The Thriving Town Of Tonbridge
After undergoing recent regeneration, Tonbridge really has got it all – even its own castle, which just happens to be one of the oldest castles still standing in the UK!
The countdown is well underway for a summer of fun in the historic town of Tonbridge. With a mix of independent cafes, art galleries, shops and restaurants, to the choice of businesses in the high street and nestled on the industrial estate – not to mention a brilliant choice of schools, sporting clubs and facilities, along with convenient travel links – Tonbridge really does have something for everyone.
And this month celebrates the return of the ever-popular Tonbridge Carnival, which takes place on Sunday 16th June. Now in its 30th year, this great event has once again been organised by the Tonbridge Lions Club, with the continued support from Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.
The Bacchus Wind Orchestra start proceedings playing at Watergate from 11.30am-12.30pm, while the Carnival procession will meet in Sainsbury’s front car park and will proceed down the High Street at 12.15pm. With this year’s theme of Flower Power, the carnival promises to be a colourful celebration with those taking part including local community groups, sports clubs, bands, dancers and majorettes, local schools, Scouts, Guides and Kent Fire & Rescue.
Following the procession there will be a dance display on the Cannon Lawn by the Nepalese Dancers, to be followed by the fete from 1pm on the Castle Lawn, with a variety of entertainment, stalls, refreshments and more.
• The original motte-and-bailey Tonbridge Castle was built by Richard Fitz Gilbert soon after the Norman Conquest to guard the crossing of the River Medway, and it is one of the oldest castles still standing in the UK.
• The twin towered gatehouse took 30 years to build and was completed in 1260. The local council purchased the site in 1900 and now use the mansion as offices. The grounds were made into a public park.
Neptune Tonbridge is a mere five-minute drive from the A21. We house our collections of kitchens, garden, living, dining and bedrooms within a large warehouse-styled building, some of our customers describe it as being a bit like a modern barn conversion. As well as our collections we have an extensive range of lighting, candles and fragrances, textiles, flower shop, decorative items, tableware, and decorating accessories.
• 1 Tannery Road, Tonbridge TN9 1RF or call 01732 351866.
Hilden Park Accountants Limited
For more than 20 years Hilden Park Accountants have gained a reputation for building lasting relationships and ensuring their clients’ aspirations and long-term goals are achieved. Constantly going that extra mile for their clients to ensure the best advice is given in a timely and professional manner. Whether you are a business or an individual, a friendly, knowledgeable and pragmatic team from Hilden Park Accountants will tailor their services to your individual needs.
• Hilden Park House, 79 Tonbridge Road, Hildenborough TN11 9BH, call 01732 838877 or visit hildenparkaccountants.co.uk
Edwards Lighting & Furniture
Edwards are a family-run company. Following on from our success with our lighting ranges we have now ventured into occasional furniture for living, dining and bedrooms in our showrooms and online. We have extensive showrooms in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells that fully display our ranges of lighting and furniture. Items can be purchased in-store, online delivery or click and collect. Our showrooms are open 7 days a week with free parking.
• Tonbridge Lighting Centre, 420-422 Vale Road, Tonbridge TN9 1SW (call 01732 363583) and at 68 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2UJ (call 01892 527647).
The town’s two leading sports clubs – Tonbridge Angels FC and Tonbridge Juddians RFC – rounded off their seasons respectively with impressive wins. The Angels secured promotion to National League South in a pulsating Super Play-Off final at Imber Court against the Metropolitan Police, which ended 3-2 after extra time, while congratulations go to Tonbridge Juddians 1st XV who secured third place in the National 2 South 2018/2019 League.
Meanwhile, the May Bank Holiday Monday saw the return of the annual Tonbridge Triathlon at Tonbridge School Sports Centre. The ever-popular event was a sell-out with 462 competitors signed up to participate. The men’s winner of the standard distance event was Jack Josephy, who completed the 800m swim, 50km cycle and 10km run in 2hrs 29mins 30secs, while the ladies’ winner of the same distance was Saskia Ricks in 2hrs 44mins 38secs.
Unfortunately the later events were disrupted by the effects of the unexpected closure of the A21 and for safety reasons the Sprint, Relay and Go Tri events were cut short, the cycle element was curtailed, but the swim and run elements were able to continue.
The proceeds of the event, in excess of £10,000, goes to Tonbridge Lions Club for distribution to Kent Sussex Surrey Air Ambulance, Hospice in the Weald and Libra, the Lions International Blood Research Appeal at Kings Hospital London and other local good causes.
