Page 1


Stephen Oliver egg-cites local schools with Roald Dahl Pages 18-19

April 2016 - Issue 118

WHAT’S INSIDE... Wisdom Estates Page 36

Swimming Club Page 46

DL Live Page 28

Plus - All your regular

features, events, information and much, more in your expanded 52 page issue. - -


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ACCOUNTANCY & TAX SERVICE Conradi Morrison & Co specialises in small clients and provides a top class personal service for a fixed low fee. Phone for a free meeting to discuss your needs. PAYLINE Let us undertake your payroll and take the strain from you for as little as £18 per month + VAT.

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Dear Readers,

As usual this month’s edition is jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can “use them or lose them!” Don’t forget that we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. Dartford Living is YOUR magazine, the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Feel free to get in touch if you would like to write an article for the magazine. If writing is not for you then perhaps you could volunteer to deliver 100 or so magazines to your local roads - you will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! We deliver to thousands of homes and businesses in the local area, however if you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points. These include Dartford Football Club, numerous local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Priory Shopping Centre, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, numerous health centres and local Barclays branches. The ‘Previous Editions’ section of the Dartford Living website also includes electronic versions of Dartford Living magazine. Additionally, if you email we will add you to our newsletter email mailing list and contact you just once a month with an electronic copy of Dartford Living! Over 4,500 local people already do this!

Until next time, Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living

6-13....................... .................... What’s on 14...................................... Useful numbers 18 - 19...............Stephen Oliver Roald Eggs 22.....................................Dimples Nursery 23.............................Dartford Living Meets 28.................................Dartford Living Live 29......................................Sandher for PCC 32...............................Life Under The Stairs 35.............................................Pets Corner 36...................................... Wisdom Estates 40.......................................Ellenor Hospice 41..Chainmail Dave Running the Marathon 42..............................................Auto News 43...............................................Gardening 44.....................................................Fitness 45...............................Small Business News 46.........................Dartford Swimming Club 47...........................................Run Dartford 48..............................Orchard Competition 49...................March/April Theatre Update



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(and Annie, Barbara, Bhavesh, Christine, David, Dawn, Derek, Debbie, Dhiren, Elaine, Eleanor, Emma, Holly, Jackie, Jane, Jenny, Joanne, John, Ken, Kelly, Mark, Nickki, Nicola, Pat, Richey, Steph, Steven, Teresa and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team)

David Shafford Magazine/ Website design and Sales

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Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

AUCTION HOUSE Watermans.................................................34 ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Conradi Morrison & Co .....................................................2 Buss Murton ..................................................................... 37 GF+Co......................................................20 Lynton & Co ........................................................................5 Smith Kiew Partners...........................................................35 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, KITCHENS & WINDOWS 4k Building Services.........................................................51 A Baines & Son Roofing.....................................................30 Claremont Decorative Services.. .................................50 John Hargreaves Building...................................................38 Michael Jones ...................................................................30 Steve Cook - Double Glazing............................................31 CHILDCARE Dimples.. ...........................................................27 CLOTHING Tots and Frocks..................................................................33 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes.. ............................................................17 Slimming World .................................................................52 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. .........................................................31 The Leigh UTC ..................................................................24 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians...............................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS Brookbanks...........................................................15 GPS Lettings.....................................................................17 Help to Buy........................................................................25 Virotti.............................................................24 Wisdom Estates..............................................................21 FLORIST St Albans Flowers...........................................................15 FACEPAINTING Splash.........................................................13 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Shenley Road Garage..........................................................38 GARDENING SERVICES Hawley Garden Centre .......................................................34 The Plant Centre................................................................33 HOTELS Campanile...................................................................4 HEATING AND PLUMBING Homeserve................................................................28 JA Projects........................................................................39 HEALTHCARE Robert Evans Foot Care ......................................................39

JEWELLERY Bradleys............................................................................30 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...........................................................51 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Dartford Bootcamps............................................................4 Monkey Music.. ..........................................................7 Vibe..................................................................................21 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.............................................................37 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.. ...........................................................38 SANDWICH BAR Sally Sues..........................................................................23 SECURITY SYSTEMS Excel Security...................................................................20 SPORTS Dartford FC........................................................................47 Fairfield Leisure Centre.......................................................16 STOVES AND FIREPLACES The Stove and Fireplace ....................................................50 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .........................................................50

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Where to go locally...

...local events, clubs & groups

Parent & Toddler Groups (Term Time) Mondays 9:15am - 11:00am. St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. Contact Julie on 01322 291092. St Mary’s Greenhithe Church Hall, Messy Makers:10.15am-11.15am - an hour of messy play and creative activities for 2-5 year olds. at or call London Road, Greenhithe. £4.50 per child. For further information and to book, please emailus 07851 150593. Tuesdays Catherine on 01322 220036. Session 1: 9.15-10.45am, and Session 2: 11-12.30pm. Christchurch, Crossroad, Dartford. Contact and drinks. John 01322 272649. Little Fishes: 12 - 2pm, Net Church,, (Formerly Gala Bingo Hall) Dartford, £3 per family including all snacks information. further for 288434 (01322) on us call Please Dartford. Street, Hythe 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 school children up to 4 years pre For children the for time snack healthy and ,biscuits tea Sticky Fingers, 9.30-11.30 am £1.50 per adult includes www.stmaryg see or 382031 01322 St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall London Road Greenhithe Contact Wednesdays for further information. 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 term, £5 weekly dependent on 6-weekly 1pm-2pm - Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale Road, Dartford, DA2 6JZ t - £30 for Kent “Happi-Mess Facebook on us find or kent@hotma availability, paid in advance - happi-messThursdays The Vineyard Centre, 24 Market St, Dartford. Contact Jane on 07956 430244 for further details. 9:30 - 11:30am. St Paulinus Church Hall, Manor Road, Crayford. - 9.30-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - 1-2.30pm Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers Fridays 9.30-11am Baby and me for expectant mothers and mothers / carers of chidren up to 2. £1 per adult St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 or see www.stmaryg - Walkers Non £1 Child per £3 Dartford centre, education Adult Group Toddler Toerags 9.30-11am 380322 01322 9.30-11.30 Carer & Toddler Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Stone Place Rd, Greenhithe. Jeanne 1-3pm Gigglekidz, Tree Estate Community Centre on Cedar Road - £2 Per Child Saturdays

healthy snack time for the children. Daddy and Me 9.30.-11.30am A group for dads and male carers of children up to 5years. £1.50 includes www.stmaryg see or 382031 01322 Contact Greenhithe. Road London St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall,

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions

MONDAY S 10:30am - 11:00am & Friday 2:15pm - 2:45pm at Dartford Library - Baby Bounce & Rhyme Time TUESDAY S 2 sessions, from 9.30-10.30am and 10:45 - 11:45am in Fleetdown FC Hall; Heath Lane, Dartford. Contact Kate on 07770 860450.. ALSO RUN SAME PLACE/TI ME ON THURSDAYS TUESDAY S 10.30m - 11.00am (term time only) at Fleetdown Library - Baby Bounce and Rhyme session. Tel: 08458 247 247. THURSDAYS (term time only) we will be holding 2 sessions - 10.15am & 11am Crayford Rd, Crayford, DA1 4ER. Tel: 020 8303 7777. Also: Coffee and Chat sessions at Temple Hill Library on the First Tues of the month 10am - 12noon. THURSDAYS 10.30am - 11.00am (term time only) at Fleetdown Library - Baby Bounce and Rhyme session. Tel: 08458 247 247. THURSDAYS 2.15 - 2.45pm (term time only) at Greenhithe Library - Baby Bounce and Rhyme session. Tel: 08458 247 247. THURSDAYS 10.45am - 11.15am (term time only) at Longfield Library - Baby Bounce and Rhyme session. Tel: 08458 247 247.


