Address given at the reception at the Village Centre Birchington on Remembrance Sunday 9th November 2014
by the Chairman of Birchington Parish Council
Cllr Dr Jack Cohen MGDS LDS RCS Eng.

Thank you all for coming and Birchington Parish Council extends a warm welcome.
We must first recognise the excellent Parade produced by the British Legion and in particular their two dedicated organisers ,namely the Parade Master Brian White so ably supported by his wife Jan. Their work is relentless throughout the year in ensuring the smooth running of the Birchington Branch of the British Legion.
As usual Liam Doogan ,our Community Warden has been a linchpin in our security and safety on the roads around us today in tandem with our ever vigilant PCSO Shaun Riches ably assisted by a team of volunteer Road Stewards. Thank you all for your conscientious efforts on our behalf.
The Village Centre has produced its usual excellent facilities that are managed so well by Leon Cox.
As ever our reliable caterer Vi Craven has once again done us proud.
The Reverend Don Witts rendered a sensitive sincere service, that added to the level of solemnity of the day , allowing us to reflect on the momentous depth of the occasion. We also appreciate the excellent support given by the Reverend Ben Crick.

Our sincere thanks go to our French colleagues making the long journey from La Chappelle to be at our side. Your regular attendance on such occasions is very much appreciated by the Birchington community.
Mr Mayor, Bernard Coisne , I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your resounding election result this year, gaining 75% of the vote and giving you a further term of office. Your reputation is awesome and invincible.

Finally Birchington Parish Council thanks all of those that made up our noble parade, there were many veterans with us that we honour and respect. They have given so much to their country and risked life and limb that allows us to be here today as free people.
But I must also recognise the excellent contribution made by our young participants, that are the future of our wonderful country.
Birchington youth ,we are proud of you and your dedication and your excellent performance.
You are a credit to those that organised your participation and in particular to your families. Thank you for helping to make this such a very fine and honourable day.



Remembrance Day parade and ceremony in La Chapelle d’Armentiere


As part of  the Birchington Parish Council’s further remembrance of the declaration of WW1, a hundred years ago the Parish Council decided to take a coach to La Chapelle in recognition of the solemnity of the event on Armistice day.We visited War memorials and War graves. The coach carried representatives from religious and other groups in Birchington as well as Flag-bearers from our local Air Scout Group as well as the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Queen Alexander Nursing Corps that played such a vital role during the dreadful conflict. We were also honoured by the presence of our Community Warden Liam Doogan and PCSO Shaun Ritches. This was in addition to members of the Birchington Twinning  association and Royal British Legion that made their own way over. The Mayor of La Chapelle Bernard Coisne gave a pensive and analytical speech that touched all of our hearts. He also thanked the citizens of Birchington for such a strong turnout. The ceremony then ended with the very young children of La Chapelle singing the French and British national anthems. A most beautiful touching magic moment. Cllr Dr Jack Cohen Chairman Birchington Parish Council.

The ceremony of laying the wreaths at the church in Wex-Marcquart at 11.10


Bernard Coisne the Mayor of La Chapelle d’Armentieres welcoming visitors from Birchington before marching onto the British Cemetery below.


P1050242Vice Chairman Councillor Bill Furness together with the Scouts and P.S.C.O.s Liam Doogan and Shaun Ritchie outside of the Civic Offices where the official reception took place.



Birchington Beacon

P1090811beacon new2beacon new 3 The re-built Birchington Beacon in Epple Bay was finally topped this weekend when the Birchington shield was fixed to its bracket by Joseph La Roche, the beacon was burnt down during the celebrations for the Queens Diamond Jubilee last year. The top section has now been constructed in steel.

Javelin trains coming to Birchington in January

What Is The Javelin Train?

Javelin23Bullet trains present iconic images of Japanese life and culture, and now they’re creating the same images on the UK rail systems. On 12th Dec 2008, the first UK Javelin train raced into London on its inaugural high speed rail journey.

These good looking dark blue liveried Javelin trains – also known as Class 395 –  offer the fastest domestic service rail travel in the UK and went into full passenger service in December 2009. Built by Hitachi, the 140mph maximum speed Class 395 Javelin train completed the first rail journey from Ashford in Kent to London St Pancras in 37 minutes.

From the first scheduled service in December 2009, there have been around 29 Javelin trains in service with Southeastern rail on the Kent to London (St Pancras to Ebbsfleet/Ashford) domestic rail service and High Speed 1 Channel Tunnel Rail Link routes, reducing previous journey times from around 83 minutes to 37 minutes. Southeastern rail lease the trains from HSBC Rail.



