Thursday, 28 February 2008

Fancy going clubbing in East Malling?

Well, not in the traditional sense of the phrase, i.e. the loud music playing establishments that serve alcoholic beverages that one may find themselves falling out of (or, more worryingly, into). What I had in mind are the clubs of East Malling that have recently set up blogs to communicate with their current members and reach out to new ones. The two that spring to mind are the East Malling Gardening Club and East Malling Backgammon Association. More clubs can be found on the clubs section of East Malling village pages on Kent Online. If you have any clubs/associations you would like promoting, just let me know. Also, if you would like to keep in the know and impress your friends with your East Malling pearls of wisdom, I would suggest subscribing to this blog to receive email updates of any new content posted. Right, I'm off clubbing...

Friday, 22 February 2008

Dear South Eastern Railways...

It occurred to me today, having come across the photos below, that it would be fabulous if South Eastern Railways (or rail track, or whoever would be responsible) were to run a steam train journey for commuters instead of the usual trains. This could take place once a month on a Friday and would give commuters something to look forward to and maybe (going out a limb here) it would cheer every one up. Also, it be an amazing PR exercise for the train company. My cynical side, however, reminds me (in an annoying wittering voice) that there is probably a miriad of reasons why this is unlikely to ever happen, e.g. health and safety issues, number of seats, lack of carriages, lack of specialist train drivers, industrial action, personal injury claims, etc. Whilst I continue my daydream, you may wish to cast your eye over the photos below. The first is from the East Malling/Ditton/Barming avian blog and featured in a post on the 24th October 2007 (for train buffs: this is a 45407). The second I found on the discussion forum of a website called Watercress Line. The post was by a Mr Hugh Topham on the 20th August 2003. He writes: "Saw 73096 today at East Malling Station as photo shows Passed through at 12:58 on its way to Canterbury on a Cathedrals".

I expect there are more photos and information out there on steam trains and East Malling. If you have anything to contribute, please let me know.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Have you done your pruning?

If you have, you're probably more organised that me. If not, you may want to have a look at the picture below for some inspiration.

The painting is called "A 1944 Pastoral : Land Girls Pruning at East Malling" by Evelyn Dunbar and is available on the Manchester Art Gallery website. The information accompanying the picture explains that: "Recruits from the Women's Land Army are here shown pruning apple trees in a small village just outside Maidstone in Kent. The Land Army was set up to encourage women to work on farms to help the war effort. The surround of hands with secateurs
suggests diagrams from a training manual".

You may have already guessed that the setting is The East Malling Research Station, confirmed by Brian Foss (2007) in his book "War Paint: Art, War, State and Identity in Britain, 1939-1945". If you are interested in learning more about the painting you can read the relevant section of Foss' book on Google Book Search or have a look at the an article in the Telegraph on Dunbar's work

Right, where did I put my secateurs...