Saturday, 29 June 2013

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #255 - Who's that girl?
Brilliant scarecrow I spotted on a Tonbridge allotment.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Tonbridge Man walking to London

Paul Bowman - These boots are made for walking!!!!
Tonbridge man Paul Bowman will be walking from Tonbridge to London tomorrow. Yes, walking!!!!
He is starting off at his home at 6am, and will walk to his old workplace depot at the Elephant & Castle. (Paul's a London Underground train driver). He is walking to raise money for a charity set up for his friend Brian Munro, who is fighting cancer.

The general route will be along existing roads, but Paul will probably take a few footpath shortcuts, mainly between Sevenoaks and Bromley. He will walk through Tonbridge, Hildenborough, Sevenoaks, Dunton Green, Knockholt, Farnborough, Bromley, Downham, Catford, Brockley, Nunhead, Old Kent Road, then Elephant & Castle. It's making me tired reading about it.

Google Map Route
This is from Google Maps just to give an idea of the distance Paul will be walking, and the estimated time given by Google is ten hours, but presumably isn't accounting for breaks! How long do you think it will take?

There's still time to sponsor Paul's walk. Read more about the Walkathon here - 

If you think Paul's boots are mucky now just wait until he's walked from Tonbridge to the Elephant and Castle. Paul will be posting updates on his progress.

Good Luck!!!!!! 

WANTED - Your views on cycling in Tonbridge

Do you or your children cycle in Tonbridge? Do you have a view on our cycle paths? Would you like safer cycling? You have until June 30 to make all your views known. Including today that's just 3 days!!!
Go to and complete the online form.

Tonbridge Reflections

Here are some more watery reflections. Can you recognise them?

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

It seems nothing changes as in 1933 the Tonbridge Season Ticket Holders Association made ‘emphatic and unanimous’ complaint about the train service

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #253 - Watery Reflections

The New Pinnacles?

The Pinnacles - courtesy of Frances Card
The photograph above could be one of the last taken of The Pinnacles pub. It was taken on the day the hoardings were erected prior to demolishing the Shipbourne Road building.  The tall tree in the distance is the 95ft Wellingtonia. This was felled after councillors gave permission for the development. The tree was probably the tallest in Tonbridge and in good health, but even the Preservation Order that it carried bore no weight, and it was cut down. 

Slowly the pubs away from the town centre have been lost, and there's possibly one near you that's recently disappeared. My personal opinion is that it simply means another community hub is lost. I can remember spending summer evenings playing in the gardens of The Pinnacles as a child, while my parents sat socialising with local friends, neighbours and family over a drink. I loved playing on the swings, drinking lemonade and eating those crips that came with a little blue bag of salt. The pub was where the locals caught up with each other, discussed the town, had a gossip and planned local events.

This afternoon I drove by the Pinnacles roundabout, and was astounded as to how quickly the houses have taken shape. I wonder if the development will be called The Pinnacles?

It's very sad to realise these places, where people of all ages could get out of their homes to communicate with others, have disappeared. I'm sure there weren't so many lonely people around when we all could wander along to the local pub.

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

An extraordinary thunderstorm struck Tonbridge in August 1763, and hop gardens, orchards and cornfields were entirely destroyed.

Castle Pub

More scaffolding has appeared at the Castle Pub on Big Bridge, and it's now up to the second floor.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

A fish out of water? Spotted on top of a bin at Tonbridge Castle.

Tonbridge Daily Photo #252

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Tonbridge Skateboarder

St Stephen's Primary School Balloon Race

St Stephen's Primary School had great fun at their annual family sports day and picnic this year.  As part of the PTA fundraising for the new library, the children helped release over 150 helium balloons for an exciting balloon race.

All returned tickets are being tracked on the school website and to date the furthest a balloon has travelled is to Teignmouth in Devon.

The school wish to thank everyone who has sent back the found balloon tickets to the school.  

Tonbridge Daily Photo

This area in Tonbridge has really changed and is hardly recognisable. Any ideas where it is?

