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HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM ALL THE TEAM

FREE

December 2019 - Issue 162

INSIDE THE MAGAZINE FAIRFIELD LEISURE CENTRE TOY APPEAL - Page Page 7

WWII VETERANS MEET DARTFORD SCHOOL CHILDREN - Page Page 10 BLUEWATER’S FESTIVE OFFERING - Pages Pages 34 & 35

See page 2 for group details

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ired be inspwith Slimming World ** NEW GROUP ** Friday 9.30am The Conservative Club Spital Street,Dartford Da1 2DT Jo 07800797030 Opens Friday 15th November MONDAYS VCD Sports Club Old Road,Crayford Da1 4dn 9.30am,11.30am Sue 07507599691 VCD Sports Club Old Road,Crayford Da1 4dn 5.30pm,7.30pm Shelley 07979691619

Wilmington Memorial Hall High Road Wilmington DA2 7DW 5.30pm Jayne 07557979435 St.John The Evangelist Church Parkhill Road Bexley DA5 1HX 5.30pm and 7.30pm Adam 07730 405313

British Legion Hall Devon Road South Darenth 9.30am Jayne 07557979435

WEDNESDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 9:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Liz 07900 213548

Fleetdown Community Centre Swaledale Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6JZ 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 9:30am Gillian 07957 135737

Oakfield Primary Academy Oakfield Lane Dartford Kent DA1 2SW 7.30pm Kate 07590 995948

The Howard Venue (formerly South East Dance Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, BR8 7LG 5:30pm and 7:30pm Caroline 07776 181413

TUESDAYS Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 10:00 am Paula 07891 424401

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Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Gillian 07957 135737

Temple Hill Community Centre Temple Hill Square, Dartford, DA1 5HY 3.30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm Jo 07800 797030

THURSDAYS The Howard Venue (formerly South East Dance Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, BR8 7LG 9:30am Caroline 07776 181413 Temple Hill Community Centre Temple Hill Square, Dartford, DA1 5HY 09:30am Jo 07800 797030 St Anselm’s Parish Centre 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Gillian 07957 135737 Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401 SATURDAYS Oakfield Primary Academy Oakfield Lane Dartford Kent DA1 SW 8am and 10am Sarah 07739 027161 Christchurch Centre Kingswood Avenue Swanley BR8 8AN 8am and 10am Jayne 07557 979435

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WELCOME TO THE LATEST ISSUE OF

DARTFORD LIVING BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY Dear Readers,

Welcome to the December magazine. As usual it’s jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - use them or lose them! Happy Christmas In case you weren’t aware, we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. It’s the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Please 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! If you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points including Dartford FC, local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Orchard Theatre, The Priory and Orchards Shopping Centres, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, health centres and local Nationwide and Barclays branches. Additionally, if you email editor@dartfordliving.com we will add you to our e-newsletter and you will join 7,000 others who receive a copy of the magazine by email once a month. Until next time, Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living (and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team)

CONTENTS 5 6 7 8-9 10 19 20 24 25 26-27 32

Santa is coming on tour in Dartford The most unlikely Christmas Number One Fairfield Toy Appeal Surviving Winter WWII Veterans meet Dartford School Children Depression and Me How to overcome Winter Blues Life Under the Stairs Recipe Travel Spotlight - Japan Belt Up! Don’t let your car get caught with its trousers down 34-35 Bluewater’s festive offering 40 Sports News 41 Dartford FC Fixtures - December 42 Fitness 43 Rescue is best 44 Theatre Review 45 Car News 48-55 Where to Go Locally 56-57 Advertisers Index 58 Useful Numbers

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26-27 34-35 Check out our website for even more local news and articles

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SANTA IS COMING ON TOUR TO DARTFORD IN 2019 Christmas is coming and Dartford Borough Council will be spreading Christmas magic across the borough!

Local children will be treated to a visit from the whitebearded one arriving on a vintage fire engine and they’ll be able to meet Santa who promises a free Christmas gift for every child. A Dartford Borough Council spokesperson says, “We’re delighted that Santa has found time to take part in ‘Santa on Tour 2019’. He will be visiting even more communities this year, and we hope he will bring joy, happiness and Christmas sparkle everywhere he goes.” The 2019 tour will kick off on 15th December and visit 15 locations across Dartford before making its final stop on 23rd December. Find out more below:

Hawley Rd, DA2 7RB • Darenth. 7.15pm Darenth Hall, Ladywood Rd, DA2 7LL Monday 23rd December • Ebbsfleet. 3.00pm Castle Hill Community Centre, DA10 1BR • Stone Pavilion. 4.30pm Hayes Rd, Stone, DA9 9EF • Bean. 6.15pm The Black Horse Pub, High St, DA2 8AS • Wilmington Memorial Hall. 7.15pm High Rd, DA2 7DW No tickets or reservations required but we do ask that children be accompanied by an adult and wrap up warm as all of Santa’s visits take place outside.

Sunday 15th December • Temple Hill Square. 11.15am DA1 5HY • Dartford Cricket Club. 12.45pm • Hesketh Park, Pilgrims Way, DA1 1QZ • The Bridge (Inspiration Centre) 1.45pm • Leigh UTC, Brunel Way, DA1 5TF • Greenhithe. 3.00pm • Ingress Park. Junction of Ingress Park Ave & Prioress Crescent, DA9 9GE • Swanscombe. 4.15pm Town Council Offices. The Grove, DA10 0GA Monday 16th December • Tree Community Centre. 4.30pm • Cedar Road Play Area, DA1 2RS • West Hill, St Anselms Church. 5.45pm • Church Car Park, 89 West Hill, DA1 2HJ • Alamein Gardens, Stone. 7.00pm • The Alamein Community Lounge, DA2 6BW Thursday 19th December • Fleetdown Community Centre. 4.30pm Car Park, Off Swaledale Rd, DA2 6JZ • Sutton at Hone. 6.00pm The Papermaker’s Arms, www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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THE MOST UNLIKELY CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE?

BY Keith and Ben Simmons

- are releasing their own song ‘Pantomime’ to coincide with the Yuletide Season. This year, father Keith will be appearing in his 50th Panto; son Ben in his 20th and it’s their 15th together. They are writing, directing and starring in Aladdin at the Lowther Pavilion, Lytham St. Anne’s, Lancashire – and are thrilled to be back for their third successive year at this beautiful venue. Keith, and his wife Fran, have lived in Dartford since 1968. Ben was born in the old West Hill Hospital, attended St Albans Road Primary, York Road Junior and Dartford Boys Grammar School before going on to Leeds University to study for an Honours Degree in Classics. He followed this up with a year’s Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He actually performed in his first Pantomime as the Boy Babe, at the age of eight, in Babes in the Wood, at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford with Roy Barraclough, Peter Duncan and Ken Goodwin. ‘Pantomime has become a way of life’ says Ben. ‘Never a proper Christmas at home because you only get the one day off over the holiday period but it’s great when you think, for many children, it is their introduction to live theatre. That’s why we’ve done the song. We want to remind everyone of all those fabulous stories they’ve seen over the years.’ ‘My Dad performed in his first Panto in 1968 – he was It could be the most unlikely Christmas Number One very young – and his Dad had to sign his Contract for of all time. him! It was ‘Puss in Boots’ at the Theatre Royal in Bath, Somerset. He worked with his brother then, my Uncle For the Magical Christmas Song “Pantomime” visit the Alan. The Simmons Brothers forged quite a name for Website: www.simmonsandsimmons.org.uk themselves within the industry. They started as a vocal then click on the Blue Square marked Pantomime – to act and signed a recording contract with Pye Records. stream, download, play – and really listen to the lyrics. Their first release was produced by Tony Hatch and had For just a few minutes, forget about the Parliamentary Jimmy Page – yes, he of Led Zeppelin fame - on guitar. Political Pantomime shenanigans going on in Westminster When it wasn’t a hit they quickly turned to comedy. Lots of in the lead up to the election. visual stuff and comedy magic. They successfully appeared in TV & Radio Shows, Summer Seasons, Pantomimes, Give the fun, laughter and magic of Christmas back have Cruised around the world & supported many to the children – let them enjoy the wonder of Real famous headliners on extensive UK Tours. They ended “Pantomime” stories. their professional relationship in 2002 and it didn’t take long for me to get in on the act. We’ve continued doing Dartford’s own father and son Comedy Double Act - Keith the same sort of material – but being father and son, it’s and Ben Simmons - who work as Simmons and Simmons given it a bit of a twist. 6

