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Thank you letter from Joanna Lumley

Contributed by editor on Oct 27, 2008 - 05:00 AM

Dear Friends,

Just a quick note to thank you for your support and update you on the
Gurkha Justice Campaign -

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With over 80,000 signatures and rising, we are still getting thousands of new
supporters every day. We're still working to get the message out about the
campaign - last week Al Murray gave us a tremendous boost on his show Al
Murray's Happy Hour.

If you haven't already done so, PLEASE pass on our need for signatures to
everyone you know and ask them to do likewise. Please send it to your address
book. We really need this campaign to spread all across the country - like

This week I'm pleased to say there will be adverts in the next few days in a
number of newspapers including the Daily Mail, Guardian and Telegraph promoting
the campaign.

We've had some great stories from supporters across the country, from people
collecting signatures at car boot sales and street stalls, to people putting
links on their web sites and telling all their friends - it is making a big
difference. Thank you so much to all those who have written and emailed - there
are so many we simply can't reply to all of them personally, so please forgive
us. I PROMISE they are being read and appreciated.

The huge number of messages of support and offers of help have been fantastic,
but we still really need more help. If possible, can you can help us get the
message out in the following ways:

1. If you have a blog, web site, Facebook page or similar, please put a message
about encouraging people to sign the petition. You
could also post a message in any discussion forums you use online.

2. Print out the form at
and get
friends and family to sign. Please make sure you return it to us by 16th

3. Pass the message to as many people as you can. Whether you forward this email
to your contact list, give people a call, or write a letter to your local paper
to ask others to sign the petition at - we really need
your help.

A great example of one supporter promoting our site is a video we saw on YouTube
last week. We found it extremely moving. See what you think at

Finally, a very special date for your diary - 20th November. There will be more
details soon, but we will be handing in the Gurkha Justice petition to Downing
Street on that day. Some special guests and I will be meeting in Parliament
Square at around 11am. Anyone who can come along to join us and show their
support for the Gurkhas campaign in person on that day will be most welcome.

With warmest good wishes,


PS. We've sold hundreds of Gurkha Justice t-shirts and sweatshirts at our online

Thank you to all those who have bought them - I hope you are wearing them with
as much pride as I do mine, and helping spread the message about the campaign.

£100 pay off for shot Gurkha soldier

Contributed by editor on Aug 19, 2007 - 01:50 PM

A Gurkha soldier serving at Shorncliffe Barracks has been forced to accept a £100 payoff after being discharged from the British Army following 18 years of service.

Rifleman Padan Limbu, who was badly injured after being shot during a training exercise almost five years ago, has also been made homeless after Army chiefs told him they wanted his room back.

He was staying with friends and trying to find a bedsit after being ordered to leave the barracks near Folkestone.

Mr Limbu, 39,  who served Britain in East Timor and Bosnia during his long career,  was left unable to serve on the front line after being hit in the back of his calf by a stray bullet during training in Canada in 2002.

He claimed last night that he had repeatedly pleaded to be allowed a desk job with the Army, but his requests had been turned down.

He said he will take the Army to an employment tribunal and claimed he had been tricked into signing release forms.

He had been told if he failed to do so he would be sent back to Nepal and would also have to pay his own airfare, he added.

He is being supported in his battle by the Gurkha Welfare Trust, but in the meantime he will have to find his rent, food and other living costs out of his pension of around £130 a month.

His treatment comes only six months after an apparent victory for the Gurkhas when the Government finally agreed that those who joined up after July 1997 would receive a pension equal to their British counterparts.

Gurkhas' rights campaigner Peter Carroll,  a former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, said he is backing Mr Limbu's case.

Mr Carroll said anyone who knew of the role the Gurkhas play in the Forces would be horrified.

The MoD insisted the Rifleman had been correctly dealt with and may be eligible for help with accommodation and disability payments.

Your opportunity to support our Gurkha soldiers

Contributed by editor on May 31, 2007 - 05:28 PM

The Gurkha's, many whom are based at Shorncliffe Barracks in Folkestone are receiving considerable public support to allow them automatic British Citizenship.

A petition on the 10 Downing Street website has so far received nearly 12,000 signatures.

The Author of the petition says: "They have served the British forces with loyalty and dedication for many years, yet we as a country treat them poorly and with inequality.

"Members of the regiment who served in the Falklands are not entitled to a pension, after service they are treated like illegal aliens. This it totally wrong and unacceptable.

