Stage 2

You can probably guess what will go on three sides of each block… the fourth side is more of a mystery.

I’ve now progressed quite a long way into Stage 2 of the project so I feel that the blog deserves an update.

So far I’ve taken the film to five different care homes in the Ashford borough together with a series of four one-hour activity plans. 

As with everything in life at the moment, it was pretty odd: messages at the door instructing me not to enter the building; a very brief chat to the receptionist or the activity coordinator; a retreat to the car.

How difficult it must be for the residents, cut off from the outside world as they are, and for the staff who know that one false move could result in Covid entering the home and lives being at risk. 

The activities are based around viewing the films; poetry; craft (helping to make the abacus); and finally drawing/painting. 

I’ll be visiting the homes again in the next week or so to deliver packages for the residents containing wooden blocks that have been made by WoodnWare CIC. They cut the blocks but are still drilling holes in some of them. 

It will be interesting to see how everyone gets on. I anticipate that I may have to call on other care homes and other members of the community to help with the abacus. Just not sure that many 90-year olds will want to do any drawing and painting… we will see!


Reuben Bouverie

Hiatus is one of my favourite words – partly because it’s meaning is somehow so different from its sound. I always think hiatus sounds like things are pretty busy: high tempo, lots of eating going on maybe?

But actually it’s a pause in proceedings.

This particular pause has been brought about by the death of my dear Dad on August 19th. He was a brilliant man, a self-taught engineer.. someone who was always interested in buildings.

He designed buildings made of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) in the 1960s-1990s. He started out doing roofs for petrol stations and swimming pools and ended up doing stadium roofs (Maine Road and Murrayfield) and domes (Greenwich Observatory Dome, the East London Mosque, the Grand Mosques in Bahrain and Oman).

To my knowledge he never designed anything for Ashford borough so this is a bit of a diversion. I miss him.

I’ll get back to Ashford100buildings after the funeral.

Some of my Dad’s groundbreaking GRP buildings

Friday timelines

I’ve entered some buildings into the draft timelines. Some of them were buildings that I used in the promo video (Ruckinge Church, the Outlet, the Clock Tower for example).

Others have been suggested by people on Facebook. Mersham Le Hatch for example, Westwell Mill, Eastwell Towers.

It’s interesting to me that I live only a few miles away from Westwell Mill but knew nothing about it. Similarly I drive past Eastwell Towers practically every week but knew nothing of its history.

In fact, if I think about it, prior to starting this project I only really knew the history of my own village – and that I sort of take for granted.

This has caused a minor problem.

People haven’t been suggesting buildings on their own community Facebook groups because ‘everybody knows about them’.. I might not put Wye College on the Our Place Wye site, for example, because to the residents of Wye (and readers of the Our Place Wye facebook group) it’s too bleeding obvious?

But the project is about the whole borough of Ashford. As a Wye resident I’m probably not alone in not having the foggiest about buildings in Tenterden or Lenham…

I think publishing the timelines fairly frequently would be a way to rectify this problem. If people see that buildings in their communities haven’t been inserted, they might suggest inclusion.

I think I will republish the timelines on this site every Friday afternoon – and on the Facebook group as well.

Here goes:

Ashford 1000-1300:

Ashford 1300-1500:

Ashford 1500-1700:

Ashford 1700-1900:

Ashford 1900-Present Day: