Future activities being considered subject to take up:


See 2024 Holiday details under Activities


Also see Photo Gallery for other photos

The Ron Harman Trophy at Kurling held on 12th June 2023

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On Friday 7th October 2022 Maidara members enjoyed a lovely relaxing 

cruise up the River Medway on board the "Kentish Lady"

We were served fish and chips on board with complementary tea or coffee and a selection of fruit, we travelled up as far as Teston Lock and back, taking in stunning views




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Meeting Wednesday 7 September 2022 

Today, we were given a presentation by 2 chaps representing a charity "Blood -Runners " who, with motor cycles and specialist cars deliver blood, breast milk and plasma where urgently needed across Kent. Currently with volunteers working 24 hours a day. More recently they have joined up with the Air Ambulance when dealing with hard to get to critical needs. They were proud to say they had been given several awards for medical support

Meeting September 2022


Pub Lunch at The King & Queen East Malling on 10 August 2021

The pub lunch was well attended with almost 30 people attending. Everyone enjoyed the food and the atmosphere was very upbeat as this was the first time that so many of us had been together for such a long time. 

Coffee Morning on 16 August 2021 at the Cavendish, Bearsted

Similarly the coffee morning was very friendly and we even had a prospective new member join us to see what she thought of us all. I think she liked us and wants to join us!! 


Latest Up-date on Maidara Activities - July 2021

We have now had our committee meeting and I apologise for not coming back to you immediately afterwards, but I have been waiting on confirmation regarding our coffee morning. Hopefully they will confirm early this week. but in the meantime, here - in a nutshell - is what's happening and we would appreciate your comments and advice on some things please.

Thursford trip. We don't have enough members interested to get a private coach, and I understand from most people that they would prefer not to travel with Brookline as there are too many stop-off points meaning a late return home. There is a possibility of seeing if we can hire a mini-bus, book the tickets and overnight stay separately, but this will probably prove too expensive as the bus driver would need accommodation too. If you are interested in this then we can certainly look into it. Does anyone have any other ideas - perhaps self-driving there (car sharing), it would be about a two and a half hour journey.

Roger and Ken have now visited Tovil regarding Petanque and reported that the new courts are looking good and we have decided to continue at that venue. However, the usual Thursday morning slot will no longer be viable as the clubhouse will not be open. We have decided to change the date to the second Wednesday of the month, starting at 10.30am, this will mean that toilets and refreshments will be available. Now - this is where it gets complicated: Roger will be on holiday on the second Wednesday of August and will not therefore be available, but as he's the "chief honcho" we have agreed that in August only we will meet on the first Wednesday, ie: 4th August, but the following months will revert to the second Wednesday - ie: 8th September. Is that as clear as mud??

Ten-pin Bowling: we met in June and, although there were only 8 of us we had a thoroughly good time. We do hope to see more of you this month on the usual last Friday of the month, (30th July) meeting at 10.45am outside the doors of the bowling alley. Three games for £7.99 (not £7.80 as previously stated) which includes a cuppa.

The Amble took place this month which was well-attended and enjoyed by all - with a lot more chattering going on than actual ambling! The next one will be on 25th August meeting at West Malling Country Park at 11.15am for a 11.30 start. There is a coffee shop and toilets there. If you're not sure where this is then John Newton is happy to explain - 01622 717481. It's been decided to hold these regularly now on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

The Ramble took place in June, and subsequently in July and, again, very well attended and enjoyed by all. Steve will be furnishing us with the details of the next ramble within the next week or so. These are usually on the third Wednesday of the month.

The Picnic was a great success (probably because of the glorious weather we had) with 27 attending. We introduced our new horse racing game which went a bit wrong because it's really an indoor game and the horses kept falling over in the breeze. Saying that, it was fun. We then had a petanque match which also was equally as much fun.