With 50% of homes sold or reserved, popular Tonbridge development One Three Three presents a fresh selection of new apartments just waiting to be snapped up. Newly-launched penthouse No 10 offers panoramic views from its rooftop garden, while No 11 enjoys brilliant scenes from its feature balcony. Highly-anticipated two-storey apartments No 13 & No 14 along with a three-bedroom mews home are also nearing completion.
• Visit Regalpoint Homes’ website – regalpoint.co.uk – for further information.
EM Forster Theatre @ Tonbridge School
The EM Forster Theatre at Tonbridge School runs a busy programme of professional theatre, dance and music, and is also home to the drama department of Tonbridge School during term time. With a main theatre seating 380 people and a flexible studio space, each season there’s something for everyone in the varied programme – a mix of exciting, experimental and classic drama, quality children’s shows, critically acclaimed NT Live broadcasts, comedy, dance, talks and live music.
• Full details of all shows can be found online at emftheatre.com
Abbey Funeral Services Ltd
Most people rely on funeral directors to bring sensitivity and dignity to funeral arrangements, and those are two of the fundamental principles of independently owned and family managed Abbey Funeral Services Ltd. Founded by Jim and Chris Parker in 1983 and joined by their daughter Jo in 1996, the award-winning firm have cared for families in Tonbridge and surrounding areas ever since. Abbey Funeral Services has been awarded its ‘Dementia Friendly’ status by Kent Dementia Action.
• 173 High Street, Tonbridge TN9 1BX, visit abbeyfs.co.uk or call 01732 360328 (24 hour).
Entries invited for Tonbridge & Malling in Bloom competition
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council are again working with Coolings Nurseries to support the annual Tonbridge & Malling in Bloom garden competition, which plays an important role in celebrating the value of plants and their impact on our community – and which runs until the end of June. Entry forms, full details and T&Cs can be found in a number of local outlets, including:
• Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill, Knockholt TN14 7NN.
• Tonbridge Castle.
• Haysden Country Park.
• Leybourne Lakes Country Park.
• Larkfield Leisure Centre.
• Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council Offices, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill ME19 4LZ.
• Tonbridge Swimming Pool.
• Angel Centre, Tonbridge.
• Online at coolings.co.uk
The competition is free to enter, with categories ranging from individual pots to entire gardens and covers all businesses. Coolings will also send a £5 voucher to every household that enters. Closing date for entries is 30th June 2019.
Robert Styles, TMBC’s director of Street Scene, Leisure and Technical Services, says: “The Council is delighted to be supporting Coolings in this annual community competition, where local residents who enjoy gardening and those who would like to give it a go can help to transform their local areas into better places to live and work, and in turn make residents, businesses and communities proud of their town.”
Juding of entries will take place during the first two weeks in July, followed by an awards ceremony for prize-winners on Saturday 27th July at Coolings The Gardener’s Garden Centre in Knockholt.
Image © Marathon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
As one of Europe’s leading luxury kitchen suppliers Krieder is synonymous with contemporary, sharp and clean designs. And now from their flagship state-of-the-art showroom in Tonbridge and online shop, they also offer bespoke bedroom and living furniture – from luxury beds and designer TV and media units to sofas, stalls and shelving – to complement their kitchen choices, with 1,000’s of combinations to choose from.
• Pop into the showroom at 52 Morley Road, Tonbridge TN9 1RA, call 01892 619721 or visit krieder.com
Wilkinson Eyewear Studio
Wilkinson Eyewear Studio’s passion and commitment to delivering the most unique eyewear from around the world will be the first thing you notice when visiting our studios. Our consulting rooms are full of the latest state-of-the-art equipment and our qualified and highly trained optometrists will deliver an exceptional eye test. What really sets us apart is our team of talented and passionate eyewear enthusiasts whose sole desire is to guide you towards your spectacular, beautiful fashion statement.
• Call 01732 353803 (Tonbridge), 01732 453137 (Sevenoaks) & 0208 464 5347 (Bromley), or visit the website eyewear.studio
Working to inspire young engineers
Discover the rich history of one of the country’s oldest charities – and take part in free learning activities – now that a popular exhibition has relocated upriver to Tonbridge. The Rochester Bridge Trust has provided and maintained crossings of the River Medway for more than 600 years – including contributing to the Great Bridge at Tonbridge – but there is still much that remains unknown about the organisation among the general public, as visitors to the Bridge Works exhibition have been discovering.
