Catha's Seat

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Catha's Seat - Fresh off the press in the Kentish Express!

News fresh off the press this morning as Catha's Seat was featured in the Kentish Express, our local paper. If you are in the area, get down to the shops and get a copy while they are still hot!

Many, many thanks to reporter James Scott, and the Kent Messenger (KM) Group, for covering our story.
Cutting from page 33 of the Kentish Express published 26/09/2013.
Used with permission from the KM Group.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Councillor Wickham gets behind Catha's Seat and funding breaks £8,000 barrier

The funding thermometer has smashed through the £8,000 mark with your donations!! This is fantastic; thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. 

This leaves less than £2,000 left to raise, on which front there is more positive news we can share. Following a letter I sent to Andrew Wickham, Kent County Council (KCC) Councillor for Ashford Rural East, he has got right behind the project and is looking to support the fundraising from his KCC Member's Community Grant Scheme. Earlier this week it was confirmed that he is able to contribute £1,000 towards the installation of Catha's Seat.

When speaking with Councillor Wickham I was delighted to hear that he has been fully supporting the development of the new "traffic free" section of Route 18. He shares our aim to get as many people as possible out and using these facilities for enjoyment, wellbeing and safe sustainable transport. 

More than just helping funding, having the support of influential organisations and individuals such as KCC and Councillor Wickham is very important for a community project - it validates the need and develops the reach it can achieve - so this is a very exciting development.

Andrew Wickham, Kent County Council Councillor for Ashford Rural East, has got behind the Catha's Seat project.
Councillor Wickham added the following kind comments in his email to me....

"Thank you for your letter with details about your well thought out project to provide a seat along Route 18 near Chilham. I am minded to support this project"

"Good luck with the remainder of your fundraising, I am sure Catha would be proud."

All of us at Catha's Seat would like to express our thanks to Councillor Wickham and to KCC funding officer Annette Haigh for their support.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Godmersham Parish Council give support to Catha's Seat

I was treated to a warm welcome at Godmersham Parish Council's meeting on Tuesday night in their brand spanking new village hall. This has been outfitted with the latest green technology; solar PV and heat pumps, but more importantly a set of freshly installed bike racks where I could park up dad's bike after a twilight ride over from Wye! 

It was fantastic to hear so many positive comments and suggestions regarding the new cycle route and Catha's Seat. I am delighted that the PC have chosen to support the project and our forthcoming bid to the Ashford Borough Council Single Grants Gateway Scheme.

From the short window I saw of the meeting Godmersham PC are dedicated to continuously improving their Parish for the benefit of their residents.

In the board room - Godmersham Parish Council consider and choose to support the Catha's Seat Project
Godmersham PC's Chair, Caroline Spencer, wrote the following comments on behalf of the Council in support of Catha's Seat:

"In our view, Catha's Seat will be a major attraction: a delightful destination to which people can walk or cycle along the traffic-free section from Eggarton Lane, or a stopping point along the way for those passing through.  This can only improve our quality of life as our health and well-being is enhanced through more exercise, and our enjoyment of the countryside improves.

We are excited about the possibility of using Catha's Seat for community events, and you will recall last night that we were beginning to think of ways in which the Council could assist in planning and resourcing such occasions.  In a community such as ours which is short on public facilities, we have learned to make our own entertainment, and are therefore very enthusiastic about a new, outdoor facility such as Catha's Seat to use as a focus."

I would like to express my thanks to Caroline and the members of the Parish Council for allowing me to speak at their meeting and for their support. We look forward to progressing some exciting community events with them up at Catha's Seat in the years to come.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Catha's Seat - some history on the campaigning work of Catharine Keegan

I thought I would share an excerpt from some of the letters we've been sending out to build support for the project. This brings together juicy research I found out about mum's campaigning from conversations with Catherine Hughes, Sue Powell and dad. Seems like she made quite a stir locally.....

Catharine Keegan (Gilmour) was a particularly active member of the community within Ashford Borough and in the village of Wye. As an architect and planner, she dedicated a considerable amount of her time to local planning issues and sustainable transport initiatives. She was instrumental in the early work on Local Agenda 21 and the Wye Village Design Statement, the first Community produced Village Design Statement in the Borough, which is dedicated to her. 

She also made a number of representations to the Ashford Borough Local Plan on cycling and planning matters, which according to Catherine Hughes, the programme officer with ABC at the time, were considered a “benchmark” of good written representations by the Inspectors examining the Local Plan. In fact, her work was admired to the extent that she is - uniquely for a document of this type - mentioned in the introduction to the Inspector’s Report into the Ashford Local Plan 2000:

  • “31. Although I do not usually identify any particular individual that has taken part in the Inquiry process, I do wish to record my appreciation to one person. It has come to my attention that Catharine Gilmore [Gilmour] who represented a number of objectors at the Inquiry and in written representations, died unexpectedly earlier last year. Although I may not have agreed with all of her representations, I found her professional approach to be of the highest standard and presented in a friendly and efficient manner.”

Another picture from the archives - Mum in action surveying at Ashford International Station (photo courtesy of Sheila Webb)

Monday, 9 September 2013

Meals on wheels - the Coop have the right idea!

Spotted in Wye......

Coop pedal powered marketing - wonder if they'll take a ride up to Catha's Seat?

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Catha's Seat Marketing Mission!

Catha's Seat fliers have literally been flying off the shelves! Over 300 have been distributed to date so the message is getting out there!

They have now been spotted in a number of popular Stour Valley locations - why not hunt one down!

Flier with your pint? Propping up the bar at the Woolpack in Chilham, the Artichoke in Chartham and the Barber's Arms in Wye

Nestling into the community. Fliers hanging out on Wye Community notice board, in Wakelins Butchers and Delicatessen in Wye, and Wye Station

Many thanks to the following for displaying leaflets and promoting the project: Wye Bakery, Ticketyboo in Wye, Botanic in Wye, the Artichoke Pub in Chilham, the White Horse pub in Chilham, Perry Court Farm Shop, the Kings Head Pub in Wye, the New Flying Horse Pub in Wye, the Barber's Arms micropub in Wye, Wakelins Butchers in Wye, Wye Surgery, the Woolpack Pub in Chilham, Wye Station and the Dolphin Pub in Canterbury.