Holiday Isle of Wight October 2019


At the April 2019 Meeting President Jock Campbell and Chairman John Hare made Presentations for Outstanding Service to MaidARA for organising: holidays, outings, lunches, and as First Aiders to 

Sheila Woodward and Jean Gowing 

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at Margaret Preedy's, 33 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone @ 2pm - 3pm at £5 per head.

on 2nd and 4th Thursdays every month. Organiser: Christine Theodorou. 


Archery Taster Session

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Salutation Gardens, Sandwich and Walpole Hotel June 2018 photos

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Walpole Bay June 2018

Holme Lacey Holiday February 2018 photos

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Jersey Holiday September 2017 photos

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This Spring we had a plant swap morning at a member's garden, everyone brought plants they had grown or taken cutting from and laid them out on the ground, we then picked up what we wanted and took them home to our own gardens. There was a small entrance fee which included refreshments biscuits and cakes. All monies raised was sent to charity, and everyone one went home with as much as they had bought for their own gardens.  A very sociable and enjoyable morning.

In June, we went for a long weekend to Bournemouth, we were lucky to have a brand-new coach with super air conditioning as it was the hottest weekend for 40 years. The Hotel was on the East Cliff facing the sea and very comfortable, with a lovely outside swimming pool, the food was plentiful, tasty with a good variety, we also had evening entertainment. We had 2 trips one a tour of the New Forest and a visit to Longleat. Well done Gwen.

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Dave Hooker 2017 Dorset

Dave Hooker - The Relief Driver?

A group of us in July met at Allington Castle and were welcomed by the Estate manager, as there were 40 of us we were split into two groups one to see the castle and the other to visit the gardens. We were treated to an informative tour of the castle which is privately owned and restored by Sir Robert Worcester after a tea break with homemade cakes the two groups changed places and we were shown the garden by the head gardener Adrian, after the tours the group went to see the Alpacas being fed, fortunately after a dull morning the sun came out for this special visit.

Outing March 2017

A full coach of Members visited the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, Gravesend for an excellent guided tour of this Sikh Temple, giving us an insight into the background of the turban wearing people who have become a familiar sight in North Kent for many years.


We then went onto the Orchard Theatre, Dartford to see Dreamboats and Petticoats, The Musical. This was a great rocking afternoon which took us all back to relive our teenage years. At the finale we were all on our feet dancing away and needed the luxury coach return home to recover! 



Quiz 22 February 2017

Over 30 members enjoyed a Quiz afternoon at St Pauls church hall. The questions were set at an appropriate level to give all present a chance of getting quite a few correct answers without being too easy that 100% could be scored.

Thanks to Jenny and John Waterman for suggesting and setting up this fun afternoon, and for Jenny hosting it by herself after John had been rushed to hospital for an operation.

Festive Lunch 2017

We had our annual Festive Lunch at Bearsted Golf Club this year. It proved a good choice with our many members who attended for this smart occasion. The meal and atmosphere was good and the entertainment provided by the singer was first class. The ladies present felt that this young man was a good choice to complement the Christmas Party entertainer. 

Christmas Lunch 2016

Our Christmas lunch this year was again held at The Hilton Maidstone, and proved equally successful as last years. A very enjoyable time was had by all of our members who attended.


A group of MaidARA members visited The Orchard Theatre, Dartford on 13 December to see Joe Pasquale in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This was a most entertaining and amusing pantomime with the added bonus of a 'scary' 3D walk in the woods.

Christmas Party December 2016

110 members attended our Christmas Party this year to enjoy an excellent spread and good conversation. The entertainment this year was a closely guarded surprise. First aiders were on hand, and heart pacemakers checked out when Crystal, our entertainer, appeared on stage.

Belly Dancer

As with all good entertainers, Crystal persuaded some members to join her on stage, much to the amusement of members.


Thames River trip & Chelsea Hospital Visit October 2016

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Mystery Holiday May 2016

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London Museum trip and Fish & Chip lunch February 2016

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Kurling December 2015

We held two Kurling sessions as usual in December entry by ticket only and this was a friendly competition. two games were played by each member and the ones with the highest scores were as follows.

