limited so please be considerate to pedestrians and other road users.

Crime figures are still relatively low in Higham, compared to other rural locations within Gravesham. However, it is always advisable to take basic precautions when it comes to protecting your home and vehicle. Simple measures can help protect you against becoming a victim of crime.

For example, make sure your windows and doors are kept locked and invest in timers for your lights and radio when you are away from home to create the impression someone is home.

Always secure sheds and outbuildings, and keep your side gate locked.

Don’t leave valuables, such as satellite navigation systems, on display in your vehicle.

Get expensive items, such as bicycles and computers, security marked to deter thieves and ensure police can trace you if the worst happens and your property is stolen.

For more advice, visit our web site at www.kent.police.uk

PCSO Sharon Balman (07969 584197)

KENT COUNTY COUNCIL COMMUNITY WARDEN

It does not seem 12 months since I wrote my last article for the Higham Parish Council Annual Newsletter, time seems to pass by so quickly.

Monthly Community Surgery – I was joined at the Surgery by one of your local Gravesham councillors, Harold Craske. It is hoped that this will continue in 2015 when either he or one of our other Gravesham/Parish councillors will be at the Surgery so come along, enjoy a FREE cup of tea or coffee and tell us what you think about what is happening in the Village, good or bad.

On Friday, 6 June, in conjunction with Higham Beavers, we held a litter pick on the Recreation Ground which was enjoyed by all and also enabled us to collect many bags of litter. This is an important annual event as I believe it teaches the young of the village how anti-social littering is. It is hoped we will hold a further event in June of 2015.

Speeding through Higham continues to be a problem and I have helped out with a number of Speed Watch sessions run by your local Higham Neighbourhood Forum. This is a scheme which does help deter speeding motorists but can only continue to be successful if volunteers are available. If you have a spare hour may be once every month or six weeks please contact me regarding helping out with this worthwhile scheme.

It was pleasing over the year to see a number of Higham residents attending events such as the Gravesham 50+ Forum and also the Christmas Community Safety Shop which was held in the St. George’s Centre, Gravesend.

In closing, may I say a big thank you to both the Parish Council and residents of Higham for all their co-operation over the last year. I can be reached or message left on mobile 07811 271256 or by e-mail steve.gray@kent.gov.uk. More information about the KCC Community Warden scheme can be found by logging on to our web site: www.kent.gov.uk/communitywardens

Steve Gray

HIGHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM

Higham Neighbourhood Forum meets quarterly generally on the first Tuesday of March, June, September and December at 7.30pm in Higham Library. All members of the public are welcome and can raise any issues that concern them about Higham. Kent Police will also be attending these meetings whenever possible.

Speed Watch

The Forum runs a Speed Watch scheme using equipment provided by Kent Police to monitor the speed of traffic through Higham. This is a very effective way of informing drivers if they are over the speed limit. Although no prosecutions result because of speed, persistent offenders and those who exceed the limit by 50% will receive a letter from Kent Police. However, for the scheme which is a deterrent to be effective we badly need more volunteers who are prepared to give an hour of their time once every two or three months.

If more people do not come forward and volunteer there is a real risk that we will not be able to continue, and this could impact on road safety in the village.

Dog Waste Bags

Higham Neighbourhood Forum has found a supplier of dog waste bags which Higham Parish Council is funding. These are issued free to dog owners from the Library, initially one roll per dog owner.

Further information on Higham Neighbourhood Forum or Speed Watch can be found by logging on to our web site www.spanglefish.com/HighamNeighbourhoodForum or by leaving a message on my mobile 07815 721966 or e-mail peter@pleakey.co.uk

Peter Leakey

SPEED WATCH AND LORRY WATCH

Higham Neighbourhood Forum runs a speed watch scheme where volunteers using equipment provided by Kent Police monitor the speed of traffic through the village. No driver is prosecuted as the purpose of the scheme is to educate him or her on the importance of driving within the limit.

All monitoring sessions are held in the daylight and good weather and seldom last longer than one hour.

We also run a lorry watch scheme which has recently been set up to monitor the movement of heavy lorries through Higham. This information is then passed on to the Parish Council.

We are in need of more volunteers for both of these schemes. For more information please, contact Peter Leakey:

E-Mail: peter@pleakey.co.uk
Telephone: 07815 721966

Guy Rollinson of Speed Watch Support will be attending this year’s Annual Parish Assembly and will give more details to those attending and demonstrate the equipment.

Peter Leakey

************************************************************

PARISHIONERS ARE RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED NOT TO OBSTRUCT MOBILITY SCOOTER CROSSING POINTS WITH DROPPED KERBS WITHIN THE VILLAGE BY PARKING OVER THEM AS THESE ARE NOW BEING MONITORED BY THE POLICE.

PLEASE TAKE CARE NOT TO OBSTRUCT THE FOOTPATH IN ANY WAY FOR OTHERS.

