29 July 2011

High Halstow Times - August Edition

The latest edition of the High Halstow Times is now available. Just click the image below to see the full copy.

The High Halstow Times is the magazine of High Halstow Parish Council. Take a look at their website by clicking here.

Egypt Bay

Someone recently asked if I knew how Egypt Bay (pictured below) came to be named. I had to admit I had no idea! A favoured landing spot for smugglers, Egypt Bay was also home to Napoleonic prison hulks.

I would really like to hear from anyone who might be able to shed light on this one. Just get in touch via the contact page.

28 July 2011

Would you like a stall at Hoo Village Summer Fayre?

The Hoo Village Summer Fayre (organised by the Hoo Village Events Committee) will be taking place on Saturday 20 August. The village square will be packed with lots of stalls and entertainment, so if you’d like to have a stall, click on the image below to find out more.

More details about this event will be added here soon!

RSPB Wildlife and Countryside Fair on Sunday 7 August 2011

The RSPB summer event at Northward Hill is always a big moment in the Hoo Peninsula events calendar. And a brilliant way for kids of all ages to have loads of fund getting back in touch with nature.

Click the image below to find out more about this year’s event or visit the RSPB Northward Hill website by clicking here.

I’ll be popping along with my family, so I hope to see you there!

26 July 2011

Summer Fete (St. Mary Hoo), Saturday 30 July 2011

A local animal rescue sanctuary is holding its first Summer Fete this Saturday (30 July) at the Fenn Bell pub in St. Mary Hoo, from 12 noon until 4pm.

Supporters of the Anim-Mates animal rescue sanctuary, based in St. Mary Hoo, will be bringing lots of family fun to the pub for the afternoon.

Teresa Bloomfield, who runs the sanctuary said: “Among the attractions will be lots of stalls, a cake sale, mini manicures, Steph’s Brass Band to entertain everyone and the opportunity for people to sponsor some of our animals.”

All the money raised from this event will go towards the rescue animals’ veterinary fees, food and bedding.

If anyone needs any convincing about whether to pop along, take a look at the photographs below – showing some of the animals cared for by Anim-Mates.

Visit the website for Anim-Mates by clicking here.

22 July 2011

Summer Fair (Hoo), Saturday 23 July 2011

There’ll be a Summer Fair at Hoo St. Werburgh Parish Church tomorrow (Saturday), beginning at 10am (until 12.30pm).

With plenty of fun for the whole family, including a Grand Draw (first prize of £100) and children’s corner, there’ll also be a table top sale in the Churchyard (weather permitting) offering books, cakes, bacon butties, a burger bar and much more! And for those with a steady head for heights – the Church tower will be open!

I hope to see you there!

Cakes, Tea and Roman Pots!

St. James’ Church at Cooling is tomorrow (Saturday) holding a Cakes, Tea and Roman Pots afternoon.

There’ll be a talk by Peter Dawson, from the Lower Medway Archaeological Society, on local Roman settlements. You’ll get the chance to see and handle Roman artifacts - followed by tea and homemade cakes.

If you fancy popping along, please pre-book your ticket (£5) by phoning Alison on 01634 220204.

Take a look at the website of The Friends of St. James’ Church by clicking here.

20 July 2011

Isle of Grain Carnival and Fete

Last weekend was a very wet one, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of all those taking part in the Grain Carnival and Summer Fete.

Having to shelter under an umbrella wasn’t enough to stop me from seeing how much fun everyone in the Carnival parade was having. And it was clear just how much hard work had gone into creating all of the many colourful floats.

A good turnout of local residents, and quite a number from further afield, helped wave on the procession through Grain.

Floats included Jelly Tots Playgroup (first place), Showin’ Grain Theatre Group (second place), St. James Twirlettes (third place), Grain Youth Football Club, Grain Prince and Princess, Grain Fire Station and a local trike group.

The Fete opened at 3pm as the weather slowly started to improve - the threatening dark grey sky turning a more pleasant blue.

Although, like many others, I was quite drenched by this time, it was nice to warm up a bit and enjoy the rest of the day.

A superb event put on by the Grain Fete Committee.

13 July 2011

Summer Fete and Carnival (Isle of Grain), Saturday 16 July 2011

Isle of Grain’s Summer Fete and Carnival is taking place this Saturday, from 2pm.

Last year's event was an enormous success and very well attended. I went along with my family and had a great time - particularly enjoying the homemade cakes! Click the image below to find out more about activities planned for this year.

The Carnival will begin at 2pm and the Fete will open from 3pm.

I hope to see you there!

11 July 2011

Cliffe Marshes Walk

Walking through the night for the Relay for Life, made me think that I ought to get back to exploring the many countryside walks around the Hoo Peninsula.

