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               TO THE


             10th May 2011

           PARISH CLERK)
                            Marden Annual Parish Meeting
                                  Tuesday 10th May 2011
                       Shared Documents\APM\2011\APM reports 2011
                          ANNUAL REPORT
    By Cllr Mrs Dorothy Reed, Chairman, Marden Parish Council
             By Cllr Kate Tippen, Chairman of Amenities
              By Cllr Ian Newton, Chairman of Planning
                                 By Cllr
                      KENT COUNTY COUNCIL
                        By Cllr Paulina Stockell
                       COMMUNITY WARDEN
                              Mira Martin
                   COMMUNITY POLICE & PCSO
            By P.C. Marc Pennicott & PCSO Pete Gardner
                        MAPLESDEN TRUST
                     MARDEN PARISH CHURCH

   Blue House Cricket Club           Parish Magazine
          Bowls Club                    Pre-School
           Brownies                   Primary School
       Business Forum                       PTA
    Cricket & Hockey Club          Royal British Legion
         Fire Service                      Scouts
Friends of Marden‟s Heritage         Short Mat Bowls
        History Group              Tennis & Badminton
    Horticultural Society     Theatre Group & Youth Theatre
            Library                   Thursday Club
      Marden Minors FC                Toddler Group
       Marden Society                   Village Club
        Medical Centre                Walking Group
        Memorial Hall                        WI
         Motor Club

                                       Marden Annual Parish Meeting
                                             Tuesday 10th May 2011
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                            Chairman‟s Annual Report
                              By Cllr Dorothy Reed

My report for the past year seems very short, but this is due in the main, to the quarterly
newsletter, which has been successful in keeping you all informed of what we are trying to
do and our progress, which sometimes seems slow. Please may I remind you that the next
issue will not be delivered to every household but will be available from shops in the village,
or you can request a copy to be e:mailed to you, or read it from our web site. Should
anyone wish to have a copy posted to them, please contact the parish office.

As usual, we have had our normal moans with highway services, footpaths, pot holes, the
state of some of our minor roads which have to cope with heavy tractors, lorries and buses.
Unfortunately, these roads were not constructed for such heavy vehicles.

We have continued to monitor the traffic in the Goudhurst Road area and are pleased that
SID is still being moved around the villages and we have this again soon.

The subject of Clapper Farm Lane is ongoing and we await the day this is opened up as a
bridleway for walkers and horse riders.

We continue to support the village Youth Club and are currently awaiting to hear of
Natalie‟s replacement due to Natalie being on maternity leave until next March.

Affordable Housing
No, we have not forgotten this item, and our housing enabler is currently looking into a site
upon which we hope to be able to proceed soon.

Due to our 30% cut in concurrent functions from Maidstone Borough Council, we have had to
look very closely into our expenses and the range of services we provide. Hopefully, we will
not have to prune too much further or I feel it will show.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow councillors for their support and
hard work during the year. Especially my Vice-Chairman, Mike, who has always been around
when needed, except when driving tractors over himself. He has decided to stand down as
Vice-chairman from next week but I am sure we will still find him plenty to do.

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Next year will see a Parish Election, so I would ask you all to seriously consider whether you
would like to represent your Parish or if you know anyone you think would make a good
Councillor, please urge them to find out more. There are information booklets available if
anyone would like one.

If you do not think you want to be a Councillor for the Parish, perhaps you would like to join
the team who are hoping to commence soon on a Parish Plan. More details later.

On behalf of the Parish I would like to take this moment to thank Rev James Robertson for
the last seven years he has been our Parish Vicar and to wish James and Barbara all the
best in their new parishes.

Our thanks go to Ian Jones for his efforts in the Cemetery and around the village and to
Colin Judge for his role as our village caretaker. The variety of tasks we have for Colin is
endless, so he will not get bored.

In October, we moved from the small office at the rear of the hall, into the new formed
front office, which is 100% more user friendly. We are also able to hold the CAB visits in
the back office, to give residents total privacy.

A big thank you to my fellow councillors for all their time and effort in various projects,
especially Cllr. Tippen for preparing our quarterly newsletter, Cllr Adam for his input on
Finances and Railway matters.

Finally, all Councillors will join with me to thank Alison and Amanda for all their hard work
and also thank Alison for keeping our finances in order.

                       AMENITIES COMMITTEE
              By Cllr Kate Tippen (Chairman of Amenities)

The Amenities Committee looks after the open space in the village owned by the Parish
Council, the Cemetery, the annual village Christmas celebrations, the summer play scheme
and the public toilets.

The playing field is an important area of open space in the village and we aim to maintain it
to a high standard. Our village caretaker, Colin Judge, is undertaking all the maintenance at
the field, including the mowing and landscape management. He has recently commenced a
programme of repainting all the play equipment and the sports wall, the benches and litter
bins will also be smartened up. Following a request from a resident we will also be installing
some bird boxes along Rookery Path which we hope will encourage a wide variety of birds to
nest there.

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The other area of open space we own in the village is Southon‟s Field. The field is open for
the use of anyone in the village between 7.00am and 7.00pm; the hours vary slightly
depending on the season. The field is also available for hire by any organisation in the
village. Colin is also maintaining the field and I am sure anyone who has recently visited will
agree that it is looking magnificent. We have recently installed 4 picnic tables and are keen
to encourage everyone to use the field; it is there for your enjoyment. We are also very
close to installing the „Community Chest‟ at Southon‟s Field. The Community Chest is a big
metal box with a lid that will contain bats and balls and other outdoor play equipment for
use by village groups such as Youth Club, the Cubs and Scouts etc.

I would like to record our thanks to Colin for the sterling work he is putting in as the Village

The Parish Council has been in discussion with Maidstone Borough Council for some time
about the Lucks Way play area. We have little progress to report; the wheels turn very
slowly but we remain optimistic.

We have set up an open space sub group which is considering the future use of our open
spaces, including Lucks Way. It is hoped that we will have some proposals over the course
of the next few months.

The Cemetery is attractive and well maintained and I would like to record our thanks to our
groundsman, Ian Jones, for the all the hard work and effort he puts in to maintaining it to a
high standard.

We had another successful village Christmas celebration. The well tested formula seemed
to work again with carols and Morris dancing at the Allens, Father Christmas processing
through the village and a Christmas Fair at the Hall, followed by mince pies, mulled wine and
carols led by Pastor Bill Harrow. We are now planning this year‟s celebrations to be held on
10 December. As usual we also put up Christmas trees around the village; and have now
replaced all of the lights with LED bulbs. Our grateful thanks go to our Assistant Clerk,
Amanda, whose hard work and planning ensured the day went off without a hitch.

The annual summer children‟s play scheme took place as usual last year and was thoroughly
enjoyed by all the children who participated. On average 45 children attended each day for
the 3 weeks of the scheme. The team led by Vikkie Lynes and Jen Hindley provided a
wonderful assortment of activities. This year‟s play scheme will run for 3 weeks from 25
July and bookings will be taken on a first come first served basis. Registration forms will be
available from 6th June from the Parish Office or Primary School. To qualify to join the
scheme children must have reached their 5th birthday by 1st September 2010.

As we reported at last year‟s Annual Parish Meeting the Parish Council has taken
responsibility for the public toilets. We have a cleaner who services them daily and Colin
also checks them every day and deals with the maintenance and graffiti. The toilets were

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not in as good a state as we had been led to believe by Maidstone Borough Council when we
took them over and both Colin and Amanda have spent an enormous amount of time in the
toilets investigating and rectifying problems. You will also find members of the Parish
Council on an official toilet inspection twice a year – a Parish Councillor‟s job is far from

                        PLANNING COMMITTEE
               By Cllr Ian Newton (Chairman of Planning)

The Planning Committee is a Sub-Committee of the Parish Council; its members are
Councillors who have an interest in the future development and the conservation of the
structure and character of our village.

The Councillors presently on the Planning Committee bring a range of experience to the
decision making from local knowledge to professional experience of planning process and
regulations as set by Central and Local Government.

During the 2010 to 2011 term of this Planning Committee the Committee sat to consider
over 70 planning applications and other local planning matters 21 times with 2 additional
meetings being cancelled through lack of business or information.

Full details of the items discussed and decisions of the Committee at those meetings are
available in the minutes of the meetings and are public records that are published on the
Parish Council website or available upon request from the Parish Clerk.

In addition to proposed changes to Planning Regulations from Central Government Marden
Parish Council is following with interest news of the progress of Maidstone Borough Council‟s
Local Development Framework (LDF) as these are developments that could possibly have an
impact upon the future of Marden.

The following is taken from the MBC website

LDF Progress
At Cabinet on 9 February 2011, a housing target of 10,080 dwellings (2006-2026) was
agreed for the Core Strategy Public Participation stage of consultation. The proposed
distribution of development would balance housing development throughout the plan
period as follows: 80% in and adjacent to the Maidstone urban area and 20% at the
proposed rural service centres (Harrietsham, Headcorn, Lenham, Marden and
Staplehurst). The full Core Strategy draft document will be considered at Cabinet on 8
June 2011.

