Published: 30 November 2019
I must begin on a sad note. We lost another World War 2 veteran and hero, Harry Garrett, in September. Harry reached the grand age of 101. He survived Dunkirk, he fought with the Desert Rats and had many narrow escapes. Since the war, he managed to raise over £60,000 for the Poppy Appeal. He took a close interest in the Pontoise Close play area. The Town Council planted a tree there in his honour to celebrate his 100th birthday. On behalf of Sevenoaks, I would like to pay tribute to and thank Harry for what he did both for his country and his local community.
To continue on the veteran theme, I attended a wonderful concert in Rochester Cathedral in aid of the veterans’ charity, SSAFA, which I am supporting. The Cathedral was founded in AD604 by Justus, who was one of those who accompanied St. Augustine on his mission to convert southern England. A couple of weeks earlier, I attended the Justice Service for Kent at Canterbury Cathedral. What a wealth of history there is in our county.
Closer to home: there have been some excellent achievements to celebrate. The Bat and Ball Station refurbishment continues to draw plaudits, winning the Sevenoaks Society’s Frank Marshall Award for Townscape Improvement
jointly with Sevenoaks School’s Science & Technology Centre and Global Study Centre. I opened the Bat & Ball ramp – that allows direct access for able and disabled passengers to Platform 1 from the Community Centre site. A big thank you to our Town Clerk, Linda Larter, and the amazing STC team for all their hard work on this.
Construction of the new Community Centre is getting underway – and Sir Michael Fallon and I buried a time capsule there to celebrate. I was also
honoured to unveil the new Stag statue to celebrate 10 wonderful years since the Stag Theatre was rescued by the Town Council in 2009. Linda has been central to so many of these achievements – so it was wonderful to see her contribution recognised with her appointment as President of the Society of Local Council Clerks. Well done Linda!
The annual Sevenoaks in Bloom competition saw us win gold awards for both the town centre and the Vine. The Vine really is a superb location for community events. How can I forget the gathering of all those Ferraris in support of the Mayor’s charities? Setting off a record-breaking number of runners for the Pink Week run in support of Breast cancer care was also very moving.
I gave gliding lessons on a beautiful September day to Mary Hogarth and Howard Rogers, who had both contributed generously to my charities.
Finally, I can’t resist mentioning my solo attempt to imitate The Beatles Abbey Road zebra crossing walk – all in support of the
wonderful Lewis project, which helps address mental health issues through music therapy. All you need is love…
Cllr. Nicholas Busvine OBE