News from around Kent

PUBLISHED: 20:03 06 June 2015 | UPDATED: 20:03 06 June 2015

Helen Marshall unveils Victoria at 21 helped by the Deputy Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr David Elliott © David Bartholomew

Helen Marshall unveils Victoria at 21 helped by the Deputy Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr David Elliott © David Bartholomew

David Bartholomew 2015

From Queen Victoria portrait at Royal Victoria Place to tourism heroes for Kent

We are most amused

Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells has unveiled its unique portrait of Queen Victoria from whom the centre takes its name.

This community art project which was launched at the end of 2013 and took nearly 18 month to complete, was commissioned by the shopping centre to commemorate its 21st birthday and links with the town’s royal heritage.

In keeping with the centre’s royal namesake, artist Helen Marshall was commissioned to create a giant portrait of Queen Victoria at the time of her 21st birthday.

The artwork is made up of more than 3,000 photographs submitted online by the public, from the centre archives and Helen’s own whistle stop tour of the spa town, taking in well-known local businesses, organisations and schools.

In 2008, Helen created The Big Picture, which was the largest Photomosaic in the world. Then in 2013, BBC South East commissioned her to produce The People’s Monarch to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which is now on permanent display at Gatwick Airport.

Victoria at 21 is now on permanent public display on level 2 at Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells.

Pop star wants your support

The Wanted’s Tom Parker is pleading with public to show their support to local hospice charity ellenor.

Singing sensation Tom, who enjoyed success with the platinum-selling boy band, wants to encourage his young fans to wmake a donation so it can provide care to local families facing terminal illness.

Kent Life’s Charity of the Year ellenor, formerly known as chYps, is the only charity in the county to provide hospice care for seriously ill people of all ages, whether a newborn baby, child, teenager, adult, or elderly person in the final moments of their life.

An important part of ellenor’s work is caring for over 150 children with life-limiting and life-threatening condition across north and west Kent and the London Borough of Bexley.

Tom, 26, from Petts Wood visited the charity with his long-term girlfriend actress Kelsey Hardwick to meet staff, volunteers and some of the families it supports.

● To donate £3, please text ECHW15 £3 to 70070. For other ways of supporting ellenor, visit www.ellenor.org or call the Fundraising team on 01322 626504.

For patient help and information, please call 01474 32007.

A carved copy of Sir Philip Sidney’s funeral helm has been restored and positioned on top of the wooden ‘tent’ structure in the centre of the Nut Garden at Penshurst Place.

The copy of the helm was carved from a piece of a walnut wood, taken from a tree felled in the stable yard in the 1970s and features a porcupine, the Sidney family crest. The sculptor was Maurice Clarke, a previous head gardener at Penshurst Place (1958-1982).

Ben Thomas, estate manager, said: “The Porcupine crest is integral to the history and heritage of the Sidney family. We are delighted that the restoration of the Helm is now complete for visitors to see amidst the sensational colour and bloom of wild flowers and blossom in the Nut Garden.

“We anticipate it will draw a lot of interest during Glorious Gardens Week in early June as the helm structure is a striking centrepiece.”

Framed by a garden of Kentish cobnuts, the helm sits on top of a wooden structure that represents a fallen tent from the Field of the Cloth of Gold, which hosted a meeting between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France in June 1520.

Tourism heroes for Kent

India Marsh from Canterbury Cathedral Lodge and Matt Coates from Canterbury Historic River Tours have both received special awards for their services to tourism from the Kent Tourism, Hospitality and Transport Guild.

The Kent Guild was set up by Visit Kent in partnership with Kent County Council, education providers and other agencies and encourages more people to consider a career in the tourism and hospitality sector.

To help promote the rewards of working within the industry and to celebrate the young people already in the sector, Kent Guild ran a competition through its new Facebook page and selected the two winners.

They were presented with their certificates by Mark Dance, KCC Cabinet Member for Economic Development.

Each winner received a Local Tourism Hero Award Certificate, free entry at six Kent attractions of their choice, and a £50 voucher to spend at Bluewater

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