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FAIRFIELD LEISURE CENTRE TOY APPEAL By Karen Mills

With Christmas just around the corner, the team at Fairfield Leisure (Places Leisure) in Dartford are delighted to be teaming up with Darent Valley hospital with a unique Toy Appeal to help bring a smile and brighten up the day for children who sadly will be spending their Christmas this year in hospital, rather than at home with their families. The promotion not only allows you to make a difference to a child’s Christmas but in return for all toys donated Fairfield are pleased to offer you a FREE fitness session with one of their qualified and dedicated personal training team. What a great gift to receive for your mind, body and wellbeing! The promotion is open to everybody, whether you are a member of Fairfield or not and runs from 1st to 20th December 2019. So.. if you would like to do something special and give the gift of happiness this Christmas whilst rewarding yourself with a treat for your health and body, head down to Fairfield today and speak to their friendly team. All gifts

will be delivered to the amazing team who work within Willow Ward at D a re n t Va l l ey Hospital in time to distribute before Christmas day. You can find full details over at t h e i r we b s i te fairfieldleisure.org *Ple ase note: All toys donated must be brand new and in unopened original packaging. Fairfield Leisure, Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 01322 421166

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SURVIVING WINTER

BY KENT COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

The cold winter months are an extremely dangerous time for older people, especially those who live alone. The Kent Community Foundation Surviving Winter Campaign aims to tackle social isolation and make winter less lonely for older people, as well as helping them stay well, healthy and independent. As autumn draws to a close and the evenings get longer and colder, older people are particularly vulnerable, as cold weather increases their risk of illnesses and social isolation.

already supports projects throughout Kent and Medway that address the everyday challenges faced by elderly people and we hope that donations to the Surviving Winter Campaign will allow us to support even more good causes.” “If just 10% of everyone, in receipt of the Winter Fuel Payment, in Kent and Medway were to donate £100 to the Surviving Winter Campaign, we would have a Fund of more than £3 million to help vulnerable elderly people in the county. Therefore, we are asking those who receive the payment, but don’t rely on it, to donate it to others. But you don’t have to be over 65 to give to this campaign, anyone who wants to give, even a small amount, will be making a significant difference to vulnerable, elderly people in the county.”

Projections indicate that there will be a far greater percentage of people living alone in Kent and Medway in later life than there has ever been in the past, and it is particularly important for people living alone to be involved in the local community. There is plenty of evidence to show that social isolation leads to poor mental health, Josephine McCartney continues: “Loneliness is often physical deterioration and generally a poorer quality of accompanied by depression, and cold wet weather, and life and prognosis for the future. shorter days can make it more difficult for older people to leave the house, particularly those with mobility issues. Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community This can mean that people opt to stay indoors, all alone, Foundation comments: “We want to make winter less day after day, and the longer they are isolated, the harder lonely for older people as well as helping them stay well, it becomes to leave.” healthy and independent. Kent Community Foundation 8

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Money donated to the Surviving Winter Campaign will contribute to projects that support elderly and isolated people including; lunch clubs and social events to help people stay in touch and keep active, workshops and advice, transport, befriending services and schemes helping elderly residents with tasks such as shopping or gardening. These projects have received funding from Kent Community Foundation; Ashford Volunteer Centre Since 2016 Kent Community Foundation has awarded grants of £18,500 to Ashford Volunteer Centre. Its mission is to have a society where everyone who wants to volunteer can do so in order to create a stronger community. For many isolated people in the Borough the charity is a lifeline and keeps them in touch with their local community and other people through services including a community car and befriending. www.ashfordvc.org.uk Involve Kent Over the last ten years Involve Kent has received grants totalling £75,000 from Kent Community Foundation

to coordinate support for people living in Maidstone and Malling who need that little extra help to stay well and live at home. The support includes, transport, gardening, shopping, social events and help at home to maintain quality of life and improve wellbeing. The ethos at Involve Kent is to build on the strengths of the community, promoting good neighbour and village schemes, encouraging volunteering and connecting people to support one another. www.involvekent.org.uk wHoo Cares wHoo Cares is a community interest company, created to support individuals on the Hoo Peninsula. wHoo Cares help people stop feeling isolated, lonely and cut off from their local community and has received £10,500 from Kent Community Foundation. Transport is an issue on the peninsula, and wHoo Cares get people to medical appointments, take them shopping and out to local clubs and groups, so they can expand their social circle. Volunteers also pop in for a cup of tea and a chat or help with practical things like picking up a prescription or bringing fish and chips to someone who is house bound. www.whoocares.org.uk

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WWII VETERANS MEET DARTFORD SCHOOL CHILDREN

About the Veterans Frank Pendergast served with the 7th Battalion Parachute During the Remembrance Service assemblies, led by Vice regiment and was involved in Pegasus Bridge during WWII. Principal, Neil Arnould, the students, teachers and veterans, observed a two minutes silence, laid two wreathes, heard Bill Gladden was in the 6th Airborne, Armoured Recce Clive Barker, Governor of The Leigh UTC read The Wound Regiment, he landed in Ranville on D Day in landing Zone N, in Time by Carol Ann Duffy and Jack Davis, a student from aged 20. His glider carried a 7-ton tank and 8 motorbikes. year 13 read In Flanders Field by John McCrae. Alec Borrie, a member of the SAS, worked behind the lines After the Remembrance Service, students had the with the French Resistance in France, Holland and Germany. opportunity to ask the veterans questions. The questions included: What do you do on Remembrance Sunday? Were you scared during the War? What was it like to be part of D On 11 November, three WWII veterans were escorted by the Day? and what is the best advice you can give to us as we Taxi Charity to The Leigh UTC in Dartford, to join students prepare to leave school? and teachers for Remembrance Day assemblies. L to R - Veterans Alec Borrie, Bill Gladden and Frank Neil Arnould, Vice Principal, The Leigh UTC, said, “The Leigh Pendergast, Vice Principal of The Leigh UTC, Neil Arnould UTC was proud to welcome three charismatic Veterans to and year 12 students. our Remembrance Day Service. The students learn about WWII as part of our curriculum and to be able to meet and The veterans, Frank Pendergast, Bill Gladden and Alec ask questions of these veterans is something they will Borrie, who have a combined age of 284 years attended never forget. A large number of students simply wanted Remembrance Day assemblies at the Leigh UTC with year to shake hands and thank the veterans which was such a 7 to 13 students. positive thing to see.� 10

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STORIES THAT INSPIRE - PURPOSE DRIVES SPEED by Dr. Sheun Oke

I got off at the Dartford Station, and strolled out towards the exit. First thought... Call my husband to pick me from the station. Then another; ''Let me check when the next bus would be here' Whilst doing this, I was making my way to the staircases that leads to the bridge/bus bay. Then I checked my wrist watch. 2mins and the next bus would be arriving.

What a way to end the year! Picking up your favourite Dartford Living! I know you are preparing for Christmas, just like I am. The gifts, the excitement in the air and yes, a bit of mixed feelings too as the year ends. Ok, maybe you have evaluated the last 11 months and realized you never did achieve all your goals and dreams. And you are pushing to tick lots of things off your ‘to-do-list’ (if you have got one). I would say... Go for it! I am confident you will finish strong and that 2020 is going to be even more fabulous. Why? You can count on me to share inspirational tips through everyday stories/ encounters, to help you become a better version of yourself. So, grab your cup of coffee/tea and let’s get into it… ‘’A few weeks ago, I was coming back from an important meeting held in Central London. 14

If you were walking towards me, you would have seen a lady in blue waterproof coat, with her hood pulled over her head, her carton-colour skirt 'peeping out from under the coat', wearing a high-heeled Stilettos boot, suddenly increasing her pace and making a dash for the stairs and 'legging it'. You would be wondering... 'What happened to her'? Oh! She suddenly found a purpose! She has a goal! She had a deadline! She has two minutes to make it to the bus stop and it means she gets to a warm, welcoming home faster. If she misses it, she would have to wait in the cold until her husband comes to find her or take a taxi (it was oversubscribed because of the rain). And YES, she met the bus right on time. The dash was worth it...the moral of the story. When you have a purpose, you quit wasting time! When you find your ‘Why’, suddenly your priorities change. Find a worthy ideal for your life, pursue it with passion. Start a business. Start a course. Learn a new skill. Start a charitable course. Raise funds for charities. It's time to quit 'coasting'... Let's go change the world, purposefully. The Ultimate SUPERCoach, Dr. Sheun Oke

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DEPRESSION AND ME A REAL LIFE STORY

By Callum

My life; the bad, the good and the depression that changed me

absolutely amazing. It’s been so great I had to bring forward the preorder date by 2 weeks.