A target of 71 pitches to accommodate gypsies and travellers was also agreed for
consultation through the Core Strategy, this target covers the period 2006-2016.
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 The Land Allocations DPD will allocate the specific sites for residential and non-
 residential development, as well as dealing with landscape designations and village
 boundaries. Work on this DPD will follow the adoption of the Core Strategy, which is
 intended for late 2012.
 (Note DPD = Development Plan Documents)

 Other regular and on-going actions of the Planning Committee are the conservation of the
 character of Marden; The encouragement of active involvement of residents of Marden in
 the local planning process;
 The monitoring updates from MBC of outstanding enforcement issues and new or reported
 alleged cases of regulation breaches within the parish.

 My admiration and appreciation goes to my colleagues on the Planning Committee for their
 wisdom and time over the past term. To our Clerk, Alison, a sincere thank you for all that
 you do for the Committee.

                          01622 842508

As your Maidstone Rural West county councillor for ten years and a resident in rural Maidstone
for well over forty years, I continue to push for more funding to be spent in our rural areas -
supporting many improvements to schools; roads, pavements; speed reduction & traffic calming
measures; more community wardens and PCSO‟s; increased funding for youth activities, sports
facilities and improving parks and conservation areas. I always promote Maidstone at KCC to pilot
new initiatives before rolling out in Kent, like the speed survey on rural roads, congestion
measures in the town centre and early access to the Freedom Pass. This pass, worth £450-£500
to parents, was issued to all 11-16yr old Maidstone students in 2009 and has been highly
successful allowing free travel, not only to school but also evenings and weekends 365 days of the
year! This year due to budget constraints the £50 per year charge will rise to £100 although
frozen for vulnerable children and those in receipt of free school meals. As soon as the budget
allows KCC will be looking to extend this pass to post 16yrs. Application is through the schools.

I have a high regard for the huge amount of work done by our parish councils and have worked
closely with all those I represent, attending as many meetings as possible and highlighting their
concerns at all levels. I frequently request senior officers to attend parish and public meetings,
make site visits to clarify issues and arranged meetings for parish cllrs and residents with
cabinet members or the Leader of KCC when required. There are 11 parishes in my Rural West
area most meet monthly - in some cases on the same night, which can prove difficult for me. I
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have secured many grants from KCC to support local parish projects and groups. I have used my
members grants to „pump prime‟ local schemes and group activities such as village hall
improvements, libraries, traffic calming, village gateways, dropped kerbs, white lining, Speed
Watch equipment, parish plan costs, local Scouts, community warden youth initiatives, play area
improvements, Age Concern, allotments, dance groups, Active Retirement activities, to name a
few. This is a great source of funding and would urge all to apply to me or community liaison

For the 8th year running KCC has been rated an excellent four star council by Government - it is
consistently rated the best performing county in the country, always striving to maintain
excellent frontline services whilst keeping council tax as low as possible. The financial crisis is
affecting us all, not least all councils with less money to spend. Difficult decisions have had to be
made by the Coalition Government. Left with a deficit costing us £125 million a day in interest it
is not surprising. The priority must be to get the country back on a sound financial footing. This
year Kent and Maidstone residents will see a 0% council tax increase, although some £300m in
savings will have to be found at KCC over the next 3 years. £95m of these savings will come this
year from a full staff restructure to deliver a leaner organisation, streamlining back office
functions, 0% salary increase and cuts to members allowances to name a few. Revenue Support
Grant to Kent and other councils has been significantly cut by Government, which has impacted on
the budget. In spite of this and with major savings to be made, frontline services in Kent will be
protected and improved to help vulnerable adults and young people, which is a major priority at
KCC. The highway maintenance budget has been increased after the worst winter for 30 years
and further money has again been put into pothole repairs. Maidstone still has one of the largest
district budgets from KCC in terms of investment and spend - last year £223.236Million revenue
spend, plus Member Highway Grants from capital spend. There are 9 county cllrs, which equates
to a further £225K spent in Maidstone. The members highway grant remains at £25K to
commission small highway projects in their division and can be „rolled over‟ or pooled with other
members for larger projects. This is in addition to the £10K members‟ community grant pot. I am
very pleased that our member‟s grants have been protected again this year, as I have emphasised
that they are directly spent in the wards benefiting residents. I would urge parish councils,
groups and individuals to apply to „pump prime‟ schemes that never seem to get priority. All in all it
is a very good budget from KCC in very challenging times.

I was elected Vice Chairman of the County Council last year and from May this year I will take
over as Chairman, which is a huge honour and a privilege. I am delighted that a Maidstone member
will have this role in 2011 and also to be only the third Lady in KCC‟s history to hold the position. I
will continue to support the work of the parish council putting their views and those of residents
across at every level. I am delighted to be able to represent such a lovely part of the borough and
will continue to champion the protection of the countryside and to preserve the character of our
rural villages here and across the wider areas of Kent.


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               Verbal report will be given at the meeting

                             COMMUNITY WARDEN
                                 Mira Martin
Mira Martin has been the Community Warden for Marden since the end of May 2007. Some
of the highlights from last year are as follows:

During the summer Sarah Savage from Maidstone Borough Council Environmental
Enforcement Team came to Marden with several colleagues to do a „bag and flag‟ session as
part of the „Stop Foul Play‟ campaign to educate people to the dangers of dog mess and to
help stop dog fouling.

                                                It was not the most pleasant of events
                                                that I‟ve helped with – but I think it did
                                                help to get the message across to dog
                                                owners to pick up the mess and to
                                                residents to report owners who do not.

My thanks to KCC Councillor, Paulina Stockell; MBC Councillors, Annabelle Blackmore, Rodd
Nelson-Gracie, John Verrall; and the Golding Homes Community Development Team for
funding for two projects:

Winter Road Safety
The funds were used to purchase reflective arm bands, 'snap' bands and various clip-on
reflectors. The arm bands were given to the pupils at Marden Primary School. I attended
various events in the village including two multi-agency information days. I explained my role
in Community Safety, highlighted winter road safety and gave reflective items
to pedestrians and cyclists of all ages (adults to pre-school children).
It was very satisfying to walk around the village and see children and adults (including our
elderly residents) with reflectors on their coats, school bags, shopping bags and handbags -
even our teenagers who can be the more difficult age group to get the message across to.
It was a very successful way of highlighting road safety to all and the arm bands, snap
bands and reflectors can be kept and used over and over again.

Free Football Sessions
The funding paid for 10 sessions that were coached by Charlton Athletic. The sessions
were well attended by primary school children and teenagers from all backgrounds from
Marden - most sessions were attended by more than 20 young people - mostly male but
also one or two females. Charlton were very good and, as there were often 2 coaches, one
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would do training with enthusiastic youngsters aged under 10 who turned up but were too
young to join the older kids. The sessions were held after school and during the school
summer holidays (they were held weekly from Tues 22nd June through to 24th August).
The project encouraged social interaction and inclusion as well as developing fitness and
encouraging sporting activities. It also helped to keep the youngsters out of mischief.

            By P.C. Marc Pennicott & PCSO Pete Gardner
             01622 604392 /
             01622 604392 /

The previous twelve months has seen a reduction in crime of almost 12% across the joint
policing areas of Marden and Yalding. This is extremely encouraging considering the current
economic climate and it is through the support of the community that we have been able to
sustain such low levels of crime. We have dealt with a number of issues throughout the
year, which have included the following:

          Nuisance Motor bikes on land to the rear of the Cockpits estate. Several
           Section 59 warning notices have been issued and we have seen a reduction of
           calls from residents. Residents are encouraged to call the police when this
           happening to assist us in dealing with this type of Anti social behaviour.
          Other Anti Social Behaviour calls involving youths have been low and have been
           dealt with through home visits and letters to parents with excellent results.
          Working with the KCC Warden we have held security bike marking days and have
           attended various groups/functions in the village.
          Speed checks have been carried out in several locations throughout the village
           resulting in fixed penalty notices being issued.
          Pcso Gardner can now operate the speed camera for speed monitoring purposes;
           this has been working very well as a deterrent to speeding drivers.
          There have been several convictions in the last year in relation to Burglaries
           carried out in the Parish.

We are now holding joint Police and Parish Council surgeries in the parish Office where
residents can come along and discuss Police and local issues in confidence.
Surgery days are Saturdays and will run from 11:00 hrs to 12 noon on the following dates:
21st May 2011 / 2nd July 2011 / 6th August 2011 / 10th September 2011 / 15th October 2011 /
12th November 2011

Thank you for your continued support in making Marden safe.

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                     SIR CHARLES BOOTH CHARITY
                    By Graham Tippen (Hon Treasurer)

The Sir Charles Booth Charity is an educational support charity set up to provide financial
aid to local people with their children‟s education. When he made his will, in 1792, he made
the bequest that a sum of money be invested for the benefit of the children of the parish,
providing they had attended the village school and met a number of other requirements.

