Last chance to see villages through the year
The “absolutely last ever” Three Villages Calendar produced for 2019 by photo historian Ray Sturgeon has already raised £950 for charity.
Mr Sturgeon has been producing the calendars using images of Burham, Aylesford and Eccles from his extensive collection for three years.
Before that he made and sold seven booklets of old photos, and one full-length book, but he said: “I’ve been fundraising now for 15 years, and at 78, it’s time for me to retire.”
Mr Sturgeon began his collection in 2002 after being forced to retire early from his work as a charge-hand with Wards builders through ill-health. He had to undergo open-heart surgery. He was subsequently inspired to start collecting after a friend gave him an old photo of Eccles. His collection now runs into thousands of images.
Mr Sturgeon, who was born in Alma Road, Eccles, now lives in Bull Lane in the village.
He became fascinated at how things change over the decades.
For example, the house where he was born was number 12 but is now number 36 Alma Road.
The proceeds from this year’s calendar are being distributed with £500 going to Heart of Kent Hospice, £200 to Riverbank children’s ward at Maidstone Hospital, and £50 each to Burham Sure Start and to Aylesford, Eccles, Burham and Wouldham Pre-Schools.
Over the years Mr Sturgeon has raised an incredible £18,300.
He added: “I would like to thank all those who have supported me, especially Rob and Sally Jeffery of Court Farm, who edited the calendar for me.
“Thanks also to John and Joan Perceval of Lotus Design and Print who produced it.” Eccentric property mogul Fergus Wilson sent a knitted adult gift to a YouTuber he once tried to sue.
But the multi-millionaire says the item, various others and accompanying lewd messages were just “a bit of banter”.
Danny Hyde was taken to court by Mr Wilson in February, after the vlogger posted a video reacting to Mr Wilson’s proposal to ban ‘coloured’ people from renting his homes.
Since then Mr Hyde has received a wealth of gifts from the Boughton Monchelsea resident.
The 30- year- old said: “It’s funny, that’s what I don’t understand, he tried to ruin my life, now all of a sudden he’s sending me fine cheeses.”
The Somerset painter-decorator started receiving letters from Mr Wilson earlier this year, followed by a hamper of food and two mugs and a t-shirt.
The 70-year-old also sent the message: “My banana is bigger than yours” in a box with two hard bananas.
The showering of gifts came to a head at the weekend, when Mr Hyde posted a video on his channel un-boxing an adult garment - namely a willy warmer - from Mr Wilson.
Mr Hyde said: “At first I thought the gifts might be a back-handed comment, or mind games, but the latest offering is surreal. If it’s going to carry on and it’s funny I don’t want it to stop.”
In response, Mr Wilson - who admitted he had never spoken to Mr Hyde in person - said: “I’ve sent him a few bits and pieces.
He and I got off to a very unfortunate relationship, he does seem quite a nice young man and I don’t think there’s any animosity - it’s a bit of banter.”