Michael received a warm welcome from the CPO Jan Dean, colleagues and cadets when he toured TS Gallant in Westerham. Various workshops were being held throughout the building covering all aspects of seamanship, chart work, engineering, first aid, catering and communication information systems.
There was an impressive drill rehearsal in preparation for a forthcoming competition on HMS Raleigh.
The unit is extremely active and flourishing. 17 cadets and 6 staff had recently travelled to Malta for a week long cultural trip and including a Memorial Day to HSM Gallant,
The summer months will be particularly busy with many outdoor activities.
Michael visited several small businesses around the town to hear first-hand about how they are doing at present. Feedback from those he met highlighted three common concerns: business rates, parking restrictions and broadband speeds.
Michael, together with Jane Hunter of the Westerham Town Partnership and Cllr Helen Ogden, Parish Council started the morning at Westerham Parish Church where they met members of the National Youth Ballet, run by local resident Jill Fone, who were rehearsing The Nativity for a performance later that day amid a Festival of Christmas Trees (in aid of St Mary’s Heritage Trust). He then went on to meet Jan of Annie’s Attic who was holding a Christmas craft workshop in Westerham Hall in aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
By now the group had grown to include Cllr Roderick Hogarth (Chairman of Economic & Community Development Advisory Committee) and Cllr Kevin Maskell from Sevenoaks District Council and together they all visited The Light Brigade (Lighting) and the Beauty Spot in Horton’s Way. Afterwards they crossed London Road to meet the new owner of The White House Gallery (Picture Framing) and then moved up the hill to call on Nigel, the owner of MooreEnergy Fitness Club. From there they walked to the High Street and visited Ashton Taylor Smith (Antiques) and then crossed the road to Flawless Jewellery who design and make their own individual pieces and provide expert advice for remodelling.
The last two calls of the day were to LA Larratt (Butcher) and then a very welcome cup of coffee at The Courtyard, (‘much more than a coffee shop’) which also provides outside catering.
Thank you to Jane and Helen for organising such a brilliant tour.
Many more pictures from this visit to Westerham can be found in the gallery.