************************************************************

DANGEROUS CROSSROADS, JUNCTION OF FORGE LANE/VILLA ROAD, HIGHAM

For some years, crossing from our village Post Office/Grocery Shop in Forge Lane to the Villa Road corner by the Gardeners Public House and back, has become a hazardous business for pedestrians – through-traffic has increased alarmingly. Some concerned villagers have written independently to Kent County Council from time-to-time, voicing their fears regarding this junction’s accident potential. KCC have always quoted ‘Budgets’ and ‘Accident Statistics’ as reasons for negative action.

Perhaps an ‘en masse’ approach would alert the KCC to our genuine fears for villagers’ safety at this junction. To this end, a sample letter as below, addressed to Mr D Hall, Deputy Director of Highways, Kent County Council, Invicta House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XX can be collected from Higham Post Office for your use, informing KCC of your serious concerns. One letter can wrinkle a councillor’s forehead – a few hundred could electrify!

Sign your name, buy a stamp, SAVE A LIFE!

***************************************************************

Main body of suggested letter text (for full letter please visit the Post Office):

DANGEROUS JUNCTION Forge Lane/Villa Road, Higham, Kent ME3

As a Higham villager I feel strongly that the above junction is a major safety hazard for Pedestrians.

Villagers crossing from the Post Office/Grocers shop in Forge Lane to the Villa Road corner by the Gardeners Public House and back, are at risk.

I require my County Council to carry out a positive look at affordable remedial measures to improve Pedestrian safety at this junction.

I look forward to your reply.

***************************************************************

 
1st HIGHAM SCOUT GROUP

Higham Scout Group has had another successful year in 2014. We have a membership of approximately 70 young people and 14 adults who give up their time voluntarily. Together they have enjoyed gaining new skills, camping, hiking and having fun. We celebrated Christmas by taking part in the District Christingle Service and enjoying a laser evening in the Memorial Hall.

The Beavers continue to work for badges and they have taken part in a camp at Kay’s Garden in Meopham, visited Northfleet fire station and took part in the District’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Along with the Cubs they have had an Arachnid Night where they held spiders and snakes and went bug hunting at Shorne Country Park.

Cubs took part in the District summer camp and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They also attended Cubs on Water at Leybourne Lakes and their Christmas Party which they shared with the Scouts was an Extreme Laser Tag Evening at the Memorial Hall. Scouts have taken part in the District Camping and Cooking Competitions but the highlight of their year was the summer camp to Ypres and taking part in the evening ceremony at the Menin Gate. We represented the UK by carrying the Union Jack.

We also have whole group activities. Our Annual Good Friday Hike took place where we walked across the marshes to Cliffe Fort and had a lovely cook up on the beach. This was followed in May by an exciting visit to Chessington World of Adventures. If you like the sound of what we do come and join us. There is a waiting list for Beavers, but Cubs and Scouts have vacancies.

Our meeting times are:

Scout Group

Meet

Contact

Beaver Scouts

Friday: 5.30-6.30pm

Andrea Jarman: 01474 822192

Cub Scouts

Friday: 6.30-8pm

Andrea Jarman: 01474 822192

Scouts

Friday: 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

HIGHAM RAINBOWS

Higham Rainbows was re-opened on 3 June 2014 by myself (Deborah Williams) and assistants Katherine Dyke and Ray Mummery. It had been closed since February of 2014.

We at Rainbows aim to promote the ‘Girl Guiding’ to its fullest. Each Rainbow will be encouraged:

1. To do their best and work to a common standard.
2. To work in small groups.
3. Have a balanced variety of programme.
4. Make their own decision.
5. Care for the individual.

We do this through the Rainbows jigsaw programme ‘Look, Learn, Laugh and Love’.

Rainbows are open to all girls no matter their abilities or disabilities aged between five and seven years old. Each Rainbow unit has a limited number of spaces. This is so as a leader we get to know each of our Rainbows and their needs. Girls of this age can be demanding and need more individual help.

Each girl earns themselves badges through activities, such as art’n’craft, home economics, trips to different places and meeting with other Rainbow and Brownie units in the area.

To enquire regarding current spaces available please contact Deborah Williams on 07831 361399.

Deborah Williams

2nd HIGHAM BROWNIES

We have had a very special year at Higham Brownies. Last year Brownies celebrated their 100th Birthday. Higham Brownies worked very hard to achieve their Big Brownie Birthday Challenge badge. The girls enjoyed a campfire with Shorne Cubs, turned the Brownie meeting into another country, planned a trip around the world, designed a room for the future and, lastly, we held a tea party for Brownies and Leaders from the past. The tea party was a very special night and the Brownies loved listening to what Brownies used to be like and looking at old uniforms, badges and books.

We were lucky enough to take a small group of girls to London to see the rehearsal for the Trooping of The Colour.

In October we had a visit from the Royal British Legion to talk to the girls about their work. It was a very interesting talk and the evening’s subs were donated to them. The girls also received a goody bag from the Royal British Legion which was a nice surprise.

The girls finished the year with a Christmas meal at Frankie and Benny’s.

We would like to thank Laura, Jasmine, Charlotte and Louise who have all given up their spare time each Wednesday to help us over the last year. The Brownies enjoy having these teenage girls help each week and they have been fantastic role models to the younger girls.

