Sandhurst Friendship Club



A well established club  primarily for the over 60s. Meetings, which are advertised on the Notice Board of the Old School, are usually on the first Friday of the month at 2.30 pm in The Old School with a speaker followed by a home made tea. We also try to have two coach outings each year to places of interest. 

Membership stands at about 75 people and more would be welcome.

To join either contact Chairman, Rosie Broadbent (01580-850433), or the Treasurer, Elizabeth Cutchey (01580 850607) or just come to a meetin

Meeting Dates 2017 : Click Here



Friendship Club Updates:


Sandhurst Friendship Club – March 2017

For our March Meeting we had a very good turn out to hear Mike Lynn from Ticehurst talk and sing about the Customs of rural Kent & Sussex. We heard about Morris dancers, Hooden Horses and May pole and Hoppers songs all accompanied on various Squeeze Boxes. Audience participation was encouraged and enjoyed by the members.

Next Month.  April 7th Old School Hall 2.30 pm.  David Cole and a colleague will talk about Finance, Wills, Powers of Attorney etc.. A slightly more serious talk but I hope a useful subject. We will donate the fee to The Tongle Charity started by our speaker to help with schools in Malawi .




This was the first Meeting of 2017 so a slightly belated Happy New Year to all the members of Sandhurst Friendship Club.

At this year’s  AGM  the members  approved reports from the Chairman and Treasurer for the previous year and re elected those officers who wished to continue on the committee. A new committee member was require and we were delighted to elect and welcome Roy Avery to the post.  After these  formal procedures we were entertained by eight members of the St Lawrence Hand Bell Ringers ( tintinnabulists) They played a selection of classical and modern tunes ( a tintinnabulation ) which was very well received and much enjoyed by the members. Our usual excellent tea followed.

NEXT MEETING Friday 2nd March 2.30 pm Old School Hall. Musical Talk on Customs of Kent & Sussex by  Mike Lynn.

New members are always welcome. The subscription is £12 per annum which includes the monthly tea. We have two coach outing each year.  



For the first time Sandhurst Friendship Club had its Christmas Lunch at the Brickwall Hotel at Sedlescombe which was wonderful. Fifty members enjoyed a delicious  lunch with excellent and friendly service in a festively decorated dinning room. If its success is judged by the level of chatter and laughter then we can rate it as an outstanding success! We can now hibernate till our next meeting in February.

I would like to thank the committee for their hard work during this year and for the continued support of all the members. And we hope that everybody will enjoy the  new programme for  2017.

Next Meeting   Friday 3rd February in Old School Hall at 2.30 pm. This is our AGM followed by St Lawrence Hand Bell Ringers. New Members are always welcome



For our speaker at November’s meeting we welcomed Seren Welch who is the daughter of one of our members, Elvina Welch . Seren works to promote tourism to the U.K. using successful T.V. series such as Downton Abbey, Poldark and recently Victoria. Her work takes her to the film locations and she had lots of amusing and fascinating stories of the casts and the owners of the Stately Homes involved in the

shows. As part of her job she organises competitions for fans from abroad where the prize is to visit theses locations which provided her with yet more funny tales. We were spellbound, an excellent, informative and very interesting talk.



We were very grateful to Sylvia Golding and Joyce Saunders for stepping into the breach when one of our previously booked speakers cancelled . They both entertained and informed us  about  Babies Castle in Hawkhurst which was founded by Dr Barnardo and opened in 1886 by Princess Mary Adelaide . When Sylvia & Joyce were there It was both a training school for Nursery Nurses and provided a safe and caring home for orphaned, physically disabled children , illegitimate babies  or children from homes who just could not cope . Most came from the London Area. Both Sylvia and Joyce trained there for their NNEB qualifications and along with a display of  dozens of photographs  and their stories of the life in this remarkable Home they  demonstrated to us just  what a kind and loving environment could do for deprived children.

Next Meeting   Friday 4th November Speaker Serena Welch on the production of Downton Abbey  at 2.30 pm in Old School Hall . Menu choices and names fro Christmas Lunch on December 9th at Brickwall Hotel. 


There were Blue Skies over the White Cliffs of Dover as  forty seven members visited the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust at Capel- le -Ferne near Folkestone. A truly excellent site which is  beautifully laid out

with space, immaculate exhibits and views across the channel. Inside the poignant film show ‘The Scramble’ depicting a spitfire pilot and the interactive displays impressed everyone as did the friendly and very helpful staff.  The cafe provided coffee and delicious cakes!!  Back in the coach, Darren chose to drive us by the attractive coast road to Dungeness where a Fish & Chip Lunch at the Pilot awaited us thoroughly  enjoyed by all which concluded a splendid day out.!! P.S. Rod Rummery has recovered from his fall.

NEXT MEETING: Friday 7th October 2.30 pm Sylvia Golding and Joyce Saunders will talk about Hawkhurst Baby Castle ( which was a Dr Bernardo’s Home ) followed by tea.



Despite nearly losing our two marques to a stiff breeze the day before and early morning rain on the day our good weather luck held and we had a lovely sunny day for our Summer Lunch at Ringle Crouch.

Fifty six members a sat down to enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the Committee with some wine and lots and lots of chatter!! An excellent time had by all.

NB There is no meeting in August

Next Meeting. Friday 9th September .Coach outing to The Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel Le Fern followed by Fish & Chip Lunch at The Pilot at Dungeness. Cost £17 per person. Coach leaves lower green at 9.30 am. If you have not booked your place please contact Rosie (850433) or Elizabeth ( 850607)



De Manford from Hinxden Dairy was our speaker at the June Meeting of the Friendship Club. We all know that our local Hinxden Dairy offers fine milk and cream and a door step delivery but some of us were not aware that they had won two Gold Medals from a European Award for the high quality of their milk. They have two herds of Guernsey and Friesian Cross Cows.  Di related to us the full story of this achievement and the history of this local business. She explained how they have branched out into Yoghurts and Cheese and their plans for further development. We all had a taste of their delicious cheeses and of various flavours of yoghurts and wish them well for future success. How wonderful to hear of a local business doing so well and that one of their most popular cheeses ‘Winnie’s Wheel’ is call after Winnie Manford who was a stalwart member of the Friendship Club.

Next Meeting. Summer Lunch at Ringle Crouch. Please arrive at 12.30 pm for lunch at 1 pm. Please let either Rosie (850433) or Elizabeth (850607) if you wish to attend Cost £5 per head.  Pray for a sunny day!

Rosie Broadbent 01580 850433




Our happy coachful of members enjoyed a cross Kent drive in the spring sunshine to Faversham before learning all about the production of beer at Shepherd Naeme. This included testing the barley, sampling various types of beer and a tour with very informative guides of the historic brewery. A delicious lunch followed with yet more beer and time to explore the attractive centre of Faversham before we drove home passing through fantastic blue bell woods to conclude a wonderful day out.

Next Meeting. Friday 3rd June at 2.30 pm Old School Hall. Talk from Hinxden Dairy.

Rosie Broadbent 01580 850433




Did you know that you need three elements to give an anaesthetic for surgery which are: – the ability to vaporise the anaesthetic fluid, oxygen, and the means to ventilate the lungs of your patient. Plus  electricity to run the very expensive anaesthetic machines ( £ 70,000 minimum) What do you do in a third world country or in a war zone with no electricity,  no supply of oxygen cylinders and no money? . Roger Eltringham, our brilliant speaker, with a fellow anaesthetist and a engineer have invented a small, cheap (£3000), light and portable machine which extracts oxygen from the air and runs on a battery. All fits into a small suitcase which can be carried into remote areas or into bombed sites and assembled in under 5 minutes so that surgery can take place saving countless lives and unbelievable pain. Roger now runs a charity called Safe Anaesthetic World Wide (worth a Google search!) which raises money to send this amazingly simple answer to a horrendous problem. His biggest customer is Medicine sans Frontier. His talk was passionate, well-illustrated and at times very funny. One of the most thought provoking talks we have ever had. 

Next Meeting. Coach Outing to Shepherd Neame Brewery for a tour and lunch with beer!  Coach leaves lower Green at 9.30 am Cost £22.

