• 05 02 2015

"Why I love my valley"


Primary schoolchildren in the three neighbouring villages to the new Peters Village development have been invited to join an exciting arts project - with £3,500 worth of prize money at stake.

The Tri-History Arts Project or ‘Why I Love My Valley’ is being co-sponsored by Peters Village developer Trenport Investments Ltd and its site contractor Bam Nuttall.

Primary schools in Wouldham, Burham and Eccles have all agreed to join the project, which offers voucher prizes for individuals, as well as up to £2,000 in cash for the winning school to spend on a specific project or equipment on the school’s ‘wish list’. There are also runners-up prizes in both categories.

But why the ‘Tri-History Arts Project’? Competition organiser and Trenport Community Liaison Manager Shirley Boards explained: “We wanted to highlight the diverse heritage of the Peters Village site.

"As Trenport’s recent archaeological survey shows, the area has much ancient history with evidence of Bronze Age, Ancient British and Roman habitation.

“But there is also a rich social/industrial history from the more recent past, notably the cement industry and the people who worked there. And there is, of course, a diverse natural history that Trenport has worked hard to conserve.

“However, the schoolchildren and their schoolmates collectively, can work to any one of those topics to show ‘Why I love my valley’.

"The individuals’ competition will concentrate on Year 5 (aged 9-10) children in the three schools, as they are the oldest pupils not encumbered by 11-plus studies, but the aim is very much to encourage all ages to join in the overall school section - we are hoping for at least one landmark public artwork.

“We have also engaged a high profile Kent artist, Charles Newington (pictured) as consultant and mentor for the schools. He knows all about landmarks, being best known for the giant chalk-cut figure on the Downs near Folkestone; a unique stylised white horse, now a regional icon.”

Ms Boards added that a five-strong independent panel of high profile local judges had been appointed:

■ Heather Stoner of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the Government’s land and housing delivery body

■ Jo Savage, former art teacher and lecturer

■ Steve Humphrey, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council (TMBC) Director of Planning, Housing & Environmental Health

■ Cllr Roger Dalton, TMBC Ward Cllr and Burham Parish Chair

■ Tel German, Senior Improvement Adviser (Primary) for Schools in West Kent, KCC.