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Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

To submit a news or calendar item: email the Clerk to Goudhurst Parish Council



Commemorating the Fallen of the Great War April 1915

9th April 1915: Alfred John Gurr, Private S2/018247, 63rd Depot Unit, 13th Division, Army Service Corps. 9th April 1915: Alfred John Gurr, Private S2/018247, 63rd Depot Unit, 13th Division, Army Service Corps. (Left)
A married man; family home at Trowswell Cottage, Goudhurst, and formerly in North Road.
His peacetime job as a grocer’s assistant, perhaps a deliveryman, may be what led him to become a driver in the ASC.
Although prompt to volunteer after the outbreak of war, he never left England and died of scarlet fever and phthisis (a wasting disease) in a military isolation hospital at Aldershot, aged 33.

24th April 1915: Basil Edward Clarke, Private 17104, 7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry. (Below)
A son of James Sanderson Clarke, Vicar of Goudhurst from 1864 to 1910. After working as a clerk in London, he emigrated to British Columbia in 1910 aged 37. He enlisted immediately in August 1914, deducting five years from his true age in order to ensure acceptance. The Canadians first entered the front line on 15th April near Ypres where, in the frantic aftermath of the Germans’ first ever gas attack, Basil was killed nine days later aged 42.
24th April 1915: Basil Edward Clarke, Private 17104, 7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry.
A short ceremony will take place at 17:00 on 24th April at the Goudhurst War memorial to remember Basil Clarke on the centenary of his death.


A visit for members to the Magna Carta Exhibition at The British Library has been arranged for Tuesday, 12th May, at 11a.m. For the first time, the Library will be hosting introductory overviews of the Magna Carta exhibition. Following this curator-accredited talk, the group will have a 90-minute tour of the Exhibition.
INTEREST GROUPS Members continue to meet in small groups to further their knowledge. It is hoped to add another three groups: Archaeology, Classical Guitar and Table Tennis.
To join any of the above, to receive booking forms and further information about outings, or to request information about interest groups, please contact the membership secretary, Paul Griffin on 01580 212457
U3A Goudhurst
E-mail Goudhurst u3a


Finchcocks, Goudhurst, Kent Finchcocks has published its 2015 programme, which sees a wide variety of musical events at the Georgian mansion and musical museum set in idyllic countryside just outside Goudhurst.
Events in the first month include London Baroque on Friday 24 April and Dame Emma Kirkby & young members of "Dowland Works" on Saturday 3 May.

Do you love to be outdoors and want to help your community?

Kent County Council Logo If your answer is "yes", then volunteering as a Countryside Access Warden may be ideal for you. Wardens carry out simple tasks on Public Rights of Way such as clearing overgrown vegetation and improving waymarking so people can use footpaths, bridleways and byways easily.
Kent County Council are looking for volunteers to become Countryside Access Wardens in Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green. You need to be over 18, fit enough to carry out light physical duties and able to spare at least a couple of hours every month at times convenient to you.
Knowledge of Public Rights of Way is not necessary as free training and equipment will be provided, a basic knowledge of map reading and regular access to a computer would be useful.
For more information and to apply to become a Countryside Access Warden for your local area please contact Anthony Farnfield, Clerk to Goudhurst Parish Council. 01580 212552 or email the Parish Clerk

Goudhurst Parish Council Precept for 2015-2016

Goudhurst Parish Council has announced an increase in their Council Tax precept for 2015-2016.
The Parish element of the Council Tax bills for a Band D property in the Parish will rise from £40.70 to £63.63, an increase of 56% (£0.44p per week). The Chairman of Goudhurst Parish Council Cllr Antony Harris said “As a result of changes coming from central government, a number of services previously financed through Tunbridge Wells Borough Council will be withdrawn, unless locally funded by parishes. On this basis TWBC had decided to dispose of what it calls ‘non-performing assets’ and to put them up for public auction, unless Parish Councils were willing to take them on.” “Following a discussion with local residents at the open meeting held in Goudhurst Parish Hall on 10th November, the Parish Council voted on 8th December to take ownership of the Balcombes Hill Car Park and Public Toilets from 1st April 2015.”
“To lose the car park would create even more congestion than there is at present in the Village.” “Nor do we want to lose the public toilets since the Goudhurst conservation area is a popular tourist destination with visiting coaches and groups of walkers.”
“We will take over the car park in a very poor state of repair and the Council believes this must be put right as soon as practicable.”
“The Parish Council had plans to renovate the picturesque pond in Goudhurst in the coming year as it has become very silted up, but this project is now postponed until 2017 at the earliest.”
For any further information, please contact:
Anthony Farnfield
Clerk to Goudhurst Parish Council
01580 212552