We have a waiting list. However, if you wish to add your daughter to our waiting list please visit www.girlguiding.org.uk/interested. We are always looking for more adult helpers and if you have a skill that you would like to share with the Brownies then please contact us at: highambrownies@hotmail.co.uk

Sharon Maynard and Krissi Higgins,
(Tawny Owl and Sooty Owl)

HIGHAM YOUTH CLUB

2014 again saw the youth club growing from strength to strength. Many young people enjoyed a residential trip during the Easter holiday in glorious sunshine.

The atmosphere continues to be happy and vibrant with the young people enjoying themselves with their friends whilst participating in a large range of activities. They can choose what to do from our large range of equipment. We have table tennis, pool, table football, basketball, karaoke, Wii (including Guitar Hero band set, snowboarding, wii fit, dance mat, sports, resorts and many other games), PS2 (including Singstar), we have a musical keyboard, electric guitar and amplifier, computer, arts and crafts, swingball, circus equipment, cricket, golf and much more.... We usually hire the outside courts near the recreation ground to give the young people additional outside space for sports and activities and we run ad-hoc activities such as crafts, cake decorating, hair and beauty plus more.

We could not run without our dedicated and committed team of adult volunteers who freely give up their time for the benefit of our young people.

We also have our growing team of young helpers who are 14+ years, all of whom show great maturity and responsibility.

We always welcome new members at Higham Youth Club, and also welcome new volunteers (occasional or regular). Volunteers are checked through the Disclosure and Barring System (formerly CRB) to protect and safeguard our young members.

At the beginning of this year we put forward a business proposal to take on a lease at the Pavilion Building to enable us to increase the number of activities and clubs run for the benefit of young people and the community. We are so pleased that the lease negotiations have been positive and we are now in the process of building up our plans. Our vision is to gradually be able to offer additional youth club sessions plus other activities/events such as a drop-in ‘internet café’ for young people, film sessions, music rehearsal space, a social enterprise club, young people health clinic, cookery club, craft sessions, disco nights, beauty therapy sessions, basketball, football, tennis and other sports sessions, Duke of Edinburgh Award sessions, drop in sessions for young parents, and internet/games/café area for siblings and parents of young people participating in the football clubs on the Recreation Ground, summer/school holiday clubs, after school drop in sessions, drop in sessions for young people who are not in employment or educational training, ad-hoc drug/alcohol awareness sessions, training provision for young people (eg First Aid, Food Safety, Internet Safety, Babysitting, Basic Car Maintenance, Basic DIY), Job/Career advice drop in sessions, book club, a monthly session for young people to get to know older people in the village and serve them Afternoon Tea (this is a suggestion made by one of our young people), gardening club (using outside space to grow vegetables/fruit/herbs/salad which could be used in the kitchen for meals being served in the café), language club plus other ideas formed after consultation with the young people of the youth club and village.

To be able to reinstate the Pavilion to a useable state we are seeking funding through grants, and are also fund-raising. Many people have already made pledges to help us either financially, or to help with
fund-raising or giving up time. We have been overwhelmed with the support shown.

If any villagers are prepared to help us further please do contact us. We have taken on this project not only to be able to increase the services offered to local young people and the community, but particularly to save the Recreation Ground and Sports Courts.

We really do appreciate the support we receive from the Parish Council and local villagers.

For more information about our club please e-mail me on highamyouthclub@hotmail.co.uk or call me on 07817 746097 (leaving a message on voicemail if I am unavailable).

UPDATE: For details of the Youth Club’s Pavilion ‘hub’ project – including a fund-raising Quiz Night and Disco evening please read the box below.

HIGHAM YOUTH CLUB – CAN YOU HELP?

I am the current leader of Higham Youth Club (since 2007). As many people in the Village know the club has grown considerably in that time and we have been in need of providing additional sessions to cater for all the young people who wish to attend. We have been seeking premises for many years to enable us to run further activities.

Originally the Pavilion on the Recreation Ground was built for Higham Boys Club which closed. The Pavilion was then occupied by the kindergarten which sadly closed last summer. The Parish Council has been working very hard negotiating a lease renewal of the Recreation Ground, Sports Courts and Pavilion building. The landowners said all three parts had to be included in the lease, and due to problems with the negotiations for almost three years there was a real risk of the Village losing the Recreation Ground, Sports Courts and Pavilion. At the end of December, on behalf of the Youth Club, I was asked if we would be interested in taking on the Pavilion building. The building is currently in a very poor state of repair and needs urgent works to make it safe. We had to consider this very carefully. Clearly it would help us as it would give us a great opportunity to be able to offer so much more to young people in the Village, but it would also mean taking on a huge project which would cost a considerable amount of money and time.

We decided to go ahead and submitted a Business Plan which was approved by the Parish Council. The Parish Council has always supported the youth of the village wherever possible.

Outline approval has now been given to us taking on a sublease although documentation still has to be signed.

We have many exciting plans for the future, and wish to turn the Pavilion into a ‘hub’ providing activities, clubs and events for the young people and other community users in the Village. We just could not see the loss of the Recreation Ground or Sports Courts as these are used by so many different groups, including our Youth Club. It is already so sad that the Village no longer has nursery provision, and we did not want to see the demise of the Youth Club due to lack of facilities.

