I was not attacking the Parish Clerk

Contributed by editor on Apr 03, 2006 - 12:21 PM


Dear Ed,

I have noted with interest Mr. Godfrey's recent public manoeuvrings to become a councillor after the May 2007

The one thing he will learn very quickly is not to have knee-jerk reactions as he did to my recent
article `Parish Council Farce`. If he had read the article a little more carefully he would have understood that I was
referring only to the January and February meetings of the Parish Council via their
published minutes which are the definitive legal document as published on this website and made pretty clear by the references used.

What happened at the March meeting is another matter, those minutes do not become public until after
April's Council Meeting.

Further Mr. Godfrey, my observations were not directed towards the way councillors behave towards one
another, but the really serious business of potentially being able to use one's
council position to the benefit of oneself or to an organisation  represented outside the Parish

Finally, I was not attacking the Parish Clerk, just reminding everyone associated with the
Parish Council of the duties of one who holds such a position, as they all appear to have forgotten

Being a councillor or Parish Clerk is a serious matter and not something which should be undertaken
lightly, and whilst the councillors are unpaid, the Parish Clerk is paid. (see Parish
Council minutes).

The Parish Clerk is in effect the Council's law officer and as such has access to a great deal of expert advice at any time.

However, taking the observations of the last three meetings, can the reputation of Hawkinge Parish Council slide any lower?


Hosepipe ban is a "publicity stunt"

Contributed by editor on Apr 03, 2006 - 11:03 AM


Local residents are learning to live with a hosepipe ban amid claims that the measures could have been avoided.

Folkestone and Dover Water brought in restrictions yesterday and South East Water is extending its ban to cover residents in north Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire.

The moves follow the worst period of drought in the South East for a century, with firms warning that even more stringent limits could be required in the summer unless there is heavy rainfall.

But the 700,000 strong GMB union said o­nly 7% of the total rainfall was used by the public in the South East  and the bans would not have been necessary if more reservoirs had been built in good time.

Gary Smith, national officer, said: "GMB water workers can tell the public that not enough rainwater is collected and used. The rainwater is there. Even in the areas with least rainfall per person we are still using less then 10 per cent of it.

"We need new reservoirs, particularly in the South of England. We need to change building regulations to ensure that rainwater falling o­n to houses is used for gardening and non-domestic uses. Water fittings in properties need to be appropriate to the areas where people live."

The gardening industry has also reacted with anger to the ban, claiming it was nothing more than a "publicity stunt."

Horticultural Trades Association spokesman David Gilchrist said it was important to clarify to people that they could still water their gardens, using watering cans and called for a Government review of hosepipe bans.

Folkestone Camera Club meeting 27 March 2006

Contributed by editor on Apr 03, 2006 - 09:03 AM


On Monday 27th March we held our annual Len Charles Cup Competition which is where members may show up to 15 slides, of any subject as long as the are connected, along with a commentary. Five members entries were shown and judged by our own members and it proved to be a difficult task in finding a winner.

Winner of the Trophy was:- Ian Stone ‘Life & Death o­n the Serengetti’

Other entries were received from :- Keith Radford, David Hughes, Bob Brisley and Vic Fowler.

To fill the evening o­ne of our new members Dan  Eksteen showed us an Audio Visual of South Africa, his home country, and wowed us all.  What a superb show, you could hear a pin drop in the audience.  Well done Dan, hope to see more of your work.

Results from the Battle of The Slides held at West Malling o­n Tuesday 28th March.
Judged by John Wigmore FRPS  EFIAP MPAGB APAGB were:-

1st   Folkestone……………..115
2nd  Tovil…………………...113
3rd  Invicta………………….111
4th  Malling…………………109
5th  Bexlyheath……………..108
6th  Sittingbourne…………...107
7th  Staplehurst & Sevenoaks 104
8th  Gravesend………………102
9th  Reflex…………………...97
10th  Parkwood……………...  92

Folkestones Entries:   Chasing by Dave Turner  20
                                Tree Lined Path by Dan Desborough 20
                                 Quayside K6 by Bob Brisley 19
                                 The Early Bird by Bob Brisley 19
                                 Connecting by Melanie Chalk 19
                                 Open Wide by Ian Stone 18

We ae naturally thrilled to have won this Battle and now have another Shield to add to our collection (we won the Eurotunnel Trophy o­nly last week!) – well done everyone – this really is a ‘coup’ beating 10 other clubs.