Morning Session
1st Pauline Horwood
2nd John Hare
3rd Vic Summers

Long Mat
1st Ron Harman
2nd Glenda Shorter
3rd Ken Horwood.

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14th December

1st Peter Wilson 
2nd Cheryl Nicholls
3rd Brian Seymour

Long Mat
1st Pat Harman
2nd John Waterman
3rd Brian Walker

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A very good time was had by all, if you would like to come and join us in the new year you will be made very welcome, not too strenuous or competitive. rewarded with tea and biscuits.

Pat Harman

Turner Gallery and Walpole Bay Hotel

Two contrasting themes awaited our members setting off towards Thanet on Wednesday 21 October. First stop was the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery at Margate. Those who were expecting to see paintings of Margate and ships were disappointed by what was on show. The clue is in the name Contemporary. A mixed response from members but as entry was free no complaints. Lunch was at the Walpole Bay Hotel, an Edwardian Hotel, Museum and Gallery, lovingly restored to its former glory by the Bishop family. It's uniqueness proved a hit with local artist Tracy Emin and some of its napkins and bed sheets have provided the canvas for artwork proudly displayed. Jane Bishop gave us a most enthusiastic welcome and compelling talk about the Hotel before lunch, and invited us to see the Napery, museum exhibits and some bedrooms afterwards.

Thanks to Gwen and Sylvia for a fascinating day out.

Ramble 30 September

This easy, pleasant walk, on a lovely day, took us from Henley Street via the Greensand Way and Camer Country Park Sole Street, through apple orchards with well laden trees ready for picking, to Cobham churchyard and back. We retired to the Cock Inn, a traditional pub with a good selection of refreshments.

Horse Drawn Barge & cream tea

On 30 July the weather was set fair again as we set off for an outing to the River Wey Navigations at Godalming for a trip on the Iona. This is a traditional horse drawn narrow boat which once appeared in Coronation Street. We had a coffee stop at Guildford Cathedral where we were fortunate to watch a live music performance before moving on. A little foray into Godalming before joining the barge. Our engine was Alizee a French Comtois chestnut mare 15 hands high. Pulling a barge along the quiet canal must be a doddle compared with her original work of logging in the Jura. We enjoyed a cream tea on board and the whole journey was a lovely peaceful interlude in our busy lives. Thanks to Pauline and Pam for this trip with a difference.

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  Jan Feb Mar April May June July August Sept Oct Nov Dec Total Average      
Ada 191 260 0 251 279 258 1239 413
Cheryl 224 171 0 0 0 0 395 131.67
Christine 232 0 0 0 0 0 232 77.333
Glenda 183 175 233 211 0 230 1032 344
Gwen 198 193 202 0 0 0 593 197.67
Jan 0 0 0 0 0 303 303 101
Janet 281 269 0 0 0 0 550 183.33
Mags 280 286 271 279 222 287 1625 541.67
Pat 185 0 213 0 0 224 622 207.33
Brian  229 216 233 0 0 0 678 226
Bryan 422 314 346 407 0 313 1802 600.67
Geoff 0 0 307 350 0 0 657 219
John (Pinky) 288 240 0 275 0 254 1057 352.33
Rob 310 304 0 385 279 0 1278 426
Ron 337 0 322 0 349 304 1312 437.33
Ted 274 320 277 301 0 0 1172 390.67
Terry 425 379 341 376 0 347 1868 622.67
Vic 237 235 258 198 179 224 1331 443.67
Vince 314 285 266 0 0 0 865 288.33

Ramble 29 July

A pleasant walk north of Harrietsham on a dry sunny day was enjoyed by 13 of us. We learnt that the field of barley we walked through was malt barley destined for whisky and would be harvested when the moisture content is 15%. We retired to The Roebuck for well earned refreshment afterwards and had the bizarre situation of one of our members discovering that at the adjacent table was his cousin.