Hi to all reading this article. My name is Callum and I decided to write a book about my depression and what I have gone through. I was brought up in Bexley from birth twenty one years ago, living with my grandparents and then moving out with my mum to Sidcup. I have always loved growing up in this area, there were so many opportunities and a great place for young children to grow up. I started writing Depression and Me nearly a year ago and kept umming and ahhing, if I should publish it or not. I came to the conclusion that what I have endured not a lot of people will speak about because they are afraid or feel as they are a burden on their friends and family. I wanted to break the stigma of not talking about depression, so I decided to write about my past and what has happened to me. Within my book, I talk about everything from my school days right through to where I am now recovering from depression.

If you are interested in my story, or feel someone else could be interested, you can order at www.depressionandme.co.uk. Many thanks Callum

This shall be the first time I am going public to my friends and everyone else about what I have been through and I want to break my silence. The main thing I would like to get from my book is to start to spread awareness that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is so much support out there for yourself or someone you know battling mental health illnesses, support from charities, GPs, NHS, family and your peers. There will always be someone there for you and I hope my book portrays this. Since telling my friends and social media followers I was publishing my book, they have supported me so much. On my page ‘A Real Life Story’ (@realifestoryuk) on Facebook, I already have nearly 1,500 Likes, having reached over 400 likes in just my first 3 days and is continuingly growing day by day. The response and the support from the public has been www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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HOW TO OVERCOME THE WINTER BLUES by Naomi Marston

Have you been feeling a bit blue even with Christmas on October and March. the way? It may be the weather! Naomi Marston has been a counsellor in Kent for almost 20 years, working both in Speak to your GP: Your doctor may refer you for further private practice and for local charities. treatment such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or possibly prescribe anti-depressant medication. It is also worth checking She tells us how to overcome feeling low this winter… with your GP before taking extra vitamin supplements. Winter Blues?

Talking therapies: Counselling to talk about how you’re feeling with a professional in a safe space can be very effective in I have noticed a definite mood theme with clients over the past supporting all of the above. Your counsellor will be able to couple of weeks. It seems we are now feeling the harsh side help you achieve your goals through various techniques. to winter; dark mornings and evenings, grey skies and going to work and coming home in the dark. A lack of sunshine or If you are unsure if counselling could help you, then feel free having the opportunity to get out in the sun when it shines to take up my free 15 minute, no obligation call to ask me for just a few hours a day can often have a greater effect on any questions you may have. our wellbeing than we may realise. naomi@lifecarecounselling.com As a counsellor in private practice, winter can bring in new www.lifecarecounselling.com clients who present with symptoms of low mood, depression, anxiety and Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). So what can you do? If this sounds like something you are experiencing, it’s important to recognise you’re not alone. In fact, many people struggle in the winter months, including myself and I make no secret of how much I dislike the winter, even with Christmas fast approaching. There are a number of things you can do to help yourself get through the winter and also manage symptoms of S.A.D. Lifestyle: Aim to get as much natural sunlight as possible. A walk in a green space, such as fields or natural woodland is a dose of nature’s medicine. Sunlight provides us with much needed vitamin D and naturally boosts our mood. Exercise regularly and manage stress as best as you can. Light therapy: Invest in a light box to simulate exposure to sunlight. (These can be purchased online but do check it is suitable for S.A.D). The light produced by the light box simulates the sunlight that’s missing during the darker winter months. It’s thought the light may improve S.A.D by encouraging your brain to reduce the production of melatonin (a hormone that makes you sleepy) and increase the production of serotonin (a hormone that affects your mood). Diet and nutrition: Consider speaking with a nutritionist to ensure you are getting the nutrients known to benefit mood and general wellness, such as omega-3 and omega-6. Supplements: Public Health England (P.H.E) recommend that people in the UK take a daily vitamin D supplement between 20

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LIFE UNDER THE STAIRS by Local Resident, Jane Stevenson possibly less active; life is more routine. Time seems to hang more. This interested me and I began to delve 2019 is nearly over! It was an interesting year. Made up deeper into the subject. It left me even more confused! of losses, some almost too painful to think about – my lovely, smelly, old lady dog; a rescue who wormed her Apparently, much of it has to do with the way youth way into my life and made it so much better. An old friend processes information. When young, there are a myriad who visited but returned to Australia. There were some of experiences every single day. Dealing with unfamiliar good losses; more weight shed, a load of life’s clutter sights, sounds and events on such a busy level fool our trashed or transferred. brains into thinking the days last longer. As this need for learning lessens with age, we live more in real time, I got to visit the Greek island of Kefalonia for the first so our days appear to pass more quickly. time and fell in love with it. My beloved Benidorm has slipped slightly in my affections. It just doesn’t have Climate change also adds to our perception of time. the innate peace and tranquillity of that little island. As the seasons blur into each other, our brains aren’t necessarily dealing with the subtleties of early spring, For many of us, family dynamics changed this year, with or the changing colours of autumn. The definition isn’t betrothals, babies, house and job moves all threading in there for aural stimulation. We aren’t ‘learning’. and out of the weeks and months. New opportunities, new partners or just a general change of circumstances. To help ourselves we should aim to stay mentally alert It is something that we all share, something that bonds and committed to learning new skills and enjoying new us together as a community. experiences, then we can fool our brains into believing time has slowed down again. Politics went from being irritating to boring to hopeless, and as I write, we still have a general election looming. So next time someone tells you that you’re a little old The weather misbehaved, treating us to the downpours to learn roller skating, go out dancing or study for a and high winds we’ve come to know, along with the qualification, tell them you are creating your own reality blisteringly hot summer days. by feeding your brain. Tell them it’s your choice to grow old disgracefully and then ask them to join you. For me, it was about some new challenges. I’ve been project managing the renovation of Stevenson Towers, Armed with such insight I’m no longer so concerned writing a few more chapters for a book project, and about time. As the American podcast host Dax Shepherd generally taking it easy. says “I’ve had plenty of good times and have settled peacefully into quite a boring existence that I love. I To be honest, I’ve no idea where 2019 went. I’m sure it had had enough fireworks and chaos. It is a blissful boring the same number of months as previous years but it sort life, believe me.” of went hi-speed on me. One minute I was celebrating a March birthday, now I’m writing new year goals! All the very best for a calm and peaceful New Year Apparently, real time and ‘mind time’ flow at different Take care people paces. The science behind this phenomenon is complex and relates to physics – never my strong point at school, despite my science teacher’s best endeavours. TIME PASSING – A NEW YEAR

In simple terms, as we age, our brains assess time differently. We face fewer challenges to learn; we are 24

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RECIPE -

GINGERBREAD HOUSE

by Debbie Dickinson

We have a family tradition in our house – I bake and construct our gingerbread house, and then daddy and the kids decorate it! It usually ends up with a lot of sweets on it!!! Then, usually on Boxing Day, it gets unceremoniously ripped apart and eaten!!! You will need: 125g unsalted butter 175g soft brown sugar 100g golden syrup 350g plain flour 1 egg ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda 3tsp ground ginger 2tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground nutmeg What to do: Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. You can adjust the spices to your liking. Gently heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a saucepan until melted, stirring to combine. Add the egg to the dry ingredients and mix. Pour the melted sugar mix in and stir until the mix forms a smooth dough. Wrap the dough and pop in the refrigerator for at least

a couple of hours. Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper to about 5mm and cut shapes required. You can find lots of gingerbread house templates if you search on the internet. Print them out and cut out the shapes. Lay the template on the dough and use a knife to cut round each shape. Use small star/ heart /circle cutters to add windows and details etc. Put the shapes onto a baking tray - on greaseproof paper – and pop back in the fridge for 30 mins. Bake in a preheated oven at 180° (160° Fan) for approx. 10 mins until light golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack before removing from the tray. Use Royal icing (this can be bought readymade) to glue your house together (and to a cake board). Do the walls first and leave to set overnight before adding the roof. Then use the royal icing to add sweets/chocolate and pop some in a piping bag to pipe decorative swirls etc around the house. Enjoy!

