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Ashford's new bandstand is music to the town's ears

Ashford's on the up. That was the message coming out of the town loud and clear today, as a new look bandstand was unveiled. It's being used as a sheltered venue to showcase the thriving local music scene. The farmers' market has been drawing the crowds as well. Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to events co-ordinator Dan Fairhurst, photographer Lewis Brockway and Rachel Heather, who's the farmers' market manager.


Multi-million pound investment in trains goes ahead

A multimillion pound investment in trains in east Kent gets the go-ahead today.

Network Rail are to upgrade the line between Ashford and Thanet to improve journey times for High Speed trains.

A new station's already been earmarked for Manston Parkway near Ramsgate.

"This upgrade to our high-speed service is of enormous importance to Thanet, opening up a whole new range of economic opportunities for our area. Before my election, local residents told me that they felt left at the end of the line. We have fought tirelessly to change this and worked hard to secure Government funding for Thanet. I am absolutely thrilled that with this, journey times are now being reduced which will open the doors to more investment and more visitors. This is a huge win for Thanet."

– Laura Sandys, MP for Thanet South

Dogs allegedly stolen found in Ashford

Two dogs that were allegedly stolen, are due to be reunited with their owners after a warrant was carried out at a property in Ashford.

Officers executed a search warrant under the Theft Act at a smallholding and grounds in Egerton Road, Charing Heath, Ashford on Wednesday 11 March.

The dogs were found in a kennel at the property and checks revealed they had been stolen.

Springer Spaniel 'Millie' and Cocker Spaniel 'Sampson'‘Millie’, a 2 ½ year-old Springer Spaniel was allegedly stolen from a garden in Stowting Common on 4 January and ‘Sampson’, a 6-year-old Cocker Spaniel was allegedly stolen from a garden in Bilsington on 22 January.

49-year-old Douglas Steven Dunn of Egerton Road, Charing Heath, Ashford was arrested and subsequently charged with two counts of Handling Stolen Goods.

He was released on bail to answer before Folkestone Magistrates on 13 April.

Knife-wielding teen jailed for three years

Rudy Little jailed for 3 years Credit: Kent Police

A teenager who threatened a man with a knife and threw a concrete block at a front door in Kent has been jailed for three years.

Rudy Little, who's 18 and from Matfield Road in Ashford, also tried to rob his victim of money and cigarettes.

He was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court.


'We still don't really believe it' says woman who gave birth to a baby boy after seven miscarriages

A woman has said she still has to pinch herself after giving birth to a desperately wanted baby boy after having seven miscarriages.

Sam Bourner, from Hamstreet near Ashford, had the miscarriages over six years said it was an "indescribably terrible" period in her life and that she had almost given up hope of ever having a baby.

She found out she suffers from Hughes Syndrome after visiting a specialist hospital in London.

They treated her with aspirin and put a stitch in her cervix.

It was not long after that baby Noel was born.

Mrs Bourner said: "We still don't really believe it. Even though he's here we still think someone's going to come and take him away from us but it's just amazing, isn't it?"

Although she sort specialist treatment, Noel did have a twin who died while he was in the womb.

"We are not going to try again," Mrs Bourner. "He's a miracle and we are very happy and we don't need any more. He's perfect."

Sam Bourner had almost given up hope of ever having a child Credit: ITV Meridian

Concern for missing 81-year-old Ashford man

Lewis Jones

Kent Police is appealing for information on the whereabouts of an 81-year-old man from Ashford reported missing.

Lewis Jones left his home address in Godinton Park, Ashford between 7.30am and 8am on 13 January to travel to Maidstone in his blue Ford Fiesta Finesse, which has the registration number T949 WWV.

He is believed to have travelled through Bearsted at around 10.45am but has not returned home nor contacted his relatives.

Police say it is out of character for Mr Jones to go missing. He requires regular medication and his family are extremely concerned for his welfare.

When last seen, Mr Jones was wearing a red top or coat. He is described as around 5ft 6ins tall, with a slim build and thinning grey hair. He has brown eyes and wears glasses.

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