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Classes for under-fives teaching the basic elements of music through whole body movement, using the Dalcroze and Kodaly methods. With action songs and games, using percussion instruments and props like hoops, balls and soft toys, the children develop musical, physical and social awareness, concentration, co-ordination and confidence - and have lots of fun! Becket Sports Centre, Thursdays during term time: babies and toddlers: 9.15 till 9.55; 3 and 4 year-olds: 10.00 till 10.40 Contact Myrtle : 07763 378451 Email : Slade Green and Howbury Community Library Baby and Toddler Action Rhyme time group Every Wednesday (Term Time only) at 11.15am LEGO Club Every Saturday 2-3pm for ages 5 and over

Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

a b c +=

Little Bright Sparks Fun phonics, literacy and numeracy classes for 2-4 year olds. Classes held on Weds in East Malling and Thurs in West Kingsdown ÂŁ5.50 per class 07768 447657 for more info

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Where to go locally... The North West Kent Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association meets at 8pm on the

4th Wednesday evening of each month in the Pop-In Parlour, Mill Road, Northumberland Heath, Erith. The meetings last about 2 hours and the group often have a speaker on a variety of subjects, followed by tea and biscuits and general chat. For more information contact Eileen on 01322 228169.

Dartford Ostomy Group Support (DOGS) meet

every third Wednesday in the month at St Anselm’s Parish Centre, West Hill, Dartford DA1 2HJ from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm. It is for anyone who has an Ileostomy, Colostomy, Urostomy, IBS and pouch, their carers, family and friends.


is a community learning organisation for adults and young people aged 16+ with physical, learning and mental health difficulties. For more information, attend a taster session or visit our community lunch club, contact Caroline on 01322 440482 or 07570 347612 YOGA & MEDITATION CLASSES Every Tuesday from 6-7pm &Thursday from 10.30am to 12.00pm at Peppercorns, 3 Orchard Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2DF. For more information please call The Hope Group on 07580 615206.


Our Club presents a programme of workshops and demonstrations in a very informal and friendly atmosphere. We meet on the last Thursday of each month except December. Shorne Village Hall, The Street, Shorne. DA12 3EA. Visitors are always made very welcome, entry £3. We have 30 members and look forward to welcoming anyone who loves flowers. The Club provides an opportunity for people to be creative, make friends. For further information please phone 01474 353405 or email


Swanley History Group Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history. Venue Swanley Indoor Bowls Centre Garrolds Close Swanley BR8 7BF. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@ for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup.weebly. com or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter. NORTH KENT EMBROIDERERS’ GROUP Meets on the third Saturday of every month (except August) from 2pm - 4pm in the Community Room of Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1BE. The programme of activities is varied with workshops, talks and sit and stitch sessions. Visitors are very welcome. More information can be found on our website or phone 01474324734.

Age UK, Crayford library Pop in Parlour coffee morning every Friday morning 10.30 - 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1


For people with Parkinsons and their carers. We have 2 meetings per month. Bexley: 4th Thursday of each month, at Pincott Hall, 2-4pm. Dartford: 2nd Thursday of each month, Mick Jagger Centre, 7.30-9.30pm. Information support workers available, guest speakers and quizzes. Contact Pamela Childs 0208 303 8971


at Dance Union, Greenhithe. Wednesdays 1pm - 2pm. Fun, social class learning routines from differing genres to popular music providing exercise for body and brain. No dance experience or partners necessary. Contact 01322 387630.

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Would you like to promote a local activity on the “Where to go locally...” page? If so, email your suggestions to Dartford & District Stamp Club Hold regular meetings in The Meeting Place, The Orchard Shopping Centre, Dartford. Details from Steve Alpe 01322 284491 or email

Dartford Books and Culture Club meets once a month on Saturday mornings at Dartford Library. For more information, please call 07860 963333 or find us at West-Kent-Book-Club/


meets on the first Tuesday of every month (except August) at St Anselm’s Church Hall, West Hill, Dartford at 2pm. For information about meetings and interest groups call 01474-709068 or visit our website.

Dartford Floral Club The club meet on the 3rd Friday of the month at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Rd.(opp Papermakers Arms) at 7.30 Come along for an evening of beautiful flowers, fun and friendship. Entrance £6.00, refreshments and a raffle with the chance to take home a beautiful floral arrangement. Contact Chris 01322 836026

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

month at the Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherds Lane, Dartford. We run a varied programme of activities suitable for the beginner through to the more experienced quilter. More details can be obtained from the club secretary on 01474 834872

The Dartford Chess Club

The club meets every Thursday evening from 7.30pm at St Anselms Parish Hall, West Hill and was founded 100 years ago in 1914. All queries to Mike Wiltshire at 01322 272152 or visit

GUITARS IN THE SHADOWS – JOIN IN MUSIC BY THE SHADOWS TO 60S TO ROCK N ROLL Meet at Dartford Working Mens Club (Essex Road) at 7.30pm on the fourth Thursday of the month. Membership is free but we do ask for a small contribution to costs on the night. Call Ray on 07813 540131 or email


meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month at Sutton at Hone Village Hall. 1.30pm until 4.30pm. £2.00 per afternoon. £10.00 yearly fee. We are a small, friendly club, not expensive. Tuition given. All supplies can be bought in situe. Come and see if you like it, free tea And biccies. You will be very welcome. Contact - Maureen Beckham 01322 287214. Marie Blake 01474 704581. Doreen Goddard 01474 707357.


RSPCA Come andKENT, join your local Morris side, dancing NORTH and performing Gravesend and WEST BRANCinHDartford, Bexley areas and throughout FREE MICRO CHIPP ING Kent in the Summer. We are a mixed and very sociable RSPCA North West side, andKent, can always find room foroffers newfree dancers Branch, and chipping musicians. great way of keeping micro s forIt’s alladomestic animalsaatgreat its fit and you’ll be helping to conserve clinic attradition. 37 Gordon Road, Dartford English We practice alternate , Kent,Tuesday evenings at Bexley, from September to April, DA1 2LX on the 1st Saturday in each month, then dancing out at pubs, clubs and fetes, 10am to 12.30pm is free but Private throughout Kent,. The fromservice May to August. Bookings Contact Alison on 01322 donation s aretaken. appreciat ed. For more informat ion 862298, e-mail please visit

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Where to go locally... TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES

The group meet every week at Towncentric in Gravesend and this year we are looking at Everyday Life in Medieval London. We meet every Thursday from 10.30-12.30 at £6.00 per week customers can phone me on 01474 355676 for more information or look at my website

Hi all, if you went to DSTC, DTC, Dartford West Girls or any other name that the school has been known as we would love to hear from you! The school is looking to make links with former students to help raise the profile of the school but also as a way of getting back in touch with people. There will be an event later on in the academic year and we are planning some exciting things for the group so get joining and let’s get reminiscing!!

The Players Crayford We meet every Tuesday at 8.00 in the Community hall (opp St Paulinus church) Crayford. We are looking for anyone who could help us with sound, lights, scenery or singing/ acting on the stage - everyone welcome. Email me (Carolyn) for more details at

Everybody welcome, join us for a friendly chat and light refreshments. SCRAPPY DAYS! A SCRAPBOOKING GROUP

is being held at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Road, Dartford, DA2 7RB on the 2nd Sunday of the month between 2pm and 6:30pm. It costs £6 which includes refreshments, nibbles and the use of a cricut (cutting machine for those that don’t know). Beginners are very welcome. Contact Michelle on 07910 488428 or email


Is an amateur dramatics group based at the Joydens Wood Community Centre, Wilmington, Kent. We meet every Tuesday from 8-10pm. For more information please visit www.facebook. com/pavilionplayers or call us on 07505 006539. Alternatively just pop down on a Tuesday night! Everyone welcome!

