30 March 2012

Picking at the litter in Hoo!

The latest Hoo Clean Up took place on Saturday with a litter pick around Hoo Village Hall and the recreation ground along Pottery Road.

Despite being a very foggy morning, the Parish Council event attracted a good bunch of residents keen to help make our community a bit cleaner. Some of those who came along are pictured below - many thanks to Sheila Mudge at Village Voices for the photograph.

After all the hard work everyone headed back to the Village Hall to enjoy a nice hot cuppa and a few cakes, kindly donated by ‘Icing on the Cake’, the bakers shop in Hoo Village Square. Thanks for the cakes - they were lovely!

The next Hoo Clean Up will be on Saturday 12 May, from 9.30am until 11am. This time the meeting point will be the car park behind the Village Square. If you'd like to get involved, and for more information, contact Parish Councillor Ron Sands on 07770 747820 or send him an email here.

Look forward to see you!

Fun Day at the Tennis Club

The Frindsbury Lawn Tennis Club will be holding a jam packed Fun Day on Saturday 28 April. The event kicks off at 1pm and takes place at Frogs Island, Upnor Road, Upnor, Rochester, ME2 4UX (map).

Click the poster below to find out more.

For more information contact Zoe on 07791 086919.

29 March 2012

High Halstow Times - April Edition

The April edition of the High Halstow Times is now available. Once again packed full of stories, reports and things to do. Just click on the image below to see the full copy.

This month’s edition includes details of Diamond Jubilee events taking place in the village, a reminder about the next Farmers’ Market being held this Saturday, a report by Dave Stephenson on setting up a new local history group, an update on Project 90 community activities taking place on Saturday 14 April, Parish Council surgery dates (always on the second Tuesday every month), a Take That tribute concert on Saturday 26 May, updates from the High Halstow and District Gardening Club and plenty more reports, updates and local advertising!

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

Allhallows Life - April Edition

The April edition of Allhallows Life is now available. Click the image below to see the full copy.

This month’s edition includes information about Diamond Jubilee events taking place in the village, details of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of Allhallows Primary School, a list of services at All Saints Church plus reports from the Parish Council and other local groups.

And local resident Marian Morrad has written an interesting article about Cross Park. There is also a look back at the most recent Project Day morning and details of the next one planned for Saturday 14 April.

Another really packed edition to enjoy this month, with lots to get involved with - so please take time to read from cover to cover!

Allhallows Life is the magazine of Allhallows Parish Council. Take a look at their website by clicking here. The magazine also features items from St. Mary Hoo Parish Council. Take a look at their website by clicking here.

27 March 2012

Have your say on the future of the Hoo Peninsula

A new project has been launched to bring investment to the Hoo Peninsula. It’s called ‘GIFT Hoo Peninsula’ and local businesses, residents, community groups and other organisations are invited to get involved.

The new initiative is part of a three-year European funded project, led by Greening the Gateway (Kent & Medway) and Medway Council.

Copyright:  English Heritage.NMR

The launch event, and first working meeting, will take place on Thursday 12 April, from 2pm to 4.30pm, at the Hundred of Hoo School. Click the documents below to find out more.

Sign up to go along on 12 April by clicking here.

I hope to see you there!

23 March 2012

Sport Relief on the Isle of Grain

Today marks the beginning of Sport Relief 2012 and there’ll be activities taking place across the country. Locally, the Isle of Grain Youth Football Club are holding a special fun day at Seaview Meadow (Laing’s Field) tomorrow (Saturday 24 March) from 10.30am.

To find out more, click the poster below.

Try and pop along to show your support - the entire nation will be coming together to get active, raise cash and change lives. 

Visit the Sport Relief website by clicking here.

21 March 2012

2012 Summer Boot Fairs return to GEC Bowls Club in Hoo

Sunday Boot Fairs, organised by the GEC Bowls Club, will be taking place on the first Sunday of every month throughout the summer (except in May, when it will be on the second Sunday).

Held in the sports field, next to the club at the top of Bells Lane, the first Boot Fair will be on Sunday 1 April. Other dates include: May 13, June 3, July 1, August 5 and September 2. Trading from 6am, bargain hunters are encouraged to get along early!

If anyone would like a pitch - just go along on the day (as early as possible). There is a charge of only £5 per pitch.