Originally housed in the Crypt of Rochester Cathedral, the exhibition proved so popular that it has gone on tour and is now on show at Tonbridge Castle. As well as the exhibition itself, schools are being invited to register to attend free engineering activity mornings, which will take place on selected dates throughout the year.
Organised and hosted by the Rochester Bridge Trust’s Education Officers, the events involve a guided tour of the Bridge Works exhibition, followed by hands-on bridge building activities. Bridge Works uses imagery, interactive displays and children’s activities and has been designed to appeal to adults and children, with something for all levels of ability and interest. Bringing together many stories, one element uses buttons and lights to explain why a bridge in Rochester had historical relevance to the people of Tonbridge.
Entry is usually via paid access to Tonbridge Castle, but a 20% discount voucher can be downloaded at rbt.org.uk/bridgeworks, and educational groups are invited to attend the activity mornings at no cost. The exhibition at Tonbridge Castle runs until 31st January 2020.
Image © Mark Turner
Recycle for All Roadshows coming to a kerbside near you!
Plastics and glass collections are not the only thing arriving on kerbsides in Tonbridge & Malling this year, as a series of roadshows hit the streets to help spread the word about the new waste and recycling service and improvements to collections from this September.
Residents can visit Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Recycle for All Roadshows to chat to the council’s Waste Services team, find out more about the much-improved recycling service and ask any questions they may have. Roadshows take place as follows:
• Sunday 16th June, 9.30am-1.30pm, Aylesford Priory Farmers Market, Aylesford Priory, Aylesford ME20 7BX.
• Friday 21st June, 9am-3.30pm, Tesco Lunsford Park, Larkfield, Aylesford ME20 6RJ.
• Sunday 14th July, 9am-5pm, Sunday Fun Day, Longmead Stadium, Tonbridge TN10 3JW.
• Friday 6th September, 9am-3.30pm, Asda, Kings Hill, West Malling ME19 4SZ.
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is working with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Urbaser Ltd as part of an eight-year contract to significantly improve recycling services for residents.
The new and greatly improved recycling service, which will enable residents to add plastics and glass as well as food waste to their kerbside collections in Tonbridge and Malling, will begin on Monday 30th September.
A further leaflet giving full details of the new service will be delivered to all households in the summer.
New Mayor For Tonbridge & Malling
Councillor Jill Anderson, who represents Hadlow and East Peckham ward, has been elected to succeed Councillor Pam Bates as the new mayor for Tonbridge & Malling for 2019-2020. Jill has lived in Hadlow for many years and whose husband Keith died in 2003, was first elected to the Borough Council in March 1990 following a by-election and served on several committees.
Following her election Jill, who works from home part-time as advertising manager for an estate agent in Sevenoaks, said: “I have had a most enjoyable year as deputy mayor serving the community of Tonbridge & Malling and I’m really looking forward to this coming year in my role as Mayor. It will be my aim throughout the year to help raise awareness of all the fantastic work carried out by volunteers, community groups, schools and businesses and to meet more residents whilst travelling and working around the borough.”
The charity Jill has chosen to support during her year of office is CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). The Deputy Mayor for the coming year (2019-2020) is Councillor Roger Roud, who represents East Malling ward.
Outgoing Mayor’s fundraising farewell!
Throughout her year as mayor, Councillor Pam Bates has hosted a variety of fundraising events for her chosen charity including a charity evening at The Oast Theatre in Tonbridge and a dinner and evening of entertainment at The Old Fire Station in the town.
On 13th May, Councillor Bates presented cheques to representatives from Tonbridge-based Tree of Hope, which helps children and young people with a disability or illness by supporting their families to raise funds that they need to pay for specialist care that is not freely available through the UK healthcare system.
Often people’s first experience with a solicitor is because things in life have changed. Warners’ specialist teams help to make those changes positive. They do this by taking the time to listen to their clients and by finding the right way for them to reach a satisfactory outcome. Their unique approach can often negate the need for expensive court action.
• For more information, contact Warners Solicitors on 01732 770660.
Towns Bathroom showroom boasts two floors of luxury designer brands to draw on your imagination. Our in-house design team offers a 4D visual of your plans, helping you to experience the new design before work starts. With a design, supply and install service, we aim to provide high-end bathrooms for a wide range of budgets.
• To book an appointment call 01732 350911, visit townsbathrooms.co.uk or pop into the showroom at Orchard Business Centre, 5 Sanderson Way, Tonbridge TN9 1QG.