David Martin with the last winning bowl of the tournament


Parish Chairman Councillor Jack Cohen and Nuala O’Donoghue from The Co-operative Funeral Care with the winning team

On 14th June 2014 Birchington Bowls Club held a successful Tournament involving 8 teams and sponsored by The Cooperative Funeral Care.

Bowling commenced at 1000 hrs and continued until 1500 hrs.  The top 4 teams then fought out for the final positions. The winners were a team named Birchminster, made up from member of Birchington and Minster Bowls Clubs, who beat a team from Victoria Park, Deal. The scores being level after twelve ends a tense extra end was needed to decide the winners. Another match took place between Broadstairs and another team from Birchington to decide the remaining placings. Again the Birchington team were winners.

A lot of work went into the tournament and with the fine weather all went well, both for the teams and spectators. Jack Cohen, Chairman of Birchington PCC, Nulia O’Donoghue, from Co-op Funeral Care and Les Lush President of Birchington Bowls Club were in attendance to present the prizes. Mick Davis of the Executive committee thanked all the bar and catering staff for their help in making the tournament such an enjoyable event.

Birchington’s refurbished RSPCA charity shop re-opened

Bill and Roger (4)

The official opening of the recently refurbished RSPCA Charity shop in Station Road, Birchington-on-Sea by Cllr Bill Furness, Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, on Friday the 30th of May 2014.

Alan the Magician

Balloon modelling by Birchington’s Alan the Magic Man blowing up balloons during the day.


Time team Tony Robinson (look alike).

Face Painting

Face painting inside the shop and Anne Smith with the Volunteers and customers waiting for shop to re-open.



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The Wantsum Morris Dancers visited Birchington on BOXING DAY

During a sunny respite in the stormy winter weather, a large crowd enjoyed a performance from this group of dancers.

Wantsum Morris Men formed as a club in 1967, with the members living both sides of the Wantsum Channel, which in former times separated Thanet from the rest of Kent.

The repertoire is drawn from the vast selection of traditional dances collected from the villages of the Cotswolds, complemented by some more recent dances in the Cotswold traditions as well as a few from the Welsh borders and a rapper dance from the North East of England.

The costume is knee breeches, tabard and a tricorn hat. The tabard is decorated with a St Augustines cross with a depiction of Reculver towers in the top left corner. St Augustine arrived in England at the Southern end of the Wantsum, and built an Abbey at Reculver at the Northern end.

Morris dancing has experienced a great revival during this century, due mainly to the enthusiasm of collectors such as Cecil Sharp, who between them saved this rich heritage from virtual extinction.

The original Morris was possibly a circle dance , often danced around a “female” figure. However, even in 1480 there were complaints that the dance had already degenerated.

These dances have disappeared into the mists of time, killed off by the Puritan attitudes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It is a disappointing that we shall never know the local dances performed by a group of men around Canterbury in 1589, shortly before the mayor of Canterbury had the maypole pulled down from the Dane John.

The 1589 side were led by a musician called Henry Parkes, who played fiddle The average age was early twenties, although the “Mayd Marryon” character was played by a twelve year old boy. There seem to have been six dancers who had costumes including bells and “furnytur”. They did not seen to be cadging as they were retained for the fortnight around Mayday by a “Jencke of Herne”. Within this 14 days the side danced Canterbury and at least four villages covering some 12 miles. At one village, Chislet, they attended church on Ascension day, and therefore presumably did not consider themselves Pagans.

Our knowledge of this side come from the records of a case against them for dancing without a licence held at the Quarter Sessions. Details above were taken from extracts of the trial in Philip Edmonds article in “Hoath and Herne”published by K H McIntosh.

Wantsum Morris Men perform annual tours on Boxing day and May 1st. In addition they dance local villages and towns during the summer season, and occasionally venture onto foreign soils. Recent trips have included the Tarn valley in France, The Eastern seaboard of the U.S.A. and Poland.


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The Queen’s jubilee was officially handed-over to the people of Birchington by the Managers of the CO-OPERATIVE FUNERAL CARE Barbara Binding, Lisa White and Councillor Amelia West. The event was also attended by B.P. Councillors Jack Cohen Chairman, Bill Furness Vice Chairman, Marion Evans, Michael Jarvis and Bernard La Roche together with TDC Councillors Kay Darke and Clive Hart.