Tonbridge Daily Photo #251

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tonbridge Taster in Pictures

There have been so many fabulous images of the Tonbridge Taster, but here are a few more I took on the day. I'm certainly not a photographer, so hopefully I've captured a little of the sense of fun we all experienced on Sunday. The Taster Day was enjoyed by thousands and showcased our town as a vibrant and energetic community.

Ooooops ... Obstruction

Ooooops - A bollard/post has been knocked over on Big Bridge and it's now obstructing the cycle path.

The Castle will look brighter

It's good to see The Castle on the Big Bridge is at last in the process of being brightened up with a lick of paint. It's been looking very tired and sad recently, and considering it's on a prime location with river frontage it certainly was in dire need of this.

A Tonbridge Spoilsport

After the incredibly successful Tonbridge Taster event, that was free for everyone to join in and enjoy, I thought it was worth repeating a post I wrote a few years ago.

Whilst researching the Venetian Fete and River Carnival that was held in Tonbridge every year during Cricket Week ... I came across an interesting snippet published in the 23 June 1933 edition of the Tonbridge Free Press.  It appears that over 100 years ago there were people who would do anything to stop the public having fun, or gaining anything for free.

The programme for the evening of the fete and carnival began at 8pm, with a diving exhibition from Big Bridge by two members of the Amateur Diving Association, and a team from Monson Swimming Club, 8.30pm was the Ladies Canoe Race followed by Punt Races and finally at 9.45pm a procession along the river of the illuminated craft.

The following week it was reported:-

On Saturday morning a large screen was erected at Big Bridge, the idea being, of course, to prevent people having a free view of the procession. This caused some resentment, and in order to avoid unpleasantness later in the day, the screen was taken down.
We understand that the Urban District Council was not approached with regard to the erection of the screen, also that the matter was not brought before the general committee (Cricket Week Entertainments Committee).'

It's hard to imagine where the screen would have been, and even harder to imagine that someone could have been such a town spoilsport. 

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #250  - Fun by the river

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #249  -  Dame Kelly Holmes at Tonbridge Taster

Tonbridge Taster Opens

The Tonbridge Taster Day kicked off today at 10am with Dame Kelly Holmes leading a workout to warm up the members of the Dragon Boat teams. Here it is in pictures.

Dame kelly with Tonbridge Boots Camps
Dame Kelly
Tonbridge Juddians
Juddian Dragon Boat team members
Dame kelly and The Juddians Team
Dame Kelly encourages The Bridge Trust Tonbridge
Even the Mayor is joining in the excitement
The Bridge Trust Dragon Boat team members
KAT Dragon Boat team

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Skateboards at K College Art and Media Show

The K College Art and Media Show is now over, and this year there were some exceptionally talented student exhibits. I of course had my favourites, and was really impressed with the skateboard designs and graphics by James Sales who is studying BA Graphic Design. His brief was to brand a fictional skateboarding company, and James created 'Four Seasons' and produced not only the board designs but all the promotional items too. Brilliant!!!!  Here they are!!!

Happy Bus

I loved this happy van/bus/people carrier that was parked in Tonbridge today.

Art on the Railings

There are so many art events happening at the same time in and around Tonbridge, and this morning as I crossed the Big Bridge I spotted the back of what I thought were paintings on the railings around Castle Lawn.  So, I made my way up to the castle to check it out, and a number of artists had braved the wind and the threat of rain to exhibit their art in the open-air.

I have to admit it wasn't too pleasant weather-wise high up over the river, but the colour of the paintings at least brightened up my mood.

I had a chat with two of the Tonbridge artists - Samantha Webster was displaying very intricate fabric pictures that had a 3D effect. She had obviously put a lot of close work into each image. They were perfect for a child's bedroom or nursery. I really liked them.

Tonbridge Artist Samantha Webster

Gary Taylor was exhibiting his photographs as digital prints on canvas. These were landscapes and places of interest.  I did spot one fairly local image of Aylesford Bridge in Kent, but most of them were taken further afield.

Gary Taylor
They will all be there tomorrow and part of the Tonbridge Taster Day so do go along and have a chat with them, and have a look at their work.