All the people

What can I say? It has been almost a decade now that I've been in Tunbridge Wells. A decade that has seen friends come, some have left, but most have stayed. Groups spring up, and some thrive and develop, others run their course and change. What do I enjoy that keeps me here? It is a question I get asked all the time. Always by others living in London or elsewhere. I tell them to come down and see for yourself – they really do. I think the woods are too close, the fields on the doorsteps must scare them – seeing where their roast beef 'lived' before it found its sad way onto the supermarket shelf.

For me, I think it is the woods, the pubs, the fields, and slower pace of life, the community to be found – but above all, it is you, the people of this town in your all different guises - whether you be a millionaire hiding away near the Pantiles, a single parent on benefit living in Showfields, also near the Pantiles. No, it is the mix of you all walking around town, looking in shops and sitting in the parks and on the common. Letting the sun shine down upon you as you rest for a while. Or the dog walkers and their 'mutts' roaming about saying hello to one and all.

Oh, how I love all the different groups of people, all separate but all working together to create something better for themselves. For we are not 'disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' but 'eccentrics of Tunbridge Wells'. The green groups, the religious groups, the different music groups and bands that have found for themselves a home and a community.

The history may talk about Lord North and his hangover cure. But we know different, for we have been here thousands of years looking out at the High Rocks and sheltering under the trees in summer and winter. Eating the fruits of the land in this, our own little sheltered piece of earth.
Jason Ankers
Support Worker for adults with learning difficulties