CRAYFORD TOWN ARCHIVE incorporating Barnehurst and Slade Green. Meet every Monday (except the third Monday) of the month at Crayford Library hall - 2pm-4pm. Call in for a chat about old Crayford and to view the large collection of local images, or bring your own for us to copy. Haven (LGBT) Social Group. London / Kent area. Every Friday a safe Place to Meet. For more information please contact 01322 287356 or 07503 306467 or email -



TUESDAY 2.00 - 3.00PM (TERM TIME ONLY) Fleetdown Library

Dartford Bellringers Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Wednesdays 8.009.30p.m. Free tuition with a very friendly, sociable group. The ideal way to make new friends. Phone Ester 01322 220458 or email: esther.correia1@btinternet. com

North West Kent Family History Society

The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am-12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see or ring Janet 01322384836

Dartford Art Group

We meet every Thursday evening from 7.309.30pm. We meet at the What if...? Gallery 67-69 High Street Dartford DA1 1DJ. The cost to belong is £40 per annum. For further enquiries please email or ring 07940 836672

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Mummy On The Mend

A support group for parents affected by pre and post natal depression Fridays 12:30 til 14:00 at St Marys Church Greenhithe Email for more details. The Rotary Club of the North Downs

They meet at the Holiday Inn, Black Prince, Thursday evenings 7:30pm for 7:45pm for Dinner and fellowship. For details phone 07759 863836.

The National Women’s Register

The National Women’s Register (NWR) is a national organisation that meets in the Dartford area. The NWR is a discussion group for ‘lively minded women’. Contact can be made via or call 08454 500 287 and ask about the Dartford group.


The Rendezvous Club (50+) Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm

Location: The Pop in Parlour, Graham Road, Bexleyheath DA6 7EG Description: We are a friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. As a social group we enjoy a number of activities including bingo, a Beatle drive, quizzes, to name but a few. We also take part in outside activities including going for a meal or a trip to the theatre. On occasions we welcome a guest speaker. Admission: £2.50 per week. Annual membership £6 (payable in January ) Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414


A group of retired ladies meet locally for lunch on the 4th Wednesday of each month,. They raise funds for charity and usually invite a speaker. Join them and enjoy meeting and making new friends. If you would like more information please contact Iris (Secretary) on 01474 703448

Dartford & Gravesham Branch Meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Masonic Hall, West Hill, Dartford from 10-12pm.Activities include guest speakers, outings, lunches, holidays and quizzes. For more information contact Marion on 01322 402967

MALE? AGED 18 - 44?

WANT TO HAVE FUN AND DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE WITH YOUR SPARE TIME? We’ve arrived in Dartford and we are a NEW Round Table Get involved, you WILL enjoy it!

Fairfield (Dartford) WI 2nd Tuesday of every month, Dartford Girls’ Grammar School, 7.30pm. Contact Judith on 01322 278703 or Evelyn on 07891 061609. Crayford Women’s Institute 1st Thursday of every month at 1.45pm. Baker Trust Hall. Maxim Road, Crayford (near Sainsburys). Contact Secretary, Jean Monk 01322 557142

Over 55’s Club - We meet every Wednesday 2pm to 4.30pm at Tree Community Centre, Cedar Road. We play bingo, tea and biscuits, and socialise. We also run regular coach trips to the coast throughout the year. Our club is open to anyone over 55 wherever you live and costs just 60p to come along and join in. So why not come and join our friendly welcoming social club? For further information please call either John Letchford on 01322 270732 or Pam Carr on 01322 222195. Joydens Wood Women’s Institute meet on the third Tuesday of every month, with meetings beginning at 7.45pm. We meet at the Community Centre, Birchwood Drive, Wilmington, DA2 7NE. More information can be found at joydenswoodresidents. (under Local Clubs and Societies).

Crayford and District Probus Club

meet on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at the Falcon Wood Club, 1 Falcon Wood Avenue, Welling at 10am. Contact Tony Maun 0208 306 1075 or email

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Dartford Living


Where to go locally... WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING

Wheelchair epee fencing in Dartford and Gravesham, we are delighted to announce that New Ash Green Epee club, can now introduce wheelchair fencing. If interested in taking up this para sport please contact us on 01474 871484 or alternatively look at our website

Erith Youth Rugby

Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Erith. Ages 4-16 welcome 07903 590515

Kent Exiles American Football Club Coach Martin - 07944 730634. All ages from 7 years to adult welcome

Hartley Swimclub at White Oak Pool, Swanley

We are a friendly group of adults who meet for a social swim every Thursday at 9pm. We’re looking for new members. Why not give us a try? Contact Diane on 01689 871846 or join us one Thursday.


Come and join one of North Kent’s fastest and most successful Martial Arts clubs. For more information, call Saj on 07903 513104 or just come along to one of our sessions and join in the fun! With the most reasonable fees around, you’ll find that training can be affordable too! For all details please visit our website

LITTLE TIGERS - KARATE FOR 3, 4 & 5 YEAR OLDS Sundays 10:15-10:45 at Swanscombe Leisure Centre. Call Saj on 07903 513104

Dartford Gymnastics

is the only British Gymnastics Club in Dartford to hold the”GymMark” Award for 6 years. Based in Heath Lane, we are a friendly club with super equipment, great coaches and high standards. We do lots of competitions and we do not close through the holidays! Visit our website http://www. for full details or contact Linda on 01322 409312 or email

Learn Karate

Learn karate with Yamato Damashii Every Saturday morning at Becket Sport Centre. Kids start at 9am, adults at 11am. Just turn up, first lesson free or visit [1] for more info.


Wednesdays & Fridays 9:30am-10:30am At Europa Gymnastics Centre Fridays 7.00pm – 8.00pm at Becket Sports Centre For more information please contact Emma: TEL: 07932 621415


Dartford & Crayford Sea Cadets based at Brooklands Lake Dartford, next to Homebase on Princes Road. We parade every Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7pm- 9.15pm and is open to new recruits, junior cadets aged 10-12 and Sea Cadets aged 12-18. email for more details.

Dartford Orienteering Club

For more details see

Based in Greenhithe, FREE FIT is a community fitness club designed for people of all ages looking to gain basic levels of fitness, drop a few pounds and enjoy meeting and training with like minded people. So if Gyms are not your thing and you are looking to take your first steps in fitness and weight loss, come and train with free fit. for more info

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Useful Numbers Where to go locally...

Want to get fit in 2016 whilst enjoying fresh air and home grown veg? Allotments for rent in Gore Road, East Dartford are available now. Contact Brian 01322 384484 or

For Pregnancy and Birth

Prenatal yoga Baby massage Mum and baby yoga Breathe, bond relax 07530 281704


07891 545965

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Dartford Living


Useful Numbers KEY NUMBERS Police 01622 690690 NON EMERGENCY ONLY Fire Safety Advice & FREE Home Fire Safety Check 0800 169 1125 Dartford Borough Council 01322 343434 Gas Leaks (24 hour) 0800 111 999 EDF Energy Networks Emergencies/Powercuts Helpline 0800 0280247 Flooding 03459881180 Highways Kent 03000 41 41 41 Social Services 03000 41 41 41 Water Burst 0800 820 999 (Southern) 0800 714614 (Thames) HEALTH Darenth Valley Hospital 01322 428100 Dartfordf East Health Centre 01322 421480 Dartford West Health Centre 01322 222998 Boots Chemist Bluewater 01322 624780 (Late Night) ASDA Greenhithe Chemist 01322 374100 (Late Night) The National Pandemic Flu Service 0800 1513 100 West Kent NHS helpline 0800 0 850850 TRAVEL Heathrow Airport Enquires 08700 000123 Gatwick Airport Enquires 08700 002468 National Rail Enquires 08456 484950 Highways England Info Line 0300 123 5000


Call 999 in an Emergency Fire, Police, Ambulance and Coastguard 101 Non Emergency Number for Kent Police Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 111 NHS Non Emergency Number HELPLINES 24 Hour Kent Dementia Helpline: 0800 500 3014 Alcoholics Anonymous: 08457 697 555 Citizens Advice Bureau: 01322 224686 Debt Councilling (CAP) 0800 328 0006 Information About Drugs - FRANK: 0800 776600 Kent Homophobic Incident Reporting Line: 0800 328 9162 Kent Racial Incident Reporting Line: 0800 138 1624 Local Breastfeeding Counsellors Judianne/Paula 01322 224072 National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hour) 0808 2000 247 NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 RSPCA Kent, North West Branch Helpline 01322 286720 Samaritans: 08457 909090 LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047 LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or bexleyrfc/ Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250

Dartford Ju Jitsu Club Mondays, Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds Lane. 6.30-8.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www. Dartford Sharks Basketball Club Tim Dickson - 07855 692527. Dartford Volleyball Club Graham - 01322 275290 or 07984 106134. Stone Lodge Indoor Bowling Club 01322 274111. VCD Table Tennis Club Eric Jenkins - 0208 3038312. ‘Play & pay’, 9 hole, par 3 golf course on Dartford Football Club’s Princes Park- PRINCES PARK GOLF CLUB. Contact: Mr. Pat Coleman, Secretary 01322 863730. email: The Ashes Badminton Club Mondays, Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane. 7.30-9.30. Jacqui 07764 182854. Dartford Valley RFC darenthvalleyrfc/ USEFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS Search facebook for: Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Hour Love Dartford

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Celebrating 33 Successful Years

Dartford Branch 01322 277056 Swanley Branch 01322 666452

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11 15 15

Eat, sleep and gym. Gym membership


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Managed by Places for People Leisure Ltd for Dartford Borough Council. A one-off admin fee applies to all memberships. Terms and conditions apply.


