Ramsgate Sea Cadets held their Unit Awards Evening at the Red Arrow Social Club in Ramsgate. Brigadier (Retd) David Ralls CBE DFC DL made the presentations. Also present was Mr Barry Duffield DL. The first Sea Cadet unit was established in 1854 at Whitstable, created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme.
Mr Tom Gates, Chairman of Kent County Council, held a Reception in the Darenth Room at County Hall, Maidstone, on 7th February for recipients of the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur (Chevalier). Present at the event was the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE and also Mrs Kathrin Smallwood, High Sheriff of Kent at the time of the Reception.
French President Francois Hollande announced on the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June 2014 that all British veterans involved in France’s liberation during World War II would receive the honour.
The D-Day operation was described by prime minister Winston Churchill as “undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place”.
Some 156,000 Allied troops landed on five invasion beaches on 6 June 1944, sparking an 80-day campaign to liberate Normandy.
There were three million troops involved and 250,000 lives lost.
ecoegg, a laundry products manufacturer which makes environmentally-friendly washing pellets, was presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle, only five months after the company’s former premises were devastated by fire.
Founder and managing director Rob Knight accepted the honour at the company’s new headquarters in Gillingham.
In June, the firm lost about £2 million in lost revenue and stock after the blaze wiped out its unit at Integra Business Park in Park Wood, Maidstone.
Despite that, the company has increased turnover by 60% this year, employing 48 people at its new premises at The Hatchery, Steelfields, in Medway.
It exports about 65% of its products, most of which are made in the UK. It has plans to expand distribution to Canada, China and Japan in 2017.
Mr Knight said: ‘It was great to be able to come together with everybody to celebrate the Queen’s Award win and put the fire behind us.’
The firm was founded in 2008 after Mr Knight developed laundry detergent pellets that were suitable for sensitive skin, which are placed inside its laundry egg capsule.
The company has sold more than 1.2 million units since launching – the equivalent of more than 1 billion wash loads. It has also gone on to develop a range of cleaning products for dryers and kitchens.
Mr Knight said: ‘Innovation drives everything we do at ecoegg, and the laundry egg along with our growing range of other eco-friendly products, have each revolutionised the categories in which they compete.’
The Lord-Lieutenant stated in his speech: ‘You deserve the greatest admiration for the excellent work you are doing and I know you will continue to do. Very well done to you all, and long may Ecoegg flourish.’
The Countess of Wessex made a visit to officially open the Benenden Community Shop where she enjoyed time with volunteers who saved the village shop, and post office, from closure. During her visit the Countess unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion and Benenden Community Shop’s official opening. Residents have joined forces with Benenden School, which bought and renovated the premises and leased it to the community, while using the living areas of the building for its staff. There is now a cafe at the shop in The Street, where both paid staff and volunteers work.
The Countess, was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle, who introduced the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr David Neve and Helen Grant MP. Martin Pexton who chairs the Benenden Community Shop Committee took the Countess on a tour of the shop, accompanied by Samantha Price, head teacher of Benenden School. Her Royal Highness, who met managers and volunteers over tea and cake, learned how the shop was saved two years ago by residents.
Mr Pexton said: “The visit of Her Royal Highness was a very special way to celebrate the success of our community shop, which has been achieved through the hard work and enthusiasm of many members of our community.”
Benenden School head teacher Samantha Price said: “We are proud to have played a role in securing this wonderful asset on behalf of the community, and it was a great honour for everyone’s hard work to be recognised by HRH Countess of Wessex today.”
The Queen visited the Royal Engineers as their Colonel-in-Chief on 13th October 2016, to mark the 300th Anniversary of the Corps foundation.
The sun shone in the crisp autumn morning as Her Majesty arrived at Brompton Barracks. The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE; The Chief Royal Engineer, Lt-Gen Sir Mark Mans KCB CBE; Corps Colonel, Colonel Don Bigger ADC; and Corps RSM WO1 Chris McLennan greeted Her Majesty on arrival.