We will be applying for grants, holding fund-raising events, and working very hard to raise the money needed to fund the building works needed. We have to be able to provide a safe place for people to meet and that is our initial priority (although we hope to make further improvements in due course). We have arranged the following two fund-raising events at The Memorial Hall. We hope villagers, family, friends and colleagues will support both events.

Quiz Night

Separate Quiz for under 18s.

 

Saturday, 25 April 2015 at 7pm.

Memorial Hall, Higham.

 

Teams of up to 8 people.

Raffle.                 Tuck Shop.

 

Tickets on sale now:

£5 adults or £3.50 for under 18s

80s Disco/Karaoke Evening

 

 

Saturday, 4 July 2015 at 7.30pm.

Memorial Hall, Higham.

 

Prize for best 80s outfit!

Raffle.                 Tuck Shop.

 

Tickets on sale now:

£5 adults or £3.50 for under 18s

We will be needing architects, builders, plumbers, electricians, and many other tradesman for the works at the Pavilion.

This venture is completely non-profit making. All monies raised will go back in to provide further activities to benefit the Village. Eventually we wish to see the Pavilion used seven days a week, all day and evenings, providing a whole range of activities and clubs. Further details are in our Business Plans.

We hope villagers will support us. We have started to receive donations from kind villagers. If you feel you could help us out, or have made a pledge to help already, please could you message me, or e-mail me at highamyouthclub@hotmail.co.uk. www.higham-youth-club.btck.co.uk

Thank you so much.

Joanne Raff, Leader, Higham Youth Club

HIGHAM WI

2014 has proved a varied and successful year. We have 47 members and it is good to have new ladies joining us.

Theatre trips to London to see ‘War Horse’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ plus the ‘39 Steps’ at a local theatre and a day at the Hampton Court Show have all been well supported. Educational events include a visit to the BBC studios and a tour of Rochester Cathedral.

Our art and craft classes continue, ten pin bowling and walks still prove popular and we hope to have more walks and visits to local hostelries this year! The Home Economics competition was well supported again with standards remaining very high. Cakes were provided for the Proms in the Park in July and our Drama group provided the entertainment again at our birthday party in August.

Speakers have been varied ranging from The Air Ambulance, History of Victorian and Edwardian Employment, Protecting Wildlife in Your Garden, the Caged Lady and quiz evenings.

The Downton Abbey special evening had everyone getting into the spirit of things by dressing up in clothes of that era and they all looked very impressive. Lovely food was provided and the wine flowed. The Drama group put on a small production at our Christmas meeting. Mulled wine and mince pies started our festivities off at a committee member’s house and we completed our celebrations in January with a meal at The Knowle.

Pat Merrison, President

VILLAGE CORRESPONDENT

Higham now has a village correspondent who is your link to the local press in the Gravesham area. If your group or association has any news they wish to share please contact LIZ JEFFERY on 01474 747090 or e-mail her on: jefferyelizabeth18@googlemail.com

HIGHAM ACTIVE RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION - HiARA

HiARA (Higham Active Retirement Association) is a voluntary non-profit making organisation and is one of over 80 such groups throughout Kent. Since it was formed, early in 2003, the club has proved to be very popular.

There is a membership limit of 240. If anyone is interested then please contact a member of HiARA or come to the Memorial Hall on a Friday afternoon where you can ask questions and see what we do by way of activities.

The objective of the group is to provide the opportunity for anyone over the age of 50, who is retired or semi-retired, to keep active in mind and body. We meet every Friday afternoon each month, for a range of activities, including short-mat bowls, new age kurling, quizzes, puzzles, art, craft work, board games and tea and chat. We also have well-supported monthly art and craft groups and several themed evenings each year.

The fourth Friday in the month is earmarked for our general meeting and in the past year we have welcomed some popular speakers covering a wide range of subjects, plus time is allowed for a raffle, visiting the book stall, refreshments and having a good chat. These meetings generally attract 100+ members together with several guests.

In addition to the activities in the hall, we have monthly outings to places of interest, a selection of holidays and a luncheon club plus twice monthly rambles.

We publish a monthly newsletter which is distributed to members and those on the waiting list to keep them up to date with news of the club. We also post information in the library, on the Memorial Hall notice-board and on www.higham-kent-pc.gov.uk/hiara.

As with most organisations we are indebted to our committee, which is elected annually, and the dedicated band of volunteers who help with refreshments, setting out the hall, running the raffle and book stall and distributing the newsletter.

For more information about the group please visit our web site or call us on 01474 742576.

Harry Green, Publicity

HIGHAM CHORAL GROUP

2014 saw another successful year for the group. Our first concert was held at St Mary’s Church, Chalk where we sang a variety of music, including ‘The Crucifixion’ by John Stainer. In the summer we held our concert at St Mary’s Church, Lower Higham. We have used this lovely venue for this concert for many years and it is always very popular. Amongst other items, we performed ‘Highways’ by Gordon Jacob, this piece charts the progress of transport over the centuries, and also excerpts from ‘Fountain of Life’ by Margaret Rizza. A delicious finger buffet and a glass of wine was served in the interval. Our Christmas concert was very well attended at St John’s Church, Higham. Here we sang our usual selection of carols and lighter Christmas music. Several members spent an enjoyable weekend in May at the village of Ideford in Devon, where we performed a concert of varied music in the village church.

