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Tragedy as woman dies in evacuation exercise....10 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:57 AM

A 57 year old shore based employee of P & OSL died after suffering a suspected heart attack whilst taking part in an evacuation exercise aboard a cross-Channel ferry.

Kent Police are investigating the incident on the P&O passenger ferry Aquitaine but they cannot confirm whether they are treating the incident as suspicious until after a post-mortem examination.

A spokesman for Kent Police said that the 57-year-old woman was using an inflatable chute but did not emerge from the end.

She was airlifted to Kent and Canterbury Hospital where she later died.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed.


Walking bus for Shepway children....10 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:56 AM

Twenty children from Mundella Primary School will launch the first walking bus in the area when they walk to lessons on Wednesday.

A school assembly will be held at 9.10am where children who have taken part in the bus will receive rucksacks sponsored by the Believing in Folkestone fund and Kia Cars have donated reflective jackets.

Kent County Council’s Walking Bus Scheme is another initiative of the Childlife Project which was launched in November 2001 in Ashford, Gravesend and Dover and set up to reduce child road casualties. The bus will operate every morning.

Vice-Chairman of KCC’s Highways Advisory Board Graham Gibbens, said: “It is great to see Mundella School celebrate the start of not only their first walking but the first in the district, which will not only help ease congestion and pollution at the School, but also help keep pupils fit and healthy.�


Make that call while driving and it could be your last....8 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:54 AM

Mobile phones have now become part of everyday life and provide essential means of communication for those who work away from their home or office, but Kent County Council’s Road Safety team is warning motorists that it may cost lives if used while driving.

Mobiles may be valuable in an emergency as well as providing an extra sense of security for people in remote areas. In fact they have probably saved lives on roads as emergency services can be called a lot sooner when a crash has occurred.

This does not stop the fact that mobile phone use while driving is a deadly combination.

Research shows that you are four times more likely to have an accident when you are on a mobile phone.

Hands free kits can be just as dangerous and conversation can still distract you from your driving.

If you drive in a careless or dangerous manner while using your phone you could be prosecuted, receive a hefty fine, a driving ban or up to two years in prison.

The Road Safety team advises that when driving you switch off your phone and let your voicemail take messages.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Grahame Weston, said: “We just want motorists to use their common sense and think whilst driving. Using a mobile phone and driving is dangerous and can lead to death – it is as simple as that. Remember if you make that one call while at your steering wheel it could very well be your last.�


Suicide verdict on Fairground tragedy father....7 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:51 AM

Coroner Ian Goldup recorded a verdict of suicide at the inquest on a man who hanged himself following the death of his daughter in a fairground accident at the Rotunda in Folkestone.

David Griffin, 42, "suffered deeply" following the tragedy when his 8-year-old daughter Erin fell 20ft from the Mini Dragon rollercoaster at the amusement park in Folkestone,in December 1999.

The inquest on Thursday at Canterbury Magistrates Court heard that Mr Griffin had separated from his wife Michelle in February this year.

Mr Griffin's body was found after a police search, hanging in woodland on 3 July.


Police appeal after nine attacks....7 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:50 AM

Four police forces, including Kent, have made a fresh appeal today for information about a man believed to be responsible for nine attacks on women and girls.

A new description of the attacker has also been released as police revealed that the man may have been bitten by a dog as he attacked a woman in Ripley Green, Surrey on Monday September 16.

The first of the linked attacks took place on the Stanhope estate in Ashford, Kent, on Thursday, 15 November 2001 when the man snatched a ten-year-old girl from outside the Ray Allen Community Centre. He took her to nearby woodland where he assaulted and raped her.

The second rape was on July 1 this year in Bracknell and was followed by attacks in Surrey and London.

The new details of the offender are that he is a white man, aged between 30 and 50. He has short, dark hair which is going grey in places. He is medium-to-stocky build and is between 5'5'' and 5'10'' tall and has been described as having tanned , leathery skin.

A number of the victims describe the offender as having a deep/gruff voice and there is a suggestion of a north-east accent. Several witness described smelling cigarette smoke and others that he smelled of drink. One of the witnesses believes he may have scars or noticeable blemishes on his forehead or under one eye.

The similarities between the offences are that in the first eight the offender attacked from behind and forced the woman or girl into undergrowth where she was raped. Each offence has occurred in urban areas and on a weekday. The offender has made threats and used phrases that are similar. In most cases clothing or property has been taken from the victim. The offender has told the victims not to look at him.


£4000 raised at golf day....3 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:47 AM

The annual Round Table Golf Day held at Sene Valley on the 29th September raised over £4000 for local and national charities. Everything went without a hitch despite a delay on the first tee caused by the “Treasure Hunt� helicopter landing and taking off in the morning.

In the afternoon the main competition was played and the winning teams were:

1st – Baker Tilly winners of the Nick Taylor Golf Trophy

2nd – South Bank University

3rd – Clive Emson Auctioneers

The Rt. Hon. Michael Howard QC presented the trophies and other prizes during the evening dinner held after the competition in the clubhouse.

Folkestone and District Round Table would like to thank all those who took part and parted with their cash either via the raffle or through “on the spot� fines. Anther event is being planned for the same time next year and it is hoped that some more local teams and businesses might consider taking part. If anyone is interested they should pass their details onto Brian Fennelly, the Chairman.

Charities that will benefit include the “Children’s Wish� charity run by Round Table Britain and Ireland and also the local Kent Battle of Britain Museum Hanger Appeal.

For more information please contact the following:

Matt Nixon (Media and PR rep) on 01303 893300

Brian Fennelly (Chairman) on 01303 891357

Military Canal restoration to begin final stage....1 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:44 AM

The final stage of the Royal Military Canal’s restoration scheme is to start this month.

Thousands of tonnes of silt will be dredged from the canal and, subject to agreement between Hythe Town Council and Shepway District Council, used as enriching topsoil for Hythe Green and Princes Parade.

Dredging is the final stage of the Heritage Lottery-funded £3.35 million canal scheme. It will help to preserve the Scheduled Ancient Monument, improve the habitat for fish, wildlife and flora and enhance the canal generally for the enjoyment of local people and visitors.

And it will give Hythe Green a boost too. “This is a scheme that takes a natural product, converts it into rich and beneficial topsoil and reuses it to the benefit of the local community – rather than simply paying for it to be dumped,� said Cllr George Bunting, Shepway Council’s Environment Secretary.

Savings made through the use of Hythe Green will enable more dredging to be carried out, thus safeguarding the future of the canal for a longer period.

Don Prebble, the Council’s Senior Engineer, said dredging would be carried out using a floating excavator – or pontoon.

“This will load sediment directly onto hopper barges which will be pushed by a tugboat along the canal to an unloading point created in the car park next to the canal in Portland Road. From here the sediment will be transferred into sealed trucks and taken to The Green.

“The sediment from the canal will be spread in stages over The Green . Drying out is expected to take six months.�

Once the sediment has dried out the final restoration of The Green will start.