So how much is available?
The will specifies that the money available shall be the interest earned on his endowment.
What may have been a lot of money over 200 years ago is obviously worth much less today,
in real terms. However, by prudent investments over the years, the Trustees to the Charity
make payments of up to £100 for each individual applicant; in order to reserve the funds
for the future, normally a maximum of 2 or 3 awards are made annually, though each case is
considered on its merits by the Trustees.

So who are the Trustees?
The Will of Sir Charles and subsequent Charity Commission documents specify that there
should be seven Trustees in all. The current trustees are: Dorothy Reed (Chairman); the
Reverend James Robertson; Robin Judd; Richard Day; Eunice Doswell; Sarah Hill and myself.

So how do I apply for an award from the Trust?
Just contact any one of the Trustees, in writing, given the reasons for your application.
Many of them will be familiar to most people in Marden, or you can find them in the
telephone book. They will then meet to discuss your request.

                                  VICTORY FUND
                                   By Robin Judd

This fund, which originated in the Second World War, is able to give modest donations to
village organisations by agreement of the trustees. During the last year the Short Mat
Bowls club was given £100, the bell ringers £200 and the History group £100. The balance
sheet is available for scrutiny by application to the Chairman.
Robin Judd (Chairman of the Victory Fund)

                             ALLEN & MAPLESDEN
                               By Mike Lutener
The Allen & Maplesden Trust in 2010 gave £915 to 12 couples at £20 each
and to 45 singles at £15 each.

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                         MARDEN PARISH CHURCH
                            Revd James Robertson
                        Vicar of Marden Parish Church

Marden Parish Church has enjoyed a good year with many blessings. The church is open
every day as a quite place for prayer and reflection.

The church building is in good shape for its years, as is the congregation! Our architect
carried out the five-year inspection, and reported a number of relatively minor repairs.
These include windows, the roof and pew platforms. The tower louvres and clock face will
require repainting within the next five years. The Church Council has a programme to carry
out these works over the next few years. This has been the second full year of the Friends
of Marden‟s Heritage, who have worked tirelessly on a programme of enjoyable events to
raise funds for the church fabric and the Heritage Centre. This is a great help for which we
are very grateful.

A small working party has been exploring the feasibility of improving the amenities within
the church to include an accessible toilet, a kitchen/servery and improved heating. We are
hopeful this can be achieved at reasonable cost and with minimal impact on the architecture
of the building, once sufficient funds have been raised.

The finances of the church ended the year in a better state than had been feared, thanks
to regular givers and to special events such as the very successful Flower Festival and
Christmas Fayre.

A highlight of the year happened in January, thousands of miles from Marden, with the visit
by 11 church members to two projects we support: Myitkyina Diocese in northern Burma, and
the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Bangladesh. The warmth of the people
amid real poverty, and the good work being done in difficult circumstances had a profound
impact on the party from Marden.

The Church Council is very grateful for the help of many volunteers in keeping the church
and churchyard looking so good.

A few weeks ago I shared the news with the congregation that I have been appointed Vicar
of the benefice of Holwell, Ickleford and Pirton, near Hitchin in Hertfordshire. We move
during July, our last Sunday in Marden being 10 July. As yet I know little of what awaits us
there, except for three Parish Councils! Barbara and I have been very happy in Marden, and
would like to thank everyone for their kindness.

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                        MARDEN BUSINESS FORUM
                         By Elaine Collins, Chairman
Forum Members, founder members guests and committee, I am pleased to report that this
year 2011 has been very successful once again. We have increased our membership and this
year has seen many welcome new businesses join our Forum. We have used our members
public houses to hold well attended networking evenings with some very good speakers a
special thanks to Pam Watts, Sweep and David Ritchie of Bovis Homes. We also thank
Lester Cunningham from Onclick for the ongoing support and loan of his PA system for our
various events and also designing and trialing a business training website for bookings later
in the year.
 The continued support and participation of all our members is absolutely essential to ensure
the continued success of our Forum. I have heard of many success stories of great business
gained directly as a result of their membership of the forum and assure you that the
committee of 15 volunteers work tirelessly, totally free of charge or any expenses,
throughout the year to ensure the best opportunities are facilitated for you to meet and
forge good solid contacts to help to move your business forward.
The end of this year saw the Forum decide to close the business breakfast. This ran for two
years and had some initial good success. However, due to the membership of the breakfast
being limited to MBF it was felt that the area was too limiting to work long term. However,
the close business relationships forged whilst it ran have continued and will continue to be
valuable to its former members.
This year saw us join forces with the Air Ambulance for our annual business exhibition. To
showcase our member businesses we hired a marquee and offered free stands to all who
wished to represent their businesses to the reported 8 thousand visitors on the day. We
had forty stands, although three did not show up on the day, we were able to raise a
substantial amount of money for the charity. Many thanks to Air Ambulance, Scarab, Alan
Firmins, and National Opera for helping with the site and arrangements. Also to Mo Hutson
and Jan Renwick from the committee for all their very hard work site planning again and
again as the bookings came in and marking the stands out on the evening before the event.
Also thanks to all those businesses who actually ran fund raising on their stands for the
We were approached by the Marden Brownies and were delighted to source, supply and
sponsor Hi-Viz Jackets for the girls and they, we are told, stood out as exceptional smart
against other groups at their annual gathering. Thanks to Mel and Andrew Streek at
Claygate for arranging this and presenting them on behalf of the Forum also Emma Ballard
for her help with liaison.
We also enbarked on a massive project linked with Skills South East to provide corporate
training for our members. It has been exceptionally successful and up to the end of
February we had already trained over 250 members or their employees. Costs would have
been over £50K but it was all free to those who came along. The way we achieved this was
to ascertain which companies could have qualified for a grant of £1000 and this would have
to be match funded by that company by £500. We proposed and agreed that we reimbused

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those companies the 33% from the forum should they open their training to other members
of the MBF where there was spare places. This has worked extremely well with some
members companies who engaged in this project and I would especially like to mention the
exceptional help with this from HE Halls, Little Eden, Burtons, Ballards, Butler Brothers and
Whitehead Monckton. Some companies used the information provided to use the grant for
themselves which is of course good for them and we are pleased to have helped facilitate
Those that shared training had members in some cases access over £10,000 of training
instead of just the £1000. We have had emails thanking us for this support and asking if we
could look at more training for our members in the future. We also managed to incorporate
our very own members who are trainers themselves and also introduce them to a new avenue
of business outside the Forum as well, through introducing them to register as skills south
east registered trainers.
We expanded the discount scheme and added more offers for our members and existing
discounts were increased based on our members use last year.
The year has been very busy and sometimes challenging, however, we once again produced a
very smart MBF directory delivered to Marden, and surrounding villages such as Linton,
Hunton, Yalding, Nettlestead, Staplehurst, Goudhurst, Curtisden Green and Huss Heath. I
thank all concerned for the delivery and production of this and Noreen Teare, Jan Renwick
and Mo Hutson for their help with hours upon hours of proofing on behalf of our members.
This is always difficult as we do not have any staff at the forum and it is fellow working
business owners who volunteer and who find time to do this. Ultimately it is your
responsibility each and every member to proof your own entries. However, it is always
surprising to me that so many of you don't. If I could have a wish for next year it is that
each one of you responds promptly agreeing or amending your entries to do your bit to help
with this massive data management project.
The Forum also launched a Online directory within the new website.            Terry has been
working on this for over a year and it was successfully launched in the middle of this year. I
wish to thank Terry who, as our IT expert and member of the committee, has worked now
for five years free of charge or expenses to upkeep and update our websites. We are very
pleased with the new site so please take time to look and feedback to Terry your views.
Our latest project, which is still in progress, is to work together with the Parish Council to
apply for a grant from the KCC to have faster broadband for Marden Parish. Terry Collins
and Bob Sancto took over this project after some initial investigations and have moved it
forward to the point of application. Many thanks to them both as I know they have put an
immense amount of work into putting together a good business case for us. We understand
there is only a small number of grants available and we will be competing with many other
villages, so wish our application luck. We would like to mention Alison Hooker the Parish
Clerk for all her help working with us on this.
Last, but most importantly, none of the above would happen without the committee. Special
thanks to Claygate, Scarab, Burtons, and ADL for their help in providing boardrooms for our
monthly committee meetings; Darren Hoadley, Scarab, for being the crime liaison and
circulating crime watch items;John at the Hop Press for printing done this year; Dennis
Collins, DH Collins and Son, for negotiating the trade discount schemes for all our members;

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Noreen Teare for doing the minutes; Mo Hutson for being Parish Liaison Officer; Jan
Renwick, for print liaison; Mo, Jan and Noreen for helping me with proofing, advert sales,
admin and help on anything required; Bill Ballard, Village Liaison and Christmas Celebrations
Committee Member; Grant Miles for his help with the Business Breakfast; Terry for the
Website and Updates; Mel and Andrew with Highways, Boardroom and support for local
organizations; and Bob Sancto for presenting business cases to object to the loss of funding
for our village toilets and applying for a grant for faster broadband.

A particularly big special thank you to Angus Boucher for being our forum accountant for
the last 5 years, and David Burton my very supportive Vice Chairman who provides
boardroom and does all the invoicing on our behalf.