17 March 2012

Cliffe History Project launch new website

A group of local residents from Cliffe have begun a project to record the social history of the village. Their project takes in the impact the Saxons and Romans had on the area and continues through the changes which have taken place since the beginning of the area’s industrialisation in the 1800s.

Much has already been written about the area’s history and military connections, but this new project is different as it will also focus on how war affected daily life.

Janet Keates, who is involved in the project, told me that the group would like to hear from anyone on the Hoo Peninsula who is interested in local history or who has knowledge they’d like to share, especially concerning our local military heritage.

The above photo is of a largely forgotten pillbox from the GHQ line that was constructed across the Hoo Peninsula. The Cliffe History Project hopes to spend time looking at their importance and remembering those who were responsible for defending the coastline of North Kent.

If you want to find out more about this project, take a look at this interesting new website by clicking here. This website is partially under construction and more will be added, but if you want to get involved there’s a contact button in place.

Thanks Janet for getting in touch.

14 March 2012

March volunteering at Grain Coastal Park

The monthly activity days at Grain Coastal Park have been going well since they were re-launched in January. Litter picking has been a key part of activities so far this year, and there is a good explanation for this that doesn’t involve litter louts.

The Isle of Grain is surrounded by open water, where the Thames Estuary meets the Medway, and litter is constantly being washed ashore. 

The next volunteer activity day was supposed to be held this Sunday (18 March), but as it is Mothers Day a good number of the regular helpers will spending time with their families. And rightly so! So just this once we’re going to have to cancel.

Diary dates for future chances to help out with the ongoing improvements at Grain Coastal Park are 15 April and 20 May. All sessions begin at 10.30am from our new meeting point: St. James Pavilion, Pintail Close (off Green Lane).

But if you are keen to help out sooner than that, my colleague Michael Dale is happy to hear from you. Get in touch with Michael on the number below.

More details will be included in the soon to be launched newsletter of the new Friends group. Watch this space, as a copy will be posted on this website.

In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about how to get involved with the Friends of Grain Coastal Park - contact Michael Dale on 01634 270314 or drop him an email here.

13 March 2012

Have you got your ticket for the Hoo Church concert?

I bought my ticket last week for the concert taking place at Hoo St. Werburgh Parish Church this Saturday (St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March). It will be the first of many concerts taking place this year and I can’t think of a better way to help raise much needed cash for Church repairs.

The headline act will be ‘Paul Carpenter and Friends’ who will perform a set of well known songs and, given that date, they will also throw in a few Irish favourites. I’ll have to get practising for a few sing songs! The trio, who perform a selection of easy listening songs, spent 29 years gigging in London’s West End, including at the Langham Hilton Hotel and Claridges. They even played for royalty!

Although you can get tickets on the door on the night, don’t leave booking your ticket to the last minute as they are going fast. Tickets are by a donation of £5, so get in touch with Stuart on 01634 251705 as soon as you can to book yours.

12 March 2012

No Estuary Airport - the community delivers!

The last couple of weeks have been busy, with local residents across the Hoo Peninsula getting involved and delivering thousands of Medway Council and RSPB ‘anti airport’ campaign leaflets. And we haven’t stopped delivering yet - there are still more to do!

I’ve been out delivering with a team of residents from Hoo. We have nearly completed deliveries in the village - the largest settlement on the peninsula. 

We were given a morale boost at the beginning of the month when Mayor of Medway, Councillor Ted Baker, visited the village. The Mayor attended a meeting of the Parish Council and met with its representatives and members of the local community. He was happy to show his support for the campaign objecting to an airport being built in the Thames Estuary.

If you would like to find out more about Medway Council’s campaign, visit their dedicated website by clicking here.

9 March 2012

High Halstow Walkers - March Walk

The next walk being organised by the High Halstow Walkers is taking place this Sunday 11 March. Starting out at 10am, from Brickhouse Farm, St Mary Hoo, this excellent walk to Allhallows is around 5 miles. It’s mainly on the flat and takes in a walk along the sea wall.

To get to Brickhouse Farm, take the turning for Allhallows (on the A228) from the Fenn Corner roundabout and head about 2 miles further up the road. Mitchell will be waiting at the triangular island where the road bends, to direct you to the best place to park.

