New to Tenterden, who me?
An article by Peter Georgiadis, ex-orchestral double-bassist.
Thank you people of this fine town, for being friendly, and for being polite and accommodating
I and my wife Wenche (Venka) are very new to Tenterden, but only because twenty years ago, we were gazumped when trying to buy a house here, and then talked into going towards Hastings, and pushed by a devious, clever salesperson at the local estate agency. We did actually buy a wonderful huge twenty-year old property, in Guestling. It was a huge friendly property, that sported the most incredible views from all the houses windows. And our top garden was in line with the apex of the house, thus showing that the house was built on the north side of the hill to North Seat. On a clear day, one could see Dover. Both my wife and I had twenty fine years there, and that showed in the work that we did, to improve either the house, or the garden.
So, why leave…I hear your thoughts!
It was early in 2018, the winter was nothing worse than mildly windy, and the spring and summer were really special, with long sunny days, and barbeque barmy nights. Both of us were enjoying that fantastic year.
That was, until we got our energy bills, new rating bill for the property, car tax for both our vehicles! Get the idea?
Now in our seventies, we decided that realistically, we could no longer afford to live there, as much as we loved it. Just the cost of having a gardener who came maybe once or twice a week. The truth was that with house maintenance and garden expense, plus just trying to live within our means, had become just too much for us both. And also another major for factor for leaving was, we never walked anywhere anymore.
There was the actual slope of our drive from the house onto the roadway, that being Martineau Lane. And anyway, Hasting was like Rome, built on hills. We had gotten old and lazy, and all because we just couldn’t ramble anywhere anymore.
We just couldn’t walk down to the local newsagent, general store, or public house, everything one wanted, including posting a letter, had to be done by car, not shanks pony.
What was the solution? Easy move!
Coming to Tenterden.
Because our Guestling house (hopefully not bragging to much), was a delight being well maintained, with a fantastically laid out garden, it sold very easily. I have to add, that our buyers were simply an absolute bliss. Not once did they push us to hurry out and move somewhere else, so they could move in and redecorate to their own fashion. They could have broken faith and found somewhere else, but they stayed with us, which to me showed them out to be fine, honest people who keep their word. Anyway, both of us had decided on now finally buying that house in Tenterden, the town that we had always desired to live in.
We tried several locations, with several estate agents, with absolutely no joy what-so-ever. We tried looking at the “Taylor-Wimpy” estate, but found the houses not to our taste. Then we saw the “Dandara” estate beckoning. I think the layout planning of the entire estate, is really neat, tidy, and quite acceptable to the eyes, being that each set of houses are different.
We entered negotiation with the head office, expecting them to stand firm on the price of the house we wanted; to my astonishment we negotiated a 20K. discount, so we bought the house. So we are now here to stay.
Tenterden a town in which to live in.
As new comers, the first thing that struck us was just how friendly everybody seemed to be. Good morning here, good afternoon there.
Complete strangers would talk to us. Unheard of wherever we have lived before. Then there are all the coffee houses calling us, on both sides of the High Street. For the two of us, there was one establishment that stood out, above what we had already tried, that was “The Lemon Tree”. The façade of the building seems to be almost Tudor in design, and the inside is on so many different levels, one has to be extremely careful when one is walking in. But of course no matter how interesting a building might be, it is the food that counts, and we haven’t been disappointed since eating there. And you dear reader will be interested to know, we are going to make sure we try all the restaurants that Tenterden has to offer. And what a High Street to have in ones town, wide avenue of trees, clean roads everywhere, interesting shops, though maybe somewhat pricy,
compared to a big Supermarket type stores in Hastings or Ashford. But honestly, it is such a pleasure to see privately owned shops, we don’t mind paying that bit extra. One thing I especially like, along the High Street, tucked nicely between the road and the pathway, is a fine example of a war memorial. I for one will be frequenting this memorial on each eleventh of November. There war also several really fine public houses; keep walking along towards the traffic lights, and you come to the “William Caxton”, both my wife and I have enjoyed some very fine, very reasonably priced meals. Watch out for steak nights, those we really enjoyed. Every time we have visited a pub, we have been entertained with conversation by someone, and that is simply wonderful because it showed an instant form of friendship to us both, warmth that we get, is one of belonging, not an intruding outsider, which is how things were in Hastings before we got to know people. To all the people of Tenterden, please keep that friendship alive and well, believe me when I say, it means the world to new comers.
And what about the big boys toys! Our own steam train, plus accessories! Whoopee, us big boys know how to live. So now only having arrived just before Christmas, I have joined the Kent & East Sussex Railway, in ticket sales. Tenterden has almost everything to hand. Museum, terrific park, entertainment that seems to be non stop … If one knows where to look! A doctors surgery, and they have twelve real doctors on call, unheard of in Hastings. Actually, that leads to an interesting little story: Two years ago, I had to try and see a doctor for a problem that could have been serious, (but wasn’t). And the only way I could see the doctor was by ”Skype”, and that was with a very fine doctor in Spain. And though his English was somewhat questionable, he had a wonderful sense of humour, and turned out to be very thorough in his quest for finding deadly diseases, and all within my body. I got the feeling that he would sell the pictures to some shady magazine.
I digress. The only thing that is missing, there is no cinema … Shame on those in power! A small intermit Kino would be wonderful, and I think would be a commercial success, in the right hands. Though I haven’t been there yet, I understand that there is a theatre, named after Donald Sinden. I’ll get there sooner or later. The roads are potholed just like East Sussex, in fact equally as bad, which means they are bad. But, believing in the leaders of this wonderful County, they will be soon be made into something that doesn’t damage your suspension, or burst your tyres.
I have rambled on far too long, and I apologise for boring you all out there. So a passing remark, both my wife and myself are extremely happy and contented to be in Tenterden, after waiting twenty years. Thank you people of this fine town, for being friendly, and for being polite and accommodating. As we say in the music business…
See you on the down beat!
Peter Georgiadis. Ex-orchestral double-bassist