                   MARDEN PARISH MAGAZINE
           By Sarah Davies (Parish Magazine Co-ordinator)
The Marden Parish Magazine is available to purchase from the Library, Post Office and the
Church. However the majority of our readers receive their copy delivered to the door by an
invaluable band of volunteers, capably led by Sid Watts. We have a current print run of 550.
The annual subscription rate is £5.50, with individual copies costing 50p.

The magazine includes details of monthly events occurring in and around Marden as well as
details of Church services and events. The editors are ever eager to include Marden village
news in the magazine and to receive contributions especially from the leaders of village
clubs. You can e-mail them via the church‟s web site (, where you
can also find the current month‟s issue of the magazine, as well as an archive of past issues,
or you can post material to them using the addresses published in the magazine.

We continue to appreciate the support of local businesses who advertise through the
Magazine. Details for advertising are available on the Church Website.

We have been lucky to acquire the services of an extra editor during 2010, Donald
Chambers, this has reduced the work load for Liz Bryant and Diana Babb who have loyally
edited the magazine for many years.

A new Marden based printer, The Hop Press, was engaged to print the Magazine in 2010, we
are delighted with the quality of print now produced.

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                             MARDEN BOWLS CLUB
                                By Mick Collins

Marden Bowls Club has enjoyed a very successful year and currently has about seventy
members, albeit that only about a third of those members actually come from the village of
Marden. We obviously attract many members from Staplehurst as there is no bowls club
there, and we also attract several from the Maidstone area.
Our summer season starts in late April and continues through to the end of September, and
the members have the chance to play in club friendly matches, league matches, club
competitions, Maidstone Association competitions and County competitions.
Last season the club won the Maidstone Association league, the Millennium league knock out
competition and the Maidstone Triples league knock out competition, but the highlight was
when three of our members won their county badges in the Kent Triples competition.
Because of the quality of our green we are regularly asked to host various county
competitions, and by chance the divisional final when these three members won their badges
was played at Marden, which created an extra special evening for us all.
During the winter months two short mats are permanently in use and the members play in
friendly and league matches, and their finals evening for club competitions was held on
Friday 15th April.
During the last year our long serving green keeper, Jeff Tremain, has stepped down from
the position to concentrate his efforts elsewhere, so now we have a team of members
continuing to do the work on the green, and we are confident that the high quality of the
green will continue.
During the season we have various fund raising events which include the annual Plant and
Cake Sale and two open bowls tournaments which attract players from all parts of the
I am pleased to report that Marden Bowls Club holds a high reputation within the county,
and we are pleased that when invited to hold some prestigious matches at the club we are
able to use Southons Field for car parking. This year apart from some county divisional
finals we are hosting a full county game between Kent and Middlesex in August.
I take this opportunity to remind the residents of Marden that new members are always
welcome and to enquire about membership please call in to the club, adjacent to Bowling
Green Cottage, Howland Road, at any time. It‟s a good social sport that can be enjoyed by all
ages, so why not come along and join us.

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                          MARDEN HISTORY GROUP
                   By David McFarland (Chairman) – 832295 /

The Heritage Centre continues to attract local, countrywide and international visitors, in
part prompted by our website managed by On Click.

There were the customary four exhibitions in the year, the hosting of some of the
Parliamentary Archive Sessions exploring the coming of the Railway through Marden and
Kent, the yearly visit of our primary school pupils‟ year 6 for contributions from staff from
the Centre of Kentish Studies, Maidstone Museum, Kent Libraries and ourselves, the
combination of the launch of our 19 th publication „Those were the Days‟ and the
presentation of the National „Archive of the Year‟ Award by the Family History Monthly

The „Centre‟ continues to open 18 hours per week and our next exhibition will be „Law and

Our Film Unit has been filming people, events and places for our film of „Marden Village
2010 – 11.‟

We continue our research into the exact location of the site where the „Marden Bronze Age
Hoard‟ was found in Victorian times.

Our fundraising annual Hog Roast with the BBMF Spitfire was heralded by the first firing
of our newly acquired Air Raid Siren which will be shortly joined by a K6 Red Telephone Box.

 Marden Library, High Street, Marden TN12 9DP 01622 831619 Fax 01622 831619
           Email: Contact Name: Holly Burrows
 Opening Hours: Monday closed; Tuesday 1.15 - 6; Wednesday closed; Thursday 1.15 – 6;
                    Friday 9 – 1.30; Saturday 10 – 2; Sunday closed
Events and activities held throughout the past year:

The partnership with the Marden History Group continues with volunteers manning the
Heritage Centre for all Library opening hours. Year 6 children from the Primary School
came to the library for a varied programme of heritage workshops in June.

The Marden Library Reading Group continues to meet monthly on a Saturday morning to
discuss a variety of different titles. Anyone who enjoys reading and discussing books is

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welcome to join them. For those who prefer a more informal chat about books the monthly
Coffee and Chat sessions continue to be popular.

There have been a series of displays in the foyer and in the Heritage Centre.

The children from the Reception Classes of the primary school visited the library to learn
about libraries and hear some stories.

The Community Warden continues to use the library as a base and to hold surgeries in the
library when people can discuss their concerns with her.
Forthcoming Plans:
We hope to develop a weekly Talk Time when people can make friends and share activities.

Services Provided:
Lend books, fiction and non-fiction, suitable for all ages and interests – a free service.
Lend DVDs for a small charge.
Free computer use
Provision of information
Monthly Reading Group held in the library and a Coffee and Chat session

Total number of items issued April 2010-February 2011        16,396. This is a 6.47% decrease
over the same period last year.

Concluding remarks:
I would like to thank the staff for their hard work and enthusiasm this year.
We have enjoyed working with the History Group and look forward a continuing partnership.
We welcome any comments you may have on the library service

                          MARDEN SCOUT GROUP
                       By Ian Grimes (Group Chairman)

Since the flurry of resignations and retirements a couple of years ago, the Leadership
situation appears to have settled with adequate support for the three Section Leaders.
Everybody knows that the previous sentence is a challenge to the gods but my fingers are

Although we have good teams of Leaders, we are always happy to welcome volunteers,
especially as Assistant Leaders or Sectional Assistants.

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Kieran Burns and James Blythin have been part of Marden Scout Group for many years, both
as members and, since before I became involved, as Leaders and Matt Causer and David
Elphick are well into their third year as Leaders of the Cubs and Beavers respectively.
Although all of their respective sons “retired” from the Group some years ago and some of
them before I became involved with the Group, Les Stracey is still our Group Treasurer and
Janice Streetley is still our Group Secretary (after several years of running the Beavers
almost single-handedly) and Sue Eltringham has taken her election as a Parent
Representative literally and brought her imagination and enthusiasm to the Executive with
innovative suggestions that keep us all alert; one of which is to experiment with the
“traditional” day and time of our A.G.M. this year and move it from five pm Saturday to a
Monday evening immediately after the end of the Beavers‟ weekly meeting. We are also
doing a sponsored Marathon Relay round Southons Field on 15 th May with all ages being
involved from the youngest Beaver to the oldest Executive (me).
The essential support of our District Commissioner, Pam Mead and her Team, has helped the
Marden Group to survive the occasional challenges over the years with little or no drama, a
bit like a swan; serene on the surface but going like the clappers all of the time.

Membership numbers fluctuate a little but that is not necessarily a bad thing, I am told,
because they never seem to drop much below the permissible maximum for each Section.
Parent representatives fulfil, among other things, the invaluable function of being a conduit
between the parents of the members and us Executives (including Leaders) regarding
concerns and suggestions. Volunteers for any position in the Group, as usual, are “worth ten
pressed men”.

For further information regarding the Marden Scout Group please contact Ian Grimes on
01622 831779.

                           1ST MARDEN BROWNIES
                               By Carol Fletcher

Marden Brownies meet here in the Memorial Hall on Monday evenings, during term time. We
currently have 23 girls in the Pack.

The past year has been a busy one full of challenges, adventures and above all "fun" as we
celebrated the Centenary of Guiding. Last June found us joining over 200 girls for a
sleepover in a school sports hall followed by a day of carnival activities. The day ended with
a huge carnival procession for the parents with girls dressed in masks, waving streamers,
playing African drums, dancing and chanting. We have undertaken various challenges and
gained badges to celebrate 100 years of Homemaking, 100 Adventures amongst many
others. We have climbed the Church Tower, held "wet and wild" evenings, had meetings in
the dark amongst many other fun activities. We ended our Centenary Year at the County

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Show Ground in October where at 20.10 on 20 October 2010 we joined over 2500 girls from
across the County to renew our Promise and celebrate with songs, dancing and fireworks.

The Spring Term has had an international theme and we have enjoyed working on our World
Cultures Badge and trying out foods from around the world whilst learning more about
Guides and Brownies in different countries. We celebrated Chinese New Year with masks
and dragon puppets and, yes you've guessed it, more food!!

During the Easter School holidays we are going away on Pack Holiday to Greatstone and are
hopeful that the weather will be kinder to us this time we visit Greatstone - last time we
stayed there it snowed!

We are looking forward to the Summer Term when you may spot us out and about the village
on a Monday evening enjoying the summers evenings and better weather.

