Saturday, July 19, 2014
I hear that the SIBA Beer Festival, held in a large marquee at the back of the TJs Rugby Club, went down a storm. Fortunately, for once, not literally! The club have been unlucky of late with the winter festival having been called off in February due to the Christmas flooding and subsequent severe damage to the club house. Two years ago the summer festival was cancelled at late notice due to heavy rain and flooding of the festival location. I understand from a reliable source that there were about seven trillion pints swilled, er, or should that be tasted and sampled, I myself went along on the Friday night and downed several halves of some lovely tastey ales and ciders. Oh I pretended that I was some sort of an expert as I asked for small samples and swirled it round in my special half pint festival glass, as I "nosed it" and swished it (that's another technical term) against my pallet. But, when it boils down to it, I've found you either like it or you don't. I did like most of the ones I tried (full report later) and, on the whole found that, pale summer ales were very palletable but anything over about 6% wasn't. Long may this event continue it is, without doubt, the high spot of my beer drinking year
I met Tom Tugenhat at a so-called "networking evening" earlier this week which was being hosted at Martin & Co. letting agents, on Tonbridge High Street. I can't say that I got to know him at all well but, from the brief conversation we had he seemed okay to me. Not much of an accolade for anyone is it but that really is all I can say at this stage. He didn't grab my attention with his dynamism, nor did he fill the room with his presence. Maybe that's a good thing in a politician though. As I suggested to him in not so many words, he is a virtual shoe-in for the parliamentary seat of Tonbridge and Malling (following the retirement of the erstwhile Sir John Stanley btw, if you haven't kept up with local events.) I suggested to him that, in a way, he'd be better off doing nothing for the next year rather that risk tripping himself up by getting drunk at a networking evening or something (not that I'm suggesting he did get drunk, or even a little tipsy, you understand!) To his credit Tom's reply to that was that he wasn't going to take anything for granted before the general election next May. That, it seems to me, is a sensible and mature approach if he is to win, not only the election, but also the hearts and minds of his electorate. Tom you may not have won my vote. Being brought up by working class Yorkshire parents from the villages around Sheffield it'll probably take more years than I have in this lifetime for me to swing to the Tories. But you certainly persuaded me that you're not the type to sit back and do nothing and, as we all know, in politics Doing Nothing should never be an option. Unfortunately Doing Nothing so often is the option which many a career minded politician takes so that they don't face the axe if the reforming actions come a cropper. I sincerely hope that Tonbridge (and let's not forget, Mallings and Edenbridge) see the best years of Mr. Tugenhat.....
Saturday, July 12, 2014
A little birdie at the SIBA beer festival being held at TJs Rugby Club this weekend told me that there's a micro pub opening soon in Tonbridge. These little jewels are springing up in many towns up and down the country; they tend to serve well sourced craft beers, ciders and fine wines and are usually small bars so can make use of old shop premises which will keep down overheads when compared with the expenses of running a traditional public house. This is great news if it's true and particularly so for the North end of town which is short of a café style bar. I dare say that they'll do a great trade and, if the craft ales are well chosen, I for one will be a regular customer....
Friday, July 11, 2014
It's here, it's back and I can't wait. The SIBA Beer Festival starts tonight and goes on till Sunday. So if real ales and ciders is your bag then I suggest you pay them a visit. Where else can you find a hundred or more different locally produced beers and ciders in one place. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY on all three days again and again! Food also available. All they need is to provide beds and you could spend the whole weekend there.... There's more here
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Lady Mayor, dignitaries, press photographers, passers by, arts fest committee members and me were all out in force to watch the unveiling of the Big Picture down by the Castle wall just now. This marked the official start of the Tonbridge Arts Festival which is on until at least the weekend and probably beyond. (Check websites/programmes for details of events around town.) The mayor gave us a short speech and children from local primary school, Slade, played us an ocarina and orchestral delight. It was quite funny that the Lady Mayor, new in her role, couldn't get her tongue around the word "ocarina" which, btw if you didn't know, is a small stone shaped wind instrument. She may never have to say the word again with any luck! The picture itself was quite amazing close up and depicted a scene of a shot down aircraft during WW1. Pictures to follow naturally....
|He scores.... I think!|
|Yum yum. There's a lot of hard thought (and eating) going on at the cake tasting!|
|The burger meisters were there even if the Mayor wasn't!|
|This young lad's not shy!|
|Please don't whack me Miss!|
|Words and pictures leaping from the page!|
Mr. Books window display is a little different from the usual kitchen set or murder scene. This time it is BOOK ART. The children from the Slade Primary School, our most local school, aided and abetted by Lorena from the Art Trolley, who run art workshops, have put together a marvellous installation which I was happy to give display space to. (In fact I might even have paid to have it in there it's so good, but keep quite on that one!) Words and pictures are, quite literally, leaping off the pages. Come and have a look for yourselves....
|Lorena from The Art Trolley with friend (and stepladder!) get to work|
|Stunning book art!|
|Come and look at Mr. Books, 142 High Street|
Hello Tonbridge! Okay, doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "Hello Glastonbury!" but don't forget that the Tonbridge Arts Festival officially starts today with the unveiling of the Big Picture down at the Castle wall, by the river, at 4pm. I shall be there to listen to the Slade School children's mini re-enactment of their Guinness World Record breaking ocarina performance. Not sure which tune they'll be playing but I'll be there to find out. Let's hope it's nothing by Metallica!! See more here