The Carpenters Arms
The Carpenters Arms, with its superb landscaped outside dining areas and heated terrace along with table service available on the front terrace, will be launching Steak Night Special every Tuesday from 6pm. We will be cooking our premium steaks from our outside kitchen on our charcoal BBQs. Sirloin steak and dressed salad for only £10, side orders available on the night (charged extra). Tables on the terrace can be booked online at carpentersarms.net
• The Carpenters Arms, Three Elm Lane, Tonbridge TN11 0AD, call 01732 850307.
NASA astronauts launch Tonbridge School's science centre
NASA astronauts Dr Michael Foale CBE and Dr Steve Swanson took centre stage during the the official opening of Tonbridge School’s Barton Science Centre. The astronauts, who had been based at the school in the week leading up to the opening, as part of the Mission Discovery educational programme, unveiled the commemorative plaque at the end of the ceremony.
Dr Foale and Dr Swanson, both former International Space Station commanders, also gave a short talk in which they recounted their experiences of going into space, and gave their impressions of the new science facility. “This is a centre which will inspire the next generation ... where students can start to have ideas, interests and dreams,” Dr Swanson said. Dr Foale added: “You have ignited a fire here in Tonbridge for learning and discovery, and for achieving something special.”
Nearly 200 specially invited guests, including the Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, Mrs Marion Regan, school governors, parents, Old Tonbridgians and other friends and supporters of the school, attended the ceremony.
The centre has been named after Sir Derek Barton, an organic chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1969, and several of the school’s most notable scientists have been honoured in the naming of laboratories and libraries.
• Visit tonbridge-school.co.uk
Fargs – Men’s Hair & Grooming
With a highly skilled and qualified team, Fargs has been offering Tonbridge residents a welcoming atmosphere and client satisfaction since 2016. Open six days a week with late night opening Thursdays, free beer, coffee and soft drinks on offer and an Xbox One to keep you amused whilst you wait, they truly live up to their promise of being ‘more than just a barbershop’. Fargs stores can also be found in both Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone.
• 8 Quarry Hill Road, Tonbridge TN9 2HR, call 01732 352425 or visit fargs.co.uk
Elizabeth King Designs
After successfully helping brides for 17 years at her Hildenborough boutique Elizabeth King has also helped their mums too. Now showcasing a very affordable range in chiffon and lace outfits Richard Designs are able to mix and match even adapt the style. With delivery of four-seven weeks it’s ideal for busy mums. With an extensive colour range it means you will be able to complement your bride’s colour scheme.
• 138 Tonbridge Road, Hildenborough TN11 9HJ, call 01732 833133 or visit elizabethkingdesigns.co.uk
ACE (Association of Culture Experience), supply homestay experiences in Tonbridge for students from all over France and Europe, as part of their educational studies. Many of ACE’s Families have been hosting for over 15-plus years. Today hosting is seen as a solution to the work life balance, with flexibility to do the school run and deal with holidays. Hosting with ACE is a rewarding experience and provides the freedom of a working arrangement that supports busy lifestyles.
• Call 07850 084867, email email@example.com or visit ace-gb.co.uk
Tonbridge Chamber Breakfast Club, 21st June, 7.30am-9.30am
Come and join the WKCCI at The Rose & Crown Hotel in the High Street for this month’s regular breakfast meeting in Tonbridge. The meeting will open with a short period of networking followed by breakfast. After breakfast you will be invited to give a 60 second presentation, however, this is not compulsory. Feedback following these meetings is always positive and those who regularly attend appreciate the opportunity to establish meaningful business relationships in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Members £17.40, non-members £22.80, visit wkcci.com/whats-on/event-diary/ to book.
• The Rose & Crown Hotel, 125 High Street, Tonbridge TN9 1DD.
Looking ahead to July
Make a date in your diary for the annual – and ever popular – Classic Car Tour. Tonbridge Lions Club will be holding their sixth Classic Car Tour on Sunday 14th July 2019. The tour has no competitive element and is intended as an opportunity for owners of pre-1997 cars to tour through the picturesque lanes and villages of Kent and Sussex. Younger interesting cars will be allowed at the organisers’ discretion.
Participants will be given an easy-to-follow Road Book to take them along a carefully designed and well researched route, starting with coffee at Tonbridge Castle, stopping for lunch at Oakwood House in Maidstone then winding their way back to Tonbridge for a well-earned afternoon cream tea. All proceeds from the event will be donated to local charities and good causes.