Winners of “Lettings Agency of the Year”

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The difference is in the detail

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es ti er ! op ed pr ir e u or req

M Wisdom Estates 76 Spital Street, Dartford, Kent DA1 2DT t: 01322 272 144 | e:

Wisdom Estates-100mm x 140mm News Shopper-Feb16.indd 1

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25/02/2016 15:23

Dartford Living


Featured Local Business

Super New Hall at Dimples Day Nursery

We are all extremely excited for the opening of our new barn in April as it is a beautiful and spacious building. Three of our existing childcare rooms are relocating to the new barn and we are then creating two more rooms in our original building, plus increasing our office space and having a new roomy front lobby. The new barn has a huge basement hall that will be a fantastic asset to the Nursery. We have lots of wonderful things planned for this amazing space and the children and staff are all eager to use it. The nursery children can take their yoga lessons in the new hall or in the Mongolian yurts, depending on how many choose to take part; they can take their bend and stretch movement classes in here as well as other physical activities.

These will include an adult and child Boxercise class, adult Boxercise, adult circuits and a mum and baby exercise class. If you would like to find out more about these classes please contact Charlotte on Check out our website for more details on the nursery , email us on or pop in between 9.3011.30 and 2.30-4.00 without an appointment.

Dimples follow a Forest School ethos and outdoor play is embedded in our daily routine. However, the English weather makes outdoor play a little more difficult when it’s extremely wet and cold, so the additional space in the basement will mean that the children still get to run around and physically exert themselves even though they won’t be experiencing the beauties of the outdoor environment. Physical activity in daily life routines at home and school has generally diminished over the years due to the advances in technology and lack of time. This reduction in activity and the readiness of pre made food, take away/restaurant food and lack of time for proper eating means that society is (on the whole) getting larger. The need to educate our children and families that healthy living is the way forward has never been more important and Dimples advocate this in numerous ways. One of the functions of the hall will be to offer more group classes hosted by ‘Energy Fitness and Nutrition’. Energy currently run adult boot camp sessions here every Wednesday and Saturday in the fields behind Dimples and junior sessions start again in April. These classes are well attended and are for all abilities. The Dimples holiday club children also have a boot camp session during their holiday club sessions with us and they love it. Energy are starting new indoor classes in April in the new hall.


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DARTFORD LIVING MEETS....... BY KELLY GOLDSWORTHY movement offers so much.’ Sue’s husband is a scout leader too. Sue said ‘Getting leaders is hard going. We need volunteers to keep going. People who do volunteer will find they get so much out of it. There are exciting times ahead. We are going to move to a building that is being built in Cotton Lane as soon as it’s completed we can expand even more. We’ve got an Explorers unit opening in September so we need more leaders for this great scout group as we grow even more. Anyone involved gets good support from training and the The brent 6th Dartford Scout group support all the adults who volunteer in the group. If you are interested in being a Scouting Leader or to donate to the Gambia Appeal call Sue on 07845170821. Kelly met with Sue Ingram. Sue is the Group Scout Leader for Brent 6th Dartford Scout Group. She also runs Winnipeg Beavers. Having lived in Dartford since 1989 Sue explained that she likes the area: ‘ I like the community and the people. Stone Parish Council do a lot too. Having previously worked as a hairdresser, a traffic warden and in schools, Sue now fundraises through Beavers for Caledonian Nursery in The Gambia. Her efforts have, so far, enabled a classroom to be built, a teacher’s training funded and lots of other items bought or donated to help the school. Sue explained that this fundraising is very rewarding. Sue explained how she got involved in Scouting: ‘24 years ago, my children were involved and I came in as a helper then eventually became leader. My children have grown up now but I’ve stayed because I love seeing what the children get out of it. It’s a good movement to be in. The kids get the adventure, excitement and they learn new skills in a safe environment away from home. You watch them grow more confident and competent. The Scouting in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Interested inInterested advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Dartford Living

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Are you currently in Year 9 or 11? Come and visit us to find out everything The Leigh UTC has to offer you...

23 April 9am-1pm The Leigh UTC, Brunel Way Discover everything The Leigh UTC has to offer and start an incredible journey in computer sciences and engineering.


4-7 April come along to find out more!

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The Leigh UTC Brunel Way, The Bridge, Dartford, Kent DA1 5TF (for sat nav purposes use DA1 5FW)

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“27th April 2016 7pm - 9pm Fairfield Leisure Centre Dartford” Dartford Living Live is a FREE networking event for local businesses and charities. After the success of our previous networking events, we hope to build on this to make the latest event even better. It will follow a similar format to the other events, with most of the time available for everyone to network and sample the delicious food provided by A Question of Thyme. We also plan to allow, on the night, a number of business/ charities the opportunity to speak about their organisation in front of the networking group. These slots will be allocated on a first come first served basis and have only been opened up to people who attended the previous meeting. If there are still spaces available, then they will be offered out to new businesses/ charities. As part of the event we will be creating goodie bags and we are inviting businesses and charities to place their flyers, sample products or even just a business card in so that we can all start to build up a network of local businesses that we can start to use. We are not charging anything at all for businesses to include their items in our goodie bag however if businesses can afford it we are asking for a £10 voluntary contribution (not compulsory) to allow us to purchase bags and to create the packs.

We are hoping for another great turn out (100+). We have received a lot of great feedback from businesses/ charities that attended previous events. For more information and to reserve your FREE ticket head over to

The Dartford Business directory is now live. To register your business go to Listings are £20 for a year (introductory price)

New Barn Opening April 2016 Vacancies for:

Nursery Nurse level 2 or 3 Lunchtime assistant End of Day assistant Level 2 & 3 Apprenticeships Full details on our website Due to our new building opening we are recruiting enthusiastic, knowledgeable practitioners to join our fantastic team. Candidates must have excellent knowledge of the EYFS, child development and be personable, caring and motivated. Successful applicants will love outdoor play and have a real passion for working with children aged 3 months to 5 years. Competitive salary and excellent working conditions. Full and part time positions available. Email CV and covering letter to or call 01322 285885 Dimples Day Nursery, Green Street Green Road, Darenth, Kent, DA2 7HT

New Fitness Classes in the New Barn Boxercise-Adult and Child Adult Circuits Mums and Babies for more information contact Charlotte or 07798 823498

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Local News

Life Under The Stairs by Jane Stevenson

SHOP AROUND Being the cynical old woman I am it’s unusual for me to admit to enjoying a trip to town. My views on the Tesco debacle and its ongoing effect on my birth place are well known to friends and family.

market than I can in the local clothes shops, and being a large lady, my choice is even more limited. My only regret is we have no decent book shop where I can lose myself for a while. Any chance of a Waterstones... with a Costa attached?

I was surprised then to pop into Dartford last Saturday for a couple of forgotten items and actually enjoy my visit. It was a rare occurrence indeed, given my predilection for moaning about the town centre.

JUST MOTHER’S DAY? We’ve just celebrated Mothers Day. I was lucky that the offspring remembered as I constantly inform them it doesn’t matter as I’m special all year round. It sometimes falls on deaf ears; or I am informed that being ‘special’ is a burden they have to bear. They are joking of course – I think!

