And another thing…

    Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School

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    Grammar schools: Prime Minister’s commitment might actually help to stabilise our house prices
    It is a pity that Mr Sharp [Chairman of Tunbridge Wells Constituency Labour Party: September 7] is so doctrinaire that he cannot see the wood for the trees. Rent controls may or may not be needed, but given that there are always unintended consequences to such actions, there may well be simpler and more effective, though indirect, ways of tackling the exponential growth of house prices in the TWells borough, which I agree is a serious problem.

    One of our recent mayors, on an official visit to a London borough, was told by his counterpart there that she was planning to move to the town because of our grammar schools and that she knew many such people in her locality that had the same idea.

    The recently announced commitment of the Prime Minister to reinstate the grammar school system beyond the limited areas where they exist at present will surely take such pressure off our area. Not only will her decision give opportunities to many working-class pupils that Labour has denied them, it should help to stabilise or even reduce house prices in areas where grammar schools still exist.

    Cllr Dr Linda Hall
    TWBC Cllr for Cranbrook
    and Benenden

    Rugby club: Volunteers deserve a cheer
    How nice to read [September 7] about the Tunbridge Wells Rugby Club and everything that has to happen behind the scenes to make any sporting club a success.

    Most people simply turn up on a Saturday, stand on the touchline and cheer on their favourite team. They probably have no real idea of all the below-the-radar activity.

    The club apparently has a two-year investment programme to upgrade facilities that will cost around £110,000. Something like £45,000 will have to be spent on pitch drainage alone. The money will come from the borough council, the Rugby Football Union and the club itself.

    Happily it seems the club has a number of willing volunteers, including a plumber, a lawyer and an electrician, who will give up their time and energy to help out. Those are the people who deserve a round of applause.

    Hope you have another great season.

    Reginald Thornton
    Via email

    Rebel vicar: Remarks extend to women
    Thanks for your attempt to attend an exclusive Sunday service with Dr Sanlon [September 7].

    Unfortunately, his offensive remarks also extend to women. A cursory search on Google revealed quotes in which Dr Sanlon said he was against women priests as they might be softer on supporting gay clergy in the church.

    From someone who has a sackful of theology degrees, this implies that women are the equivalent of a gateway drug in their role in the church.

    I am therefore surprised he has any congregation at all with such muddled and woolly thinking and narrow beliefs.

    Dr Alan Bullion
    Via email

    Rebel vicar: Petition for his removal
    In relation to your trip to St Mark’s, I feel I should inform readers that the attitude portrayed by Reverend Sanlon there is exactly why many people left St Mark’s (including me) as I have been on the receiving end of similar treatment.

    He will not accept that people have differences of opinion to him and will talk them down or ignore them as he did to the Times reporter here.

    Indeed, there is hypocrisy when he supports the traditional teaching on homosexuality while opposing traditional aspects of worship such as robed choirs, genuflection (bowing) and sharing the peace.

    The way he behaved towards the choir before unfairly sacking them was akin to that of a bully. This is no doubt why, without the choir, there were only 16 at the service opposed to the 35+ who used to go to the traditional 9am choral-led Sung Communion before Reverend Sanlon imposed his personal preference on to what was previously a broad church.

    His unwelcoming behaviour towards your reporter should be reported to the Bishop of Rochester with a petition for his removal from St Mark’s.

    Paul Robbins
    Via email

    The Pantiles: Jazz through the winter?
    Having recently moved to the area, my family and I were delighted to stumble across the Thursday evening ‘Jazz on the Pantiles’ event.

    The inclusion of the children within the event, through the outdoor set-up, provided a weekly meeting point for both friends and families of all ages and will be sorely missed through the winter months.

    Having attended most of the events throughout the summer, it was clear that the evident popularity of this event proved successful for business for the pubs and restaurants on The Pantiles. It seems a shame to lose such a valuable part of the community for the upcoming months, and instead I question if there is no way to facilitate for the colder weather and continue the event?

    The continuation of the event throughout the entirety of the year would allow both friends and families to enjoy the routine of a free event to which they can also regularly bring their children, outside their usual working hours, whilst simultaneously providing local businesses with a mass of local support and custom.

    Maybe they could enclose The Pantiles walkway with those glass curtains to make it available all year round?

    Tanya Rogers
    Via email

    Education: What about technical route?
    With all this talk about grammar schools can someone please tell me what happened to the old style technical schools? These were establishments where pupils who just failed their 11-plus were sent as opposed to going to a secondary school with the rest of the masses. Bit of an in-between place.

    Rosalind Saunders
    Via email

    Heritage: Some things never change
    I don’t normally write in, but I really wanted to share my fantastic experience with the Heritage Open Days over the weekend.

    After seeing the fantastic exhibition at St Paul’s at Rusthall, I made my way down to the Library and Museum to see the ‘Past and Present’ photo collection.

    To see the town throughout the ages really makes you think about the incredible developments in culture and technology that we’ve seen over recent decades, not forgetting the many mistakes we have made along the way!

    As well as making me marvel at how things change, it is also quite humorous to see how many things stay the same.

    There was one particular photo that made me chuckle. It was a group of six or seven people, sat in the middle of the road in their camping chairs, protesting the fact that the council was going to offer free parking along the road they live on.

    Although we tend to see anger over the expense of parking rather than free parking these days, I couldn’t help but be amused by a small boy sat at the edge – he couldn’t have been older than seven or eight years old – holding up a sign declaring – ‘My Daddy thinks the Council is MAD.’

    Knowing my Dad’s (and several others) view on the council, it seems like some things will never change…

    Connor Gordon
    Via email