"They willingly risk their life for our well being and should be given citizenship as a matter of principle. No country could ask more from an individual and these people are proven good members of our society and we will deeply benefit us as a nation if we give these men and women automatic British citizenship."

If you would like to sign please click here to be taken to the petition.


We have enough Airports now, leave the Marsh and countryside alone

Contributed by editor on Apr 25, 2007 - 09:03 AM

Dear Editor,

We moved last year from Manston.

There they were promised the earth regarding jobs etc. New road links and the financial gains to the area. They are still waiting.

EU JET claimed there was a need and that millions of people would travel to Manston to use their services, what happened to them?

Lydd are using the same arguments.

I would not wish the prospect of night flying on the people of the Marsh, we were woken at all times at Manston, and they used the rules to suit themselves and so could Lydd.

We have enough Airports now, leave the Marsh and countryside alone.


John Lawrie

Bouverie Square's shameless, shapeless structures

Contributed by editor on Apr 03, 2007 - 12:05 AM

Dear Editor,

Madame Pat Underdown gave a stunning presentation of her mediumship at the
step-lift restoration appeal clairvoyant evening, and even donated her
fee to the project.

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Courtesy of the Masonic Hall, Folkestone, the premises too
were given free!

All one-hundred and twenty who attended agreed that the step-lift carriage must
be restored at all costs and brought back for the next generation, because
twenty-first century architecture like Bouverie Square consist of shapeless,
shameful structures, which leaves nothing distinctive for the next generation!

Praise too must go to the trading community of Sandgate Road who never hesitated
in displaying one of our posters for the carriage appeal. Thirty one shops
in all responded positively free!

The compassion continued to flow that evening like a spring stream with a total
profit of £600.

Yours in amazement,

Robert Mouland

on behalf of the 1890 Leas Lift Carriage Restoration
Appeal team.

Any readers wishing to contribute to this privately
funded charity - 1890 Leas lift step carriage restoration appeal group - can
make donations to HSBC Bank account number 21433784, sort code 40-21-15.


Show collection lifts campaign fund

Contributed by editor on Mar 11, 2007 - 12:00 AM

The generosity of visitors to the Trucks'n' Tracks 2007 show held at the Leas Cliff Hall in February, has helped raise
more funds for the Save the Leas Lift Campaign.

Robert Mouland collecting at the show

A total of £39 was collected for the 1890 Leas Lift Carriage Restoration Appeal.

It is hoped a clairvoyant evening will also help the appeal in reaching  its target. 

The Folkestone Spiritualist Church are holding the event with Pat Underdown on 30 March at 7.30pm in the Masonic Hall, Grace Hill, Folkestone.

Admission is £5.00 and refreshments will be available after the meeting.

For anyone else who might like to contribute to this worthwhile cause, we would remind readers that the 1890 Leas lift step carriage restoration appeal group is a privately funded charity, and donations can be made to HSBC Bank account number 21433784, sort code 40-21-15.

Health services guaranteed at Folkestone hospital

Contributed by editor on Feb 21, 2007 - 10:25 PM

Many of the services at Folkestone's Royal Victoria Hospital are to be retained, following a meeting of Shepway Council’s Community Overview Committee on Monday (19 February)

Committee members have welcomed assurances that 42 services currently provided at the hospital will be retained. The assurances were given at a meeting of the committee by Matthew Kershaw, Chief Operating Officer and Howard Jones, Director of Facilities, from the East Kent Hospitals Trust.

Both had been invited to answer councillors’ questions following concerns about the future of health services at the Royal Victoria Hospital if the disposal of the site goes ahead. The meeting on Monday (19 February) had been arranged following a meeting of the full council in January which had asked the committee to question the running costs that have been cited as a reason for the decision to dispose of the site, look at alternative solutions to disposal and seek an assurance that if the site is redeveloped, it remains a centre of health services in Shepway.

Committee chairman, Cllr Paul Marsh, said he was very pleased that representatives from the East Kent Hospitals Trust had been able to attend and to answer members’ questions.

“We welcome the assurances we were given,” he said: “These were:
• 42 services currently provided at the Royal Victoria Hospital will be retained on site
• no changes to the location of services within the RVH site will happen for a year to 18 months
• there will be no interruption to the provision of services during the transition 
• The capital receipts and revenue savings would not be used to plug deficits but would be used to improve services to residents in East Kent.

“The committee was also able to make it clear that it strongly believes the Derry Unit, with 40 per cent of its patients coming from the Shepway area, should remain at The Royal Victoria Hospital,” he said.

The committee will prepare a full report for a meeting of the full council in April.

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