The 2015 Goudhurst Fete will be held on Saturday, 13 June. Any queries please to James Cooke: 07754 492605.

Village Green Application for the Glebe Field

The Public Inquiry has now finished but there will be a long wait to know the outcome and whether the Glebe Field will be granted Village Green status. Four days were spent at The Vine while evidence of past history was presented to the Inspector conducting the Inquiry, barrister Ms Annabel Graham Paul. 25 stalwart residents stood up to searching questions from the Q.C. representing the Diocese of Canterbury, Mr. Vivian Chapman, and did Goudhurst proud.  For most of them it was the first experience of questioning of this kind but their honesty and sincerity shone through in spite of Mr. Chapman’s efforts. Over 110 Evidence Questionnaires had been completed by supporters and played a fundamental rôle in putting our case.  It was obvious from the references to individual Questionnaires that Mr. Chapman had read them all! The Inspector will take some months to complete her Report and Recommendation which will in turn be considered by the Committee of Regulatory Services at Kent County Council which makes the final Decision. There may be a further delay if the Inspector agrees to the Diocese’s request to postpone her Recommendation until the result of a relevant case is heard by the Supreme Court in November.  If this is the case, the result will probably not be known until perhaps February or March 2015.  We have of course resisted this delay. We would like to thank all those who helped us with written and oral statements and others who cheered us along the way.  Also, many thanks to Ben, Tobin and staff at The Vine for allowing the Inquiry to take place in such pleasant and central surroundings. The venue was selected and arranged by Kent County Council. We put in a lot of hard work but were glad to do so as we all sincerely believe it is important to retain the Glebe Field at the heart of our community for the use of the community for generations to come.  Ed Bates (01580 212 129), Richard Hillier, Shiona Gardiner, Pamela Boniface, Barbara Stafford, Richard Bushrod, Donald Sargeant, Lynette Edwards, David Edwards.


The ancient Vine Pub (right) in the centre of Goudhurst re-opened last year under new management.

Goudhurst at the BBC

Sir Roy Strong, historian and former Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, accompanied BBC Radio Four's Justin Webb to record a radio interview in Goudhurst. Sir Roy chose Goudhurst to represent the heart of the English countryside in his book published on national identity, titled Visions Of England. The BBC produced an audio slideshow of the interview, which can be found at:

Citizens' Advice Bureau mobile visits Goudhurst

The Citizens Advice Bureau Bus will be visiting central Goudhurst on Tuesdays between 10am and 11.30am

Goudhurst British Legion
The British Legion in Goudhurst has its own dedicated page


Goudhurst Village Pre-school is open for 2 - 5 year olds in Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green.
All 3 to 5 year olds are eligible for 15 hours' free Early Years educational funding.
Sessions are from 9 a.m. to 3.30 p.m Monday to Friday (except Wednesdays, to 12 p.m.)
£4.50 per hour (£13.50 per session), with an optional £3 lunch club until 1 p.m.
A minimum of two sessions per child, per week, are required.
For further information please contact Jo Galloway on 01580 212777 (session times only) 07896 890370 (out of hours), send an email to Alison Clarke, or see the Goudhurst Village Pre-School website


The Kilndown cookery book, published in aid of the Village Hall Project, is available. 96 pages, over 90 recipes, and black-and-white illustrations. Price £5.99 (plus £1 post and packing). Cheques should be made payable to Kilndown Village Hall. Copies can be obtained from the Quarry Centre on Saturday mornings, or from Hilary Bird at Rogers Rough Chicks Lane Kilndown Kent TN17 2RP tel 01892 890554