I have long been a critic of the lack of variety in our local shops. We have no real ‘big names’ in the High Street, and the few we do stock rather limited ranges, preferring to refer you to their Bluewater branch. However, wandering through the market I was struck by the atmosphere of the place. It was busy, but friendly, with a variety of stalls. The range of goods available runs from clothes and shoes to make-up, home wares and food. Gravelly voiced stallholders urge us to by their ‘pound-a-bowls’ stacked high with fruit and veg. The young lady who runs the bread stall has some excellent breads and cakes as well as mouth-watering sausage rolls and samosas. On other stalls there are ranges of clothing, jewellery, handbags and cosmetics to suit everyone. Dartford is unlikely to regain the variety of its heyday as a bustling market town. The good old days of shopping in Macfisheries, Timothy Whites, Potts or Pricerite have long disappeared. The way we shop, our culture and our incomes have changed forever. However, there is a sea change in our habits. Many of us use the online option to do our weekly food shop, our jobs and other commitments leaving little time to stock up on the trolley run. The upsurge of stores such as Lidl and Aldi has given us a much needed choice: they may not be the complete answer, but they are big and important part of the puzzle. I still like to see what I’m buying in the flesh as it were. The smell of the fruit and vegetables, the colour and condition are important to me. For that reason I do little online food shopping. You can’t judge the quality of items from a picture. I appreciate I am one of the lucky few who have the time to saunter around the market, poking, smelling and eyeing up potential purchases. It’s the same with clothing. I can find more choice in the


The day goes back in to history. There are several explanations to Mothering Sunday. In the 16th C it was for a journey to your ‘mother church’ where you were baptised. Later on it was a day when people in service had time off to visit their mothers. Mother’s Day, is an Americanism somewhat different from the religious overtones of the original festival. Over time the two have become intertwined to the point where their origins are almost lost. The offspring duly produced cards and gifts which I thoroughly enjoyed. However with both of them on tight budgets, I was pleased they didn’t fall into the trap of paying for horribly overpriced flowers and chocolates and other gewgaws repackaged for Mother’s Day. It got me thinking too. The card manufacturers must make a fortune out of these days. In the past I’ve seen cards for Grandparents Day, Nurses Day, Teacher Thanks cards to name a few. No Brother or Sister Day though. Looks like a missed opportunity for the card market. Perhaps we could look at it another way. What about a simple thank you note to nurses and teachers at the end of term or when discharged? Aren’t grandparents special all year round? Surely if we just paid each other the compliment of communication we wouldn’t need these days. Talk to each other, share experiences, the good and the bad. It shouldn’t just be Mother’s Day. Mums are the greatest invention ever and should be treated as so. If we do need another special day, why not instigate a Thank You Day, so we could let nearest and dearest, friends and family know how special they are? We’d only have to remember the one date, and probably save a few bob on those flowers too.

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Dartford Living



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Every month Judy Walker (CEO of easipetcare) will be sharing her hints and tips for caring for your pet

Pet Corner

Easter and half term have just visited which can mean only one thing… CHOCOLATE!! Did you know, a UK child will receive an average of 8 Easter eggs every year and eat them over 4 days – that amounts to 8,000 calories, on top of their normal food and drink intake!! And if we aren’t gifting chocolate at this time of year we usually indulge loved ones with money or other Confectionary. It will come as no surprise then that households spend an average of £75 on Easter each year! But whilst we can look forward to the over-indulgence that this time of year brings, it is exactly the right time to remind pet owners of the real danger posed to their furry friend by this human treat… Chocolate poisoning is the most common type of dog poisoning reported to the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) and cases of course increase at this time of year. Whether it be through accidental supply or a general lack of awareness, pets have a great ability to get hold of exactly what they shouldn’t be eating! And with the sheer volume of chocolate in our houses at the moment, I really must urge pet owners to wise up to the dangers of chocolate consumption.

Simple vomiting or diarrhoea can of course be nothing to be concerned about but if you have any concerns at all your vet would of course be delighted to see you and hopefully put your mind at ease. For more info check out Vets Now, Hills Pet, the RSPCA and the YourCat website So enjoy your over-indulgence this Spring, just be sure to keep one eye on your eggs and one eye on your pet!! With best wishes, Judy x

Take note – chocolate is toxic for dogs, cats and all small furries; meaning they should not be risked with even the smallest amount. Vets Now explain why it is harmful: “Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine (a bit like caffeine) that is poisonous to pets. The amount of theobromide differs in the different types of chocolate (dark chocolate has the most in) with the chemical mainly affecting the heart, central nervous system and kidneys. Symptoms will occur from 4-24 hours after your pet has eaten chocolate and will vary depending on the amount your pet has eaten”. If your pet does eat chocolate you may see any of the following symptoms: -

Vomiting Diarrhoea Restlessness and hyperactivity Excessive urination Nausea Rapid breathing Muscle tension/incoordination Increased heart rate Seizures Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Featured Local Business

Are you thinking of selling now that Spring is in the air? - Wisdom Estates

Springtime is one of the busiest times of year for the property market, and Wisdom Estates are your local Independent Estate Agents who are always on hand to give you any advice with regards to Selling or Buying a property. If you are thinking of selling a property in the coming months, we invite you to contact us to arrange your Free Valuation to find out how much your home is worth. Wisdom Estates also offer 1% Selling Fees (plus vat) to all new instructions, with absolutely no hidden charges or extras. As an Independent Estate Agents we are committed to giving exceptional Customer Service to all of our customers, and each property we market benefits from extensive advertising across both Rightmove & Zoopla, plus Bespoke Property Descriptions, and Free & Enhanced Photography. We are proud of the fact that 9 out of 10 Customers have stated that they would recommend our services to family and friends, and would themselves use Wisdom Estates again in the future, with Mrs O’Grady stating “It is not an exaggeration to say that you have set the ‘Gold Standard’ for all Estate Agents to aspire to, with your utmost professionalism and integrity.” Wisdom Estates also works closely within the local community, and after the successful events we sponsored and supported in 2014 and 2015, Wisdom Estates are looking forward to the many more up and coming events for 2016. So far in 2016 we have sponsored the Dartford Living event for small businesses and charities, held at the Campanile Hotel, and Dartford Living have since invited us to sponsor their next event on Wednesday 27th April at the Fairfield Leisure Centre. In March we sponsored Oakfield Community Primary School to design an egg for the Roald Dahl Exhibition at The Orchards Shopping Centre. The exhibition was


held over the Easter weekend and was organised by the Stephen Oliver Gallery. We also attended the Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Central Park on Easter Saturday, and donated all profits to the Dartford Round Table by once again running our ‘Property Ladder Game”. Wisdom Estates are also very pleased to be part of the ellenor Business Club, and to offer ongoing support to such a worthwhile charity which does so much to help those suffering from terminal illness, and offers much needed support for their families. Moving home is usually through choice, and as such is an exciting time, but we also know that other circumstances such as job relocation, divorce or bereavement can force the need to sell. At Wisdom Estates we are always sensitive to the needs of our Customers, especially those selling under difficult circumstances. Building a business, based on reputation and personal recommendations, has always been our top priority and we are very proud to be listed as one of the ‘Mums Trusted’ approved businesses in Dartford. So, whether buying or selling, we are here to help and advise, and look forward to helping you make: “Your Wisest Move in 2016”

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Interested inInterested advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Dartford Living in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

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BUILDING & HOME IMPROVEMENT SERVICES Wide range of building & home improvement services for the interior & exterior of your property.

• BRICKWORK • CARPENTRY •PAINTING • DECORATING • FENCING • DECKING • PATIOS • TILING • GENERAL MAINTENANCE Friendly, reliable, local service. 30+ years of experience working in the construction industry. No job is too small. CALL TODAY! 07957 195272 OR 01322 220562 After 6pm.


