Kent College celebrates 125 years of outstanding education for girls

Kent College Pembury looks forward to celebrating its 125th Birthday on Thursday 22nd September 2011, going back to its 1886 routes with the entire school dressing in Victorian costume for the day. Victorian themed lessons will be held throughout the day and a special celebration will take place during the afternoon of the 22nd at the school’s original home in Folkestone. 

Headmistress Sally-Anne Huang and the school’s newest Year 7 students will travel down to The Grand in Folkestone for a reunion tea, meeting with Kent College’s longest surviving Old Girls in order to celebrate the school’s life and achievements over the last 125 years.

Kent College Pembury was originally established in Bouverie Road, Folkestone and spent its first 53 years here after the school was established by the Wesleyan Methodist School Association.  It survived the First World War by the coast and heroically remained one of a handful of schools who stayed open throughout the War.  However as World War Two approached, the decision was made that the school should re-locate.  After a brief move to Cornwall, the school set its sights on the beautiful, rural location of Hawkwell Place at Pembury, described by Miss Walker, Headmistress of the time as being a “perfectly beautiful home for the school where they would be able to carry on, come what may, in happiness and safety.”

Hawkwell Place had been built 60 years earlier on the site of the former Church Farm, later known as Spring Grove.  In 1887 the poet Browning’s son was married at Hawkwell Place and successive owners included Reverend Tabor (Principal of Cheam School 1854 – 90), W Mewburn Esquire, Chairman of the South East and Chatham Railway Company, the MacDonald Flour Company, Sir Leonard Lyle of Tate and Lyle and William Vernon, a Liverpool flour miller.

Hawkwell Place in Pembury has become the thriving hub of today’s Kent College and has been the home to a wealth of boarders and members of staff over the last 72 years.   In recent years Kent College has grown significantly, leading to greater ambition in all areas of school life.  The school remains faithful to its Methodist routes with the provision of outstanding academic and pastoral care is delighted that in 2012 an iconic Art and Library Centre will be built, in addition to the refurbishment of their much loved state of the art theatre.

Throughout the next academic year, Kent College looks forward to celebrating 125 years with an extensive events programme.  On the 30th September 2011, Historian Dan Snow will be guest speaker at the 125th Birthday Lecture.  In March Kent College will celebrate the opening of the theatre with ambitious dramatic and musical productions of ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ and ‘Messiah’.   In the summer term, Kent College will open its doors to the local community with a local Film Festival and will end a year of celebration in spectacular style with a Victorian fairground themed Grand Summer Ball.

COMPAID – Computer Aid for Disabled People Accessible Transport

Compaid is moving to Paddock Wood in October and needs your help.

We are looking for Volunteers to support our work with local disabled people in our new Activities Centre in Maidstone Road.

As a Volunteer Computer Assistant you might be playing games, writing letters, being creative with art or photography software, helping someone to send an email or to trace their ancestry.

Reasonable travelling expenses will be reimbursed.

If you have a few spare hours a week and would like to find out more, please contact:  Judith Williams, Volunteering Manager


Tel: 07933  480759


Reg. Charity No. 1064160  Company Limited by Guarantee No. 3400811

Exciting FREE opportunity for Pembury villagers to become fitter and healthier at Weight For It

‘Weight For It! is a free 10 week weight management programme for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 28 who want to make a lifestyle change, by altering the way they think about food and exercise. Brought to you by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, in partnership with NHS West Kent, this group is led by ‘Sarah Watkins, a qualified nutritionist and Stuart Smith, fitness professional

One hour meetings are held each week for ten consecutive weeks. This programme is very different to a diet which tends to be something you start and then stop at some point in time when it becomes impossible to keep going. This is more about educating about how to live a healthier lifestyle that can be maintained in the long-term. The hour includes an interactive discussion and activity session where members will discover ways of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by learning the right foods to choose and coping strategies for times of stress and high emotion.

The group share ideas for easy to follow and energising exercise regimes together and discuss tasty low fat, healthy recipes, menus and snacks that are easy to make and follow. The group considers ways to reduce fat and sugar in the diet, learn how to make healthy choices when eating out and how to stay fuller for longer. Each week members will be given a series of handouts (to take home), detailing ideas discussed. Eventually you will be able to build these up to become your weight loss bible! During the last 15 minutes of the sessions members will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any issues with Sarah and Stuart.

Where: Pembury Baptist Church on Monday 10th October at 2-3pm for 10 weeks.

To book a place or for more information please contact the Communities and Health Team on 01892 554411 or email’

King William IV FC

There is a new football team in Pembury called King William IV FC. It was set up by Jordan Angus of Beagles Wood road in the summer of 2011. Their home ground is Hilbert recreational ground in Tunbridge wells and they have been entered into the West Kent Sunday League division six.

Players from Pembury and the surrounding towns and villages were pleased with their great start to the season against “the insulators” winning 3-0. Supporters welcome – visit their website for fixtures and results!