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TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT

in association with

JAPAN

by Tim Harden

Japan is a country of captivating contrast where ancient gods rub shoulders with cutting-edge technology and ultra-modern facades hide deeply traditional values. This fascinating archipelago is packed with futuristic cities, a rich imperial heritage, unique culture and natural resplendence. Explore it all whilst embracing the warm and welcoming Japanese spirit. Quick info: Approximative flight time 12 hours (direct), GMT +9, Visa required: No,

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Currency: Yen, Best time to travel: Mar, Apr, May, Oct and Nov. Our favourite 3 must experience items: - Take a trip on the famous bullet train reaching speeds of up to 270 kilometres per hour - Experience full Japanese culture by staying in a Ryokans (Traditional inn) - Witness the spectacular natural beauty of the cherry blossoms in Kyoto Top destinations: 1. Mount Fuji Long revered, the perfectly proportioned cone of Mount Fuji is the iconic image of Japan. Located just 100 km from Tokyo amongst the most beautiful panoramas of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, it is one of the country’s three holy mountains and at 3,776 meters high it is also the tallest. For those who fancy going up Fuji but not climbing you can head up to 5th station by road – it’s about halfway up and on a clear day it offers beautiful views. Do a day trip to Lake Ashi and explore the beautiful Hakone resort area with its famous hot springs.

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source of both the island’s fame and its name. Formally named Itsukushima, the island is more popularly known as “Miyajima”, literally “shrine island” in Japanese, thanks to its star attraction. The shrine is known worldwide for its iconic “floating” torii gate. The shrine and its torii gate are unique for being built over water, seemingly floating in the sea during high tide. The shrine complex consists of multiple buildings, including a prayer hall, a main hall and a noh theatre stage, which are connected by boardwalks and supported by pillars above the sea.

2. Kyoto Formerly the imperial capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto offers old-world charm, with over 1,000 Buddhist temples, colourful shrines, beautiful gardens, and a still-working geisha district. Don’t miss the Fushimi Inari shrine and a day trip to beautiful Nara visit two World Heritage Sites, Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Here you get to see wild deer up close, a rarity in Japan and elsewhere in the world. 3. Tokyo Visit Tokyo and experience the beauty of the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. With skyscrapers and sushi, sumo and glorious Mount Fuji, Japan’s capital is unlike anywhere else on Earth. The combination of centuries-old culture and 21stCentury technology fuse to create a city that is utterly enthralling with something for everyone. Today, Tokyo offers a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and dining to its visitors. The city’s history can be appreciated in districts such as Asakusa and in many excellent museums, historic temples and gardens. Contrary to common perception, Tokyo also offers a number of attractive green spaces in the city center and within relatively short train rides at its outskirts.

5.Hiroshima Hiroshima is the principal city of the Chugoku Region and home to over a million inhabitants. When the first atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city became known worldwide for this unenviable distinction. The destructive power of the bomb was tremendous and obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometre radius. After the war, great efforts were taken to rebuild the city. Predictions that the city would be uninhabitable proved false. Destroyed monuments of Hiroshima’s historical heritage, like Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden, were reconstructed. In the centre of the city a large park was built and given a name that would reflect the aspirations of the re-born city: Peace Memorial Park. Explore this fascinating country with our fantastic tailor-made tours. Come and see us in Dartford town centre to pick up a brochure, let’s have a coffee and talk all things Japan. From all of us here at Harden Holidays, we send you our warm wishes for this festive period. Merry Christmas

4. Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima The centuries-old Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima is the

Call - 0800 023 8974 E-mail - tim@hardenholidays.co.uk Website: www.hardenholidays.co.uk Visit us at: Unit 1B Henley House, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1AS

(Opposite Prospect Place & Costa, next to Subway)

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October is a busy time in The World Garden and for all

BOW ARROW GARDENING & LANDSCAPING. Gardening and Landscaping service in the Dartford, South East London, North Kent, Essex area. - Garden Design. - Garden Clearance. - Garden maintenance :all aspects. - Hedge/shrub pruning. - Deweed paths and flower beds - Lawn Maintenance and cutting. Free quotations Contact- Andy Davidson. Mobile 07815 118887 Email – andy_davidson_1@ yahoo.co.uk A Friendly, reliable and quality service. Bespoke quotations on request.

Hawley Garden Centre Hawley road Dartford Kent DA2 7RB Tel: 01322 723959 E-Mail: enquiries@hmqualityfoods.co.uk Web: www.hmqualityfoods.co.uk

gardeners as

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Dartford Resident? by your housing conditions? Can’t leave hospital?

Struggling to stay at home?

Cold home?

Need adaptations?

Even if you are a homeowner, in work or have savings, HOUSING ISSUES:

Home in disrepair, de-cluttering, deep cleaning, moving furniture

ADAPTATIONS:

Stair lifts, level access shower, access ramps, large scale property adaptions

SAFETY:

Key safes, bannister and grab rails

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:

Cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, repairs or replacement boiler

Contact us even if you’re unsure or your need isn’t listed

01322 343152 housinggrants@dartford.gov.uk

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! E R O L A G S N I A G BAR

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BELT-UP! DON’T LET YOUR CAR GET CAUGHT WITH ITS TROUSERS DOWN By Orchard Garage long time whereas others have a much shorter lifespan. If you have your car serviced with us, we will tell you when it’s due. A failed timing belt can mean a catastrophe for your car.

Your car’s timing belt, sometimes called a cam belt, tells the valves in the engine when to open and close. It keeps everything moving in exactly the right order and at the right time. And, just like the belt that holds your trousers up – if it snaps or comes apart, you’re exposing yourself to a whole load of trouble. Despite doing a vital job, a timing belt is basically a metal or rubber band with grooves in it. So, it’s a cheap part, sometimes costing as little as £30. The problem is that they’re often buried deep in the workings of the engine, making them difficult to get to, so replacing them involves some labour costs. They don’t last forever though – every make and model of car has it’s own expiry date for the timing belt – we advise knowing when yours is due. If the car’s still ticking over, it can be tempting to ignore the manufacturer’s guidelines – nobody likes having to use their hard-earned cash on repairs that might seem unnecessary – but be aware of what can happen when it begins to fall apart. Always replace it when it’s due – don’t wait for it to break down! Give us a call and we’ll look it up for your car – each make and model is different and some last for a 32

If the belt breaks, the pistons and valves will start to crash into and grind against each other, which bends and dents these more costly parts. Bits of metal can fly off completely and damage the cylinder head and have been known to work their way into turbos, causing further damage. A broken timing belt can mean a completely broken car, and possibly a broken bank balance too! Snap! Don’t ignore the engine management sign – it does come on for a reason! However, with the timing belt, you may not get much warning. Most of the time they just fray, then very quickly snap, leaving you with a car that just won’t move. Unfortunately, it’s not one of those jobs where we can just ‘check under the bonnet’ for you – because it’s so well buried in the mechanics that it takes time. The actual timing belt is a cheap piece of kit but it’s the labour to change them that bumps the bill up when they go wrong. At Orchard Garage in Dartford, our mechanics have loads of experience with timing belts. Yes, you might find that yours need replacing, and that’s a pain, but it’s a lot better than risking your beloved motor becoming a complete write-off if it does snap and causes problems elsewhere in your car. Contact us Get in touch with us to make sure your vehicle is safe and reliable 01322 271000 orchardgarageltd.co.uk

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Dartford Living is much more than just a magazine! We have a massive presence online through social media and our website. We also have an online business directory and free quarterly networking events. Need help with design and marketing? We can help you! We can provide advice and offer website design and other graphic design assistance. When it comes to marketing we can offer the full spectrum of social media marketing as well as brochure and website copy. Great design and marketing is so important if you want your business to stand out! www.dartfordliving.com www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk www.dartfordliving.design

Are you fed up with constant aches and pains in your body? Do you want to move more freely ? Improve posture and feel more confident ? Do you need help recovering from an injury? Or would you like to improve your sports performance ? OnPointe Pilates is the solutions, contact us today to book your FREE taster session! Weekly group sessions on weekday mornings, evenings and weekends. Private 1:1 and 2:1 session with Pilates equipment. We offer 5- week Pilates beginners course - these are the perfect introduction to Pilates and we currently have them on special offer 5 weeks for the price of only 4! Limited spaces available – contact us to book your space!