Rosie Broadbent 01580 850433



Paul Harris once again kept us all amused with a selection of his experiences in Show Business. This ranged from his years in Pantomime and variety shows to his more recent years hosting Radio Kent shows. His main activity nowadays is his involvement in the refurbishment of The Criterion Music Hall at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey where he also acts as Master of Ceremonies in their wonderful shows. An excellent talk which was very popular with the 52 members present.

Next Month’s Meeting is on Friday 1st April in Old School Hall at 2.30 pm Talk: ‘Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide ‘by Roger Eltringham.

NB Names for the Coach trip to Shepherd Neame Brewery on 6th May will be taken (Cost £22) and places allocated on a first come first served basis.

Rosie Broadbent (850433)


On February 5th forty eight members met for our AGM in the Old School when they elected
their Club Officers and Committee Members and approved the Chairman and
Treasurer’s Reports. The formal part was followed by an excellent talk
from Chris Knott about the Charity, Starfish Malawi with which he is involved.

He is a frequent visitor to Malawi where the charity does an enormous amount to help families

In this impoverished country. He donated our fee to the charity and the members generously donated extra.

Next Meeting 4th March at 2.30 pm in Old School. Speaker is by popular request Paul Harris of Radio Kent fame speaking 50 years in Show Business. Not to be missed!!



A Happy New Year to all our members. The old year finished in fine style with an excellent Christmas Lunch at Merriment Garden Centre enjoyed by 57 people.  We were as always well fed and very well looked after. A good time was had by all.

Next Meeting is on 5th February at 2.30 pm in Old School Hall. This is our AGM with the addition of Chris Knott coming to talk about the Charity Starfish Malawi with which he is involved.   There will be the usual raffle and a chance to collect the program for this coming year which includes coach trips to Shepherd Neame Brewery at Faversham and The Battle of Britain Memorial site at Capel le Ferne. New members are always welcome. There will, of course, be our usually delicious tea and I look forward to seeing as many members as possible.

Rosie Broadbent 01580 850 433 



By popular demand Julie Griggs and her friend and colleague Pippa plus Pippa’s mother returned to entertain 53 members with more facts and hilarious stories about two generations of Cabin Crew with British Airways. Unfortunately the overhead projector resisted all attempts to make it work and our speakers had to improvise without pictures. They were a credit to BA’s inflight training keeping very calm and brilliantly kept the audience enthralled for about an hour. So many congratulations and thanks to them for a lovely relaxed village event.

Next Meeting Friday 18th December CHRISTMAS LUNCH at Merriments Garden centre at 12.30 pm

Rosie Broadbent (01580 850433)



The Nature Reserve at Rue Harbour is now managed by The Sussex Wildlife Trust and we were delighted to welcome Lucy Bower to the Friendship cub who gave us a fascinating talk with very good slides on the work  of the Trust and in particular of the  rare birds and flora which are to be found there . She spoke with great enthusiasm especially about her particular interest and the work with local school children.  Already  a popular destination with many of our members who walk and bird watch at the Harbour area Lucy’s talk was a huge encouragement to those of us who do not know this Nature Reserve right on our door step  to pay it a visit.

Next Visit Friday 6th November at 2.30 pm at Old School Hall   By popular demand a second visit by Julie Griggs with more tales of life as a British Airway Cabin Crew.

Rosie Broadbent (850 433)



After days of heavy rain how grateful of us we were to set off on our outing in dry and sunny weather on our search for Mad Jack Fuller. Our guide gave us historical breakdown to his back ground and his life based in Brightling. He had a short career as a not very successful MP. Back in Sussex he gave local employment spending his considerable fortune on Brightling Church and various follies including his pyramid tomb in the church yard.  We visited the church where the guide had organised that the Barrel Organ, gifted to the church by Jack Fuller and the first in the country, would be playing. It was a wonderful sound. Our day included a coffee and lunch stop at the pub and some time to shop in the charming High Street of Battle. We dropped our guide off at Bodiam Castle which Jack Fuller had owned at one time!! A Good day out.

