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The man who believed in personal service

RON Webb, managing director of one of Tenterden's oldest businesses, has died aged 87.

Mr Webb arrived in the town from Sittingbourne in the 1920s with his brother, Eric, and father, William, to set up in ironmongery.

They built a thriving concern that now has a cookshop as well, in Tenterden High Street.

Their first home was at Little Silver, St Michael's, which they later sold and is now a hotel. Although Mr Webb spent his latter years in Rolvenden, St Michael's remained the family's church and the funeral service is to be held there on Thursday, September 12, at 11am.

When William Webb died in 1958 Ron succeeded him as managing director, a position he held until his death.

Hjs nephew, Nigel Webb, said: "Everyone knew my uncle as Ron. He got on well with people. Customers liked to chat with him.

"He believed in offering personal service and this is what made, and still makes, our family business successful."

During the Second World War Ron Webb served in The Middle East and in Europe with the Green Howards.

In civilian life he devoted most of his time to the business but was a member of Tenterden Rotary Club. He is survived by his wife, Barbara. They had no children.

The family business continues to be run by his nephews Nigel and Graham and their mother Carol. His third nephew, Charles, has his own shop in Cranbrook.



Hotel to re-open with eight conference rooms

A £2 MILLION refurbishment will start later this month to transform the Holiday Inn beside the A20 at Hothfield into one of Kent's premier business and conference hotels.

It will close on September 30 for extensive renovations and re-open in the New Year.

Eight conference rooms - catering for small meetings to those up to 150 delegates - will be added to the property. Existing food and beverage facilities will be enlarged in line with the dynamic new scheme.

The hotel's 92 bedrooms will be completely refurbished with new workstations including modem ports in every room providing for the needs of both the business and leisure traveller.

Hotel manager Mark Walton, said that when it re-opens 30 new positions would be added to the present 20-strong staff.

He said: "It is better to confine the building work in one highly concentrated burst rather than trying to do jobs piece-meal around our guests."

The new facilities are being designed in line with a commitment to provide the region with top quality facilities at a fair rate for customers who work or live in the area close to the Channel Tunnel.

The hotel was bought earlier this year by Central Island Hotels.

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