Ramble 24 June

A select group had an easy walk around Queendown Warren, a hidden gem and an oasis of calm not far from the M2 and A249. As the name suggests, rabbit evidence was everywhere, but we were intent on looking for wild orchids. We found four different types but the star find was a single, rare, lizard orchid. The weather was kind for us: sunny, warm and with a cooling breeze. All agreed it was worth the effort in negotiating narrow country lanes to find this Kent Wildlife location.

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Plant Swop

Our plant swap day held in Pam's garden on Wednesday 27th May. was a great success with 50 people bringing and swapping plants £55 was raised for Demelza House charity and a good afternoon was had by all.

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Spring Holiday 2015 

The Maidara Spring Holiday to Sherborne went off very well thanks to our organiser Hazel, also Jewels Tours Courier and Driver, Jenny and Glen, we visited, Cheddar, saw cheese being made, Wells Cathedral, Dorchester Market, Weymouth, Portland Bill and Shaftsbury Gold Hill, where the Hovis Advert was made, the Hotel, Staff and Food was very good and the Weather was kind to us.

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Ramble : 25 March 2015

The weather was kind for the 15 walkers who met at Cobham. The walk started with a look inside the Parish Church, which has one of the finest collection of brasses in the country, followed by a visit to the Old College where we were lucky to bump into the caretaker, who showed us inside the mediaeval hall. A pleasant walk through the countryside and Cobhambury wood led us back to the village where we finished with refreshment in the Darnley Arms.

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Ramble : 25 February 2015

A pleasant morning amble from Holy Cross Parish Church, Bearsted, through the Bearsted Woodland Trust site, and to the East North East surrounds of Bearsted was enjoyed by 17 people. The weather was kind, and the going was quite benign, with only a few dodgy areas to negotiate. Refreshments were taken in the Oak on the Green afterwards. 

Kurling Christmas Competition 2014


2 competitions were held this December

1st Session 1st December

Gold Medal Winner John Pink (Pinky)

Silver Medal Dave Hooker

Bronze Medal Marian Cook

Long Mat Competition

Gold Jim Hotston

Silver Marian Cook

Bronze Rob Dyson

2nd Session 8th


Gold Kate Wrelton

Silver Brian Seymour

Bronze Jean Gowing

Long Mat

Gold Ron Harman

Silver Cheryl Nicholls

Bronze Sylvia Cartwright 

Two good sessions enjoyed by all, everyone receiving a prize

Thanks to Jill and Brian Seymour Jean Gowing and Ken Walker for getting prizes and medals

Ron Harman

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Ramble : 26 November 2014

A further 'harvest' theme walk this month starting at Manor Country Park, West Malling. We went via the old Mill and water cress beds at East Malling including venturing through apple orchards where the dropped fruit was available for taking rather than being left to rot.

Safari Supper: Saturday 4th October 2014

For those unfamiliar with this concept the evening consists of a starter, main course and dessert each served at a different house, with four unknown (but Maidara members) guests arriving. This makes for an interesting active evening with all participants finishing up at the organiser's house for coffee.

Another very successful event, thanks to Mags McCarthy and all who took part.

(it made one of us put their house number in a visible position so that guests did not go astray!)

Ramble : 24 September 2014

Continuing the 'harvest' theme this month's walk from Wateringbury Station ventured through apple orchards where the dropped fruit was available for taking rather than being left to rot. We also took in the delightful mill pond area, which some of us had never been to before.

