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The Mayor of Ashford marks VJ Day and visits local businesses

Published: 27/08/2020

The Mayor of Ashford, Cllr John Link started his new term as Mayor by recently visiting local businesses in Ashford as well as the Ashford Museum, to see how life in the borough is returning to normal after months of lockdown due to COVID-19.

In the first of several planned trips, the Mayor, accompanied by the Mayoress visited the Ashford Borough Museum on Saturday 15 August, the same day in which the 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan) took place.

The Mayor also marked VJ Day by observing a two minute silence in the Church Yard and by laying a wreath at the war memorial in the Memorial Gardens.

Inside the museum, whilst maintaining social distancing, the Mayor had a chat with Chairman, Richard Yeates, Treasurer, Robert Shrubb, and Trustee, Mike Boulding. Located in the Church Yard in the heart of Ashford's Town Centre, the museum is housed in Dr. Wilks’ Hall, a 17th century Grade II listed building and features exhibits associated with Ashford's history.

As per the latest Government guidelines, facemasks must be worn in the museum which also includes a one-way system to maintain social distancing. Zoning is also in operation to give visitors the reassurance they need whilst safely enjoying memories of Ashford’s past.

With these measures in place, the museum has achieved Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ standard for reopening and visitors can currently gain entry on Friday and Saturday from 11am to 2pm. Visitors are required to use sanitising gel and to give contact details to support NHS Test and Trace on entry to the museum.

Further information regarding these new procedures and opening times are available on the museum’s website and on Facebook.

The Mayor and Mayoress at Revelation's stage at Ashford Bandstand

The Mayor also visited Revelation’s stage at the Ashford town centre Bandstand, where a special VJ Day live performance took place, with the Mayor and Mayoress treated to impromptu dancing and music supplied by Ashford’s own Miss Holiday Swing and Dolly Doo Wop who was performing for the first time in five months.

Revelation, also situated in the Church Yard is an arts venue that brings international musicians, legendary performers and local creative talent to Ashford’s community. Further details on upcoming events can be found online at Revelation’s website: 

One local business that was thriving before lockdown was The Little Teapot, a family run shop in Park Mall and Cllr Link was keen to speak to owner Russell Geen on the measures that have been put in place to reassure residents that safety is paramount upon their return.

Some of these measures include the installation of a counter screen, sanitising stations, social distancing markers and the introduction of a home delivery service if customers are unable to visit in-store.

When speaking about the visits, Cllr Link said: “After so many months of lockdown during this pandemic, I was very keen to visit local businesses to see how individual owners have dealt with COVID-19.

“In particular, I’m aware that the likes of Revelation and The Little Teapot are much loved in our community and it’s also been very reassuring for me to see the amount of hard work that has gone in to make sure local businesses like these can reopen safely. I’m sure residents will appreciate it too the next time they pay a visit to the town centre, to know that their health, as well as the health of others around them has been made a priority when they get back to their daily routines.

“I very much look forward to getting out and about again to visit other local businesses and communities within the borough in the weeks ahead, to see how they have been coping during these challenging times and to offer my support, in addition to the council’s support if they need it.”