So on Sunday I headed for Cliffe, where there is no shortage of interesting walks. In fact, the newsagent/post office on Church Street (near the Six Bells pub) has a good stock of leaflets about local walks, produced by the Friends of North Kent Marshes.

Setting out from Pond Hill in Cliffe, I followed the Thames and Boundary trails (both sharing walking route RS82), which are part of the RSPB Cliffe Pools Nature Reserve. These trails lead past the pools and then on towards the sea wall - along what seems at times like a never ending gravel track.

When arriving at the sea wall, I turned right to walk north east, passing Lower Hope Point and Redham Mead, before stopping for a tea break at a point overlooking the site of the old Curtis & Harvey Explosives works.

This closed in the 1920s, but even now with relatively few of the hundreds of buildings still easily visible from a distance, it is clear this was once a very important part of our local military heritage. Although few would have known it was there at the time, given its ‘top secret’ nature.

The inward view of Cliffe Marshes is really impressive, even though the landscape seemed endless with the tea having run out and the long walk back to Cliffe still to go!

The other side of the sea wall is a little less than idyllic. Unless you have a thing for oil refineries of course. The River Thames generates lots of rubbish. I lost count of the number of Port of London safety helmets washed-up on the shore - it must cost someone (probably us!) a lot of money to keep buying replacements.

Whilst walking along the sea wall, I was stopped by a couple who were out exploring the area because of its connection with Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 Vietnam war film ‘Full Metal Jacket’ (pictured below). Apparently Cliffe Marshes doubled up as Vietnamese paddy fields! I didn’t know anything about this, but I checked the internet when I got home and it’s all true - you learn something new every day.

Just before reaching Egypt Bay, I turned onto a track and followed the signs pointing south westerly to Cliffe. There’s quite a few ditches to cross on the return journey and, at one point, I had to ‘walk the plank’ in order to rectify a mistake caused by my less than perfect map reading abilities.

After 3 ½ hours walking, and having covered a distance of about 8 miles, I eventually arrived back in Cliffe via Wharf Lane.

A really enjoyable walk on a nice summer’s day.

Thank you!

I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me in the Relay for Life, held the weekend before last (2 and 3 July), in aid of Cancer Research UK.

I walked for 6 ½ hours, the bulk of which I managed in one go, from just after 11pm on Saturday until 5am on Sunday. It was surprisingly good fun walking around the Deangate Ridge running track at that time of night - with ‘candles of hope’ lining the track and everyone encouraging each other to stay awake.

It also gave me an opportunity for a gossip with fellow Hoo resident Mick Edwards (my third cousin no less), who was taking part with his family. Thanks for keeping me company in the wee hours Mick!!!

Loads of local people took part in this event, raising £30,759 in total - a really fantastic effort all round.

Many thanks to Nancy Waller and Maureen Tong-Ralphs (pictured above). Nancy and Maureen were part of the voluntary team responsible for producing this really well managed and successful event.

7 July 2011

Summer Fete (Lower Stoke), Saturday 9 July 2011

Stoke Community School's Summer Fete is taking place this Saturday, from 11am till 4.30pm.

The Mayor of Medway will open the fete, at Allhallows Road in Lower Stoke. There will be displays given by the Police (Police dog team) and the Fire Brigade. The fun will also include dancing, fancy dress, face painting, mini floats, a coconut shy, tombola, bouncy castle and lots of different stalls. And for those with more culinary desires, there will be a barbecue and bar!

Allhallows Life – July / August Edition

The July / August edition of Allhallows Life is now available. Just click the image below to see the full copy.

Allhallows Life is the magazine of Allhallows Parish Council. Take a look at their website by clicking here.

1 July 2011

The Final Countdown . . .

Deangate Ridge Sports Complex, between Hoo and High Halstow on Dux Court Road, will play host tomorrow (Saturday) to the Rochester Relay for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK.

I’ll be joining the ‘Hoo R Ya’ team, taking it in turns to complete the 24 hour relay.

I’m really pleased that since appealing for sponsorship - my Just Giving page now has donations amounting to nearly £200. It would be nice though to raise even more cash for this very worthwhile cause (hint hint - you can still donate online, it’s very easy!)

My training has been going really well. I’ve watched a few clips of the Marathon on YouTube and later tonight I’ll be listening to a certain theme tune by Vangelis!

As well as the relay itself, there will be loads of activities going on within the complex - with a schedule of events kicking off from 1pm and an opening ceremony at 1.55pm.

Entertainments will include a children’s treasure hunt, live music, sumo wrestling, a cake auction (sounds especially good!), a book stall, head shaving, basketball and lots lots more!

Whether or not you’re taking part, I hope you’ll pop along and show your support!

High Halstow Times - July Edition

The July edition of the High Halstow Times is out now. Just click the image below to see the full copy.

The High Halstow Times is the magazine of High Halstow Parish Council. Take a look at their new website by clicking here.