Stunt plan ab­seil and ‘cool’ para

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Biddenden’s Spectacular - by Michael DeFroand

BID­DEN­DEN’S Spec­tac­u­lar lived up to its name as vis­i­tors en­joyed a range of en­ter­tain­ments in the vil­lage. A to­tal of 86 peo­ple also took part in the Bid­den­den Chal­lenge, a Kent Mes­sen­ger Group-or­gan­ised ab­seil down the 100ft tower of All Saints’ Church. The lengthy de­scent – un­der­taken twice by the Rev Alex Bien­fait – raised £6,600, to be shared be­tween the Kent and Med­way Walk­ing Bus (£1,980) and the Bid­den­den Church Fab­ric Fund (£4,620). The pro­ceeds of the ac­com­pa­ny­ing Spec­tac­u­lar will be shared among the vil­lage’s clubs, or­gan­i­sa­tions and some char­i­ties such as Kent Air Am­bu­lance and Rid­ing for the Dis­abled. Or­gan­iser Tony Chur­ton said: “Every­one came away from the Spec­tac­u­lar hav­ing en­joyed them­selves. Lots asked if we could do it again.

Stunt plane

“The thing that re­ally made my day was when I heard a young boy watch­ing the mil­i­tary pa­rade say, That’s cool!” The event – held on the recre­ation ground, Ju­bilee Field and Mil­len­nium Field – in­cluded mil­i­tary vin­tage ve­hi­cles and trac­tors, a dog show, gymkhana, pony and trap rides, stalls and a fire en­gine demon­stra­tion. Mr Chur­ton added: “There was an aer­o­batic demon­stra­tion from some Tiger Moths and an­other stunt plane from Head­corn. “We also had five or six parachutists free fall.” Mr Chur­ton praised vol­un­teers who en­sured the event was smooth-run­ning. Among them were mem­bers of the New Rom­ney Air Cadets, who acted as ste­wards on the day. Nor­man Heath, 78, a founder mem­ber of the Weald of Kent Com­puter Club based in Bid­den­den was the old­est ab­seiler.

Tyler King gives the day a thumbs-up

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Ed­ward Bould­ing waits for his dad in the church­yard pd1487754

Dar­ren Lynch, Do­minic Hodge, Tom Meller and Ben McDon­ald climb the spi­ral stair­case pd1487768

Things didn’t go quite to plan at first for Vanda Barker

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Peter Bishop, Deputy High Sher­iff takes the plunge

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Lt Cpl Reynolds and Tyler Reeves-Kaine

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The Rev Alex Bien­fait makes Tower

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High Sher­iff Richard Oldfield dressed as the Mad Hat­ter for the ab­seil. He raised £150

Karen Hills got mar­ried at the church, now she is go­ing down it pd1487739

Peter Lake, chair­man of KCC, reaches the bot­tom pd1487762

Ashley Caw­ley with Web­ster the duck

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Eyes to the sky as an­other comes down

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