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The Lee Newsletter
March 2015
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newlsettersToo many kites?
To the Editor

Driving home recently I saw a column of red kites riding a late afternoon thermal.
There must have been a dozen or more of them.

At first, perhaps like other readers, I welcomed their reintroduction. I found them amazing and their lonely shrieks wild and romantic. But now I wonder at the wisdom of releasing so many birds at the top of the food-chain.

We were told they are scavengers, and they are. They can also be predators when the amount of carrion is exhausted. I've heard of kites taking ducklings from the pond at Coleshill and of young cats and small dogs being attacked. A local farmer tells of a man needing eighteen stitches in his head after being clawed by a kite while refilling his bird-feeders. Yet an edition of Countryfile last autumn showed more and more young kites being bred and released at Stokenchurch.

Is it time to rethink this project, and might one of the Newsletter team investigate?

Tony Brignull
The Lee

Can you help?
To the Editor
I was doing an internet search on Abraham Watson and an edition of The Lee Newsletter came up with a request for information on him.

I see that a Ms Carol Addison responded to the request and I wonder if she or anyone else could help me.

I am particularly interested to know if he rented Lee Manor from the Plaistowe family and if he rented the property as far back as 1851. Did his brother James visit him when he was at The Lee?

Also what made him take a property at The Lee when he also lived in London?

An ancestor of mine, Ann Fletcher, née Brown, is on the 1881 census as living at Watsons Cottage, The Lee. As this was built by Abraham Watson and he died in 1881, I wonder if he left this property to Ann in his will.

Any light you can shine on these queries would be much appreciated.

Please email me at:

Many thanks.

Margaret Slator
Bude, Cornwall

To the Editor
Before moving abroad I used to live at The Old Plough in St Leonards and knew Zoe and Dick Dowsen who used to live near Swan Bottom. I can remember repairing a book for her.

I live in New Zealand now but have Zoe’s 1940 Norman motorcycle in our museum here near Kawakawa. Apparently it was given to her during the war because her work was so useful. Sadly, I never thought to ask what that was. I have used the motorbike for years but it must have been a godsend for her in those days.

I remember Zoe talking about New Zealand and think she had relations over here. If anyone has any information about this wonderful lady I would be most grateful.

I can be contacted by email at:

Roger Crowden
New Zealand

To the Editor

I wanted to inform you of some errors in the February Newsletter article ‘Halls of Delight’ regarding the Scout group.

  • Hayley Farrelly and Fiona Jones are no longer involved in the group.
  • Chris Nevill is correct as the Group Scout Leader – 864881
  • Thomas Brockett: the Scout leader – 837294
  • John Thomson: the Cub leader – 837464
  • Alvin Evans: Woodward, Beaver leader - 488613

Thank you for producing a great newsletter.

Thomas Brockett

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