26 August 2011

All the fun of the Fayre!

I spent much of last Saturday in Hoo Village Square at the ‘Fayre in the Square’. I arrived just after midday and the square was the busiest I had ever seen it. There were plenty of activities and stalls to keep everyone occupied and the promised sunny intervals turned out to be quite long - with only a couple of rain spells to briefly dampen spirits.

One person that was particularly happy to see everyone enjoying themselves was fellow Hoo resident Ben Reeves (pictured below), who was with wife Jenny.

Ben was once Mayor of the City of Rochester-upon-Medway, from 1988 to 1989, and served as Deputy both before and after this as well. He represented Hoo for many years at both district and parish level.

It was really good catching up with Ben, who I joined for a stroll around the square – talking about the history of the village and other local gossip besides!

The Hoo Village Events Committee (and all their helpers) worked really hard to make the Fayre in the Square such a great success.

I’m looking forward to their next event!

19 August 2011

Things are hotting up in Hoo!

With the BBC Weather website promising ‘sunny intervals’, I hope the weather will stay nice and warm for the Fayre in the Square tomorrow (Saturday).

Kicking off at 12 noon, there'll be lots to keep everyone occupied - take a look at the images below to find out more.

I hope to see you there!

Winged Mini-Beasts Walk (RSPB Northward Hill), Sunday 21 August 2011

Join RSPB Field Teacher Julie Peeling (a dragonfly expert) to find out about these fabulous creatures and many other winged mini-beasts, on a summer stroll through the reserve.

It’s all taking place this Sunday, from 10am till 1pm, at RSPB Northward Hill, Bromhey Farm, Eastborough, Cooling, ME3 8DS – meeting at the main RSPB car park at Bromhey Farm.

Visit the RSPB Northward Hill website for more information.

Treasure Hunt (High Halstow), Saturday 20 August 2011

A Treasure Hunt is being held in and around High Halstow tomorrow (Saturday). Click the image below to see how you can get involved.

Good luck to everyone taking part!

14 August 2011

Youth activities in Hoo!

There’s a ‘Total Wipeout’ test of skill and agility on a sweeper arm inflatable - just like the one on the TV - on Monday 22 August in Pottery Road Park (pictured below), next to Hoo Village Hall. There will also be circus skills, a variety of sports and a BBQ at the event, which takes place between 12 noon and 3pm.

On Thursday 25 August there’s a Paintball trip for those aged between 13 and 19.

And Lindsay Hartney (Youth Development Worker and Organiser for Hoo Youth Club) has told me that the Football Project and Youth Club will both re-start next month. From 12 September, there’ll be football activities every Monday, from 6pm till 7pm at the Hundred of Hoo School on Main Road - just turn up and join in! The Youth Club, kicking off again at the end of September, will be every Wednesday evening from 7.15pm till 9.30pm at Hoo Village Hall on Pottery Road (50p entry). Anyone aged 12 years and over is welcome to attend.

To receive more information, and a consent form for the Paintball trip (which costs £25 each), contact Lindsay on 07795 236289.

High Halstow Blog

Blogging away since February, High Halstow Parish Council is keeping residents up to date with news and views about local activities. Their excellent new blog is packed full of useful information, including an events calendar, an archive of the High Halstow Times (viewable online), details of local voluntary groups, clubs and societies and lots of information about the history of the village. Certainly worth a visit, just click here to take a look.

The site also includes details of formal business, a list of parish councillors and information about parish council responsibilities.

Egypt Bay – feedback from Malcolm Coomber of High Halstow

Following my recent post about how Egypt Bay got its name, I’m really pleased to report an interesting development!

My thanks go to Malcolm Coomber, from High Halstow, who got in touch with a possible explanation . . .

Dear Tony,

In response to your enquiry about how Egypt Bay got its name, I may have come up with a long shot that might be worth exploring.

I have a book called ‘The Hoo Peninsula’, written by local historian Philip MacDougall in 1980, which mentions Phoenician artefacts being found in Hoo and Higham.

This book states the following:

"During pre-historic times Hoo St. Werburgh was probably a fairly important settlement. The discovery of a Phoenician coin at a point just south of the present village also suggests that Hoo may also have been a small trading centre. The coin was discovered in 1903 and is said to be a drachma dating from the reign of Philip of Macedon. This particular king will probably be better recalled if one remembers that he was the father of Alexander the Great.

The importance of the coin demonstrates that Kent had trading links with the Phoenicians, traders who ranged far and wide bringing with them such saleable commodities as silver, high quality pottery and wines. Perhaps, indeed, it was the Phoenicians who brought the imported pots found near Cliffe. It should be pointed out that these pottery fragments do not come from so far east but would have been collected by the Phoenicians on their journeyings.

Hoo is not the only place in North Kent where Phoenician coins have been found. Not very long ago a number of such coins were unearthed at Higham. They were all contained inside a hollow flint purse."