Our concerts for 2015:

28 March

Concert

St John’s Church, Higham

11 July

Summer Concert

St Mary’s Church, Lower Higham.

 

 

This will be a special concert to celebrate 25 years of Richard Shackleton as the group’s musical director.

12 December

Christmas Concert

St John’s Church, Higham.

Our tour this year will be at Silsoe in Bedfordshire.

We are a choir of about 30. New members are always welcome.

For more information you may contact the secretary on 01634 718818 or e-mail mary.davis59@btinternet.com

Mary Davis, Secretary

HIGHAM LUNCHEON CLUB

Another year over, where does the time go? We have had a quieter time this year in terms of entertainment due to the need to buy new chairs. Funds came from the Borough Council thanks to Les Pearton, plus a legacy from Joan, one of our former members, together with us watching our pennies carefully. They are very comfy chairs and we thank all concerned for their help.

The one thing that has not changed is the high standard of the wonderful meals produced by our cooks and the care provided by our hostesses and drivers. I must mention particularly Joan and Janet Rogers who retired in November after cooking roast dinners for us for more than 20 years. Thank you Ladies and enjoy a well-earned rest.

Again, we must thank the Parish Council for their continued welcome support.

In conclusion, I have to repeat my annual plea for volunteers. Anyone with a few hours to spare each month would receive a very warm welcome from our team of volunteers and, of course, our friendly members.

Barbara West, Co-ordinator (Telephone: 01474 822453)

HIGHAM WRITERS

Higham Writers have had an exceptionally good year, with their team of writers putting together no fewer than four Showcases of their work, which raised over £375 in aid of the EllenorLions Hospice.

Our programme included a presentation for a Mother’s Day luncheon in Shorne Village Hall, and two Showcases, one at Christmas, and the other, on the theme of Weird and Wonderful, at Shorne Village hall. We also paid our usual visit to Age Concern in Higham.

Our web site - www.highamwriters.co.uk – has had an overhaul under the supervision of Ray Abinett and is well worth a look from anyone interested in joining us, and includes a wide selection of our work over the past year.

Our 2015 projects, apart from future Showcases in Higham and Shorne, include putting together a selection of stories and articles to print in book form. We are also considering making a video of some of our readings for the web site. Members continue to follow their own personal projects through, from writing memoirs, ancestry and entering competitions, as well as working towards publication of individual pieces. There’s something for everybody – including tuition from experienced writer Denise Leppard.

We continue to meet at Higham Village Club on a Monday morning and are pleased to welcome beginners or experienced writers of all ages. Contact Denise on deniseleppard@btinternet.com or call 01474 822881.

Denise Leppard

THAMES AND MEDWAY CANAL ASSOCIATION LTD.

In my report for Higham Parish Council last year I told you that our Chairman Brian Macknish was unwell and had asked me to compile a report for you. As many of you will know Mr Macknish, unfortunately, died in May. Brian had gone through some ups and downs between January and May and had been making some improvement but suddenly succumbed on 18 May. He is sadly missed by all who knew him and has left many holes to fill. It has fallen to me to take over the Chairmanship of the Canal Association for which he worked tirelessly.

I reported last year that we, at last, had pumps in operation to maintain the water level in the canal. Who would have thought that there would be as much water as we had? Initially we, the Canal Association, were blamed for flooding the fields between Lower Higham Road and the Canal. As it transpired a couple of old culverts beneath the canal and railway track were unable to cope with the amount of water falling on the marshes. One, halfway between the bridges, had to be completely replaced another, close to the water treatment works, required unblocking. There were also problems along Canal Road. Network Rail pump water from the tunnel and into the Canal, this then feeds through a couple of culverts beneath Canal Road and into the marshes. Unfortunately the route through the marshes is not as straightforward as one would think and many of the fields were flooded causing problems for the farmers on the Site of Special Scientific Interest.

As a result of the managed increase in water level at the western end, we now have open water for the first kilometre from Gravesend to the Swing Bridge. This enabled the Gravesend Sea Cadets to go kayaking for the first time in over 20 years. As part of their community duties, a group of a dozen or so cadets came along on a couple of evenings to clear litter from the otherwise inaccessible south bank. After filling eight bags with litter, they made their way the two kilometres to the Swing Bridge and back. A sight that would have delighted Brian.

In November a group of Waterway Recovery Volunteers visited us to help cut back the woody growth between the footbridge and Shorne Mead Crossing. The weekend was very wet but a lot of work was done to
improve the area and increase the potential for wildlife.

We hope soon to be able to swing the Swing Bridge on which a group has been working diligently over the last few months.

TMCA has added their name to the list of supporters in favour of KCC’s appeal to reopen the foot path across the railway to Shorne Mead.