Frances Ware 07921 863 806 frances@onpointepilates.co.uk

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BLUEWATER’S FESTIVE OFFERING Bluewater’s Ice Rink 14th November – 5th January Returning to Bluewater for 2019 is the spectacular outdoor, undercover Ice Rink, this year bigger and better than ever and featuring a new, separate children’s rink. Located by the beautiful lakes next to The Village and under a clear roof, Bluewater’s Ice Rink is perfect for the whole family to enjoy come rain or shine. Penguin and seal skating aids are available for little ones and bob skates for those who need to be steady on the ice. Sessions are also set aside for school visits, birthday parties, baby and toddler mornings and special party nights with KMFM (from 29th November) - perfect for those looking to dance on ice. And, with free parking you can stay as long as you wish! More information and tickets for Bluewater’s Ice Rink are available now at bluewater.co.uk Bluewater is excited to announce an incredible line up of festive activities for all the family to enjoy this Christmas. Headlined by the return of the magical Santa’s Grotto and spectacular new, covered, outdoor Ice Rink, Bluewater welcomes back the popular Giving Tree and Selfie Factory, this time with a Christmas twist. Plus, there’s Primark, John Lewis and more for all your Christmas shopping needs. Bluewater offers free car parking all day, every day and from Black Friday (29th November) guests will have more time to get their Christmas shopping finished with extended opening hours of 9am – 10pm Monday – Saturday, and until 11pm from 16th to 23rd December. Santa’s Grotto at Bluewater 14th November – Christmas Eve Bluewater’s Santa’s Grotto is back, located on the bank of the picturesque lakes at the West Village, where children will meet a host of wonderful characters that will guide them through the story of The Nutcracker. The adventure will take visitors through the realms of flowers, snowflakes and sweets where they’ll make a ‘take home’ festive craft and meet the likes of Clara, the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy, who will help to prepare them for the most important part of the experience – meeting Santa. Children will receive a collectable plush toy and professional photographs can be purchased at the shop. More information and tickets for Bluewater’s Santa’s Grotto are available now at bluewater.co.uk

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The Giving Tree at Bluewater 7th November – 23rd December Bluewater’s popular Giving Tree is back on the upper mall, outside M&S and offers guests the chance to donate a gift to local disadvantaged children and spread some Christmas spirit. Guests can visit the giant tree to grab a tag with a child’s name and age, and then head back with a chosen gift to make a child’s Christmas magical. Selfie Factory festive pop-up 1st November - 22nd December Following its popular residency back in Spring, Selfie

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Factory returns to Bluewater with brand new rooms and a sprinkle of Christmas magic. The quirky interactive pop-up experience contains a collection of unique photo moments, including a giant ball pit, designed to help visitors get the perfect Instagram shot. Opening in early November and running right up to the 22nd December, a visit to the Selfie Factory makes for a fantastic early Christmas present!

as well as Curious Brew beers and ciders, meaning it’s great for gifting but also perfect for a glass or two after a day of shopping. For further festive tipples guests can stop by Anno Distillers, Kent’s first ever micro distillery, and browse the multi-award-winning range of gins along with an exclusive gin blending experience and bottling station. So why not stop off to grab a gift and try a few.

More information and tickets for the Selfie Factory at Bluewater are available now at www.selfiefactory.co.uk

Guests can head to Flutterbyes for all their stocking filler needs, now back at Bluewater for the Christmas season, and choose from a variety of unique gift ideas and home accessories. Plus, Molton Brown’s Fragrance Finder will cleverly match a signature scent to an individual’s personality. Finally, those looking for a break from shopping, there’s a choice of over 50 places to eat and drink including favourites such as Rosa’s Thai, Tapas Revolution, Browns and Five Guys.

Indoors fun with GraVity, Dinotropolis and Showcase Cinema de Lux Bluewater offers guests of all ages plenty of indoor fun all through the Winter season. GraVity, the ultimate trampoline park in Kent, features exciting trampolining activities including Open Jump, Gravity Rocks and a Climb & Jump Combo. At Dinotropolis, kids can come faceto-face with a host of different dinos, enjoy interactive games and animatronic dinosaurs, plus Raptor Racing karting, Discovery Cove arts and crafts and Dino Jungle soft play. Plus, Showcase Cinema de Lux offers the ultimate immersive cinema experience this Winter, with 17 screens including a wall-to-wall XPLUS showing the latest movies. Families can catch an array of the latest blockbusters, including Frozen II and Cats.

Bluewater, Europe’s leading retail and leisure destination, offers great shopping with free, extra wide parking and has over 300 stores and more than 50 places to eat and drink. Plus, with a 17 screen Showcase Cinema de Lux including IMAX, Gravity Trampoline Park and Dinotropolis Adventure Park, there’s something for everyone. Find out more at bluewater.co.uk

Shopping and dining With more than 300 stores featuring great brands across fashion, beauty, toys, tech and more, Bluewater is the ultimate shopping destination this Christmas. John Lewis & Partners has Christmas covered with a series of in-store Christmas crafting workshops – from Christmas stocking decoration and gift wrap ideas to Christmas wreath making and centrepiece workshops. Plus, for the first time ever, John Lewis will make Christmas dreams come true for Quality Street fans, by offering My John Lewis members the unique chance to personalise and fill the tin with any single flavour from the 13 varieties of chocolates. New in 2019, Primark at Bluewater occupies two floors and offers all the hottest trends and for this Christmas, has a seasonal collection to help guests get into the festive with fashion, stocking fillers, decorations and so much more. Chapel Down’s pop-up store, located on the lower Guildhall, offers guests an array of drink-related gifts and experiences. The Kent-based premium drinks brand has a bar serving their award-winning wines and spirits, www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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DARTFORD, CHRISTCHURCH HALL Christchurch Road, DA1 3DH

Saturdays 2.00pm - 4.00pm 8th February 2020 14th March 2020 16th May 2020

13th June 2020

Refreshments and snacks

12th September 2020

Free car park

10th October 2020

Free goody bags for the first 100 buyers

14th November 2020

BUY top quality, preloved, baby and children’s clothes, toys, books and equipment at our pop-up indoor markets. Admission is £2 on the door. SELL your children’s outgrown items and keep 100% of the takings and it’s all completely hassle free! Book online now!

rachel@mum2mummarket.co.uk

Instagram: @mum2mum_dartford

www.mum2mum

co.uk

CLAREMONT DECORATIVE SERVICES • ALL TYPES OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DECORATING • AROUND THE HOUSE MAINTENANCE JOBS • FREE ESTIMATES • REFERENCES AVAILABLE • RELIABLE, INEXPENSIVE AND QUALITY WORK BY LOCAL TRADESMEN CAN WE HELP YOU?

Please call Mike or John on: Tel 01322 406439 / 01322 525708 Mobile: 07742 085333 Email: mikeperry5001@aol.com Partners: Mike Perry and John Petherick

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Bexley Park Sports & Social Club

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Presents

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The West End Jerseys A Night of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons performed by stars of London’s West End

SATURDAY 11th JANUARY 2020 8.00pm - 12.00am

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...with COMPERE and COMEDIAN the very funny GARY KEMSLEY

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Tickets £15.00 each

ARE YOU THINKING OF SELLING? Instantly find out how much your home is worth! Get your FREE instant online valuation now!

Wisdom-Estates.co.uk www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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DARTFORD THEN AND NOW EAST HILL DARTFORD BY JAMES CARNEY - LOCAL RESIDENT

As an Architect I am interested in the local context of our towns, villages and cities and how these places have developed over time. Having come across some wonderful old postcards and images of our local towns and parishes on a Facebook page I thought it would be really interesting to take a photograph from exactly the same viewpoint but from our current time in history in relation to the original images from around the early 1900s. The original postcards and images are courtesy of Brian Porter.

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Competitive Rates!

A BAINES & SON ROOFING • New Roofs • Repairs • Tiles • Slates • Flat Roofs • All Lead Work • UPVC Fascias & Soffits • All Guttering • All Work Guaranteed • Insurance Work Undertaken

TEL: 01322 271693 MOBILE: 07971 792463

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BAV’S SPORTING COMMENT For the past eight years, the Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge event apart from a traditional marathon, including a has been trying to become the first person to finish a phalanx of pacesetters who reduced Kipchoge’s wind marathon in under 2 hours. resistance, a pace car that used lasers to indicate the best running paths for those pacesetters to take, and a Kipchoge, who is 34 years old and won an Olympic gold race course that was essentially flat. medal running the marathon in 2016, came painfully close in 2017: He finished a race in Italy just 25 seconds Don’t let that detract from the fact that this was a historic over the 2-hour mark. moment. Last year, he finished the Berlin Marathon just 1 minute, 39 seconds over. But on 12th October 2019, Kipchoge finally did it: He completed the Ineos 1:59 Challenge marathon in Vienna — Upcoming events in December include: an event arranged specifically for his sub-2-hour attempt — in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40 seconds. Kipchoge’s average 1: Formula 1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina mile pace was under 4 minutes, 34 seconds. 4-8: Swimming - European Short Course Championships, Glasgow The International Association of Athletics Federations 12-15: Golf - Presidents Cup, Melbourne (IAAF), however, will not be honoring the feat as a world 17 Dec-16 Feb (2020): Cricket - England tour of South Africa record. 26-30: Cricket - South Africa v England, first Test, Centurion That’s because Kipchoge had advantages that set this 26: Horse racing - King George VI Chase, Kempton

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FITNESS

IT’S NOT TOO EARLY TO START GETTING FITTER AND HEALTHIER!

