Alan Dimbleby inquest

Father-of-three Alan Dimbleby, 62, died from his injuries after being thrown from the sprayer at Warren Barn Farm in Woldingham on 24 July last year.

More than 40 tractor drivers formed a cortege in tribute to the popular agricultural worker when his funeral was held.

At the inquest into Alan’s death, jurors heard how he was spraying crops on land used for pheasant and partridge shooting.

Alan Dimbleby’s funeral

Penny Avann writes, “Alan’s funeral will be on Wednesday, 19th August. The service will be in two parts:

  1. Tunbridge Wells Crematorium at 10.45am
  2. Pratts Bottom Village Hall at 1.00pm, followed by a ploughman’s lunch in the hall.

While the family are happy for anyone to come to the crematorium, it is likely that most people locally will want to go to the village hall.  Phillip Southby will be at the hall and I will be in touch with him should there be any delay in us returning here with the tractor procession.

Gill has asked if people could wear bright colours. No flowers please, but there will be an opportunity, for those who would like to, to make a donation to charity (Marie Curie and an other which supports bereaved families in the farming community).

Please continue to remember the family in your prayers.”

A tribute to Alan Dimbleby

by Sue Short

Today, just before I left on my journey to Aylesford Priory, I heard that our good friend Alan had died. [It seems Alan died after an accident at work.]

He was a family man – loved by his wife and children. I first met Alan at a Residents’ Committee meeting. He greeted me with his wonderful broad grin – I immediately felt at ease.

He was kind and generous with his time. He took me on a tour of Charmwood Farm where he worked. He showed me the bat caves; the best place to view Norsted Manor and the banks and ditches – perhaps the work of a farmer-a farmer just like Alan.

Alan gave guided tours around Charmwood Farm – Pratts Bottom villagers could admire the fields and woods close to their village. He cheerfully showed us wild flowers; long lost footpaths; the new orchard he had planted – he smiled his lovely smile – he was proud – and so were we.

Alan always helped at village fairs, quizes and functions – stacking chairs and tables – he could be relied upon to get things done.

What happens now? Alan would know.

He was simply a lovely man – famous for cracking a corny joke; relied upon to help when help was needed. Within him was something special. Without him we are bereft.

Alan Dimbleby leading a walk on Charmwood Farm in 2008

Alan Dimbleby leading a walk on Charmwood Farm in 2008


That broad grin
Those corny jokes
That made us chuckle and smile
Always a gentle manner
Never abrasive or cruel
He was part of our village
That’s all – that’s all.

Chairs and tables stacked
Spaces cleared
Traffic directed
Tents erected
Part of our village community
That’s all – that’s all.

Bat caves revealed
Banks and ditches shown
Photographs taken
That broad grin again
Part of the fields
Part of the woods
Part of the countryside
That’s all – that’s all.

A family man
A good friend
A loyal worker
Not forgotten that broad grin
Those corny old jokes
Who will make us laugh now?
That’s all – that’s all.

Sue Short, 24 July 2015

Geoffrey Michael Smith – 37 years in Orchard Road

Pauline Gibbons sadly informs us that Mike/Geoff died last Friday after a heart operation. He had his 80th birthday while in hospital. Some of us knew him as Geoff, some as Mick and some as Mike, but he was well known to us all for his kindness, generosity and his wonderful sense of humour.  It was a privilege to have him as our next door neighbour and friend for so many years. He was always there at the Orchard Road work parties and well known locally, especially at the Bulls Head.
His funeral will take place at Eastbourne crematorium BN23 8AE at 4 pm on Tuesday 17 September.
Donations to Sussex Air Ambulance which covers Kent as well.

Barbara Ford

We are sad to announce that Barbara died last weekend after a period in Farnborough Hospital and a short stay in a local nursing home.

On Friday 20 September 2013, after the funeral at Chatham crematorium at 3 pm officiated over by Canon Penny, there will be a Memorial Service at approximately 4:30 pm at All Souls Church, Rushmore Hill, Pratts Bottom. After the service, everyone is invited to the Pratts Bottom Village Hall for a chance to chat and remember Barbara.

Bulls Head under new management

After an incredibly successful 10 and a half year run Vernon Leese finally left The Bulls Head in mid August this year. The village pub has now been taken over by two local business men, Matthew Coady and Andrew Harding. “Listening to our locals, and what they want The Bulls Head to be is what’s really important to us. So, we will be giving you the opportunity to voice your opinion via a suggestions box at the pub, and on a simple on line form which you can fill out at our web site. Remember, it’s your local pub..we’re only manning the pumps, and we look forward to seeing you very soon”
Matt, Andy and Steve.

Popular features of the pub’s legacy, such as Live Music with current favourite bands and singers, Jam Nights a showcase for our local undiscovered talent, and of course the sports elements such as Darts, Golf, Pool, etc.and traditional games like Bat and Trap will continue to be part of the everyday life of the Bulls Head. The famous and much missed WHAT’S ON GUIDE will be back very soon, so you can keep up with live events at the pub, our new menu, and our arrangements for this Christmas.