22 February 2011

Village Voices is out now!

The February / March edition of Village Voices, the community newsletter for Hoo and Chattenden, is out now!

Packed with community information, this edition reports on the opening of the newly re-furbished Co-Op in Hoo and there's a useful item about the forthcoming 2011 Census.

Copies of Village Voices are usually available at the Post Office in Hoo (15 Main Road, Hoo, Rochester, Kent, ME3 9AA).

21 February 2011

High Halstow Hikers (March Walk), Sunday 13 March 2011

The next High Halstow Hikers walk will take place on Sunday 13 March.

Meeting at High Halstow Village Hall (The Street, High Halstow), the group will set-off for Stoke at 10am. Covering a distance of around 6 miles, there might also be an opportunity to explore some of Stoke Saltings (depending on what the weather is like).

This walk is being led by Alan Marshall, who I joined last summer for a really interesting walk around Lower, Middle and Upper Stoke - learning lots of fascinating things about our local history and environment.

For more information about the High Halstow Hikers, email Mitchell Dowsett here.

20 February 2011

Quiz Night by Lonestar Linedancing (Hoo), Saturday 26 February 2011

A Quiz Night, hosted by Lonestar Linedancing, will be held on Saturday 26 February - with proceeds going to the refurbishment of Hoo Village Hall.

Starting at 8pm, anyone wishing to attend should arrive for 7.30pm and take drinks and nibbles along, as there won't be a public bar! Tickets are £5 per person, with a limit of 6 people (maximum) per team. Raffle donations are very welcome.

The event will be held at Hoo Village Hall (Pottery Road, Hoo, Rochester, Kent, ME3 9BS).

To book tickets, or for more information, contact Val Plummer on 01634 256279 or Teresa Gissing on 01634 251475.

19 February 2011

Isle of Grain, WW2 Anti-Tank Obstacles

The foreshore at the Isle of Grain is a great place to explore, regardless of what the weather is like! A few days ago I went to Grain for a walk, and decided to take a look at the WW2 anti-tank obstacles north-west of the main beach.

Given its location along the Thames Estuary, the Isle of Grain has a long history as a strategic defensive position.

The concrete anti-tank obstacles (pictured below) were constructed c1940 to protect the area's coastal defences, in anticipation of German invasion.

Three types of obstacle were used to form the defensive line: cubes, pimples (a flat-topped pyramid often referred to as 'dragon's teeth') and caltrops.

Caltrops are a rare type of asymmetric concrete obstacle which can be seen piled against the seawall at the southern end of the foreshore (pictured below). Although there are many anti-tank obstacles across the country, those on the Isle of Grain are of special interest - visually striking because of the different and unusual forms of obstacle which together, at nearly 600m in length, form an impressive defence.

Because of their special interest, these defences were given Grade II listed status in 2009.

Anyone wishing to explore the Isle of Grain foreshore should look at Medway Council’s Tranquil Treks booklet (Walk 1 - Grain). Click here to view this guide.

18 February 2011

The Beacon (March) Parish Magazine of Hoo St. Werburgh - Out Now!

The latest edition of the Hoo St. Werburgh Parish Magazine is now available, containing details of local events and other interesting features. Although delivered to some areas of the village, copies can be purchased from local shops, including: Choicemeats at 1 Fourwents Road and the Newsagent at 35 Knights Road.

For further information, contact the Editor (Mrs Muriel Bewsey) on 01634 252129.

17 February 2011

Spring Concert (Hoo), Saturday 5 March 2011

Hoo St. Werburgh Parish Church present a Spring Concert on Saturday 5 March at 7.30pm.

The concert features international soprano Christine Hubbard and classical tenor Kenneth McCarthy, whose varied programme will include songs from the classics, shows and proms.

To book tickets, or for more information, contact Stuart on 01634 251705.­ Proceeds from this event will go to the Church restoration fund.

16 February 2011

Charity Fun Day (Hoo), Saturday 5 March 2011

A Charity Fun Day will be held on Saturday 5 March at Hoo Village Institute (pictured below).

