Planning for the future - Enhancing the present

The Pembury Society

Are you a Pembury resident who cares for your village?

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If so why not look through the information on this website, and join the Society. We have a steady membership and are always looking for new members. We also need more committee members to help us to achieve more for the village.

Come and join us and keep Pembury buzzing!

The aims of the Pembury Society are;

  • The preservation and protection of the beauty and character of Pembury.
  • To promote and protect features of architectural and historic interest within the Pembury conservation area and throughout the village.
  • Through developing a community spirit, to encourage residents to take pride in Pembury as a safe and attractive place to live in.
  • Through the members of the Pembury Society, to ensure that an independent voice is heard in the right Quarters on those issues that are close to the Pembury Society aims.
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Origins of the Pembury Society

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In the late 1960s Cyril Masterman, a retired gas engineer who is reputed to have invented the humble, but most useful, gas poker, came to live in Pembury and built for himself a wood-tiled bungalow near the Priory at Longhill in Romford Road.

The site had attractive views. He soon found, however, that Pembury was being invaded by developers with grandiose schemes for large scale housing estates.

He wrote a Plan for Pembury which was submitted to the Tonbridge Rural District Council which was at that time our Local Authority. This included a by-pass for the Maidstone Road with a fly-over at its crossing with Church Road. He appears to have had little support from the local authority and decided to try to form a Residents' Association as a pressure group.

In 1973, partly because of the risk of confusion with the name of another village organisation, it was decided to change the name to the Pembury Society and recognition was sought from the Civic Trust. The Trust agreed to register the Society provided it was set up with a written Constitution approved by the Trust. This was done and the first formal meeting of the society took place in 1974.

There is an old adage about anybody, everybody, nobody and somebody - Everyone said something should be done about "it", everybody said somebody would do it, but although anybody could have done it, in the end nobody did it.

But Cyril Masterman appreciated the threat to Pembury and did something about it. There were planning applications for large developments along the Maidstone Road and elsewhere and he advocated a tight boundary around the built-up area, the northern relief road and the protection of trees. At the Appeal hearing on the Woodside Road development proposal, one of the developer's advocates complained, quoting The Merchant of Venice, "the lady doth complain too much"

The lady in the case was our then chairman, Mrs. Holland, but she was quick to retort "but she won her case". This seemed to have some impact on the Inspector; the appeal was dismissed and Pembury was assured of some relief from the prospect of more estates of housing being developed. The Inspector was heard to remark that, for Pembury "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH",

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