Don Lowery

Sadly Don Lowery one of our older members passed away earlier this month, Don and his wife Cynthia Joined MaidARA in 2002 and both soon became very involved in the affairs of the club, Cynthia writing the MaidARA Matters and Don became Treasurer a post he held for 6 years, a job well suited to him as he worked all his life in banks. They joined in most of the activities plus holidays, trip's and pub lunches. Unfortunately Cynthia passed away a few years ago but Don soldiered on, still being very involved in club life, he found late happiness with a lovely lady Doreen. Don was very proud of his northern background and although living in the south for over 50 years rarely said "yes" always Aye Aye. You were a great character Don and will be sadly missed by all your MaidARA friends

3. Don & Cynthia

Don and Cynthia

A collection in Don's memory at the last club meeting raised £115 for Macmillan nurses.

Ramble 27 August 2014

The annual damson walk provided damsons in abundance this year. A pity that there were only seven of us.

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When we were younger I doubt that any of us thought that one day we would be picking damsons next to a flourishing vineyard at the foot of the North Downs.

Sonning Theatre Mill trip

After a mix up over coaches caused by the coach company, the trip went smoothly thereafter. Not quite knowing what to expect we were pleasantly surprised when we entered the Mill at Sonning to find a vibrant atmosphere in the Bar area, had an excellent meal, and watched an amusing, entertaining, play set in an intimate theatre.

Sonning Mill Theatre

Thank you Jean for a good outing.

Garden Safari 3 August 2014 

The Garden Safari, a new venture arranged by Pam Puxty, was a great success thanks to all the Garden Heroes who were brave enough to open their gardens to fellow members.

Hazel & Tony Boys; Andrea & John Emery; Pat & Ron Harman; Lesley & Peter Ives; Janet & John Pink; Pam Puxty; Gwen & Brian Walker did the honours.

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All the visitors would have been impressed by the work and creativity that had gone into the show gardens. Many would have returned to their own gardens afterwards brimming with ideas as to the features and plants that they could incorporate into them.

Pam had even arranged the weather to be at its best for garden viewing, and the cream tea was a welcome interval in the safari. Special mention must be made of the superb scones baked by Ron Harman, not forgetting Rita Powell's waitressing!

The following photos (not in any particular order) indicate what you missed if you didn't take part in the Garden Safari.

£364 was raised for Macmillan Nurses and the Plant swop earlier in the year raised £63 for the same cause.

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Ramble 25 June 2014

A small group had an enjoyable walk in Ranscombe Farm Reserve, Cuxton, with some lovely wild flowers and superb vistas. As a bonus, what appeared to be carelessly discarded pieces of plywood along the verge of one field were in fact wild life friendly settings attracting lizards and slow worms.

This was followed by a relaxing drink in the White Hart.

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Camden Market

Members of Maidara enjoyed a visit Camden Market on 18th June.

The coach dropped us at 'Little Venice' where we all boarded a narrow boat and set off on a delightful cruise along the canal towards Camden Locks passing through first a tunnel, then past Regent's Park Zoo en route.

On disembarkation we spent our free time eating delicious 'Street Food' sitting by the canal in the bright sunshine and then spending our hard earned pensions in the huge market and surrounding shops. There was everything from bottles made from candle wax to original second hand clothing and books, with everything you could ever dream of in between!!!  

The market is held in the original old stable block which was used to stable horses which conveyed  goods from the barges to lorries, and later trains, to be transported throughout the U.K.   The history is highlighted by a number of huge bronze statues of horses and blacksmiths both inside and out and is well worth a visit.

A jolly good day was had by all and we arrived back in Maidstone weary but happy.

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Vince Nicholls


The threat of rain meant a dramatic fall off in the numbers for Daphne's ramble on 28th May. The rain held off, but the low cloud meant that the views from the foot of the North Downs above Ryarsh were not at their best. Those who went enjoyed the walk, and also the post walk drink in the Duke of Wellington.

Plant Swop Morning

A bright sunny morning welcomed a goodly sized crowd to Pam Puxty's house on Sunday 4 May for the annual plant swop. There was a wide variety of plants to choose from and it seems that there are many keen gardeners amongst us.