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Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

27 39

Charity Focus

Each month we will be featuring a local charity. If you represent a charity and would like to be featured please email

Charlotte Hawkins surprises ellenor respite carer, Vicki Read Good Morning Presenter and ellenor Patron, Charlotte Hawkins surprised ellenor respite carer, Vicki Read, at work in a young patient’s home in Gravesend on Tuesday 8 March – presenting her with a bunch of flowers and a ‘Health Star’ certificate from the ITV breakfast programme for her dedication to the charity, which supports families facing terminal illness. Vicki is one of a team of respite carers at ellenor, who provide vital respite care into a child’s own home, so that the family can have a break – very often to catch up on sleep after many nights without rest or perhaps to spend time with another child. But Vicki’s story doesn’t end there, as her two young sons – Sidney and Freddie - were cared for by the charity. They both died, aged three, from a rare genetic condition called Alpers Disease. Sidney was deaf, almost blind, tube fed, suffered constant horrific seizures, had severe breathing difficulties, could not talk, walk, sit or smile. “He suffered constant hospital admissions, numerous tests,” says Vicki. “To get him home, we needed massive help from the ellenor team and, with their help, we gave Sidney a quality of life.” Aged three and now with a little, healthy, sister, Sidney was due to be an angel in his nursery nativity play – but he died that morning. “We all needed counselling to get through this dreadful time and ellenor was there to support us,” says Vicki. Two years later, Freddie was born. “There were no tests to find out if my daughter or new son would be affected by the same terrible disease, only time would tell,” says Vicki. “Freddie fell ill at 14 weeks and our world collapsed around us once again - but ellenor was there to support us.” Freddie went to the same nursery as his big brother, turned three, and did get to be an angel in the nativity

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play. He died two months later. “Without the support and friendship of all the ellenor team we, as a family, would never have been able to cope,” says Vicki. “We will be eternally grateful to them all.” On the morning of Charlotte’s visit, Vicki was busy giving respite care at the home of 16-year-old ellenor patient, Cameron Edmonds. Cameron has Duchene Muscular Dystrophy and currently receives respite care and medical support from ellenor nurses who visit him in his family home. He also attends ellenor’s monthly Youth Club. He and is mother, Lisa, were in on the surprise and, when Charlotte arrived, Cameron and Vicki were baking biscuits. Cameron’s family says Vicki goes ‘above and beyond’ in her role and does amazing creative activities with Cameron during respite. She has built up a good relationship with the family and is there with a cup of tea and a smile when Lisa’s feeling down. “Vicki’s story is endlessly inspiring – so I was thrilled to be able to surprise her and grateful to Cameron and Lisa for keeping the surprise so well,” says Charlotte. “The work which ellenor does providing support to families facing terminal illness is so vital and I am proud to be a Patron for the charity.” ellenor needs to raise £6.7 million every year to continue providing support to families such as Vicki’s and Lisa’s. To find out more, visit:

Please Pleasemention mentionDartford DartfordLiving Living when when contacting contactingour ouradvertisers advertisers

Chainmail Dave hoping to break Marathon record On 24th April 2016 Dave Cooke will be taking part in the Virgin London Marathon. He has decided to take up this challenge, to help raise funds for the London Air Ambulance in support of a £2 million donation already promised to the charity by the London Freemasons. This amazing contribution has helped provide a second Air Ambulance helicopter, now flying high over the streets of London and within the M25 responding to emergencies and making a real difference. Having run a previous 6 marathons and to make things that bit more challenging, Dave has set his sights on completing the 26.2 miles wearing upper body chainmail, gloves and a hood, weighing in at an incredible 18KG. Should he achieve this in less than 5 hours and 49 minutes he will also become a Guinness World Record Holder beating the current record set, previously set in 2014. Dave lives locally with his family in Dartford and commutes daily to London. During his time living in Dartford he has witness the landing of the Air Ambulance a number of times supporting our local emergency services, which is one of the reasons he has chosen to support this great charity. If you see him out on the streets clanking his way along Princes Road, or through the town Centre give him a wave as your support and efforts really do make a difference. If you would like to find out more about Dave’s challenge and support him in his journey you can do so on Facebook and Twitter by searching ChainmailDave16 Alternatively follow the link below to sponsor him via his Just Giving page.

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Dhiren’s Automotive News

In this edition we’ll look at new small models to launch later this year and changes to the government grant scheme for plug-in cars

2016 Toyota C-HR revealed list including the MMI infotainment system which can The Toyota C-HR is a sync with smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android mid-sized SUV with a Auto. Audi is yet to confirm prices, but a starting figure coupe-like aesthetic of about £21,000 has been mooted. Sales start in the that sits on the same middle of 2016, with first deliveries expected in autumn. platform as the Prius. Its exterior design Plug-in grant scheme changes: what it means for you features large, angular The government has pledged to continue its plug-in lines and big wheel arches. The front has an upper grille grant scheme until at least March 2018, but it has been design that flows back from the Toyota badge along restructured now. Until now, anyone buying a new the sides of the car and incorporates winged headlamp zero-emissions car was eligible for a government grant clusters. Two engine options are available - the first is the of £5000 off its list price. From now, plug-in cars have latest generation 1.8-litre petrol-hybrid engine emitting been split into two categories, each getting a different less than 90g/km of CO2, meaning it will be exempt from level of discount. road tax and the second is a new 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine. Exterior features, such as full LED lighting and Category 1 cars emit less than 50g/km of CO2 and have a sequential indicators are included as standard. The C-HR zero emission (pure electric) range of more than 70 miles. will be positioned below the RAV4 in Toyota’s current These cars qualify for a £4500 grant. Inlcuding cars like range, so we expect price points to start slightly below the BMW i3, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. Dartford Living when contacting advertisers Category 2 carsour emit less than 50g/km of CO2 and have that30 at a little over £26,000Please and onmention sale from this summer. an electric-only range of 10 to 69 miles. Buyers of Category 2 cars, which are mostly plug-in 2016 Audi Q2 unveiled The Audi Q2 is shorter, hybrids, will get £2500 off the list price. Including cars wider and taller than are typically hybrids, like the Toyota Prius and Mitsubishi an A3 Sportback, and Outlander PHEV. Note: Category 2 cars with a new list enters the compact price of £60,000 or more are not eligible for any grant. crossover segment as Category 3 has been added for all cars that emit between a premium car. Audi’s 50g/km and 70g/km of CO2 and have a zero emission new Q2 introduces range of at least 20 miles. However, only the Mercedesseveral new design features to the brand, including a Benz S500 Hybrid and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid fall new single-frame grille and rectangular headlights. At into this category and are greater than £60,000 so not launch, the Q2 comes with a choice of six engines: three eligible. Diagram below summaries the catergories. petrols and three diesels. The petrol range includes a The government has continued its pledge to support 1.0-litre TFSI with 114bhp and should be good for an these by offering £500 to help with the cost of installing unconfirmed 50mpg combined, a 1.4-litre TFSI with a charging socket at home, which equates to around cylinder-on-demand technology and a 2.0-litre TFSI that half the usual bill. produces 187bhp. The diesels are made up of a 1.6-litre TDI that should offer close to 70mpg combined and two 2.0-litre TDIs in 148bhp and 187bhp forms. Buyers who want four-wheel-drive capability can pay extra for Audi’s quattro system; in normal driving the car powers the front wheels. The Q2 comes with an extensive options