By Mark Broadbent

Most people at this point, if they’re not already following some kind of diet and exercise plan, won’t even consider starting a new regime until January. Some that are already following one may even be falling off the wagon with a view to re-start it again in the new year too!

The point is, there will be many excuses available to you over December as to why you “can’t” start yet, but none of them are good enough to sacrifice your health and happiness for. You can still enjoy yourself, and a good plan will allow for some flexibility in your diet and training plan. So sit yourself Whilst it’s good to have targets and prepare, putting it off down and have a think about your goals, and what you need until what you think will be the “right” time, or an “easier” to do to achieve them. Write yourself a plan of how you can time to start is bad news. fit that into your extremely busy schedule (it may cut into some valuable Christmas TV time), and stick to that plan. I’ll let you in on a secret – it’s NEVER a good time! Something will always get in the way. There’s always an event coming up If you need help with your training and/or nutrition, visit www. that will throw you off. If you’re waiting for the perfect time TredegarPT.com for more information on Personal Training, to start – there isn’t one. Sorry. It’ll be a long wait, and in the Online Coaching and Nutrition Coaching. meantime, you’ll be getting bigger and bigger and less and less inclined to do something about it. Or give Dartford Bootcamps a go! www.DartfordBootcamps.com Yes, December is generally regarded as party season, and you’ll probably have more sweets in the house, more nights And follow us on Facebook and Twitter for extra tips, advice out, more parties, work do’s and social activities, BUT that’s and motivation. no excuse. Mark Broadbent If you’re serious about losing weight, getting fit, improving your health, having more energy, being less stressed, feeling Master Personal Trainer & Instructor at Dartford Bootcamps better etc etc… then you need to stop putting it off and do www.DartfordBootcamps.com something about it NOW. MarkOneFitness.blogspot.co.uk Yes, it may make sense to wait for the January offers in the gyms, but at the same time, if you value your health and really want this, is saving a few quid from a joining fee really a big deal? If you don’t value your health enough to pay the joining fee, I doubt you’re committed enough to make it work anyway. That being said, if you do want to wait for the gym offers, it doesn’t mean you can’t start doing something now. You can start exercising more in other ways – walk more, increase your daily step count, do some home workouts, go to some classes - I’d recommend Dartford Bootcamps – find something you can do that doesn’t require the gym just yet. On top of that, work on your diet. Good nutrition is half the battle and if you can get control of that along with some level of increased activity, you’ll have started seeing results before January already – then you’ll be even more motivated to train and may actually use the gym you just signed up to! 42

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RESCUE IS BEST

by Battersea Dog and Cats Home - Brands Hatch

We have teamed up with Battersea Dog and Cats home - Brands Hatch to bring you regular listings of animals requiring rehoming.

Name: Larry; Breed: German Shepherd; Sex: Male; Age: 4 years 6 months; Centre: Brands Hatch; Reference: 366944

Name: Heid; Breed: British Shorthair; Sex: Male; Age: 6 years 1 month; Centre: Brands Hatch; Reference: 377359

Larry is a very smart dog who learns new things quickly with consistent positive association and reward. He loves tennis balls and these can be used to introduce him to new people, build a bond and distract him from other dogs when he is out and about. Larry can be aloof at times and unsure of new people, but once he gets to know you he enjoys calm affection and spending time relaxing with his favourite people. Larry can forget his manners when meeting new dogs so can be a bit intense which may be a bit too much for other dogs, so new owners will need to manage this carefully, reading his body language and knowing when to move him along. Larry is looking for a rural home with access to quiet walking areas. His training will require some patience and owners should be committed and consistent to achieve positive results. Please visit battersea.org.uk to find out more.

Lovely Heid is a handsome cat with lots of love to give. Although sometimes a bit wary, Heid battles through his nerves and likes to show his affectionate and friendly side – usually with a head bump. He loves a chin tickle and will purr and dribble to show his appreciation. Heid would like a garden to explore once he is fully settled into his new home. Please visit battersea.org.uk to find out more.

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THEATRE REVIEW

BY LIZ DYER

With Christmas just around the corner, are you wondering what to buy your friends and family this year? Well, look no further - because our brilliant local theatre the Orchard has plenty of great options to keep everyone entertained for the foreseeable future. But before we get into a sneak preview of 2020’s highlights, a reminder that panto season is almost upon us! This year’s show, which opens on 14th December and runs until 5th January, stars Eastenders legend Steve McFadden as Captain Hook alongside comedian Andy Ford as Mr Smee. Tickets have been selling fast but some are still available, so don’t miss what promises to be a magical festive treat. So, what’s coming up in the new year? The simple answer is: a lot. Following hot on the heels of Peter Pan is the first big show of 2020, and it’s a good one. Based on the hit movie starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, The Bodyguard (8th-18th January) sees X Factor, Strictly and West End star Alexandra Burke reprise her critically acclaimed role as Rachel Marron. And if you know a fan of thrillers, why not surprise them with a ticket for Dial M for Murder (27th January-1st February), starring Tom Chambers as a jaded ex-tennis pro intent on getting away with the perfect crime? Made famous by the 1950 Alfred Hitchcock movie, this play is sure to keep us all on the edge of our seats.

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Fast forward a couple of months, and award-winning illusionist Derren Brown will be returning to Dartford in March with his first live show in five years, Showman (26th March-4th April). And I’d love to tell you more about that, but the content of the show is top secret - so you may just have to go and see it to find out what happens! Or for something a bit more upbeat, why not grab your tickets for On Your Feet (6th-11th), the exhilarating true story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, featuring some of their biggest hits and a stellar cast. Following its recent acclaimed West End run, prepare to get on your feet - because apparently the rhythm really is going to get you… Other highlights coming up in early 2020 include the hilarious family musical Shrek (29th April-2nd May), Thriller Live (4th-9th May), celebrating the hit music of Michael Jackson, classic thriller An Inspector Calls (12th-16th May) and Friendsical (1st-6th June), a parody musical all about everyone’s favourite sitcom, Friends. Could we BE any more excited?! And that’s not all, of course - there’s plenty of music, comedy, dance and loads of other fantastic entertainment to look forward to over the next few months. Check out the Orchard website for more details, and get booking those tickets!

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CAR NEWS DECEMBER 2019

By Dhiren Ganesh

In this month’s article we look at an upgrade and a new 2020 Audi RS Q8 sports SUV – this is the full-fat RS version from leading manufacturers and a new luxury SUV. performance version of Audi Q8 SUV. This versiion uses the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol engine and the other Audi RS versions developing 592bhp. The RS Q8’s engine is clever, too, shutting down half of its eight cylinders when they’re not needed to save fuel. Meanwhile, a mild hybrid system recoups some of the energy that would normally be lost when slowing down and allows the car to coast for up to 40 seconds at a time with the engine off. It relies on a bodykit, rear diffuser, twin oval exhausts and massive 22in wheels to help it stand out. And there are a range of options to let you personalise your car’s appearance, including 23in wheels and black and carbonfibre styling packs. It will be on sale during Spring 2020 and prices are expetced to start from £95,000.