Next Monday 3rd April, will be our 5th Print Competition of the season followed by the 6th Slide/Projected Image Competition of the season o­n 10th April.

Visit our web site at where you can also visit our links to various photographic related sites and shops.

Meetings are held at the United Reformed Church Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue. Folkestone, every Monday September to May,  commencing at 7.45pm  New members are always welcome and anyone interested in joining, please, ring Jenny Barraclough (Hon. Press Officer) 01303 245399 or e mail: for further information.

Hawkinge make it to the final

Contributed by editor on Apr 02, 2006 - 09:36 PM


By Cyril Trice

The Hawkinge Sunday morning team were away to Essembee in the League Cup semi-final today (2 April).

At first things didn't look too bright for the Hawkinge side and they finished the first half  trailing 3 goals to 1;  their opponents must have thought they were on their way to clinching a place in the finals.

But with half hour to go the village side's fortunes changed.  Starting with a penalty which was duly put away by Eamonn Elalem, this was quickly followed by an equalizer. Goals then seem to be made on the hoof with the score line increasing to five for Hawkinge at which point one of their opponents lost his cool and was sent off.

With a extra man advantage a further 2 goals were put away by the village team before the final whistle, giving them a place in the finals.

Hawkinge 7 Essembee 3
Hawkinge scorers , Eamonn Elalem 2, Adam Lemar 1, Mark Welham 1, Tom Welham 1, Johny Walker 1, Matt Wratton 1

To visit the Hawkinge Football Club website click here

Fresh faces on the Parish Council - An apology

Contributed by editor on Apr 02, 2006 - 03:38 PM


Dear Ed,

My apologies for not making it clear that I do not neccessarily agree with all the comments in Veritas's letter.

I do not support the attack o­n the Parish Council Clerk who did her best, along with more level headed councillors, to keep things o­n track.

David Godfrey

Monthly gardening tips - April

Contributed by editor on Apr 02, 2006 - 10:39 AM



Prepare any vacant beds and borders for sowing or planting. Knock the soil down into a fine tilth and rake it out.

Clear up any remaining debris from winter. Pay particular attention to pockets o­n the rock garden where fallen leaves may have accumulated.

Any plants that have not been cut back or have over-wintering growth remaining should be pruned or trimmed immediately.


Regular mowing can take place now, the blades of the mower being set to their final height. There are now mower systems available which pulverise the lawn mowings and return them as a fine mulch to the turf. Alternatively the mowings should be boxed and removed.


This is the ideal time to plant all aquatic plants, especially waterlilies and submerged aquatics.

Established marginal plants and waterlilies can be lifted, divided and replanted.

Start feeding the pond fish as they become active. Fish can also be introduced to a pond successfully while the weather remains cool.

When it is necessary to clean a pond out completely, do so now. Never clean a pond out unless there are compelling reasons to do so. For most pond owners this need o­nly happen every five or six years.


Keep the hoe moving amongst hardy perennials and spring flowering bedding plants. Seedling weeds quickly establish themselves at this time of the year.
Stake all plants in the herbaceous border that are going to require it. Plants are much more stable if they grow through their support. They also disguise it much better.

Plant summer flowering bulbs and corms, especially gladioli, sparaxis, ixia and tigridia.

Plant out sweet pea plants raised from an autumn sowing and provide them with appropriate support.

Ensure that self-clinging climbers are attaching themselves to their supports in an orderly fashion. Tie in non-clinging climbers as required.

Plant the rock garden. All alpine plants should be pot grown and will establish quickly if planted now and watered carefully during the coming two or three months.


Plant an asparagus bed. Select an all male variety of asparagus to ensure the strongest spears of growth.

Sow successional crops of cabbage, lettuce, carrots, spring o­nion and radish taking care over the selection of the most suitable varieties.

Tidy up the herb garden and replace any tired specimens. This is also a good time to start a herb garden using pot grown plants.

Plant maincrop potatoes and earth up any early varieties that have produced foliage. These should not be left exposed as they are vulnerable to frost damage.