Other walks taking place in 2012 are listed below. The start time for each walk is usually 10am, but confirmation of this, and starting points, will be posted here every month.

15 April - Upnor and the River Medway. 13 May - Cranbrook and Sissinghurst. 10 June - To be announced. 8 July - High Halstow to Egypt Bay.

If you’d like to find out more about the High Halstow Walkers, get in touch with Mitchell by phoning 01634 254428 or send him an email here.

7 March 2012

Hoo Clean Up - March 2012

Back in January, local residents got together and collected 25 bags of rubbish from the back of Hoo Village Square. Although it was a shame that so much litter had to be cleared, all those who came along to help had a good morning getting their hands dirty. 

Hoo St. Werburgh Parish Council have organised the next Clean Up event, taking place on Saturday 24 March. Kicking off at 9.30am the meeting point will be at Hoo village hall on Pottery Road.

The plan will be to start out from the recreation ground and work to the Knights Road shops and nearby alleyways. The session will end at 11am with free tea and cakes back at the village hall.

Parish Councillor Ron Sands will co-ordinate this Clean Up morning for the Parish Council. Get in touch with Ron by phoning 07770 747820.

6 March 2012

No Estuary Airport - local artists have their say!

As part of the campaign objecting to an airport being built in the Thames Estuary, local artists have joined forces to present ‘Beauty or the Beast’ - an anti airport art exhibition.

Artists and photographers will be sharing their own interpretations about what an airport would mean to them and they hope to highlight what they say are the ‘inconvenient truths’ behind such a scheme.

Click the image below to see the promotional flyer.

Organisers of the exhibition, which will run from Friday 30 March for one week, hope to counter the glossy artist impressions produced by those who have proposed the building of a Thames Estuary airport.

The opening event will be on Friday 30 March (7pm to 9pm) at Nucleus Arts (Chatham Art Centre, 272 High Street, Chatham, ME4 4BP).

3 March 2012

Join the RSPB for a Guided Walk (Hoo’s Herons), Sunday 11 March 2012

One hundred pairs of grey herons, and another hundred little egrets, are nesting at the RSPB Northward Hill Nature Reserve.

They are the first to kick-off the spring at the heronry and this is the best time of year to observe them - before the trees go into leaf.

Join the RSPB for a guided walk to view the birds and learn more about how the team monitors the health of the wildlife, whilst considering the impact of climate change.

When the walk arrives at the heronry viewpoint, a nice hot cuppa will be available and staff and volunteers will talk more about heron life - even offering a few historic heron themed recitals too!

Photograph taken by Simon Ginnaw (RSPB).

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for the walk by getting in touch with the RSPB on 01634 222480 (between 9am and 5pm) or send an email here.

Booking is essential - tickets are £6 for adults and £5 for children. RSPB members receive a discount of £2. And if you decided to become a member of the RSPB on the day - you'll receive a full refund.

The walk will start at 10am (on Sunday 11 March) from the main car park at Bromhey Farm (RSPB Northward Hill Nature Reserve, Bromhey Farm, Lipwell Hill, Cooling, ME3 8DS). The walk is expected to take a couple of hours to complete.

1 March 2012

Muddies get national exposure

Since starting this website a couple of years ago, I’ve learnt lots about the Hoo Peninsula from the growing number of people who get in touch to share their stories and old photos.

I’ve even discovered quite a few ‘new’ distant cousins. Always nice!

Early last year I was contacted by Jill Warby (nee Mortley). Jill was born in Upper Stoke and her family are well known in many local villages, but especially Stoke and Allhallows. But it was only last week that I worked out Jill and I are third cousins, through her mother’s side of the family. We share the same great-great-grandfather, John Watson, who was born in Allhallows in 1833.

As I mentioned the other day, Jill has written a wonderful article about her ‘muddie’ grandfather, Sidney George Mortley. The article has been published in the March edition of The Countryman magazine.

Here’s a photo of Jill with her copy of the magazine. She is pictured with a photo of her late father Ronald Sidney Mortley on the wall behind her.

Well done Jill - it’s really good to see the ‘muddies’ getting some national exposure. They form a fascinating part of our local history. 

If you missed the article I wrote about muddies last week, just click here to take a look.