After 32 years living in West Malling Anne and I have decided to move to a smaller house in Pembury so this will be my final Chairman’s Newsletter. I have been Chairman for well over twenty years and have seen the Malling Society become an influential body in Kent and in the local community. Our biggest achievement was probably setting up the Twitch Heritage Centre at Douces manor. As you know we have been lucky having the full support of the Parish Council and The Malling Action Partnership and although we have had two incidents of flooding this year it is very much up and running. I cannot stress how important to the success of this venture is the support of volunteers who man the openings.
At the Millennium we produce the highly successful Malling Times Paper and have continued to mount photographic exhibitions each year in the Clout Institute. We have continued our series of meetings at the Clout and have been involved in Heritage Open Days. We have a member of the Executive Committee on the Parish Council Planning Committee and continue to monitor all the Planning applications. Also we are members of Protect Kent, the campaign to protect rural England, and the Kent Federation of Amenity Societies and have attended their meetings.
Our website www.themallingsociety.org.uk is regularly kept up to date. During the past year our meetings have been well attended. All the speakers have been excellent and the post Christmas Dinner and the social evening at the Twitch proved popular.
Finally I would like to thank all the committee members (past and present) for their support and also the other helpful volunteers and wish the Society all the best next year which will be our 50th anniversary of the founding of the Society in 1965.
The Societies Visit to Malling Abbey18th June
Twenty three members visited the Abbey on a lovely summer afternoon. Myself and Mike North with Mother Mary David went around the peaceful site and later attended a short service in the Modern Church (built 1965/66), then we had tea and cakes in the Guest room. Workman were working on the ruined tower removing the plant life that had grown over the years between the ancient stones, a task that took care as re-pointing the building that dates from 1090 was no mean feat.
Members Visit the Heritage Centre –‘Twitch Inn’
On July 9th seventeen members visited the Heritage Centre for an evening tour and talk. Questions were answered by Molly Potts and Ron Martin. For some members, it was their first visit and they found the centre very interesting and quite surprised with the amount of work that has been done since the opening in 2010. We closed the evening with wine and nibbles.
Many thanks to Molly and Eileen for organising this event.