      By Chris Childs, President & Nigel Hammond, Chairman

The Marden Branch of the Royal British Legion remains a sub branch to Goudhurst and last
year because of dwindling numbers the Staplehurst branch adopted a similar status. The
membership of our Branch is 25 and has grown by three this year.

The Branch business meetings (Jan, March, May, July and Oct) and social meetings (Feb,
April, June, Sept, Nov) are held in the Marden Village Club at 7.45pm on the second Tuesday
of the month. These meetings have recently only been attended by a few regulars but we
are looking to attract all our members to occasionally bolster attendance.

We have been mindful of the lack of RBL events in Marden over the recent years and are
looking to improve the situation. This summer two of our new members, Colin and Tracey
Fry, have kindly offered to hold a lunchtime Garden Party on 26th June. All members and
the Poppy Appeal collectors plus partners will be invited individually and although the event
is free, we will be raising money for the RBL 90 th Anniversary funds via a raffle and
donation. So please mark your diary accordingly.

On 13th November the Remembrance Service will be held at St Michael and All Angels
Church and we look for our members to back us as usual. Our Vicar, James Robertson, is
most supportive of this event and always ensures the gravitas of the occasion. Over the
past few years the Marden Branch has managed to collect £2,000+ for the Poppy Appeal,
which represents a very creditable £80 for every fully paid up member of our Branch.

It is our intention to hold a Branch dinner early January 2012 and we are hoping to have a
guest speaker with recent combat experience.

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We sincerely hope you will support our activities over the forthcoming year, for without the
collective contribution from our members, there is always a fear that the Marden Branch
will suffer the fate of many others throughout the Country and wither on the vine. Our
servicemen are receiving tremendous support from the RBL at the moment, but it needs the
local Branches to stay strong.

                         Affiliated to the Kent County Football Association
                  President: Mr Ian Ballard Chairman: Mr D.Errey
               Treasurer: Mr Les Stracey Secretary: Mrs Hayley Crabb
                         By Hayley Crabb, Secretary
Here at Marden Minors we thrive to be a friendly, approachable and professional club for
children of all ages abilities and genders. We currently have four teams playing for us under
8, under 9, under 10 and under 14. As well as two adult teams.

This season we are extremely proud of all of our teams especially the under 10‟s who made
the cup semi-finals and our under 14‟s who have made the cup final. This is being held at
Eccles on the 10th May 6pm if anyone would like to support them.

We still carry the FA charter standard and we work really hard as a club to maintain this.

Are financial position is balanced and we have an excellent treasurer to keep them that way.
However as a non-profitable organisation we are always looking of ways to fund raise and
bring money into the club so that we can provide better equipment and services to our

We do have many sponsors and organisations that help us out throughout the year who
without we would struggle to exist. These include Bill Ballard, Marden Village Club, Kent
Balloons, Steven‟s Utilities, Royal Mail, and morning mystery texter. We
would like to send our sincere gratitude to all of them.

We do have some up and coming events for you all to note and are all more than welcome to
come along and join in. They are as follows:
Presentation Night – Saturday 11th June 7pm – Marden Village Club
Race Night          - Saturday 9th July       - Marden Village Club
AGM                 - Saturday 9 July         - Marden Village Club

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Also on Saturday 25th June we are holding a village fete, from 1130am – 3pm, at Marden
Playing Field with a wide array of events and stalls. We do we hope you can all come along
and support your local football club and your village.

                            MARDEN MOTOR CLUB
                             By Clive Richardson

Our year began with our January AGM, held here in the Hockey Club, followed by the
Scalextric challenge. Many thanks to Mike for organising it and all those who provided the
food. At this time Chris Turner took over from John Mercy as Club President.
In February, March & April we ran night rallies which were enjoyed by 3 or 4 cars each
We ran the GEM series in May, June & July and a big thank you to those who organised all
these events. Without their assistance the series‟ would not happen.
For our “Drive it Day” outing In April, organised by Janet Richardson, 11 cars plus the truck
drove the scenic route from The Moat at Wrotham to Lullingstone Castle. We were joined
by the local TIPEC Porsche group and some of the Karmann Ghia Club with a total of 30 cars
which we proudly displayed in front of the castle. We finished at the Lion at Farningham for
a pleasant meal.
We had entered the truck for the London-Brighton commercial vehicle run on 2nd May and
although it was very wet and cold we completed the run without incident.
We had the annual Great Tong veteran, vintage & classic car rally at the end of July. Again
there was a tremendous turn out of vehicles and the club‟s funds were significantly helped
by providing lunches and running a bar. Thanks to all those members who assisted, and to Mr
& Mrs Day for use of their orchard & facilities.
In August we held the annual Chairman‟s Run instead of the usual meeting. A fine evening
saw us driving to the Crown Inn at Stone in Oxney where we enjoyed a fine meal in the
recently refurbished pub.
In September we were invited to take the truck to the Goodwood Revival meeting and be
part of their commercial vehicle parade, which involved picking up a stricken Austin 7 from
the starting grid and towing it around the circuit. This required us to drive the truck to
Goodwood on Thursday, display it and partake in the parade on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
and then drive it home on Monday. It ran very well and did not miss a beat, although it did
boil over a few times on the long hills.
In December we took a different approach to the Christmas meal. Chris & Sue kindly
offered their house as the venue and Sue, assisted by Janet C, prepared the food and
arranged “waitresses” to serve it and clear up. We finished with presentation of trophies
and a game of “Call my Bluff”. It was a very pleasant and relaxed evening.
We have been fortunate that this year we have been able to use the truck without having to
do any work on it, although we did give it a thorough clean, polish and spruce up for
Goodwood. However the long trip to the Revival meeting did show the lack of power available
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from the current engine and shows how we need to get the correct specification engine
back in the truck in the long run, hence our continued fund raising throughout the year. I
hope that in 2011 we will be in a position to start this work.
Finally, as I stand down from my 2 years as Chairman, I would like to thank everyone for
supporting the club and wish Mike Lockett an enjoyable 2 years as the next Chairman.
I believe that concludes the report for 2010.

                                    VILLAGE CLUB
                                    By Mick Collins

Marden Village Club, situated at the junction of Howland Road and Albion Road, has a
membership of six hundred and fifty people and provides an excellent place to go for a
sociable drink and entertainment with drinks at competitive club prices.

The club is open every evening and also Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes, and provides two
full size snooker tables, pool and darts. An in house entertainment system provides good
quality back ground music, karaoke, horse racing and many other games. On Saturday
evenings there is regularly live music and disco‟s, and the venue is often booked for private
parties and business meetings.

The Village Club is also the social headquarters for the Bowls Club, Blue House Cricket Club,
Marden Football Club and Marden Minors Football club hold their meetings there.

During the last year we were proud to be involved with Jeff Tremain‟s fund raising for a
„Guide Dog for the Blind‟, and we continue to regularly raise and donate money for a
selection of charities.

The club, in existence for over one hundred years (formerly as Marden Working Men‟s Club)
was at one time just a club for men, but those times are gone and we are proud that as the
Village Club our doors are open to the whole community. Any one over the age of sixteen can
apply for membership, and to do so are invited to call in at any time to collect an application
form. As a member of the Kent Association, our members are also able to enjoy the
facilities of other such clubs throughout the county by just showing their membership card.
In February of this year we hosted the Kent Association games and the club was full all day
with visiting players competing in a variety of indoor sports.

Although we no longer employ a Steward, members are served by regular bar staff and the
beer is well kept in a well maintained cellar. Our selection of drinks includes three Lager‟s,
two Keg Bitters‟ and three Real Ales, two Ciders‟ and of course the regular wines and spirits.
If Marden is your village, then the Village Club is there for you, so come along and join us.

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                         MARDEN PRIMARY SCHOOL
                        By Rowena Lynn (Headteacher)

Here at Marden School, as well as our Governing Body and Leadership Team there is another
group of people who are part of the decision making processes. They form the School
Council. Each year, every class from Year 2 to 6, elect two representatives. In addition, two
children from Year 6 are elected to act as Chair and Secretary. Their job, as well as running
meetings, is to liaise with staff and meet with Rowena Linn, our Headteacher, to come to
agreements. The School Council has different tasks each year and in the past, for example,
they have: met with contractors to design new toilet cloakrooms; helped staff to come up
with solutions for playground behaviour, and collected pupils‟ opinions about after school
clubs. One School Council task which is the same each year is that they choose charities to
raise money for throughout the year. This is done by consulting all pupils in the school and
then one international, one national and one local charity are chosen. The School Council
then design, advertise and run the events.