There was  a good turnout of 24, plus a few four legged friends, for Daphne's Ramble on Wednesday 30 April. We were very fortunate with the weather, and were welcomed by some superb bluebell displays along the circular route from West Malling via Offham.


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 Mad MaidARA Members enjoying themselves!

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Petanque 21 March 2014

A group of 18 of us played Petanque in the lovely sunny fresh air, why don't you come and join us next month.

Ramble 26 February 201

A glorious morning welcomed the ramblers to Cobtree to reprise the weather affected ramble. There were only a few boggy areas despite the prolonged very wet weather recently experienced. Some diversions became the order of the day although there appears to be some uncertainty as to the best route!

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KenttARA Ten Pin Bowling Competition 2013

What a great turnout for the competition, all 20 lanes were full with six players on each lane, it was very well organised and a credit to those involved, thankfully it wasn't us.
MaidARA had three teams representing us all ably recruited by Mags and Bryan McCarthy, what a good job they did as well. The men's team consisted off John Pink, Bryan McCarthy and Rob Hunt what a formidable team we could have been, unfortunately not sure what happened, it may have been the three ladies whom we were playing against were very good. Our ladies team acquitted themselves very well. The team consisted of Mags McCarthy, Janet Pink and Ada Allwright. Our mixed team consisted of Janet and Vic Summers and Ted Tapp, they proved to be very good and should be congratulated on their performance.
A good day was had by all and we look forward to next year when perhaps we can put some additional teams in.

And thanks to our cheerleaders Joan Hunt and Joyce Tapp.

Rob Hunt 

The first picture is Men's team Bryan, Rob and Pinky
The second picture is our Mixed team of Ted, Janet and Vic
Third picture is the Ladies team of Janet, Margaret and Ada
Fourth picture is Pinky getting off with the opposition which is probably why we did not win
although all the teams played well we came about halfway in the competition against all the other ARA's

New Age Kurling

On Monday 2nd December Indoor New Age Kurling held their annual Christmas competition a good morning was had by all who attended.


Gold Brian Walker 1st
Silver Jean Jarman 2nd
Bronze Sylvia Cartwright 3rd

Gold Rob Hunt 1st
Silver Janet Pink 2nd
Bronze Joyce Tapp 3rd


Safari Supper 

The Safari Supper on Saturday 19th October was another great success, 9 couples in all took part and again it was great fun, Thanks Mags McCarthy for all the organization and the coffee for us all after. Well done,


Pat Harman



MaidARA Autumn Show 2013*

Pam Puxty organized a MaidARA Autumn Show on Wednesday 11th September for members to show off their garden produce, and cooking skills, The entrance fee was only £2. and all attending enjoyed a cream tea. Joan and Rob Hunt ran a raffle and Vic Summers was in charge of plant sales, altogether £157. was raised for the McMillan Nurses. Pam would like to thank all those who helped in the kitchen those who made scones those who helped lay out the hall Mike Powell for designing and printing the certificates those who exhibited and above all those who attended.

The list of winners was as follows

For the best Jam The winner was Lyn Broad and the runner up was Polly Ashbee

For the best Dundee Cake the winner was Gwen Walker and the runner up was Ron Harman

For the best Three Runner Beans of the same size The winner was Jean Gowing and the Runner up Ken Horwood

For the Best Mixed Salad Box or Mixed Fruit Box The winner was Cynthia Johnson and the runner up was Pat Harman

For 3 tomatoes on a plate the winner was Lesley Ives and the runner up was Daphne Smith

The winner for the shortbread was Lesley Ives and the runner up was Pat Harman

The winner of the single flower was Jock Campbell and the runner up was Pat Harman

Best flower arrangement, unfortunately only 1 entry, but a worthy one, Lesley Ives

Pat Harman


MaidARA Matters

Pam Puxty is looking to spice up MaidARA Matters & is seeking contributions whether anecdotes from activities or outings, quizzes, sudoko, crosswords, wholesome jokes, poems, restaurant recommendations, etc.

