Colin Kinloch, who had a vision to smarten up Tenterden and was one of the main leaders in the formation of Tenterden Improved back in 2004, was posthumously honoured with the Freedom of the Town and Hundred of Tenterden. Colin is only one of five recipients of the honour in this quarter century. The Town Council has restricted the honour to a maximum of five people in each quarter of a century and awarded only 10 in over 60 years.
Cllr. Mrs. Sue Ferguson presented a testimonial to Colin, which she read out at the official ceremony on Thursday, 21st April in the Town Hall. A full copy of Cllr. Mrs. Ferguson’s speech can be found on the Town Council’s website, however, the following is an excerpt.
“Colin had a vision: to smarten up Tenterden. He infected other people with his enthusiasm, he persuaded people to agree with him, and he sourced grants in order to follow his vision.
Colin was instrumental in obtaining a grant that he wanted for Tenterden via the Kent Rural Towns programme back in 1999; a grant for smaller rural towns in Kent and Medway. Tenterden Town and Rural Partnership (which later became Tenterden Improved) came into being.
In Spring 2004, a Steering Group was formed and multiple groups in the town worked together under Colin’s leadership. Tenterden Improved, the Weald of Kent Preservation Society, the Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Borough Council, Tenterden Town Council, Wittersham Parish Council, Tenterden and District Residents Association, the Leisure Centre Trust and some local businesses.
If you walk down the High Street today you can see Colin’s touches and his lasting legacy: the York Stone on the pavements and widening of the pavement outside the Town Hall; the town map notice boards (donated by the Weald of Kent Preservation Society); the heritage finger posts; and the heritage railings. Colin wanted to tidy up Tenterden and improve the heritage look.
In conclusion, Tenterden was definitely “Improved” under Colin’s watch; without him, Tenterden would not look how it does today.”
The Town Mayor, Cllr. Dr. Lisa Lovelidge said: “Although the Freedom is purely honorary, it is a measure of the high esteem in which Colin is held by the council and community. It was truly sad that Colin could not be with us to receive the honour, however, his wife Mary accepted the scroll on his behalf.”
Photo of The Town Mayor, Cllr. Dr. Lisa Lovelidge & Mrs. Mary Kinloch: