Kent highlights this month

PUBLISHED: 15:58 05 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:58 05 March 2016

Sir Terry Wogan at Bluewater with Georgie, an ellenor patient and counsellor Sue Wharton

Sir Terry Wogan at Bluewater with Georgie, an ellenor patient and counsellor Sue Wharton

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Find out who won the Kent Life Short Story competition and where you can see forgotten wrecks of the First World War

When Sir Terry met ellenor

The team at ellenor – Kent Life’s Charity of the Year that provides care and support to families facing terminal illness in Kent – was honoured to have a private meeting with Sir Terry a few years ago, when the much-loved ‘national treasure’ was doing a book signing at Bluewater. It was a chance to thank him personally for his support of ellenor through his work with Children in Need.

Sir Terry met with Georgie, an ellenor patient and Counsellor Sue Wharton, whose post at the time was generously funded by Children in Need.

Head of Community, Linda Trew, also met the late Sir Terry and remembers what a friendly and warm gentleman he was.

“He’d mentioned on air that week that he’d broken his mug, so I presented him with a new one, hand-painted by one of our young patients. He was delighted with it,” says Linda.

“When next on air, Sir Terry kindly 
mentioned meeting with Georgie, her Mum and staff from ellenor and how he was now using his prized new mug!”

It is reported that Sir Terry died at home, surrounded by his family.

At ellenor the charity provides 90 per cent of its care in patients’ homes and if patients ask to be at home at the end of their life, ellenor will do everything it can to facilitate this (see also page 83).

Short story winners

Kent Life is delighted to reveal the winners in our very first Short Story Competition.

Launched in the November 2015 edition, we called for stories from the county’s talented wordsmiths inspired by Kentish history, and readers responded magnificently.

Kent-based historical novelist Truda Thurai, whose published works include The Devil Dancers and Barley Bread and Cheese, scrutinised each entry and after much debate with editor Sarah Sturt, we can now announce our winners.

In joint first place is The Unravelling of Mr Growler by Michele Sheldon from Folkestone and Dreamland by Rose McGinty from Ashford. Following by a whisker in third place is Fate Perhaps by Jill Anabona Smith from Broadstairs.

Truda commented: “The overall standard of entries was extremely high and there were many strong contenders for the top places.”

The winning stories will be published in full in April Kent Life together with interviews and photographs of the three authors. Sarah Sturt will also record the stories and they will be broadcast on Channel Radio’s Arts Hour presented by Clive Looker after the April edition has published.

● The second Short Story Competition will be launched in November Kent Life with a new theme.

Hero remembered

Three ancient stained-glass panels have been restored in memory of a First World War hero and former Warden of the Rochester Bridge Trust.

The work on the Filmer Armorial Window in St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church in East Sutton was carried out in memory of Sir Robert Marcus Filmer, who died serving on the Western Front in January 1916, just weeks after receiving the Military Cross.

The Filmer family were prominent landowners in East Sutton and also had close connections with the Trust, which funded the restoration.

Completion of the work was marked with a service of commemoration and rededication led by the Bishop of Dover. Among the attendees were members of the Filmer family, representatives of the church and local community, politicians, the Lord Lieutenant and the wardens and staff of the Rochester Bridge Trust.

To find out more, visit the Trust’s website at www.rbt.org.uk.

40 years of discovery

History and archaeology enthusiasts will enjoy visiting Canterbury Archaeological Trust’s special 40th anniversary exhibition, taking place at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge from 25 March to 24 April.

Founded in 1976, the Trust has since carried out thousands of projects. This free exhibition celebrates the achievements and discoveries of the last 40 years, covering key sites, finds and buildings, as well as innovative educational and community work. Learn about one of the UK’s most highly-regarded archaeological units and how its work enriches the story of Canterbury.

www.canterburytrust.co.uk and www.thebeaney.co.uk.

Forgotten wrecks

Folkestone Library is home to a fascinating free exhibition (until 15 March) which looks to raise the profile of underrepresented aspects of the First World War.

Through the Heritage Lottery Funded Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War project, the Maritime Archaeology Trust is revealing moving accounts of bravery and sacrifice surrounding these sites.

The four-year project aims to bring together personal and family information, while utilising artefact records with historic and archaeological research to uncover the stories of our shores.

More than 700 wartime wrecks are known to lie off the south coast of England. These include largely forgotten ships and craft of all shapes and sizes, all of which were carrying out a myriad of different tasks and activities when they were lost. The great variety of incidents, often resulting in lives lost, range from severe enemy attacks, to misfortunes caused by bad weather and communication.

The Dover Strait was an important area of water during the war, combining, as it did, the shortest crossing between Britain and the front line of the Western Front with the dangers of being the nearest piece of coast to the German U-boat bases in Belgium.

Catch the exhibition in the Heritage Community Room, First Floor, Folkestone Library, 2 Grace Hill, Folkestone CT20 1HD, www.kent.gov.uk/libs.

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