All contributions will be most welcome, so don't be shy and do make an effort to help Pam with the newsletter.


73 members of MaidARA travelled to Gravesend on Tuesday 13th September and boarded the Pocahontas for an exclusive river cruise to Westminster. The weather was a perfect sailing day, sunny with little or no breeze. The company was great, everyone in a happy holiday mood, most people took a packed lunch but a few bought the delicious sandwiches the bar had for sale, and of course took advantage of the bar! The commentary was exceptional, what that guy didn't know about the river and its history wasn't worth knowing he made it very interesting, and was witty with touches or irony. On the homeward journey we all indulged in a wonderful cream tea. Well done Sheila a most enjoyable day.

Pat Harman


Ready for the Off at Teston.

MaidARA's July outing started early, we had to be on the coach by 7.45. as we had a full day ahead, the journey to Runneymede was luckily quite smooth, we arrived there about 10 o clock, and although the river trip didn't start until 11 we were able to board the boat and buy refreshments. The boat made its way up the Thames to The Windsor and Eton Bridge just passed Romney Loch, there was a pleasant breeze and beautiful houses and lots of different crafts on the river. Half way through the cruise we were presented with the best Ploughman's lunch any of us have ever had, only an unnamed few managed to eat it all!! followed by a piece of fruitcake and a beverage of your choice. After the cruise we were taken to Saville Gardens which was tranquil and shady with small lakes and colourful summer flowering gardens, so much to see there but the day by this time was very hot so most of us were seeking the shady seats, and then to cap it all were had a wonderful cream tea. Lovely day out thank you Jean Gowing for organizing it all for us.

 Pat Harman

MaidARA's visit to The Tower of London on the 19th June proved to be the hottest day of the year. We started off fairly early and our first stop was on the south bank where after a quick look round and stroll, we enjoyed an Italian meal, then on to the Tower, there you were left to do your own thing, we had a guided tour by a Beefeater, who was very informative and entertaining. The Crown Jewels were absolutely stunning with a very well laid out exhibition. Next we visited some of the towers which involved a lot of steps and finally only time for a short walk round the castle walls and views over the river, a good day out. Thank you Sheila Woodward for organizing this outing for us.

Pam's plant swap made £70 for the McMillan Nurses, the morning remained dry and a bit sunny for us which was wonderful, there were so many plants, members came with armfuls of plants and went home with different armfuls of plants, Pam laid on tea coffee and biscuits which Marian kindly made and served, there was also a raffle with 3 prizes and a plant quiz, altogether a great morning Pam, thank you very much.

The Ramble in May started off from a car park in Cranbrook High Street and we walked a half circular walk about 3.8 miles we were luckly to have a dry day, the day before had been horrendous, rain, hail stones and more rain, so underfoot was a bit muddy, but really a scenic ramble, with meadows full of buttercups and woods full of bluebells, there were a few stiles, but nothing we couldn't manage. It was an invigorating and in part exciting morning when Bill Keeley slipped in a very muddy puddle, he couldn't save himself as he had his arm in a sling, poor Bill but he took it in good part and joined in the laughter.

Skipton Holiday

"A superb holiday was had by all MaidARA members travelling to Skipton, organised by Hazel Boys, through Jewels Tours. We stayed at the Rendezvous Hotel and were excellently looked after. Everything went very well, except for the weather, which we have no control. Apart from that this did not stop us visiting the James Herriott museum at Thirsk, and the Police Museum in Ripon. We had a free day in Skipton when we took a trip on the canal, and a full day in York"

AGM 10 April 2013

Pat Harman retired from the Chairmanship after 5 years of excellent leadership. Tony Boys, the new Chairman, has a hard act to follow.

Roy Sidebottom retired from the Presidency after very many years of service to the Club. Members were reminded of the great activities Roy had organised for the Club, including many holidays (several overseas) and a touring entertainment troupe.

Ann Barkaway is the new President and Jock Campbell the new Vice President.