David Rouse,
Chairman

HIGHAM VILLAGE HISTORY GROUP

Higham Village History Group meet bi-monthly on the third Thursday of the month in the Memorial Hall where talks in the past year have included ‘Women in the Home Front in WW1’ when their status changed and they took on the roles and work occupations of men who were away
at war.

On 2 August at St Mary’s Church, Church Street, an evening entitled ‘Higham and World War One’ was held with talks, poetry and local reminiscences. This was a joint event with The Friends of St Mary’s Church. An afternoon visit in June to The Old Town Hall in Gravesend guided by local historian Christoph Bull proved very popular.

Four books on the history of Higham produced in conjunction with Andrew Rootes, the author, are available to purchase at meetings, by mail order and from Higham Post Office. Proceeds from the sale of books are used to fund the group’s activities and a donation was also made to St John’s Church tile fund. The group also collects photographs for the archive collection, researches and helps answer historical questions and collects memories of local people as part of a Reminiscence Project.

A lively programme has been arranged for the coming season. Details can be found on the web site www.highamvillagehistory.org.uk

Sally Starbuck

DICKENS COUNTRY PROTECTION SOCIETY (DCPS)

The Society has been very busy as usual this year, continuing the basic work of monitoring, and commenting on when considered appropriate, the various local planning applications being submitted to both Gravesham and Medway councils.

During the past year there has continued to be much national and local publicity about possible major projects in or affecting our area:

• We are pleased to report that the various ‘Thames Estuary Airport’ concepts were in the end rejected by the Government appointed Davies Commission Aviation Strategy Review, DCPS having previously contributed to evidence submissions and local meetings. This does not, unfortunately, mean though that the subject cannot be resurrected again in the future.

• The proposal for there to be a major river crossing East of Gravesend, which would be extremely destructive to our area, remains under consideration, now by the Highways Authority and also a Parliamentary Select Committee in which Gravesham have not been invited to participate. Kent County Council are strong advocates of the crossing, as are Essex, but Thurrock are opposed to both continuing schemes and would like option D (near High Halstow) to be reconsidered. A decision will not be made until after the national elections. The Society made detailed representations earlier in the processes but awaits an actual proposal by the Department for Transport, now likely to be late in 2015 at the earliest.

The Society continually keeps all these major plans under review and makes input and representations as and when possible. Detailed analysis can be found in our latest Newsletter which is sent out to Society members.

Other items that are particularly worth mentioning are:

• The Chattenden/Lodge Hill redevelopment projects. These have been affected by the site being classified as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and we have very recently heard that the proposal has been ‘called-in’ for a Ministerial review.

• Shornemead crossing. The Society has also just heard that Kent County Council have rejected the application by Shorne Parish Council to have the crossing officially recorded as a Right of Way, which local residents believe it already to be. A formal appeal is being prepared.

• ‘Stoke Harbour’ concept housing proposal. The charity Shelter submitted an entry to a competition (they won a runner-up prize) that discussed a possible housing development of 15,000 – 60,000 homes to start around Hoo/Stoke saltings then spread inland. While not a genuine plan it is, unfortunately, the kind of idea that developers may pick up and try to take further forward. There were other competition entries also for other areas on the Peninsula.

On lighter matters:

• The Society was active at several local exhibitions, fetes and fairs over the summer and will be holding its annual Barn Dance later in the year.

Mrs Susan Lindley,
Committee Member of DCPS

HIGHAM VILLAGE CLUB

Our Village Club enters its 132nd year this year and continues to provide a welcoming atmosphere for members and their families. Having been part of the history of Higham for all this time we look forward to seeing as many members and their families throughout the year. Your continued support is very paramount in this economic climate which continues to see clubs and pubs closing at an alarming rate. Don't forget Club prices are normally a few pence cheaper than other like establishments.

We regularly have entertainment and special events throughout the year and our facilities can be hired for parties, weddings, funerals and anniversaries, for a small hire charge to members and non-members.

We continue with our monthly Friday quiz night, Sunday evening bingo, as well as the first Wednesday of every month starting at 2pm in the afternoon, along with special themed nights, organised by the Entertainment Committee where we bring in entertainers for everyone’s enjoyment. There are two dances classes during the week on Monday and Wednesday evenings and darts teams on a Monday and Tuesday night also. The Club boasts a full size snooker table, and now has an active team in the Gravesend league, as well as Pool table and holds cards evenings and our Golf Society remains as ever active, even if you are a high handicapper! Slimming World is now also a regular on Thursday evenings.

We can even cater for the gardeners within the village with allotments to the rear of the Club.

We are always looking for new members who wish to enjoy the facilities we offer, and the Staff and the Committee are grateful for the tremendous support we get from our members. If you have never been inside the club come and see us or look on our web site www.highamvillageclub.co.uk or telephone 01474 822456 or e-mail highamvillageclub@hotmail.com We look forward to seeing old and new faces throughout the year on a regular basis.

