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The commitment to their community and sheer 'staying power' of Keith and June Chadband and their Cliftonville Residents Association simply cannot be denied.

The CRA was formed in Feb 1996 and by 2001 lots of Farmers Markets were springing up across Kent. The CRA decided to have a go and give something positive to Cliftonville.

I was secretary of the CRA at the time and it was an absolute pleasure to support Keith and June with their new project. Other markets were visited to find producers for a Cliftonville Farmers Market and a trial market was held in September 2001. There were only 6 stallholders to start with. However, it was very well received (see newspaper archive below).

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(Newspaper photo - left to right - June Chadband, Ann Smith, Keith Chadband & my wife Sandy).

It would have been so easy to give up after a few months what with the weather on the cliff top and also trying to get new producers interested, but Keith and June just love a challenge!

Cliftonville is one of the oldest farmers markets in Kent and is now in its '14th' year. Simply fantastic for a group of volunteers who give their time freely.

Produced in Kent's 'Taste of Kent Awards' started in 2005. Cliftonville won it in 2006, 2007, 2008 and again last year 2014 (they were runners up in the years in between).

Cliftonville FM also won a 'Pride in Thanet Award' for the market in 2008 and were 'Highly commended' in 2014. This meant a lot to the CRA as it was a local award.

Last year the CRA were nominated in the 'Top 3' of Kent Life Food & Drink Awards 2014.

The CRA are quite rightly proud of all these wins and know that their loyal customers voted for them.

June Chadband also runs theatre trips, holidays & day trips for local residents. Her goal is to give people a chance to see a West-End show (in the best seats) at a very affordable price. This has grown to a point where June has 2 full coaches of residents going to see Miss Saigon in March!

Keith also works very hard on the Oval band concerts and accessing associated funding. I know he had many people contact him after the end of last season to thank him for a great summer of concerts. Keith has already had lots of new bands asking if they can play at the bandstand.

A very proud moment for Keith and June, was attending one of the Queen's Garden Party's at Buckingham Palace last May. And how well they deserved it - for raising the profile of Cliftonville.

Clive Hart
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