Friday, April 12th, 2024

A busy week of fundraising in Weald helps generate £7,000 for Christian Aid

OPEN GARDENS: The event in Weald saw the end of a week full of activities raising funds for Christian Aid. Visiting the gardens raised £500 and, courtesy of the fine weather and the brilliant scone bakers in Weald, £500 was made selling cream teas on The Green.

MATCHBOX CHALLENGE: Children from Weald were given the challenge of finding how many items they could put in a matchbox as they walked from the village up to Westwood Farm where they had been invited for a visit. There was masses to look at – cows and calves, sheep being shorn, lambs being fed, chickens and geese in the farmyard as well as an old tractor display. Tea and cake was served.

TEA ON THE GREEN: During Christian Aid Week village groups offered tea and cake on the Green which helped raise another £225 for the Christian Aid organisers.

MUSIC IN THE CHURCH: If you didn’t get to hear the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Band, playing in St George’s Church, Weald you missed a real treat. The church reverberated with sound and watching the conductor, Ian Harvey, became compulsive as he beat out time and brought in individual sections or instruments, increasing or quieting the sound.

The concert started with a march written by Eric Coates originally written to copy Edward Elgar BUT was later immortalised in the film ‘The Dambusters’. The Thursday concert was 75 years ago to the day that ‘Operation Chastise’ had been launched at which the the Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley. The band also played Mozart, Gershwin, Shirley Bassey numbers and the latin ‘groove’ of a Kentish composer, Richard Hubbard. However, the tour-de-force of the evening was a performance of ‘A Sevenoaks Suite’ written specifically for the band by Philip Allen Sparke, a British composer and musician noted for his concert band and brass band music.

QUIZ NIGHT: On Friday, the Memorial Hall was packed for the annual quiz night and the funds raised at the event added to the final total of around £7,000 raised by Weald during Christian Aid Week. The money will go towards building hurricane proof shelters in Haiti.

THRIVING PARISH: Weald Parish Council recently held its Annual Meeting. Rosie Woods, the Chair of the Council thanked her colleagues and the numerous villagers who offered their their kindness and support following the death of her husband, ‘Woodie’. She went on to report on some of the year’s achievements, the most significant being the refurbishment over the winter of the Wesleyan Chapel and preparation for the Community Shop to be transferred to it from ‘the cabin’, its temporary container home. She thanked Joe the builder and ‘his fabulous team who worked through a cold and bitter winter’, and Geoff Brown, the architect. Rosie also thanked Ian and Linda Walker, and Karen and Martin Elsom as well as the team of volunteers for all their work.

In her Annual Report, mentions were also made of the refurbishment of the play area, new surfacing of the access road leading to the recreation ground and the gift, by Rosie Withenshaw, of a defibrillator, now permanently located outside the Community Shop. Karen Long reported that 70 villagers had taken part in the training in its use!

New signs on the outskirts of the village have been  erected to warn cyclists of the dangerous hills and Councillor, Peter Lake, has identified money from his budget to have some electronic speed signs erected to alert drivers to the speed restrictions in force in the village. Roger Trapp and Hamilton Woods have created a new parish website which can be found at:

Rosie Woods, chair of Weald Parish Council, presented Hilary Allen with flowers as part of her thanks to Hilary and Carolyn Moss for their work on the Memorial Hall committee. She said: “Hilary especially will be a hard act to follow with her enthusiasm, hard work and efficiency’, not only for this, ‘but her many other, often unseen contributions around the village.”

Rosie thanked Susan Gidman for producing the Weald newsletter and other notable activities of mention included the work Lucy Harris, Deputy Chair of the Council, and Jackie Mitchell undertook with KCC and GoGoach to provide a new bus service, the 435, to the village with a link to Sevenoaks and Tonbridge stations. The pavement by the Windmill pub has finally been repaired.

BYE BYE CABIN: The ‘cabin’, which had housed Weald’s Community Shop for six months before it moved into its new home, was lifted up, loaded onto the same truck that brought it and driven through the village on its way to the A21. Those who live on Windmill Road, and have occasion to park there regularly, know that space is extremely tight and parking as near to the curb as possible is vital. However, one motorist had parked a good  12 inches (around 30cm) away from the side of the curb and no one knew who the car belonged to. The lorry driver displayed a great deal of skill in negotiating past the vehicle and at one point raised the bed of the truck up a few inches so that the side of the cabin did not bang into the mirror on the car.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: When Rev. Mandy Carr came to bless and open the new village shop she made a short two minute film about it which can be viewed at

SUMMER SHOW:  There will be a Horticultural Summer Show in the Memorial Hall on Saturday 16 June from 3pm. Exhibitors should bring their exhibits to the Memorial Hall between 9.15am and 11.15am that morning. Please remember that all entries, including those of children, must be in writing and made out to the Show Secretary. These confirmatrions can be dropped off at 1 Patience Cottages, Long Barn Road, Weald  (Carol Dooley) or emailed to, not later than 6pm on the Thursday preceding the Show.

ART DISPLAY: The Art in June ‘Open Studios’ event runs from 8 – 24 June. Victoria Lucas Roberts’ studio at 22 Hurst Farm Road, Weald is open to visitors between 10am – 5pm Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 June as well as Sunday 24 June. If these dates are not suitable, please call her on 01732 408760 to arrange another time. Her website is

FUNDRAISING ACHIEVEMENTS: Many villagers raise funds during the year for a range of charities close to their heart. At the beginning of the year, some people sorted out their wardrobes for Samara’s Aid, which sends good as new clothing to Syria; Weald Primary School raised a significant sums for the homeless by sponsoring their teachers and Head teacher to sleep on the streets in London; WOW (Women of Weald) is raising funds for ‘The Smile Train’, a charity which provides operations for children with cleft palates and on Saturday 2 June, pet owners were invited to a ‘Fun Dog Show’ on the green to raise funds for ‘Canine Partners’.

The village has also just had a week of activities raising funds for Christian Aid to help people in Haiti to build storm proof dwellings.

As well as these charities there are other individual efforts. For instance, Ian Walker ran in tandem with Paul Smith in the London Marathon to raise funds for Kent Association for the Blind. Closer to home another tandem event took place. Karen Elsom’s sister Lorraine and her neice, Lara, embarked on a tandem bike ride to raise funds for some outdoor play equipment for Lara’s two year old daughter, Lily, who was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer in October 2017.

She has already had major surgery and is undergoing chemotherapy. The tumour on her liver has migrated to her lungs so she may have to have further surgery at Kings Hospital in London. Because of her compromised immune system she cannot play with other children but would still love to play and just like any other two-year-old she’s not going to let anything stop her! If you would like to donate so that play equipment can be bought for Lily, please speak with Karen Elsom in the community store.


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