Mark Gray, Secretary

PLAYBALL FOOTBALL COACHING

Playball has been running pre-school football coaching sessions at Higham Memorial Hall since February 2004, for boys and girls aged between two-and-a-half and four-and-a-half years. The football sessions do not only teach children basic football skills but also teach co-ordination, patience, balance and improve listening skills. All of this gives children a head start in to football and sport when reaching school age. If you would like more information, log on to www.playballfootballacademy.co.uk or, alternatively, telephone me on 01634 311481 or mobile 07762 338478.
My e-mail address is neil.stephens21@blueyonder.co.uk

Neil Stephens

EAGLES FC

Eagles Football Club is now in its 36th season, proud to represent Higham and the surrounding areas in our national sport. The ethos of the club remains unchanged. We provide football opportunities to local children in a fun, safe and positive environment, where they further their football ability through encouragement and quality coaching. We play to win, but we do not win at all costs.

All of our teams are managed by an FA Level 1 Qualified Coach and the club has obtained the FA Charter Standard, ensuring we meet the coaching, first aid, child protection and organisation standards required by the FA. Our mini soccer teams (Under 8’s to Under 11’s) play in the North Kent Youth Football League and most of our youth soccer teams (Under 12’s to Under 18’s) play in the Medway Messenger Youth League.

We have a number of club events throughout the year to bring all 11 teams together and our end of season presentation day is a fun day for parents and players alike. We are always open to new joiners and actively encourage local children to get into sport, to keep fit, make new friends and be part of our team and club spirit. If you are interested, please contact Pat Jeal on 01474 822607 or use the ‘contact us’ facility on our club web site, www.highameagles.co.uk.

Tony Smith

HIGHAM & MOCKBEGGAR CRICKET CLUB

We are a self-funding village side, who play on the outskirts of Higham, on Mockbeggar Farm, just off Lee Green Road, near the Farm Shop, post code ME3 8EX. We run one adult side on each Saturday and Sunday, and play matches between the end of April and the last weekend of September.

Due to an increase in our core strength, we have joined the Kent Regional Cricket League on Saturdays, and will continue to play in the Kent Village Cricket League on Sundays, and will have a number of friendlies on
non-League dates.

We also run junior sides covering school Year Groups 3-10 at present. Competent Junior players are also able to play in the adults side, subject to ability.

We would welcome new male and female players across all age groups regardless of previous experience, as our ability levels across the club are truly mixed.

Adult and School Year 9 and 10 Nets take place on Sundays between 5.30 and 6.30pm. Junior Nets take place on Wednesdays between 6.30 and 7.30pm. The venue is Chadlington Hall, King’s School, Lockington Grove, Rochester ME1 1RH. Costs to be confirmed.

Once the weather improves we will have midweek evening practice sessions at our Ground, from mid-April to the end of school summer term, which are free of charge.

For more details about your local cricket club please contact:

Richard Hawkins, Club Captain
Mobile: 07738 189559 E-mail: richard.hawkins@rbs.com

Phil Jack, Secretary
Mobile: 07837 594158 E-mail: pakjack@hotmail.com

Richard Hawkins

HIGHAM ‘SHORT MAT’ BOWLERS

We meet Wednesday evenings from 8 to 10pm at Higham Primary School, School Lane, Higham. The cost is £3 per person for two hours. We also stop at 9pm for a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit – extra 20p.

If you are interested, please contact Mrs M Barton, Secretary, on 01474 822592.

Mo Barton

TAI CHI GROUP

A Tai Chi group now meets at the Memorial Hall on a Wednesday morning from 8.30 until 9.30am. There is no need to book – just turn up. The cost is £4 per session. Beginners especially welcome.

For further information please contact Steve on 07999 346050 or visit www.shizendo.co.uk

COPPERFIELD QUILTERS

We continue to meet at Merston Court lounge fortnightly on Thursday evenings from 7.30 to 9.30pm.

We do not hold teaching classes as such but meet as a sewing bee of ladies with various stitching talents. We work on our own projects (always with fabric) making many items from cot quilts to king size quilts, cushions, bags, wall hangings, pin cushions, etc. We do have specialist tutors/workshops to inspire and give us new ideas. Also there is a wonderful choice of quilt shows around the country to visit.

If you would like to know more about us ring Linda Parr on 01474 823129 or pop in and see what we are making, you could do it too!

Linda Parr

HIGHAM CRAFT CLUB

Higham Craft Club is held in St John’s Church Hall, Hermitage Road, Higham, and is a group of friendly ladies who meet Tuesday mornings, Wednesday evenings and alternate Fridays. We make cards, go to shows and have craft weekends.

We have been running for a successful eight years now and we always have places for new members especially Wednesday evening for ladies who work or look after children during the day.

For more details ring Irene on 07917 673221 or Pauline on 07766 768180.

Irene Love and Pauline Powling

THE CLAIRE BUCKLEY SCHOOL OF DANCING

The Claire Buckley School of Dancing offers dancing classes at the Higham Memorial Hall every Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm. We teach ballet, tap and jazz for both boys and girls from the age of 3 years. Our aim is for children to dance for enjoyment and this is a fun way to exercise and keep fit whilst also learning different styles of dance.

In 2014 we held our exams and all students passed with flying colours. We performed our annual show at the Brook Theatre which was, again, a huge success and an achievement for all the pupils that took part.

2015 is planning on being another busy year with exams, show and plans to run some children’s dance related workshops in the school breaks.

