The Spare Room
On a sunny afternoon in July, it was a pleasure to welcome the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells (Cllr Julia Soyke) to Rusthall Lodge. With the Lodge's Trustees present, the Mayor with General Manager Hilary Taylor (pictured) renamed and dedicated a newly refurbished lounge in honour of a past Chairman of the Trustees and ex-Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, the late John Spare O.B.E.
In the presence of John's wife Pam, the Mayor unveiled a plaque dedicated to John who was famously a great bon viveur, music lover and 'wearer of red socks' - something that fellow Trustee Ann Hughes remembers with great affection. Ann herself has been a stalwart of Rusthall Lodge, having been involved with them since the Home's inception in 1968.
As well as Chairman and the youngest elected Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, John Spare was the leader of the Council who was credited with the creation of the North Farm Industrial Estate and The Royal Victoria Place.
Mr Spare retired as leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council after a 12 year stint from 1980 to 1992 after first being elected as a councillor in 1953.
He served a year as Mayor during 1963 and 1964 and received an OBE for his community work by Prince Charles at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 1994.
Calling a room The Spare Room as you can imagine is now a conversation starter but it's a small gesture in recognition of the considerable time and effort that John dedicated to the Lodge. Even today, our current Trustees, all of whom receive no remuneration for their time, devote considerable energies, ensuring a first class level of support is given to the Senior Management Team in the day-to-day running of Rusthall Lodge.
Written on 29th August 2017