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Gardening Hints and Tips April Summer-flowering bulbs For a riot of colour this summer you can’t beat summer-flowering bulbs. Lillies especially are perfect for bringing colour, and scent, to the garden. They can even be planted in containers on the patio. Then cover the surface of the compost with bedding plants for extra summer colour. Summer bedding Prick out seedlings of tender bedding plants and pot up young plug plants and cuttings so that they can grow into sturdy plants ready for planting out once the fear of frosts has passed. Always use fresh potting compost and make sure that seed trays, pots and cell trays are thoroughly cleaned – or buy some new ones. Plants will need hardening off before planting out, and they can be protected from cold, wind and light frosts with horticultural fleece. Support plants Tall and floppy herbaceous plants – especially in windy and exposed gardens – will need some form of support. Putting plant supports in place now will help prevent problems later on when it’s difficult or impossible to do anything about it. Then carefully tie in the stems as they develop with soft string or similar Lawn Care Grass should be growing strongly now, so make sure you mow regularly. While you’re mowing, taking note of bare patches, moss invasion and weeds and deal with any problems you see. Now’s also an ideal time to feed the grass for a lush, healthy lawn and deal with weeds and moss. Mulching Mulching the soil with a thick layer of organic material – such as composted bark or bark chippings – will help keep weeds down, as well as helping to keep the soil moist in summer. It will also insulate the soil and prevent it from getting too cold or too hot for good plant growth. For best results the mulch needs to be between 2 to 3 inches thick. If weeds are a big problem in your garden you may

need to tackle them with one of our ready-to-use weedkillers, and certainly before you put down the mulch. Patio containers Add instant colour to your patio and garden with our ready-filled pots, or plant up your own. Add a controlled-release fertiliser and water-retaining gel to the compost to make feeding and watering easy. And fix up a micro-drip watering system for even better results – believe us, it’ll make life easier too! Remember to pick up everything you need including containers, plants, compost, feeds, gel and watering system, and get planting today for a superb splash of colour through spring and summer. Bulbs Remove the faded flowers and seed heads of spring-flowering bulbs as they start to go over. And remember to feed the plants during and after flowering with a soluble plant food applied over the foliage and around the roots. This will help to make large bulbs to ensure another superb display next year. Clean Up Make sure you’ve carried out any cleaning and repair jobs. Clean the patio and greenhouse, preserve and stain wooden features, and clean out water butts. Feeding Give all your outdoor plants the best start by making sure you feed them now. Sprinkle the fertiliser around the root area and work it into the top inch or so of soil. If the soil is dry, water in the feed to prevent it burning the roots. Controlled release fertilisers are the easy way to feed and forget, as they release their nutrients whenever the soil is warm enough for plant growth, and will feed the plants for up to six months.

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Fitness How to diet successfully (and easily) Ok, so most people reading this have probably, at some point, followed a diet. You may be following one now? But is it too much? Are you struggling to stick to it?

Make small, easy changes for the better and gradually your diet will improve more and more. You only need to get from a 2 to a 3, then 3 to 4, and so on…

Most people when starting a new diet aim for perfection.

There are so many little changes and swaps you can make to improve your diet, don’t try to make them all at once or go straight for the big ones. Steady weight loss, without the stress, hunger and cravings is far better than rapid weight loss, feeling like s*** and inevitably failing a week or two down the line. And no-one wants to give up the foods they love for lettuce leaves!

On a scale of 1-10 (1 being terrible, 10 being “perfect”), people aim for 9 or 10 when they start a diet. Cut out ALL of this, don’t have ANY of that, cut 1000 calories a day… then after a week, it all goes out the window. The weekend binge of 6000 calories on Friday and Saturday undoes all of the calories you’ve saved in the week, and does more damage than if you’d not bothered in the first place; and you went through 5 days of hell to get there. If your diet is currently a “2 out of 10” – what do you need to do to improve and see a change…? 3 out of 10. It’s that simple. If you normally have a large pizza on a Friday night – would your diet be better, would you be eating less calories, and would you see a change if you swapped that large pizza for a shish kebab or a burger? Yes! You’ve swapped one “bad” food, for something slightly better. Do you need to change it for a bean salad? Probably not right now. Is this change more acceptable to you? And are you more likely to succeed? Find compromises that you’re happy with (salad may not be one of them right now) and are confident that you can do, and implement them. If you swap the pizza for a lower calorie, healthier option, you’re on the right track. If you can eat what you want, as usual, but just skip dessert – you’ve improved your diet and reduced calories. All without giving up the foods you love. Like chocolate and can’t imagine not having any? Swap it for dark chocolate. You’ve just jumped from a 2 to a 3 out of 10. The point is, you need to implement small changes that you can actually see yourself being able to stick to, without draining your self-discipline to the point that when someone offers you a piece of cake you want to bite their hand off or punch them in the face.

You CAN have your cake and eat it, just a little bit less :) A quick note on calorie reduction: While it’s not quite as simple as it seems, the bottom line is you DO need to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. But the clue there is “burn”. Don’t drop too many calories out of your diet or you’ll cause a number of other problems that will be far worse in the long run, as well as being constantly hungry (which will chip away at your discipline and diet adherence). If you drop 200 calories from your diet (a modest reduction and easily achievable for almost anyone), but also BURN 200 extra calories per day (again, a perfectly achievable amount), then you’ve just created a 400-calorie-a-day deficit – more than enough to see changes in body composition and weight loss. This could be as simple as skipping dessert, having one biscuit instead of 3, taking 1 less sugar in your tea/coffee, having a square of dark chocolate instead of a bar of milk chocolate… …and adding a 20-minute workout into your daily routine (or if you already workout, tweak your routine to burn more calories – switch from running on a treadmill to lifting some weights or circuit training for example). Sit and have a think about how you can “improve” your diet, without trying to eat like a vegan supermodel, and find a form of exercise you’d be happy to spend 20 minutes of your day doing. Then make those changes!

By Mark Broadbent, Master Personal Trainer & Instructor Take the guilt out of the foods you love, and just work on a at Dartford Bootcamps. Visit www.DartfordBootcamps. slight calorie reduction through small changes. Trying to cut com for information on Personal Training, Nutrition out bread? How about go for thin sliced wholegrain instead of coaching or Bootcamp Fitness classes. - MarkOneFitness. thick sliced white? Another simple improvement that doesn’t blogspot.comAnd follow us on Facebook and Twitter leave you wondering whatPlease the hellmention you canDartford eat for lunch. (docontacting it now……) extra tips, advice and motivation. 32 Living when ourforadvertisers

Small Business Dividend Allowance and Tax Each month Paul Conradi, Chartered Accountant from Conradi Morrison & Co will be giving us his professional advice for small businesses. For the tax year 2016/17 starting on 6th April 2014, a new dividend allowance of £5000 per annum is being introduced per person. This is in addition to the individual personal allowance. The dividend allowance does not change the amount of income that is brought into the income tax computation. £5000 of dividend is charged at a rate of 0%. After £5000, dividends within the basic rate of tax will be charged at 7.5%, dividends within the upper rate of tax will be charged at 32.5% and dividends within the additional rate at 38.1%. Individuals with companies that normally pay most of their income by way of dividends will be big losers.

If you currently trade as a limited company, you may be considering changing to trading as a sole trader or partnership from 6th April 2016. However, in many cases continuing to trade as a limited company will still offer benefits in tax terms. If you do not currently extract all the company’s profits as dividends it would be worth considering increasing dividends before 6th April 2016. However, there will be other tax issues to consider. Also never forget the benefit of paying a small salary to yourself, just below the National Insurance threshold and also a contribution by the company to a pension scheme. As your local Accountant, I would be very glad to meet you and discuss the possibility of tax planning in your business. For more information, please see page two of this month’s Dartford Living and feel free to call me on 01322 278188 to arrange a meeting without charge.

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Local Sports News Home at Last! By Paige Smith

After almost two years away, Dartford District Swimming Club (DDSC) is finally back where they belong at Fairfield swimming pool. The club has really missed having their base in Dartford and the excitement to be back was tangible on the official first club night back. DDSC was formed in 1911 and was fortunate enough to survive both World Wars and hold the Centenary at Fairfield pool in 2011, so there was no doubt that the club would survive a few home improvements but this is not to say that it has been easy, in fact, far from it. It has been a tough two years for the club but now that they are home they are raring to go and looking forward to making the most of their new facilities.

have used St Michael’s private school in Otford, probably one of the furthest we’ve been to. We used the North West Kent College at Gravesend for some sessions, we spent some time at White Oak, we’ve always used the Dartford Grammar School for Girls, so we managed to extend and get a few extra hours there and we used mainly the Eric Liddell in Eltham College. Fortunately we have a coach that is a centre manager there, so we’re lucky, they sourced us some more time.” Despite the upheaval the club has continued to strive and develop quality swimmers over the last few years. Nick stated that the club “still has a Kent Champion among us, 11 year old Jaedon Lynch. Even though we have travelled around we have still been quite successful and even as a team we have remained in all league competitions but not just competed, we have competed at a level which most other people would have thought we wouldn’t be able to maintain.” The delayed re-opening of the pool however, has not left the club completely unscathed. Nick explains: “To give you some numbers, when we left here we probably had somewhere in the region of 225 active swimming members across our squads and we’ve come back to the pool with a region of about half of that.’ Neil added: “We now want to build this up again, to say we are back”

Swimming coach, Nick Pembroke, and Neil Martin, Press Officer, both put a great deal of emphasis on how thankful they are for all the support the club had received over the much unanticipated extended period of time they were without a permanent location. Nick readily admitted it would have all been impossible without the “strong committee and parents who have been absolutely fantastic actually, at keeping the club going.”