Next Meeting. Friday 2nd October. At 2.30 pm in Old School Hall  Talk by Lucy Bower about Rye Harbour Nature Reserve  

Rosie Broadbent






On a perfect warm but not too hot & sunny day the Friendship Club met for their summer Strawberry Tea in the garden at Ringle Crouch. Thanks to the hard work of the committee a delicious tea of sandwiches, home baked cakes and Strawberries and Cream were served to fifty members .It was a lovely relaxing afternoon enjoyed by all.

NB There is no meeting in August.

September Meeting. Coach outing, ‘Mad Jack Fuller Trail’ with City & Village Tours on Friday 4th September. Mad Jack Fuller was an eccentric Georgian Squire who is famous for his follies around Brightling. We have used this excellent company on two other



It was a smaller than usual group who met on Friday 5th June but nevertheless we had a very enjoyable and amusing time in the company of Mel Rees. Mel is a self-published author with a dry and thankfully not very “pc” sense of humour. Much laughter greeted his stories of his early life (he was a train spotter) and his difficulty with getting a girlfriend. His life hasn’t always been easy but his sense of humour seems to have got him through. I am sure his story about turning into his parents rang bells with most of us.


Next month’s meeting on 3rd July is The Strawberry Tea at Rosie and John’s @ 3pm. Members who wish to come to this, should please let either Rosie or me know. The cost will be £1.00.




On a dry and sunny day but with a bitterly cold wind we visited The Ashdown Forest Llama Park near Wych Cross in Sussex which is situated on a ridge with great views overlooking the forest. After coffee we spent some time admiring the Llamas & Alpacas and learning the difference and feeding the animals with carrots. Some of our hardier members walked the full circuit of the park braving the wind. After we had all enjoyed an excellent lunch (sticky toffee pudding to die for!)  Some members took part in some retail therapy before we set off home enjoying the drive through the Sussex countryside looking at its best with blossoms in full flower.

Next Month’s Meeting  Friday 5th June , Old School Hall 2.30 pm. Talk entitled ‘ Brought to Book . My Family and Other Setbacks’ by Mel Rees.

Rosie Broadbent 850433





This month we welcomed back retired police inspector John Pearce who kept us enthralled with an account of a true murder mystery from his days in the Kent Police Force. The murder took place in Itghtam near Sevenoaks, the suspect escaped to Spain and avoided extradition for many years. Eventually arrested he escaped trial by dying of a heart attack while on remand awaiting trial! We definitely needed our usual delicious tea after such suspense. An excellent talk. 

Next Meeting Friday 1st May Coach outing for Lunch at Ashdown Forest Llama Park. Coach leaves lower Green at 9.30 am

Following Meeting Friday 5th June Old School Hall 2.30 pm ‘Brought to Book ‘Mel Rees



At this time of remembrance of the 1st World War it seemed appropriate to have a talk on the subject. Melanie Gibson- Barton lives during the week in Dymchurch but has a house near Bruges in Belgium which is where she and her husband  spend their weekends. As a amateur observer  rather than a historian her talk entitled Flanders Fields was a fascinating glimpse into a dreadful conflict. Her interest had been sparked by a search for the grave of her great Uncle George who had been killed at Ypres. She  talked fluently with  excellent slides  of her interest in all aspects of the war in this Flemish part of Belgium .  A talk much enjoyed by Members followed as always by a hearty Tea!

Next Meeting. April 10th at 2.30 pm in Old School. John Pearce (retired policeman ) returns with a talk entitled ‘Murder comes Gift Wrapped.’ Also book you place on the Coach for Lunch Outing to Llama Park at Ashdown Forest  on 1st May

Rosie Broadbent 850 433




 On January 9th we met for our AGM in the Old School. The members elected their Club Officers and Committee Members and approved the Chairman and Treasurer’s Reports. The formal part was followed by an excellent talk from Nigel Freeman, KCC Community Officer, on how to recognise and deal with Scams and Scammers mostly on the phone. We were shocked to hear just how much money is lost by theses scams especially pretending to be a High Street Bank and as to how easy it is to be fooled by them.  Several members told of their experiences so we are not immune to such things in our rural community. After this sobering talk we definitely needed our tea!!

Next Meeting Friday 6th March in Old School at 2.30 pm Talk entitled Flanders Fields by Melanie Gibson-Barton 

NB NO Meeting in February