The Phoenicians came from a land called RETENU (CANAAN) which had a direct boundary with EGYPT.

Just a thought! Did they sail up the Thames to trade and come across what we know as Egypt Bay, and named it such due to the unlikely event of finding a sandy beach in an unlikely spot on the River Thames? Stranger things have happened!

Best wishes - Malcolm.

Many thanks Malcolm for getting in touch and sharing your thoughts. A possibility certainly worth looking into!

Personally, I hope he’s right. Having been to Egypt and spent time exploring the Nile near Luxor, it would certainly be nice to think the two distant, but equally tranquil, locations were somehow connected.

I'm also grateful to everyone who got in touch to share stories about enjoyable walks around this bit of the peninsula.

Use the contact page to let me know if you have any views on how Egypt Bay got its name.

It’s all happening in Allhallows!

With the Parish Council website looking fresh and revitalised, and lots of events in the offing - there’s not much chance of getting bored in Allhallows right now!

There’s a Youth Club Summer Camp on 18, 19, 25 and 26 August (at The Brimp - click the image below to find out more), a Summer BBQ and Fete on Sunday 21 August at the Village Hall, Fun Days at Allhallows Leisure Park from 27 to 29 August, a Prom Night at the Village Hall and an Open Day at All Saints Church - both taking place on Saturday 10 September.

Find out more about all these events by visiting the Parish Council website, where you’ll find many more dates for your diary!

The Allhallows Parish Council website is full of interesting information, including a directory of local services, a gallery of village photographs, news items and all the latest announcements from the Parish Council.

I really hope to get along to some of these events. So I might see you there!

12 August 2011

Fayre in the Square (Hoo), Saturday 20 August 2011

Hoo Village Events Committee have been very busy organising the Fayre in the Square on Saturday 20 August.

An event for the whole family to enjoy, it's taking place (as the name suggests) in Hoo Village Square from 12 noon till 9pm.

It’s going to be a day to remember and one not to be missed!

There’ll be music, entertainment, a variety of stalls, games for the kids, local produce to buy, a bucking bronco and lots more to boot!

The entertainment includes The Desert Flowers Belly Dancers, who will be dancing to their very own exotic beat (sounds like one for audience participation!) and Kent based band ‘Get Carter’ who will perform live in the Square.

This year’s Fayre is taking place in conjunction with Evolution Hairdressers, who are celebrating their 5th Birthday on that day. Happy birthday!!

Click the image below to find out more.

I hope to see you there!

Kit’s Coty Walk (High Halstow Hikers), Sunday 14 August 2011

High Halstow Hikers are heading to Kit’s Coty, close to Bluebell Hill, Maidstone, for their August trek this Sunday.

The walk begins at 10am, meeting at the first car park you come to when arriving at the Friars at Aylesford Priory, ME20 7BX (N.B donation for parking requested).

Directions: Leave the A229 at the bottom of Bluebell Hill and drive to Aylesford through Eccles. The Friars is then signposted on route.

The walk, which includes some hilly areas, will be 5 ½ miles and take around two and a half hours to complete.

Michael Bannar-Martin, who will be leading this walk, can be contacted on 01634 251075 if you would like more information.

8 August 2011

Lots of fun at the countryside fair!

This year’s RSPB Wildlife and Countryside Fair took place yesterday (Sunday) at Bromhey Farm between Cooling and High Halstow.

Having really enjoyed last year’s event, I was glad that the weather stayed fine so I could go along with my sister and brother in-law who were up for the weekend (pictured on a hay bale at the end of this post).

Once again, my highlight was the sheep dog trials, which were fascinating to watch. Such well trained dogs - and obedient sheep!!!

There were lots of stalls, a wildlife walk, the opportunity for a bit of ditch dipping and fun and games for kids of all ages. One of us even managed to actually hit a coconut this year!

It was nice seeing a selection of local craftspeople and trades showing off their produce, with lots of people getting the chance to ‘have a go’ at some of the tasks.

The RSPB’s Rolf Williams (pictured below) was clearly being kept very busy making sure things were going well and everyone was happy. And volunteers from the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (also pictured below) helped remind us of the many connections our peninsula has with the great author and his many tales.

The Marshwarblers (pictured below) provided a relaxing atmosphere for people enjoying a tasty hog roast or hot dog - including me!

Once again, a really enjoyable few hours getting back in touch with a bit of nature!

All part of a busy weekend entertaining - including a visit to Rochester Cathedral, a walk along Rochester High Street, taking in the Guildhall Museum and a look inside The Six Travellers Almshouses, plus a quick stop off at St. James’ Church in Cooling after the countryside fair. We even managed to squeeze in some boating (and swimming in the rain) at Grain Beach. But before you ask - absolutely no photos appearing of that!