The Committee had made the AGM a social event with a Ploughman's lunch for all before the formalities took place.

A few photos are included in the Photo Gallery.

Gurkha Festival of Music

A coach load of our members travelled to The Nye Hall The Duke of York's Royal Military School in Dover on Friday 5th April, to see the Gurkha Festival of Music. We enjoyed a variety of music including Nepalese traditional music and dancing a medley of Eric Coates music and songs from the Shorncliffe Military Wives Choir. Thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Thank you Jean Gowing for organizing this popular event.

Pat Harman

Festive Lunch

MaidARA enjoyed a festive lunch at the Russell Hotel on Tuesday 15th January, 102 people went along and had a splendid lunch which was delicious, hot and very quickly served. During and after the meal we were entertained by Rick on the guitar, a very good afternoon enjoyed by all, thank you and well done Jean for all the organizing.

New Years Day Walk 2013

A large turnout for Daphne's Walk in Mote Park coincided with the first glorious sunny day since Christmas. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, this also meant that the Mote Park Car Park was choc-a-block with families giving their children a chance to let off steam in the play area or try out their new scooters/bicycles etc. Some of us went to the Leisure Centre Car Park & walked down to the meeting point.
Daphne intended the walk to take advantage of the new paths put in under the recent Mote Park upgrade and do a large circular walk around the magnificent park. Unfortunately, the upgrade did not include for providing an elevated path over the perennially flooded section (after heavy rainfall - and 2012 saw a lot of rain) which gives access to the far bridge over the river Len. The alternative of using the farthest bridge meant traversing a currently very boggy section of long grass and so we took advantage of using the new bridge. This resulted in a shorter walk but did not prevent the opportunity for a friendly, companionable piece of exercise in the fresh air on a lovely sunny day.

Thanks Daphne.

Dog & Duck

We have a special pub lunch on Wednesday 19th December when a coachload of us went to the Dog & Duck at Platts Gutter near Canterbury. This was organized by Sheila Woodward. The food was great a good choice of meals which once we were settled arrived very quickly. After dinner we were entertained by Nick Bosworth vocalist and keyboard player who had us all up dancing until it was time to go, we left at about 4 o'clock and had a rowdy sing song on the way home. Thanks Sheila for a lovely day out.

 Thursford 2012

A sharp cold morning was an apt start for a winter extravaganza outing. Our party comprised a mix of Thursford virgins and old hands. Our driver, John, had opted for an hour's break at the old market town of Swaffham. Some opted for refreshments and others for a bit of local history. The latter discovered that Capt. W.E.Johns of Biggles fame was at one time a Sanitary Inspector for Swaffham Council. More grandly, Howard Carter of Tutankhamen fame was brought up in Swaffham.

Someone (no names) had delusions of grandeur and managed to find two female helpers to assist with his role play in the Egyptian display room.

Onwards to the Best Western Knights Hill Hotel & Spa, our rather nice base, although we wondered what we were in for when the room keys were handed out with all the names mixed up. A new version of car keys in the hat perhaps?? Jean leapt to the rescue and sorted out the Hotel's error for them

No sign of Wills or Harry who apparently pop in for a game of snooker if staying with Gran up the road. An excellent late lunch/early dinner and short rest before off to the THE EVENT.

And what an event!!

First timers weren't sure what to expect but became completely won over as the show progressed. The skill. talent. energetic exuberance and pure professionalism of the musicians, singers and dancers (not forgetting the comedian and juggler) would not be out of place at a West End Show Sellout. We had good seats near the front, and some of the gents had to check their pacemakers when the Can Can was performed.

An excellent leisurely breakfast set us up for the return home. A two hour stop in the centre of Norwich gave us a chance to visit a town not normally a tourist destination. The lovely Cathedral has Edith Cavell's grave.

Home in time for tea.

Thanks Jean. Please put our names down for the next visit. 

Monthly Meeting Notes