2020 Toyota Yaris – All-new Toyota Yaris gets hybrid power and improved infotainment tech, yet remains one of the most compact small cars out there. With a more aggressive and prominent front grille and bumper, chrome detailing and slim LED headlights, the new Yaris is more sporty. It will be stiffer, lighter and shorter than before without reducing interior space. There will be two engines at launch; 1.5 hybrid and a 1.5 petrol engine with the hybrid option offering 111hbp (compared to current 98bhp). The hybrid offers 80mpg , an improvement of roughly 20%. Inside, there’s a standard 8.0in infotainment touchscreen running an updated version of Toyota’s current software and a wireless charging pad for your mobile phone, plus multiple USB connections. Prices are expected to be 2020 Aston Martin DBX – this is the first SUV in the around £15,000 when it comes on sale in Summer 2020. British brand’s 106-year history. An entrant into the booming prestige SUV market, the DBX promises the performance and luxury you’d expect from the brand, along with space and practicality that you wouldn’t. Plus, it’s said to offer genuine off-road ability. The designers have managed to incorporate Aston Martin’s styling cues in a way that looks natural – something some rivals have struggled with when producing their first SUVs. The twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine available at launch are powered by produces a healthy 542bhp. Both a V12 version and a plug-in hybrid are expected to follow. Aston Martin claims more leg and head room and a bigger boot than its rivals. A 10.25in infotainment screen incorporating Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring is standard, as are customisable digital instruments, a 360-degree parking camera, ambient lighting in 64 colours and a panoramic glass roof. Prices are expected to start around £158,000 when it comes on sale in Spring 2020. www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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CHIROPODIST

Shelley Lane

MSSCh MBChA

HCPC Registered Home Visits 01474 745898 DARTFORD PAINTED ROCKS Rock Painting in Dartford.

Local people from Dartford Painted Rocks on Facebook have been busy this month painting

By Kingsford andMaria hiding them around town. The rocks can also be exchanged at Stephen Oliver: Studio and Gallery located in the Orchard Shopping Centre.

Here are some great photos of their painted rocks.

Local people from ‘Dartford painted rocks’ on Facebook have been busy this month painting and hiding them around the town. The rocks can be exchanged at Stephen Oliver: Studio and Gallery located at the Orchards Shopping Centre. Here are some of the photos of their latest painted rocks.

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Want to get fit in 2019 whilst enjoying fresh air and home grown veg? The Brent Playgroup meet Monday to Friday 9.15am to 12.15pm Term time only. For enquiries please contact: Mobile: 07989073866 Tel 01322 271738 (between 8 and 12:30) email: thebrentplaygroup@gmail.com or call in at any time.

Allotments for rent in Gore Road, East Dartford are available now. Contact Clive 07542 477322 or dartfordeastallotments@ymail.com

Registered for Free for Two Children The Brent Methodist Church Hall PostCode DA1 1XF www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Parent and Toddler Groups - Term Time Only

MONDAYS 9:15am - 11:00am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. £2.00 per one adult and child and 50p for any extra children or adults each. Tea/coffee biscuits, small snack for children with juice. Toast 20p per slice Craft table and singing and dancing at end of session Contact Julie on 01322 291092. TUESDAYS Session 1: 9.15-10.45am, and Session 2: 11-12.30pm. Christchurch, Crossroad, Dartford. Contact Catherine on 01322 220036. 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 for further information. 9.30am-11.30am Sticky Fingers - £1.50 per adult includes tea ,biscuits and healthy snack time for the children For pre school children up to 4 years St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall London Road Greenhithe Contact 01322 382031 or see www.stmarygreenhithe. com WEDNESDAYS 10am -12pm - Little Angels Net Church, (Formerly Gala Bingo Hall) Dartford, £2.50 per family including all snacks and drinks. Catherine 07878658685 11.15am - SLADE GREEN AND HOWBURY COMMUNITY LIBRARY BABY AND TODDLER ACTION RHYME TIME GROUP 12:45pm -2.45pm - Fleetdown Open House - Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale Road, Dartford, DA2 6JZ £2.50 per Adult THURSDAYS 9:30am - 11:30am. St Paulinus Church Hall, Manor Road, Crayford. 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - facebook.com/ToeRags 1pm-2.30pm Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - facebook.com/ToeRags FRIDAYS 9.30am-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.stmarygreenhithe.com 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers facebook.com/ToeRags 9.30am-11.30am Carer & Toddler Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Stone Place Rd, Greenhithe. Jeanne 01322 380322 jeannehoadley@ yahoo.co.uk 1-3pm Gigglekidz, Tree Estate Community Centre on Cedar Road - £2 Per Child SATURDAYS 9.30am-11.30am Daddy and Me - A group for dads and male carers of children up to 5years. £1.50 includes healthy snack time for the children. St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 or see www.stmarygreenhithe.com 2-3pm - Lego Club- ages 5 and over - Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions at Dartford Libraries - Monday Friday Thursday Story Time Fleetdown - Tuesday Greenhithe - Thursday - Thursday Longfield Summerhouse - Tuesday Sutton-at-Hone -Monday. Temple Hill - Thursday Dartford

10:30am - 11am 2:15pm – 2:45pm 10:30pm -11:00am 10:30am -11am 2.15pm – 2.45pm 10:45am -11:15am 10:30am – 11am 2pm – 2:30pm 10.30am -11am

Come along and join in the fun! Term time only For more information please call 03000 41 31 31 48

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MEN AND WOMEN - ALL AGES WELCOME

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY CARE & SUPPORT THE NORTH WEST KENT BRANCH OF THE MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE ASSOCIATION meets on various date at Birchwood Country Club For more information contact Alexon 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.

Theo.Hodges@stroke.org.uk or 0743 7100 404, for more details THE WELLBEING LINK The Wellbeing Link meets on Friday mornings from 10-1pm in the St. Anselm’s Parish Centre, 89 West Hill, Dartford A friendly and informative group - call Julie On 07775875585 JUST FOR GROWN UPS GROUP

SOCIAL GROUPS We are a small friendly group who meet at the Meeting Place in the Orchards Shopping Centre on the first Tuesday of the month. Join us any time between 11am and 1pm for a social chat, coffee and biscuits or a fun quiz. For more information contact mikeansell.dt@hotmail.co.uk

ALL DIRECTIONS 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 20S 30S DARTFORD BEXLEYHEATH club, contact Caroline on 01322 440482 or SURROUNDING AREAS SOCIAL GROUP more information visit: 07570 347612 www.meetup.com/20s-30s-DartfordBexleyheath-surrounding-areas-socialAGE UK, CRAYFORD LIBRARY POP IN PARLOUR COFFEE MORNING every Friday group/ morning 10.30 - 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF and a chat - Just £1 THE THIRD AGE) meets on the first Tuesday of every month BEXLEY AND DARTFORD BRANCH (except August) at St Anselm’s Church Hall, PARKINSONS UK For people with Parkinsons and their carers. West Hill, Dartford at 2pm, For information about meetings and interest groups call Dartford: 2nd Wednesday of each month, 01474-709068 or visit our website. Mick Jagger Centre, 7.30-9.30pm. Information support workers available, WILMINGTON AND AXSTANE PROBUS guest speakers and quizzes. Contact Wendy Leach.  Tel:  02083065973 CLUB We are a group of retired men who meet THE STROKE ASSOCIATION has 2 groups monthly for a lunch and a speaker at the Swanley Bowls Centre. We also have for stroke survivors with Communication a monthly walk and occasional coffee difficulties; one in Dartford and one in mornings and as a side line we raise money Gravesend. Please contact Michele at Dartford@stroke.org.uk or on 01622 3251 for a local charity. If you are missing the contact with other business men since you 962. retired, why not come and join us on the last Thursday of every month. For more Also, there is a social group, run by stroke details contact Phil Burt on 01322 274541 survivors for stroke survivors. It provides or look at our website www.waprobus.com excise classes, art sessions, outings, events and meetings. It meets at the YMCA, Dartford, DA1 1UP at 11.00 am on Tuesdays. Please contact Theo Hodges at

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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 www.nwr.org.uk or call 01603406767 and ask about the Dartford group. HEALTHCARE RETIREMENT GROUP 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 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.

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DARTFORD LIVING 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.co.uk (under Local Clubs and Societies).