A Guard of Honour was formed up on the Parade Ground commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Sean Cunniff and greeted Her Majesty with a Royal Salute. The Queen inspected the Guard of Honour and Royal Engineer Plant parked round the side of the Parade Ground, this gave an opportunity for the many past and serving Sappers and their families to see her, before she returned to the Saluting Base, where General Mans welcomed The Queen concluding his address with a quotation from Rudyard Kipling:
“There’s only one Corps which is perfect – That’s us.
An’ they call us Her Majesty’s Engineers,
Her Majesty’s Royal Engineers.
With the rank and pay of a sapper”
The Queen was graciously pleased to reply:
“The Corps of Royal Engineers has served the Nation proudly since 1716.
Often at the forefront of operations. You and your families have always risen to those challenges. I congratulate you all on reaching this point in your long and distinguished service”.
Following the parade The Queen toured the Sapper 300 exhibition and spoke to members of the Corps about the exhibits. During the tour The Queen was presented with a sundial designed and produced by the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME).
Following a group photograph with the Senior Officers, The Queen attended a reception in the Officers’ Mess, followed by an All Ranks lunch. The Queen departed across the Parade Ground led by the Corps Band and Cheered by a large number of people who had attended the event, including a number of Sapper Chelsea Pensioners from The Royal Hospital in Chelsea.
It was an impressive day which will long be remembered by all those who were present.
A manufacturer of plastic pipe systems which exports around the world has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its international trading achievements. The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is given to businesses to recognise outstanding achievement. Polypipe Terrain which has a base in Aylesford, was presented with the award by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent at its New Hythe Business Park site which employs more than 400 staff at the premises, being the main hub for its international exports. During the ceremony the citation was read by Mr Bill Cockcroft DL and the award was presented to Mr David Hall, the company’s CEO, by the Lord-Lieutenant.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling and guests of The Abbeyfield Kent Society and Housing Association gathered at the site on 20th September, to celebrate work commencing on the project for its new extra care housing scheme in Larkfield, which will comprise 74 one and two bedroom apartments with care and support for older people.
Twenty of the apartments, which are being constructed in Martin Square, will be reserved for veterans and/or their spouses, providing much needed care, compassion and companionship to those in need.
In his speech, the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle said: “Inherent in the job of working in the armed forces is a high risk of harm, both physical and psychological. Abbeyfield Kent’s commitment to providing specialist support to people who served the nation valiantly is admirable.
“It can be a lonely and sometimes hostile world for those leaving the forces, after a considerable length of service. As an ex-regular soldier, I have come across veterans who need additional time to adapt to changed circumstances. Those suffering need to be able to call on more support in the changed environment outside the military, if they are not to fall between the cracks in these different circumstances.”
George Jessel DL, who leads a fundraising committee, which has raised over £1m of their £2.8m target to contribute to the project, was also in attendance, along with three of the Queen’s Own Buffs with their Standard Bearer and representatives from the development’s prinicipal contractor, Kind & Company. Guests enjoyed a visit to the site, followed by speeches and refreshments at the Larkfield Priory Hotel. The Larkfield project is expected to be completed in 2018.
Deputy Lieutenant Major Dennis Bradley BEM DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant at The Lyminge Good Citizens Awards for 2016. Lyminge is a small village with an average population of 2000 citizens and is surrounded by farmland and ancient forests. It was a wonderful occasion with about 120 villagers gathered at the village hall for the awards ceremony.
There were 22 recipients of the awards for voluntary service ranging from work as the leader of the Brownies involved with the Parish Church, and assisting at School events, to Volunteering Work within the Lyminge Association in arranging fun days, garden safaris and arranging Christmas decorations and being a member of the friends of Lyminge. The recipients of the awards were a very diverse and worthy list of participants who all worked voluntarily for their village.
Major Bradley said it was a real privilege to be able to take part in what was a very well organised occasion celebrating the voluntary work carried out by members of this active and close knit community.
On 23rd September 2016 the ‘ Topping Out’ ceremony was held for the new Ashford College Campus that the Hadlow Group are building in central Ashford. It is the first of the Council’s Big 8 projects, and will bring education, training and apprenticeships to the heart of Ashford. Construction is on track , with scheduled completion February 2017.