Ensure that all soft fruits are kept weed-free, especially the strawberry bed.
Tie in the new shoots of any wall fruits as they start to grow and rub out any unwanted buds that start into growth.


Plant greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers in growing bags.
Sow seeds of celery, celeriac and sweet corn along with courgette, marrow and ridge cucumber.

Start a regular feeding programme for all permanent house and greenhouse plants.
Prepare patio planters and hanging baskets, but retain in the greenhouse until towards the end of next month when the danger of frost has passed.

Begin to harden off the more advanced bedding plants using a cold frame.

The pipe cleaner man

Contributed by editor on Apr 01, 2006 - 04:13 PM


Submitted by Finkle

Have a little fun, for a change, make the pipe cleaner figure dance:


Let's have some fresh faces on the Parish Council

Contributed by editor on Apr 01, 2006 - 03:55 PM


Dear Ed,

Re:Parish council farce

I have read with interest Veritas’s letter about the Hawkinge Parish Council and various comments from others in the Big Chatterbox. I attended the March Parish Council meeting ( as a member of the public) and it is true that this was not o­ne which the Councillors should be proud of and hopefully such a performance will never be repeated.

I concede that just after the meeting I felt so let down that thoughts of the Standards Board crossed my mind but after a suitable cooling off period I came to the conclusion that this would probably achieve nothing.

I am not sure that the Standards Board of England is there to respond to every petty spat within Parish Councils nor should the Councillors involved be encouraged to run to the Board every time they are unable to resolve their differences in a democratic manner.

We should all remember that Parish Councillors are all unpaid volunteers most of whom try their very best to serve their respective communities.

In the case of Hawkinge many of the Councillors are having to come to terms with the fact that the village, o­nce 2000 residents, has expanded rapidly to a community in excess of 5000 and is expected to increase by further 2000+ in the next few years; if we bite the bullet we should be starting to think of “Townâ€? rather than Village.

Critics should be mindful of the fact that in the absence of new volunteers for Council then nothing will change.

I am willing take a lead and put myself forward for election and through this letter would urge others to seriously consider doing likewise. You never know perhaps a few fresh faces and ideas might make a difference, at least let’s give it a try.

David Godfrey

Hawkinge Angels

Contributed by editor on Apr 01, 2006 - 01:15 PM


The Hawkinge Angels are a support  group  for the parents of special needs youngsters.

They meet every Monday in the Community Centre from 12 noon until 2:00pm.

The group is run by Karla Griffiths and Wendy Rumsey, who both  live in Hawkinge and are the parents of special needs children.

The Hawkinge Angels aim to help parents who may be feeling isolated or who simply wish to meet with others who understand the difficulties in bringing up special needs children.

Further information about Hawkinge Angels can be obtained either by phone (01303 894349) or email (

Local guided walks

Contributed by editor on Apr 01, 2006 - 12:22 PM


Steve Walker from the White Cliffs Countryside Project is organising a series of  interesting and informative guided local walks.

Some are suitable for the more experienced walker but most are fine for a gentle amble through the pretty local countryside.

Walk the Green Route to Reinden 30th of April 2.00pm
Join an easy walk along the green route to Reinden Wood to see the blue bells and other colourful wild flowers of the ancient woodland. Meet at the Hawkinge Village Hall car park. 01304 241806 Donation appreciated.

Walk the Green Route to Folkestone Downs Sunday 18th of June 2.00pm
Join a gentle guided walk to discover the green routes from Hawkinge to Folkestone Downs (and back again). Hear stories about the wildlife and history along the way. Meet at the Hawkinge Village Hall car park. 01304 241806 Donation appreciated.

Walk this longer Green Route to the Warren Sunday 30th of July 2.00pm
Hawkinge to Capel-le-Ferne and the white cliffs above the Warren. We would value your opinion of the route. Meet at the Hawkinge Village Hall car park. 01304 241806 Donation appreciated.

Walk the Green Route to Reinden 10th of September 2.00pm
An autumn amble along the Green route to Reinden Wood to see the early autumn colour of the trees of the ancient woodland. Meet at the Hawkinge Village Hall car park. 01304 241806 Donation appreciated.

For more details please contact Steve Walker
Voluntary Project Officer
White Cliffs Countryside Project.
01304 241806