Parish Footpaths

Did you know that we have just over 40 miles of public rights of way in Goudhurst parish? Walking should be easy and enjoyable in and around the area. To achieve this the local footpaths need to be kept clear of overgrown hedges and brambles, and wobbly stiles and marker posts need to be repaired. Roger Coles has, for many years, organised volunteers to walk the paths to report on their condition so that the Parish Council can arrange the necessary maintenance work, sometimes in conjunction with Kent County Council. The volunteers are known as Hon Footpaths Officers and they have made an enormous contribution to raising and maintaining the standards of our paths. However, some of the volunteers have now retired and replacements are needed. If you would like to become involved, even on a very occasional basis, please contact Cllr David Boniface on 01580 211430 or the Clerk to the Parish Council, Anthony Farnfield 01580 212552 or Email the clerk

Kent PoliceKent Police logo

“Police and Community Together” (PACT)
Kent Police, in association with Town & Country Housing Group, hold public surgeries for members of the community to discuss, in confidence, any issues which may be causing concerns and would otherwise not be brought to their attention. The surgeries are part of a multiple agency event and a representative from Town & Country Housing Group will be present, with Neighbourhood Officers for Goudhurst.
Ms Eleanor Dench from Town & Country Housing Group
PCSO Dave Jenkins: mobile 07969 584279. Dial 101 for non-emergencies. Send an email to Dave Jenkins
Surgeries are held on the 1st Friday of every month from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at John Stacey Heights, Goudhurst TN17 1BB.
All members of the community are invited to the meetings.
Contact Kent Police: :
For all non-urgent incidents or enquiries, call 101
If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, call 999
If you are deaf or speech impaired, text 'Police' and your message to 60066
For news, advice or details of your neighbourhood officer, visit
Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator Peter Rolington 01580 212920 Send an email

The Goudhurst and Kilndown Millennium Book

Old map of Goudhurst villageThis splendid book by local resident Mr WJC (Bill) Musgrave MBE records the millennium celebrations in the villages of Goudhurst and Kilndown, together with matters of general interest, directories and historical notes and reminiscences. It runs to 1,157 pages, together with a very comprehensive index. The book was written by Bill Musgrave as a companion volume to the 1935 Goudhurst Jubilee Book and the 1937 Goudhurst Coronation Book by the local historian Mr AW Tiffin. These two books have proved immensely popular over the years and, now long out of print, fetch considerable prices on the second-hand market.

The book is full of local interest and is illustrated with photographs throughout. Also included is a fold-out coloured map of Goudhurst and Kilndown. It gives a fascinating portrait of these Kentish villages at the turn of the century and will be of special interest to new residents and visitors to the district. It would make an ideal present for a birthday or Christmas. The remaining copies have been generously donated by the author to the Goudhurst and Kilndown Local History Society and all profits from their sale benefit the Society.
The book is in blue hard-back and is priced at £40. Copies may be obtained from the Local History Society.
Flood risk mapping

See if your home is in an area at risk from flooding

Visit the Environment Agency's search service. Just enter your postcode and it will show you a map showing flood risk in your area.
Environment Agency Website

Handy Van Service

The Help the Aged HandyVan service is a unique home security service, where trained HandyVan fitters visit your home and install equipment such as door chains and viewers, window locks and smoke detectors.
A fleet of 35 HandyVans are based around Britain and deliver a free service to those who meet the following criteria:
1. Applicants must be over 60 years of age.
2. Applicants do not pay income tax (excluding tax on personal pensions).
3. Applicant's disposable savings/assets do not exceed £16,000 (Not including the value of their home).
Everyone is vulnerable to burglary, and the HandyVan service enables people to feel safer in their homes. Prevention is always the key to a safe, secure home and HandyVan fitters will work to help you ensure that your home is free from the risk of burglary. If you would benefit from the HandyVan service, or you know someone who would, then please call the team on 01255 473 999 or Email

Follow Parish Council activities in detail and check progress of planning applications.
Parish Council news page

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