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Villagers turn out to toast Chalk Village Tea Room


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A couple who have just opened a tea room say they are bowled over by support from villagers.

On the opening day of Chalk Village Tea Room visitors included Nigel Bourne, vicar of St Mary the Virgin Church, Chalk; local historian Christoph Bull; and Cllr Leslie Hills (Con), Chalk ward and also a Gravesham cabinet member.

For owners Louise and Terry Fowell it is their first business venture since moving to Chalk two years ago – Terry having been an electrician and Louise a hairdresser.

Sarah Bull and Sue Bourne at the official opening of Chalk Village Tea Rooms
Sarah Bull and Sue Bourne at the official opening of Chalk Village Tea Rooms

“The support we’ve had has been absolutely phenomenal,” said Louise. “I’ve never known a community like it.”

The Rev Nigel Bourne, vicar of Chalk, hands out cakes to guests
The Rev Nigel Bourne, vicar of Chalk, hands out cakes to guests

There has been a lot going on in the village. The opening came hot on the heels of a family fun day.

There aren’t many churches where you are encouraged to throw paper planes off the balcony and onto the pews below.

But that’s exactly what youngsters were able to do at St Mary’s Church as families enjoyed a weekend of fun in the sun.

On the first day of Chalk Family Weekend there was a treasure hunt, games, arts and crafts and an obstacle course, as well as a giant jenga set in the field beside the church.

A tea party for more than 100 people celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday and in the evening there was fish and chips while historian Christoph Bull gave a talk on Gravesham Characters: Famous and Forgotten.

The Rev Nigel Bourne was delighted to see everyone enjoying themselves. He said: “It was all free and it was a good turnout with lovely weather.

“There were children and their parents, grandparents and friends and a good time was had by all.”

On the Sunday students from nearby Oak Hill College helped with cupcake making.

Mr Bourne thanked all those involved in the organisation of the weekend, including Sue Smit, Sue Bourne and Chris Kilgour.

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