The event, which kicks-off at noon, is being organised to help raise much-needed cash for the purchase of essential equipment for George Goodsell, who lives in the village and has cerebral palsy.

There will be games for children, stalls, duck racing and much more fun - all taking place at the Hoo Village Institute, 25 Main Road, Hoo, Rochester, Kent, ME3 9AA.

At 3pm a special Legends Soccer Match will kick-off, featuring Brian Wolfe, Dave Kerr, Bob Wyles, Ken Burrett, Mick Dodd and others. And from 8.30pm there’ll be dancing to The Backbeats, featuring Brian Goodsell.

Contact Hoo Village Institute on 01634 250836 for more information.

15 February 2011

Hoo St. Werburgh on film!

I was recently told about a website featuring locally made documentary films about Hoo St. Werburgh.

The site, run by Gazelle Films, captures local village life from days gone by. There are 10 local films to watch, including a multi-part documentary about the history of the village, a film about the Hundred of Hoo Railway and other shorter films that show different scenes from the area.

Visit the Gazelle Films site by clicking here. Look out for the menu on the right of the screen, displaying the names of all films listed.

10 February 2011

Volunteer at Grain Coastal Park

I've mentioned previously the excellent work being carried out by the Kent Wildlife Trust at Grain Beach - or Grain Coastal Park as it is now becoming known.

With members of the community giving up their spare time to help out, the Trust is busy clearing paths and scrub, erecting fences and new signs, weeding, litter-picking and generally improving the overall environment.

I went along to the latest monthly volunteer day last Sunday. I was given the task of clearing overgrown paths that had long since been covered over. Whilst I wouldn't think of myself as 'green fingered' or experienced in this sort of work, I had a really great time. I was given instructions on what to do and it was a good way of using up unspent energy and to get some fresh air.

I was only able to help out in the afternoon on Sunday, but next month I'll try to make sure I can be there the whole day.

With the backing of Grain Parish Council and Medway Council, the Kent Wildlife Trust is meeting at Grain Coastal Park every month to continue their work. The next opportunity to lend a hand is on Sunday 6 March, from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm (meeting at the beach car park). There are further sessions being organised on 3 April, 1 May, 5 June and 3 July.

For more information, contact Paul Pearce (Kent Wildlife Trust) on 01622 662012 or send an email here.

9 February 2011

Planning for the future of the Hoo Peninsula

On Monday evening I went along to the Hundred of Hoo School to take part in a meeting organised by Medway Council about their planning strategy for the Hoo Peninsula.

Known in ‘local government speak’ as the Local Development Framework, this sets out planning strategy in Medway for the period up until 2028.

There was a good spread of people from across the Peninsula present, to first hear a presentation on the planning strategy and then discuss in smaller groups some of the issues raised, in particular how the development framework will affect the Peninsula.

Discussion topics included: sustaining village life; connecting to the natural, rural and historic landscape; employment opportunities; village planning, and managing the impact of the Lodge Hill development.

More information about the Local Development Framework can be found by clicking here. Catherine Smith (Rural Strategy Manager) can be contacted by email here, by phone on 01634 331358 or in writing to Catherine Smith (Rural Strategy Manager), Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR.

7 February 2011

High Halstow Hikers (February Walk), Sunday 13 February 2011

The High Halstow Hikers will be heading away from the Hoo Peninsula for this month’s walk.

Meeting on Sunday 13 February at 10am, the walk will begin at the main car park of Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserve. This is on the right-hand side of the A228 if travelling towards Cuxton from Strood, and after the roundabout above the junction with the M2 (location map).

The walk is expected to be quite muddy in places so, if you are going along, make sure you wear suitable clothing and footwear.

More information about this walk can be obtained from Mitchell Dowsett by emailing here.

Details of future monthly walks organised by the High Halstow Hikers will appear on this site.

6 February 2011

Farmers’ Market (Lower Stoke), Saturday 12 February 2011

There will be a Farmers' Market at Stoke Village Hall (Mallard Way, Lower Stoke, Rochester, Kent, ME3 9ST) on Saturday 12 February, from 10am until 2pm. Pop along for local produce and much much more!