Last year‟s school council decided that they wanted to support the Haiti Appeal, following
the earthquake there. The event which they decided on was a Sponsored Sports Challenge.
Each pupil completed 6 challenges and asked family and friends to sponsor them. They all
had fun and worked hard to get sponsors. Some children raised over £50 on their own!
Every penny counted however, and in total we were able to send £1800 to the appeal. We
were thrilled with this result and the children were very pleased with themselves. This is a
really effective way for children to develop their sense of social responsibility and empathy
for others

Our new School Council decided that they would like to support Comic Relief and Future
Leaders in Ghana this year. The first you will all be familiar with. The children have raised
£750 so far with their Jobathon, (an updated version of Bob-a-job for those of you who
remember that). The second is a charity we have links with as a result of some work one of
our teachers, Miss Hindley, has done in Ghana. Miss Hindley spent two weeks there earlier
last year, teaching in a charity school. As well as taking lessons, part of her role was to help
the permanent teaching staff at the school to use new resources brought from the UK and
to try out teaching methods which we are very used to here but are not commonly in use in
Ghana. We are hoping that this link will develop more and more and so are really pleased
that the children have chosen to support the work this charity does in Ghana.

The school Council is currently working to gather the children‟s ideas on two play related
themes. In school the children are working on ways to develop and improve playtimes. They
have realised ideas need to be practical, free, fun and safe. Secondly the classes are coming
up with designs and wishes for the play area behind the Chantry in the village in response to
the Parish Council‟s request for their input.

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                            MARDEN WOMEN‟S INSTITUTE
                            By Jan Turner, Minute Secretary

Marden WI is a thriving and friendly institute. We enjoy many activities. Over the past year we have had
talks from the National Trust on Scotney Castle, the experiences of a foster carer, a member‟s visit to
Tasmania and the work of a charity in Hungary.

Last summer a garden meeting was held at the home of one of our members, on a glorious summers

A trip to Pashley Manor garden, followed by cream tea, was held in June, and a guided tour of Chilham
and its castle in July was a great success.

We had a cookery demonstration in September when we all tucked into the delicious food afterwards.
There was a quiz evening in October compiled by one of our presidents and a hands on craft evening in
November when even the most bumble fisted of us managed to produce at least 2 delightful Christmas

In December, members enjoyed a Christmas meal at the Hawkenbury, but our planned Christmas meeting
with entertainment had to be cancelled due to the snow.

We have enjoyed outings to the theatre, both local and in London and craft and home economic days at

A few lucky members managed to get tickets for a tour of the Olympic site in London.

We have provided tea and cakes for other village organisations namely the Horticultural Society, Marden
at Christmas Fayre, and the Kent Air Ambulance open day, which is very hectic, but most enjoyable, our
members doing us proud with their offers of help and generous donations of cakes.

We have many outings and events already booked for the coming year and I am sure, that under the
enthusiastic leadership of our two presidents, this year will be as full and exciting as the last.

                                 MARDEN WALKING GROUP
                                   By Catherine Alderson

       Thank you to all those who have been joining our walks. Our regular 5 mile walks at the end
       of the month are sometimes now exploring new areas, a recent one to Brenchley was very

        By popular demand our Health Walks on Saturdays are now held weekly.

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The first Saturday of the month are programmed walks and include highlights such as the
Bluebell Woods or the walk from Linton to Boughton to see the deer. The intermediate
Saturdays are strolls along the paths round Marden.          All ages welcome – do join us –
sensible shoes, suitable clothing and enthusiasm are all you need.

Following the successful walk with the Mothers Union last year we are inviting the
Horticultural Society to visit Marden Meadow with us in May and for the WI to an evening
walk with us in June.

Our Maintenance Walks with our Volunteer Footpath Wardens are held on weekdays once a
fortnight. The aim is to walk all paths in the Parish, label paths with arrows, cut back
vegetation and report back needs for stile maintenance. KCC have been responding well to
this and some stiles are being replaced with gates which increases accessibility for more

Our two sets of walk leaflets are still available at the Library and Post Office and cost £5
each for each pack of six walks.

                   By Dorothy Reed (Chairman)

Are you looking for some light exercise, fun and friendship? If so, why not come and join
us on a Monday and/or Friday evening, between 7.15pm and 9.30pm at the Memorial Hall for
a game of short mat bowls. A game that can be played by all ages.

All you need is a pair of flat soled shoes, as we can supply bowls to use.    We only play
amongst ourselves or have friendly matches with neighbouring clubs.

Membership is currently £5.00 per annum and we pay £2.00 per evening match fee.

                              MARDEN SOCIETY
                           By Mo Clayton (Chairman)
The Marden Society was formed to protect the amenities of the village, now meeting most
months of the year for a meeting and talk by a speaker. Topics for 2011 include Ghosts,
The Zeebrugge Tragedy, and much more. In addition the Society hopes to have an informal
local outing during the summer. Last year Nick Hall took a very large group round his

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Previous talks have included     „A Walk Round the Saxon Shore Way‟, „The World of Bats‟
with a live bat, and Kentish rituals and customs. The Committee try and choose different
topics of interest and hope that April 20th, with „Ghosts – Fact or Fiction‟ at 8pm in the
Memorial Hall will attract a good audience.

The Walking Group and the History Group have both sprung from the Marden Society, now
groups in their own right.

The Society recently produced a new Visitors‟ Guide to Marden, which is available in Tourist
Information Offices, libraries and outlets locally. In addition it is handed out to new
residents by the Parish Council in the Welcome Pack.

Members are always welcome to join for a very modest subscription.       Please contact Mo
Clayton on 01622 831529 or e mail

           By Claire Rendell & Kirsten Meudell – Co-Chairs

The preschool has had a change of committee this year, with several new members taking on
the challenge to help the pre-school continue to thrive. This is reflected by a number of
success stories this academic year: an excellent Christmas performance which was enjoyed
by parents/carers, the community and the children themselves, the opening of the new
outside classroom which children thoroughly enjoy spending time in with the toys and also
being able to dig in the mud, a „good‟ rating from Ofsted in their report which we are
thoroughly pleased with and other activities and visits such as celebrating the Royal
Wedding and a visit from the local firemen.

We continue to be very grateful for the support the community and the Parish Council give
to us. Thank you.

          By Julie Warner & Denise Pantrey – Supervisors

Our thanks go to our fabulous team for receiving such a good Ofsted report with some
areas graded as “Outstanding”. This is largely due to the strong commitment of the staff in
keeping their training updated and current and their dedication to each and every single
child as individuals.

We are extremely lucky to have staunch supporters of the Pre-School such as the Hall
Committee, Pat & John, the Parish Council and all those who like to remain anonymous. Our
love and thanks to you all.

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                         MARDEN MEMORIAL HALL
                        By Graham Tippen (Chairman)
The major achievement during the last year has been the completion of the
development to the building, including the new John Banks Hall, storeroom, rear
entrance lobby and conversion of the former caretaker‟s house to ground floor offices and
a self contained flat upstairs; the John Banks Hall being officially opened by Pamela
Banks on 8 th July 2010. Tenants moved into the flat during November at a commercial
rent, managed through a local lettings agency.

The last big item undertaken during the last year was the extension and resurfacing of
the car park and the creation of a path from the car park to the Parish Office and flat.
Very smart it looks, too. It would have been even smarter if some vandal s had not
stomped all over the concrete before it had hardened. It frustrates and angers
everyone running and using the hall that a certain section of society is happy to abuse
such a brilliant local facility. In the longer term, the more we have to spend on repair
and remedy caused by wanton damage, the less finance there will be for improvements
and maintenance.

Looking further ahead, the management committee accepts that a complete renovation
of the roof will be required at some point over the next few years. This will be a major
undertaking costing possibly in the region of £30 - £40,000; something we could not
afford without external grant funding that may be difficult to obtain with current
public sector expenditure constraints.

As with any building of this size, especially one used by the public, there is, however,
always more minor work required and a local contractor, Mark Williams, has been
appointed to carry out small maintenance jobs as and when needed. He has already
completely renovated the gents lavatories, sorted out some guttering problems and
regularly replaces light bulbs and the like.

During the year, a full health and safety, fire and general risk assessment was undertaken
to comply with our buildings and public liability insurance conditions. I am pleased to report
that there were no major criticisms, but in order to make sure all users of the halls are
aware of their commitments as hirers, as well as our obligation to them, the hiring
agreement is now 9 pages long rather than 2! A sign of the litigacious times we live in.

A maintenance schedule has also been drawn up that will enable us to plan for on-going
work, such as painting and decorating, fire extinguisher maintenance, etc. both in terms
of finance and logistics. New cleaning contractors started work in November and we
believe the cleanliness of the premises is now much improved. A window cleaner has also
been appointed.

The halls have been extensively used during the year and our income has risen. The Pre
School Group continues to be our main user using the main hall and old school room every
morning during term time. They have also recently taken over the use of the former Parish
Office, the Parish Council relocating to the new office suite at the other end of the
property. The Theatre Group also use the hall during the year for their excellent
productions. We also appreciate the support from the many other organisations that use the
hall - these include Short Mat Bowls, Badminton, Brownies, Ballet classes, Women's

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Institute, Thursday Club, Marden Society, and the Blood Donation Service. A Karate club,
Pilates and a thriving Youth Club are also now regular hirers.

 During the past year there have not been any problems with licensing, any user requiring a
 licence for the serving of alcohol making their own arrangements. To conform to the public
 entertainment and theatre licences, we now hold a Performing Rights Society licence for
 the playing of music, whether by a live band, or from the wireless, gramophone, tape
 recorder, compact disc player, etc.