We currently have spaces in all our classes, so if you would like some information about any of the classes we offer then please do not hesitate to contact me on the numbers below.

Home: 01634 220766  //  Mobile: 07813 050493   //   E-mail: Claire.buckleys@virgin.net

Claire Buckley

EMMA’S STREET DANCE

Emma’s Street Dance classes are held at Higham Village Club. They are for dancers of all ages who wish to learn new ‘street dance’ routines. Beginners to advanced dancers can come and perfect their moves whilst having fun and keeping fit. Emma’s Street Dance is for everyone, so come and learn new skills and make new friends. Classes are held on Mondays:

Emma Cater Telephone: 07713 481584

 
OBITUARY

COUNCILLOR MALCOLM JAMES

Parishioners will be saddened to learn of the death of Councillor Malcolm James
who had served as a loyal Member of Higham Parish Council since 1995.

Malcolm rarely missed attending our Parish Council Meetings and contributed a huge amount to village life. We knew that any project he took on was in safe hands and his particular area of interest was traffic management through our village and, in particular, the large number of HGV’s which seemed to deviate from the preferred lorry route and use the village roads. He became the appointed Governor representing the Parish Council on the Governing Body of Higham Primary School and so excelled in this role that he ultimately became Chairman. He never minded what job he took on, once volunteering to varnish the Millennium Dickens Character road signs before their installation, and through it all uppermost in his mind was looking after the interests of his Parishioners in the Three Crutches hamlet.

He will be sadly missed by us all.
 

 

CONTACTING YOUR VILLAGE ORGANISATIONS

Age Concern. Higham Luncheon Club

01474 822453

Art Classes - Nathalie 07544 396113

Beavers

01474 822192

Brownies

01474 823500 

01474 823538

Choral Group

01634 718818

Claire Buckley School of Dancing

01634 220766
07813 050493

Community Warden (Steve Gray)

07811 271256

Congregational Church

01474 322195

Copperfield Quilters

01474 823129

Cub Scouts

01474 822192

Dickens Country Protection Society

01322 275389

Eagles Football Clubs

01474 822607

Emma’s Street Dance

07713 481584

Explorer Scouts

01474 823187

Friends of St Mary’s Church

01634 725018

HiARA

01474 822686
01474 742576

Higham & Mockbeggar Cricket Club

07738 189559
07837 594158

Higham Bowlers

01474 822592

Higham CP School PTA

01474 823470

Higham Craft Club

07766 768180
07917 673221

Higham Library

03000 413131

Higham Neighbourhood Forum – Peter Leakey

01474 822516
07815 721966

Higham Rainbows 07831 361399

Higham Village Club

01474 822456

Higham Village History Group

01474 823342

Higham Village Sports Association

01474 822448

Higham Writers 01474 822881

Higham Youth Club

07934 562085
07817 746097

Kent Police

101 (non emergency)
999 (emergency)

Memorial Hall (Bookings only)

01474 822007

Parish Clerk

01474 822642

PCSO Sharon Balman

07969 584197

Playball Football

01634 311481
07762 338478

Saint John’s Church – Fr. James Southward

01634 717360

Scouts

01474 823806

Sure Start – Riverside Children's Centre

01474 535301

Tai Chi

07999 346050

Thames and Medway Canal Association

01474 362861

Village Correspondent, Liz Jeffrey 01474 747090

Women’s Institute

01474 823772

 

 

HIGHAM PARISH COUNCIL PRIOR TO ELECTIONS, APRIL 2015

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 Graham Ashby 28 Norah Lane, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7EP 01474 822139
Cllr Anne Carroll 13 Highwood Close, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7BQ 01474 824687

Cllr John Grey

61 School Lane, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7JR

01474 822789

Cllr Alan Howard

1 Taylors Lane, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7AX

01474 822108

Cllr Mrs

Amanda Mendzil

7 Telegraph Hill, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7NN

01634 725929

Cllr Les Pearton

16 Michele Cottages, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7JZ 

01474 822080

Cllr Stuart Wright

‘Hillyfield’, Hermitage Road, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7PB

01634 717336

BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

Cllr Les Pearton

16 Michele Cottages, Higham, Rochester, Kent ME3 7JZ 

01474 822080

Cllr Harold Craske

6 Pepper Hill, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent DA11 8EY

01474 567590

COUNTY COUNCILLOR

Cllr Bryan Sweetland

52 Downs Road, Istead Rise, Gravesend, Kent  DA13 9HG

07976 309171

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

 

E-mail:  enquiries@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

Web site:  www.higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

 

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

[ Back to: Home Page | 2004 Newsletter | 2005 Newsletter |
2006 Newsletter | 2007 Newsletter | 2008 Newsletter | 2009 Newsletter |
2010 Newsletter  | 2011 Newsletter | 2012 Newsletter | 2013 Newsletter
2014 Newsletter | ]

 
Up to top of page

Contact us by email: enquiries@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

Web site comments or queries? Email the Webmaster: Webmaster@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

 

Last Revised ~31 March 2015

Web site design and creation by

Clive Stanley Associates

Copyright © Higham Parish Council 2015