The team are looking for enthusiastic swimmers and divers of all ages to dip their toes into competitive waters and really make a splash with this renowned club.

The pool was expected to be shut for a predicted ten months, back in March 2014, but after some unforeseen building difficulties, the re-opening was pushed back.

Neil added: “We are quite a tight bonded team and squad and we are all very proud of the brand and now that we are back it’s time to say we’re here, we’re home.”

However, the club did have plenty of warning about the upcoming changes which gave them time to plan ahead. Nick explains that “from probably the middle of September 2013 to March 2014 we sourced other pools in the area. So we have been swimming far and wide. We

Website: Twitter: @DDSC1911 Facebook: Dartford District Swimming Club Or visit Fairfield Pool for a face to face chat on club night, every Friday from 6pm-9pm.


Nick enthused: “We have to really thank all of the members that have stayed loyal to the club because they have gone through it with us and there have been a few ups and downs.”

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The aims of the series are pretty simple - to gather a wide variety of runners, and hold inclusive events in a mixture of settings and terrains around the area. Whilst Central Park is familiar territory to the weekly parkrunners, and Joydens Wood hosts three summer trail races, as well as three winter cross-country races, the Thames River Path and Dartford Heath will be new settings for organised races. Entry to the series will cost £25, and will be limited to just 100 runners. To enter, please visit We would encourage and welcome entries from runners who have perhaps never joined a club, or taken part in an organised event. We can provide five completely different running experiences, and an outstanding medal for finishing any four of these five events.

by Richey Estcourt �cross the UK, there has been an unprecedented upturn in the numbers of people taking up running, and participating in running events. Dartford hasn’t missed out on this in fact, we now have three running clubs affiliated to England Athletics, a weekly parkrun event, and several beginners groups, which are ideal, supportive places for newcomers to start. A group of runners from across these clubs came up with the idea during the summer of 2015, of presenting a website that amalgamated as much information as possible about all of these activities, and to present a series of brand new races in Dartford. With the support of Dartford Borough Council, these races will become a reality in the months to come.

We may also be taking on-the-day entries to individual events, although this will depend on the numbers of runners involved in each event, and the capacity of the course. Please contact us through our website, or follow us on Facebook for more information.

Dartford FOOTBALL CLUB Real football, Real close

This Summer will see the first Run > Dartford Summer Series of events. This will consist of a campaign of five midweek races, in five different locations across the Dartford area. •Event 1: Dartford Heath 5km – Friday 29 April •Event 2: Dartford Central Park 4 mile – Friday 20 May •Event 3: Darenth Country Park Relay* – Friday 17 June •Event 4: Joydens Wood 5km** – Wednesday 27 July •Event 5: Thames River Path 10km – Friday 19 August Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

April Fixtures

Maidenhead Utd Saturday 2nd April, 3pm

Basingstoke Town Saturday 16th April, 3pm

Oxford City

Saturday 23rd April, 3pm

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SAT 14TH MAY 2016

Dad’s Army Vicar Frank Williams is interviewed by author and entertainer Chris Gidney in a wonderful afternoon of television nostalgia which includes Frank’s rarely seen home movie of the Dad’s Army cast on tour. Frank will sign copies of his best-selling autobiography, Vicar to Dad’s Army, all while you enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea. Dartford Living and The Orchard have teamed up to offer a pair of tickets to this event, including afternoon tea. To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question... Which of these characters was not in Dad’s Army? A) Private Pike B) Captain Mainwaring C) Sergeant Wilson D) Captain Pugwash Send the answer to Dartford Living, 7 St Ronans View, Dartford, DA1 1QD or email This competition closes on 15th April. Good luck! RULES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered. 4. Proof of posting will not be regarded as proof of delivery. 5. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 6. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 7. Closing date for the competition is stated above.

Book Review: Dartford in the Great war effort. Stephen Wynn expertly breathes life back, once more, into War by Stephen Wynn Review by Paige Smith

Strewn around town are little reminders of the Great War in Dartford, from the War Memorial in Dartford Park, to the roll of honour War Memorial hanging proudly on Dartford Grammar School for Boys’ wall. Yet these tiny indications do nothing to really emphasise what this town endured. That’s where Stephen Wynn and his fact packed novel, Dartford in the Great War come in. Dartford has a wealth of history and this book is determined to revel in it in the most engaging way, with each chapter bringing a new and fresh look at different aspects of the town and its residents. During the Great War years, the community of Dartford played a huge role in the


the towns’ unsung heroes and shows how dedicated the locals were to the cause, all the while entwining snippets of individuals’ stories throughout this harrowing time. The photographs scattered throughout the book only help emphasise the realness of these local residents. Stephen Wynn is a fountain of knowledge and his book is interesting, informative and incredibly well written. Dartford in the Great War is a compelling celebration of the town and its people and what a fantastic and permanent way to honour the young men and woman of Dartford. PEN &SWORD MILITARY £12.99

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Local Entertainment News

March/ April Theatre Roundup by Liz Dyer

For a theatre fan, Dartford is the one of best places to live – we can jump on a train to London for a show in the evening, and we’re close to some fantastic regional theatres: the Churchill in Bromley, the Marlowe in Canterbury, and let’s not forget our lovely local, the Orchard. And this is great news, because it means if we miss a show, we can usually catch it somewhere else not too far away. This is the case for two of the Orchard’s highlights from last month. If you couldn’t get a ticket for the sell-out run of Chicago, starring TV favourites Hayley Tamaddon and John Partridge, don’t panic, because it’s coming to Canterbury in October. As is ZooNation’s hip hop fairy tale Into The Hoods: Remixed, which stopped at the Orchard for just two days in March and will be making an equally brief appearance at the Marlowe on 1st and 2nd April. Don’t be put off if you’re not usually a hip hop fan; I’m not either, and I loved every second of this brilliant show.

on the 2nd but it’s sold out already – I checked…) And aspiring film-makers aged 10-15 are invited to a twoday workshop led by Nathan Pavey from Reels in early April – visit the Orchard’s website for more information. Finally, if you missed my interview with Lucy Cox, who’s worked at the Orchard for an incredible 32 years, check it out on the Dartford Living website. Until next month, happy theatre-ing!

And for any Strictly fans who missed Brendan Cole at the Orchard, all is not lost, as the lovely Pasha Kovalev will be in Bromley on 9th April, and Woodville Halls presents An Audience with Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe on the 20th. Fab-u-LOUS, dahling... So what else do we have to look forward to this month? The Orchard is going for extremes in April, kicking off with Terence Rattigan’s wartime romance Flare Path from 5th-9th April, and ending the month with the fabulously flamboyant Priscilla Queen of the Desert, starring Blue’s Duncan James (25th-30th). Meanwhile the Churchill welcomes the spectacular Tap Factory on the 12th, and Tom – The Musical, celebrating the career of Tom Jones (26th-30th). There’s plenty for comedy fans too: the Churchill has Lee Nelson (7th) and Russell Kane (11th), Woodville Halls hosts Jimmy Carr (4th) and Rob Beckett (24th), and here in Dartford we’ve got Ed Byrne (19th) and – if he’s your cup of tea! – Roy Chubby Brown (21st). Fancy something a bit different? Check out the Orchard’s Tea & Tour on 7th April, a chance to see what goes on backstage, followed by afternoon tea. (There’s also one Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

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Dartford living April 2016  
Dartford living April 2016  

The April Issue of Dartford Living Magazine, featuring Stephen Oliver egg-citing local schools with Roald Dahl, Wisdom Estates, Dartford Swi...