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Article by Sarah Hamilton-Walker | 27th June 2018

Remarkable Characters of RTW

Forget the archetypal ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’, a new book and photographic exhibition is shining a light on the eclectic mix of incredible people living in the historical spa town today – and it is full of surprises!

The Remarkable Characters of Tunbridge Wells exhibition, currently on show at Woods Restaurant on The Pantiles, comprises 40 portraits and inspiring stories from local artists, musicians, volunteers, founders of community projects and entrepreneurs, ranging from six to 92 years old.

The project is a collaboration between natural-light photographer Mark Wilkinson and writer Anne Wagstaff, who both have a curiosity about people and what makes them tick. Together they have created a vivid and thought-provoking portrait of the town through images and words. Local residents who feature include:

Will Bayley – Paralympian gold medal winner in Rio.

Beau Lane-Winch (pictured top right) – a six-year-old who has won awards for looking after the local Commons.

Maxine Hallett – reformed heroin addict who left an abusive relationship, turned her family’s life around and now supports other struggling families across Kent.

Ringpull Man (pictured below) – a mysterious caped crusader on a mission to recycle for good causes.

Yvonne Vinall (pictured top left) – life model in her 80s.

Kate Griffiths – special effects make-up artist who works on horror films and provides training scenarios for the emergency services.

Errol Fuller – painter and writer, published a book on birds of paradise with Sir David Attenborough.

Louise Jameson (top middle) – actress best-known for her appearances in EastEnders, Dr Who, Bergerac and Tenko.

To discover more of the town’s remarkable characters you can buy the book, priced £18, online from www.remarkablecharacterstw.com and from local stockists across Tunbridge Wells, including Waterstones, Halls Independent Book Shop and Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery. Proceeds will be donated to Fegans, a local charity that provides children’s counselling and parent support services.

A social media campaign will run alongside the project, encouraging everyone to share remarkable stories using the hashtag #weareallremarkable

• The exhibition at Woods Restaurant is open daily until 9th September. Entry is free, but there will be an opportunity to make donations to Fegans and buy tickets for a ‘Remarkable Raffle’. Visit
www.remarkable characterstw.com

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