 Lastly, I thank our Treasurer, John Elphick, Alison Hooker, Honorary Secretary, Mark
 Williams, Vikkie and Tarasa for all the hard work they undertake towards the smooth
 running of the hall.

                    MARDEN CRICKET & HOCKEY CLUB
                  By Sharon Harrison 07912 556487 / 831227 /

Marden Russets Hockey Club – Senior Teams
On Saturdays from October through to March, Marden Russets fields 5 Men's teams and 2
Ladies' teams. The Men's 1st XI competes in Kent/Sussex Regional Division 1, and the 2nd
XI are in Kent Area Division 2. The other Men's XIs are in Kent Open leagues, ranging from
Premier Division C to Division 4, so there is a level to suit all abilities. The Ladies' 1st XI is
in the Kent Premier League, and the Ladies' 2nd XI, run jointly with Sutton Valence Hockey
Club under the name of Sutton Russets, is in Kent Division 6. Russets also field Veterans'
and Mixed teams for friendly and cup fixtures, throughout the year.

The Club has just completed its most successful season on the pitch for over 20 years, with
the 4th & 5th XIs both winning their leagues and gaining promotion. The 2 nd & 3rd XIs both
came third in their leagues with the 1st XI playing a very high standard of hockey finishing
4th. The Ladies 1st XI were narrowly beaten in to second place and Sutton Russets were 5 th
in their league. The Club has over 120 senior playing members, and it‟s worth noting that at
least 9 of the present 1st XI team started as Juniors at the club over 15 years ago and again
this season there has been a good progression of school age players integrating in to the
senior men‟s sides.

Marden Russets Hockey Club – The Junior Section
Marden Russets has a thriving junior section incorporating mixed, boys and girls squads,
from U8 to U16. The Juniors practice and play their matches against other clubs in the area
on Sunday mornings, and has over 200 members with a host of coaches and organisers.

The highlight of the season was our Boys U12 side playing at the Kent County Tournament in
March and emerging as County Champions. We were the ONLY club in Kent to field two
competitive sides at this age group, which shows what a fantastic job our Junior Section

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does, both for local youngsters and for the sport of hockey. The side is due to represent
Kent [along with Canterbury] at the South Champions Tournament.

Marden Cricket Club - 2010 season report
The    Senior    Cricketers    had    two    teams     entered   in   the Invicta    Cricket.
1st XI - Played 17, won 7. 1 Conceded
2nd XI - Played 12, Won 3. 3 Conceded
The main problem for the Captains was getting the side they wanted out on Saturday. We
have a shortage of players and are always looking out for new players to join the club. We
had one day where both teams could not field a side due to late withdrawals and injuries.
Both sides played in good spirit with the club again being awarded a Spirit of Cricket award
for the manner in which they play.

3 sides, U9, U11 and U13.
85 Young cricketers registered.
Pick of the teams was the U11s, managed by Paul Sunnucks, which won the league and cup
double. They continue to impress and took a number of wins against significantly better

                         By Jane Frankel

Tennis Club
The tennis club is all set for an exciting year – with newly resurfaced courts due for
completion in early May. This will make a tremendous difference to the quality of the
courts (if not the standard of play!). For further information on the courts and events at
the club please have a look at the brand new web site
For the sixth year in a row membership costs are remaining at £65 for adults and a scale of
charges for juniors depending on age – representing very good value for use of the courts –
which will now be in tip top condition. Membership also brings opportunities to play in
regular club sessions on a Wednesday evening (May – to October) and Sunday mornings
throughout the year and the chance of a place in the two men‟s teams, one ladies and one
mixed team – playing league matches across Maidstone and the Weald of Kent. We have
also retained the half price membership for those people joining for a first season and
there are concessionary prices for family membership. For further information on
membership or for membership forms please contact Carole Ennis on 01622 831406.

Club events for 2011
Courts re-open                Saturday 7 May
Family open day (free)        Saturday 7 May 10am – noon (racquets available)
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Club evenings                 Start Wednesday 12 May from 6.30pm
Ladies practices              6.30 pm Tuesday 10 May (followed by pub visit) & Tuesday 17
                              May (for further information contact Jane Frankel 07754
Men‟s practice                Fridays from 13 May; 6.30pm start (contact
                              Chris Lomax 07773 819518)
American tournaments          start 10.30am Entry £2
                              Sunday 8 May and Sunday 4 September
Coaching                      £2/week members        £3/week non members (10 week
                              Intermediates 6.15pm Seniors 7.15pm from Thurs 12 May
                              Juniors Start Saturday 14 May for 10 weeks (racquets
                              Three sessions: 9.30 – 10.15am/ 10.15 – 11am / 11am – 11.45
Club tournaments              Singles: Sunday 10 July at 10.30am
                              Doubles: Sunday 24 July at 10.30am with BBQ and      Raffle

Badminton Club
The badminton club has continued throughout the winter with a much better attendance
this year than last. The standard of badminton has been very enjoyable with some closely
fought matches and players of all standards are always welcome to join this friendly group.
Badminton has now finished and will restart in the first week of October – please invite any
one you know that would enjoy playing next season. For further information please contact
Sheila Wright on 01622 831618.

Junior Badminton Club
The junior badminton club has been very well attended with 12 -15 youngsters attending on a
regular basis.  Everyone has improved their badminton tremendously, and particularly the
group of younger year eights who have been very keen to improve their play.
The group is looking for a new leader for next autumn – for further details please talk to
Jane on 07754 700360.

                    MARDEN WRVS THURSDAY CLUB
                          By Dorothy Reed

This club is for all residents over the age of 55 and we hold fortnightly meetings in the
Memorial Hall and also have an outing approximately once a month. Meetings are between 2-
4pm on a Thursday with time for a chat with friends, then the themed part of the
afternoon, ranging from speakers, bingo, entertainment or a quiz, followed by tea and cakes.
The average attendance is between 25-35.

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Four times a year, we are visited by Hi Kent – who provide batteries, check and adjust
hearing aids. This service is open to the whole village. The dates for their visits for this
year are:-
       May 12th / September 1st / November 24th at 1.30 pm at the Memorial hall.

A section of future events from our programme of 2011 are:-
        May 26th              Flower arranging by Fiona
        June 23               Entertainment
        July 7th              Garden Party
        August 4              Picnic Lunch followed by entertainment
        September 29th        Making Christmas crackers
        October 27            Entertainment by the Cockney Sparrow
        November 10th         Graham Tippen on Marden past
        November 24           Bazaar
        December 8th          Christmas Lunch

The following trips have been arranged:-
        May 18th               Hastings
        June 15                Eastbourne
        July 27th              Sheerness – honey farm
        August 24              Margate
        September 21st         Trip on the Medway on the Kentish Lady
        October 19             Mystery Tour
        November 23rd          Tunbridge Wells for TWOD‟s production
        December 14            London Lights

Please come along to any meetings and see if you wish to join in with us, either as a member
or a helper.
Membership is £5.00 per annum with £1.00 charged for each meeting to help cover the cost
of the hall.
At this point, I would like to thank my faithful band of helpers and cake makers, without
whom, meetings would not run so smoothly.

                         MARDEN MEDICAL CENTRE
                             By Dr Neil Potter
                    Church Green, Marden, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 9HP
                        Tel: 01622 831257 Fax: 01622 832840

Marden Medical Centre are pleased to announce the commencement of works on our
extension on the far side of the building which will give us three more consulting rooms and
a larger meeting room with a southerly aspect. The consulting rooms will enable more health
promotion and nursing activity as well as giving Dr Richard Estall the extra room he needs
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to allow us to re-start training junior doctors progressing towards general practice. We are
very much looking forward to this extra space. The meeting room will be for medical and
administrative meetings as well as being available to some other medical or community
organisations. We are grateful to everyone who has coped with the restricted parking at
the surgery during the build and we hope the disruption will not be too substantial.

Overall, we have had an interesting year with challenges of increasing demand, more
delegation from hospitals and extreme weather, but thanks to dedicated staff we have
remained open and fully functional throughout.

Our list size is very slowly increasing and our Practice boundaries have been slightly
extended in recent years. We have no plans to engage new Doctors other than those in
training and we maintain a firm commitment to GP Partners running and doing General
Practice rather than private providers, sessional doctors or locums.

We are pleased to have received a very positive NHS GP Patient Survey report. This shows
overall satisfaction of 96% (versus 90% nationally) and above average satisfaction with
availability of urgent and pre-bookable appointments.

The Friends of Marden Medical Centre continues to thrive in its role purchasing equipment
where donations have been made to the Practice. Again, typically there is over £3000 pa.
An annual committee meeting and AGM are held every summer. Last June they agreed to
purchase some much improved waiting room chairs, some blood pressure monitors, new
weighing scales for babies, a hearing induction loop and, when possible, a Dyson air blade
hand dryer. New machines to test Coagulation for warfarin patients have also been

The surgery feels confident to cope with the increasing pressures within the NHS and all
Partners are involved in local training, appraisal, and medical politics. We await the imminent
reforms with some trepidation and have, at present, opted not to involve ourselves
personally in working for the new commissioning structures.

                         By Steve McArragher - Chairman

The Friends of Marden‟s Heritage have had a good year in 2010-11 and raised well over
£5000. From this we have given £1500 to the History Group and £3500 to the Church, as
set out in our constitution. The History Group used our funds to contribute to the rent and
heating for the Heritage Centre, and to purchase an old Red Telephone Kiosk, and to help
restore the air-raid siren, as well. The Church has, so far, used our money to pay for the
“Quinquennial Inspection” of the Church structure, and some minor repairs to roof tiles. The
remaining money will be used for further work identified by the inspection which will be
carried out over the next five years.

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We have held five events during the last (financial) year. The return of the Swinging Picnic
was a great success, helped by the almost perfect weather on the day, and a lot of hard
work by Kitty Nayler, our chief Picnic organiser. The sun shone, the singers sang and
everyone enjoyed themselves. This was our major fundraiser of the year and raised an
amazing £2870. Our Treasure Hunt and Barbecue in July took place on a scorching hot
day, which may explain the relatively few people who took part. However several families
searched for clues about Marden‟s Heritage, and enjoyed the BBQ afterwards. The Concert
by the Maidstone Singers in October had an autumnal theme and was enjoyed by some 75
people. We served a 3-course supper comprising soup, ploughmans‟ and crumbles in the
interval, which in hindsight may have been a course too far! This event raised £385. Our
“Wine and Wisdom” quiz at the end of January was contested by ten tables with questions
set by the Committee including rounds on Marden‟s Heritage and on Religion, in deference to
both our beneficiaries! This raised almost £300. Finally we held another Book Fair on 26th
March and raised over £500 which made all the hard work moving books around worthwhile.

The rest of our programme for 2011 comprises the Swinging Picnic again on 11 th June, a
concert in the Church by the Kent Police Choir on Saturday 8th October and another “Wine
and Wisdom” evening in January 2012. We do not plan to hold another Book Sale next year,
but hope to do something different.

                  Kent Air Ambulance Trust
Adrian Bell, KAAT Chief Executive, will be one of the speakers at
                         tonight‟s APM

                        BLUE HOUSE CRICKET CLUB
                        By Steven Waite - Secretary

The undoubted highlight of the year was the Kent Village Cricket League‟s presentation
dinner when Blue House Chairman, chief groundsman and umpire, Dave Collins, received the
Pauline Cane Memorial Trophy. The award was presented to Dave to acknowledge his
exceptional contribution to the club and the league, which he has been involved with since
the competition was set up. Dave has been associated with Blue House for more than 50
years. He was captain from 1963 for 25 years, skippering the 1982 division two winning
side, which remains the Club‟s only league title.

Club members continued the tradition of the annual tour of South East Devon in July when,
for once, no fixtures were lost due to the weather.

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In the league, Blue House performed their, now annual, relegation dodge, finishing with just
enough points to stay in division 4, where the club has remained for at least the last 17
years. During that period the league has grown to seven divisions.

Thanks, as always, go to the teas team, in particular Jan Collins, Heather White and Kim
Spicer, the players who gave up their time to help with groundwork and the continued
support of Colin Day.

A special mention also for Matthew Tremain who has stepped down as captain, having
fulfilled the role for the last decade.

Blue House are always keen to hear from anyone who would like a game of cricket on a
Sunday. Those interested should contact Secretary Steve Waite by calling 07810 444231
or send an email to

                          MARDEN TODDLER GROUP
              By Katie Keen (832829) and Carrie Race (236171)

Our village mother and toddler group continued to thrive, with a good weekly attendance and
lots of new faces. During the year we set up a Facebook page which is now our online notice
board for dates and activities; if you search for “Marden Toddler Group”, our profile
picture is Marden Church!

Toddler Group supported Sport Relief in March by holding a sponsored bounce-a-thon and
cake sale, raising a very impressive £222. We held a sale/fun day in June which raised
approx £100 for the Group, and supported the Pre-School Playgroup by having a stall at
their Christmas Fair, raising a further £50. We also sold Kent Air Ambulance raffle tickets
and our October table-top sale raised a massive £224, which we shared with the charity
Operation Sunshine.

Local “mumpreneurs” who visited us with their wares included Phoenix Trading, Usborne
Books, and Tracey‟s Tasty Treats. Staff from The Marden Children‟s Centre also came to
talk about their activities and plans for the village‟s under fives. Father Christmas paid a
visit in December, about 40 children received presents - not all of them wanted to have
their photo taken with him though!

New toys donated or purchased during the year included mats, an indoor slide, shopping
trolleys, dolls buggies and more items for the home corner.

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                   By Zubeida Roberts (Chairman)

The Marden Horticultural Society has had another successful year with an increase in
membership. We have been involved with planting sunflowers with the Pre-School children
and look forward to more activities with Marden Societies. We are joining the Marden
Walking Group to Marden Meadow in May.

We were able to provide a display for the Church Flower Festival last year which I
understand was very well received.

We have another interesting programme this year with subjects as varied as vegetable
gardening to making herb soaps. Non-members are still welcome and our meeting remains at
the Vestry Hall on the second Tuesday of the month from September through to May at

We are holding our Plant Sale on 21st May and are pleased to have the support again of the
WI for refreshments and the History Group with their information stand. We hope to run
an activity for the children and meet more members of the Community.

We will hold our Cream Teams in members‟ gardens again this year and therefore hope to be
able to support a local charity as usual.

We look forward to planning the programme for 2012 and have already booked Tom Hart-
Dyke and Matthew Biggs as speakers.

                   By Pastor Bill Harrow
  00447960 773415 /
         A verbal report will be given at the meeting

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                 By Ian Newton (Chairman)

Only two productions from the group during the last year, in October 2010 we performed
the Russian comedy “the Mandate” directed by Lorna Little and in February 2011 the ever
popular pantomimes returned to our repertoire with “Little Red Riding Hood” directed by
two newcomers to the director‟s chair Beth Alcock and Tom Foxford.

This year a large part of our down time has been allocated to the organisation of our vast
collection of costumes and props that have been gathering over the past three decades.
Storage problems at the Memorial Hall for the stage flats and scenery that used to be in
stored in the groups own shed (demolished so that the John Banks hall could be built) are
to be resolved soon thanks to the memorial hall management committee.

This year we have planned a barbeque for all MTG and MYT members in July. We are
considering a number of plays for our October production and are looking for a director.
Following this year‟s panto the comments from the audience have encouraged to consider
staging another pantomime in 2012. The October 2012 production has both a play named and
a director waiting in the wings.

I am pleased to report that the MYT is well attended by some 40 plus children of ages 8 to
18. The MTG support of the MYT has borne fruit this year with several of the Youth group
members “stepping up” and taking roles in the both of the main MTG productions.
Experience gained in MYT has led to several of the senior members to becoming directors
of their own productions. Two of the MYT senior members have also volunteered to
represent the MYT on the Theatre Groups management committee.

Preparation in being made for the start of the September term leading through the New
Year to a major MYT production at Easter 2012. In the intervening period a disco/party for
the MYT members around the time of Halloween is high on the list of proposed additional

Diana Dixon MYT coordinating supervisor Jan to April 2011
It was my intention to focus this term upon acting techniques. As ever, the members wanted
to put on a production and since the last two productions have been mainly singing and
dancing, I felt that it was time to concentrate on portraying characters. There is a wide
age range and there are 40 members, so the problem which confronted me was how to
engage their interest and enthusiasm! Some of the senior members were approached by me
to see if they would like to put their skills and experience to good use. They were very keen
on my suggestions. Problem solved!!

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I found three one act plays which were not only suitable for the different age groups, but
had a wealth of "over the top" characters which would really challenge the youngsters.
There were four directors in all. James Boys, Jemima Frankel, Bethany Thomas and Josh
They held the initial play readings, followed by auditions, (the cause of much anxiety for the
directors) and then they announced the final castings.
Rehearsals began in January but not all sessions were devoted solely to the plays. The
directors devised many acting games which helped the youngsters enormously whilst
providing them with much amusement.

Parents and friends were invited to see the final productions on April 10th.
I believe that everyone enjoyed being part of a group where each individual plays a crucial
role. Teamwork is the key and the youngsters certainly learned that.
As for the young directors, well I know that they really enjoyed themselves.
It was a terrific experience for them and I watched them coping with every director's
nightmares. Those are, forgotten lines, cast missing from rehearsals, actors not listening
for cues etc. They did a wonderful job and I am extremely proud of them. I do know that
the younger members of the group had great respect for these four young people.

Finally, I would like to add that the opportunity to act on stage, in full costume and with
lights and sound would not have happened had I been alone.

Members of the adult section came to set up everything the day before the production and
stayed behind to clear away. Our wardrobe mistress Kerry Armstrong was, as ever,
absolutely wonderful in finding exactly the appropriate costumes and I must mention Ian
Newton by name, because he, as usual, was instrumental in organising all the technical side.
I am very grateful for all the help and support.

Diana Dixon

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