Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And finally... My last ever Courier Central Tonbridge column....

Well it's good bye from me! Here is my very last column in the Kent and Sussex Courier, due out in tomorrow's paper; I've been the Central Tonbridge Correspondent for nearly four years but it's time to call it a day. This is the unedited version, which is usually quite a bit different from the edited version once the subs have hacked it to pieces. Don't worry Tonbridge blog will continue and hopefully blossom into a wonderful must-read Tonbridge source of information and gossip:
A gentleman visited me this week desperately seeking a book which will give him information on giant vegetable growing. The Tonbridge allotment holder claims to have grown a beetroot weighing in at over six pounds and was keen to learn whether this was anywhere near the record. To my amazement I found that there is a book called The Biggest Beetroot in the World by Michael Leapman. Anyone who knows the answer to this or who has grown bigger vegetables please contact this column.

The West Kent Poetry Competition results were announced at The West Kent Book Fair last Sunday. The competition, about to enter its fifth year, has attracted a very high standard of entries each year and this year really was quite exceptional. The winner who received a prize of £100, was Margaret Beston, from Tonbridge, with her wonderful poem Darning; runner up was Silent Night by William Wood; third place went to The Not so Few by Trevor Lawrence. There will be an anthology of the winners, published by Green Arrow Publishing available from MR. Books Bookshop, Bank Street, Tonbridge, or by mail order, further details are on www.mrbooks.co.uk Chairman of the judging panel, John Dench, commented that the standard of the entries was very high this year but that he felt Margaret’s poem has all the right ingredients: beautiful imagery, combined with good use of alliteration and verse structure.

The ever popular Nellie’s Folk Night will be held at the Ivy House pub on Monday from 8pm in the main bar. Bring along an instrument or your vocal chords or simply just go along to listen.

Popular local speaker and author, John Ray, will be speaking about the RAF in the Second World War on Friday November 7 at 8pm in the Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Admission is £3 on the door with all proceeds going to The Royal Star and Garter Home.

Poetry at the Pub will be held at the Ivy House, on the corner of Bordyke and Tonbridge High Street, on Thursday in the main bar from 8pm. The event is totally open mike and attracts a wide variety of styles and people aged from 18 to a gentleman called Gerry Stubbs, who is 88. The event is on the first Thursday of each month.

There will be a postcard collectors fair at the Angel Centre on Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

For one night only on Saturday November 8 at 7-30pm The Little Bridge Theatre Company will present A Time to Remember, a one act recital of song, poetry and personal testimony in honour of those who have served there country. Tickets are £5 and can be bought on the door or in advance by phoning 01732 362348.

It’s always a pleasure to wander along to the Angel Flea Market, today and every Friday from 8am to 1pm, where there are a whole range of things available from World War One bayonets and militaria to jewellery and buttons. Organiser Sue Carmichael has been working tirelessly over the years to make the weekly event the success it has become.

The Tonbridge Country Market will be selling its usual mix of lovely fresh cakes, including my personal favourite the almond sponge cake, together with home grown fruit and vegetables today (Friday) from 8-30am to 11am in the scout hut, Lambert’s Yard, just off the High Street.

And finally, I have very much enjoyed writing this column and have hopefully kept you all informed and, sometimes, entertained. During the few years that I have been writing I have heard stories of courage, stories of achievement in the community, selfless work for others. I’ve learnt about bell ringing, Tonbridge Ware making, wood carving and other almost forgotten crafts. I’ve had the pleasure to hear from event organisers, artists, businessmen and publicans. But all good things must come to an end so a big thank you to you all. If you wish to stay in touch go to my web site www.tonbridgeblog.com or visit me at MR. Books Bookshop at 2 Bank Street, Tonbridge.

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