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BLUEWATER WRITERS’ GROUP We meet each week on Wednesday evenings 7pm - 9pm at Starbucks’ Coffee Shop , Bluewater Upper Guildhall, opposite Waterstones. No fees to pay, just purchase your drink or food in Starbucks and join us. All genres and writing styles are welcome including adult fiction, young adult/teen, children’s, non-fiction, writing for stage and screen and poetry. See us on Facebook “Bluewater Writers’ Group” For further info email Tony at: tonyjan@ talktalk.net 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 Crayford.Probus@gmail.com. FAIRFIELD (DARTFORD) WI A warm welcome awaits you on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds Lane, DA1 2NT at 7.30pm. For more information please contact Judith on 01322 278703 or email FairfieldDartford@ wkfwi.org.uk

best of all it is not expensive. For your chance to become involved in something very special, you need to experience it because no other organisation offers you the opportunities that Round Table does. Check out the locally famous club www. dartfordroundtable.co.uk Facebook search: * Dartford Round Table * Round Table * Dartford Egg Hunt You will receive a very warm welcome. THE ROTARY CLUB OF DARTFORD We meet at lunchtime at The Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesdays. Time 12.45 for 1 pm For further details phone: 07706 103706

THE RENDEZVOUS CLUB (50+) Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm Location: Close to Bexleyheath Town Centre Description: We are a (non-profit making) friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. CRAYFORD WOMEN’S INSTITUTE 1st We enjoy socialising, making new friends Thursday of every month at 1.30pm. Baker and activities including Quizzes, Meals Trust Hall. Maxim Road, Crayford (near Out, Trips to the Theatre, Cinema, Coach Sainsburys). Contact Secretary, Linda Trips, Gentle Walks and Short Breaks Away. Lewis 01322 557229 Admission: Subs £2.50 per week. Annual membership £6 DARTFORD LADIES PROBUS CLUB If you would like to join us or require A group of retired ladies meet locally further information please telephone: for lunch on the 4th Wednesday of each Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414 month,. They raise funds for charity and usually invite a speaker. Join them and TALK TIME enjoy meeting and making new friends. If TUESDAY 2.00 - 3.00PM (TERM TIME you would like more information please ONLY) contact Iris (Secretary) on 01474 703448 Fleetdown Library Everybody welcome, join us for a friendly MALE? AGED 18 - 45? chat Round Table is for the guys with Ladies and light refreshments. Circle for the Ladies (ladiescircle.co.uk) Dartford RT meets every 2nd and 4th HAVEN (LGBT) SOCIAL GROUP. Thursday. London / Kent area. Every Friday - a safe Place to Meet. Often called the original young man’s For more information please contact social club, Round Table has over 400 01322 287356 or 07503 306467 or email clubs in the UK and is in 50+ countries havenx35@gmail.com worldwide. We have an emphasis on having a lot of FUN. WILMINGTON WOMEN’S INSTITUTE is a friendly group who meet on the 2nd We guarantee that involvement with Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm in Round Table will enhance your social life, the Memorial Hall, High Road, Wilmington. your personal abilities, your network and For more information on our activities

please call Ann Hambridge on 01322 228082 DARTFORD ACTIVE RETIREMENT GROUP [DARTARA] We are a group that meets on second Thursday once a month 2 - 4pm at Fleetdown community centre. At the meeting we have a guest entertainer or speaker, we also organise holidays and day trips out as well as activities including theatre trips, curling, short mat bowls, indoor games, coffee and cake afternoons and an art group. Just turn up on the day or phone Maureen Dixon-Jones 01322 383337 or Glenys Theobald 01322 273108 for more information THE ROTARY CLUB OF THE NORTH DOWNS Our club, which is one of 35,000 around the World, was set up 40 years ago and has members with a wide range of interests and backgrounds. The club actively supports a number of charities locally, nationally and internationally and we continue to raise funds for Ellenor Hospices, Demelza Hospices for Children, Darent Valley Hospital and many others. We are very keen to maintain these traditions and welcome new members from the area. We also organise numerous social activities both for members and the wider community. For more information about the club’s activities and membership please contact Bob Phillips on 07815 807520 or John Smeeth on 07889 137951 THE ASSOCIATION OF BEXLEY CHARITIES ’78 will hold its Grand Autumn Fair at the United Reformed Church, Geddes Place, Bexleyheath DA6 7DJ (near the Broadway Shopping Centre) on Saturday 26th October 2019 from 9.45 am - 1.00 pm. There will be a variety of charity stalls selling Christmas Gifts and Cards; CDs and DVDs; Collectables; Jewellery; Chutneys, Jams, Cakes; Books; Children’s Toys and Games; Model Railway accessories. REFRESHMENTS WILL BE AVAILABLE ENTRANCE 50P (ACCOMPANIED CHILDREN FREE) WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY CLUBS AND SOCIETIES

CRAPPY 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 scrappydays@ hotmail.co.uk

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 PAVILION PLAYERS 01474 355676 for more information or look at my website www.tonimount. Is an amateur dramatics group based at the Joydens Wood Community co.uk Centre, Wilmington, Kent. We meet every Tuesday from 8-10pm. For more DSTC ALUMNI information please visit www.faceHi all, if you went to DSTC, DTC, Dartford West Girls or any other name book.com/pavilionplayers or call us on 07505 006539. Alternatively just pop that the school has been known as down on a Tuesday night! Everyone we would love to hear from you! The welcome! school is looking to make links with former students to help raise the profile of the school but also as a way DARTFORD BELLRINGERS Holy Trinity Church, High Street, of getting back in touch with people. Wednesdays 8.00-9.30p.m. Free There will be an event later on in the tuition with a very friendly, sociable academic year and we are planning some exciting things for the group so group. The ideal way to make new friends. Phone Ester 01322 220458 get joining and let’s get reminiscing!! or email: www.facebook.com/groups/ esther.correia1@btinternet.com DSTCAlumni THE MANOR HALL VARIETY GROUP 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 c_sawyers@hotmail.com. 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. S

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NORTH WEST KENT FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see www.nwkfhs. org.uk or ring Janet 01322384836

DARTFORD BRIDGE CLUB meets every Tuesday evening at 7.00 pm at Wilmington Christian Fellowship Church Hall, Broad Lane, Wilmington DA2 7AQ. We are seeking new members at all levels to play Duplicate Bridge -cost £2 per session. Enquiries: contact John Davies on 01474 832221 or e-mail carolandjohnd@tiscali.co.uk 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 Carol 01322 220802 DARTFORD BOOKS AND CULTURE CLUB meets once a month on Saturday mornings at Dartford Library. For more information, find us at www.meetup. com/West-Kent-Book-Club/ 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 www.dartfordchessclub.co.uk

COLUMBINE CHINA PAINTERS CLUB This small friendly club meets each ERITH MODEL RAILWAY SOCIETY month on the 1st and 3rd Thursday has been in existence for over 50 years afternoon in Sutton-at-Hone Village and has well over 50 active members. Hall. From 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Price As the club continues to grow new is £3.00 to include Tea & biscuits. members are always welcome. Occasionally we meet on a Saturday when we have a tutor with us, from The club meets on Wednesday 10am until 4pm evenings from around 7.00pm until around 9.30pm at our new clubrooms Contact - Maureen Beckham 01322 in Invicta House (aka Belvedere 287214. Marie Blake 01474 704581. Workingmen’s Club), 66 Gilbert Road, Doreen Goddard 01474 707357. Belvedere DA17 5DA.

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WEST HILL MORRIS Come and join your local Morris side, dancing and performing in Dartford, Gravesend and Bexley areas and throughout Kent in the Summer. We are a mixed and very sociable side, and can always find room for new dancers and musicians. It’s a great way of keeping fit and you’ll be helping to conserve a great English tradition. We practice alternate Tuesday evenings at Bexley, from September to April, then dancing out at pubs, clubs and fetes, throughout Kent, from May to August. Private Bookings taken. Contact Alison on 01322 862298, e-mail alisondukes@btinternet.com

SWANLEY HISTORY GROUP Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history. Venue Alexandra Suite St Mary’s Road Swanley BR8 7BU. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@hotmail.co.uk 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 STIMUL8 ACTIVITY SERVICE Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 I provide all the equipment, materials and 1BE. The programme of activities is varied refreshments with just a small all inclusive, with workshops, talks and sit and stitch pay as you go, fee of £10.00 per person sessions. Visitors are very welcome. More per session. information can be found on our website Those who come have the opportunity to www.northkentembroiderers.co.uk or learn painting with watercolours, acrylics, phone 01474324734. inks and how to draw with pencils, soft pastels, oil pastels, charcoals, watercolour THE GARDENING CLUB SUTTON AT pencils, fabric pens, plus basics of HONE sculpting and have the opportunity to sign Monthly meetings, Visits to Gardens, up to additional floral workshops I offer Annual too. www.stimul8-activityservice.co.uk Garden Show and much more. For more information EXTRAORDINARY YOUTH GROUP’ or to become a member please ring 01322 calling all 11-18 year olds who want more 863556. than an ordinary life, come hang out MODERN LINEDANCING CLASSES with other young people and discover St Michael & All Angels Church Hall, DA2 their ultimate purpose. Every Friday in 7EG term time, 7pm-9:30pm at Net Church Wednesdays 1pm - 2pm. Fun, social class Dartford, near McDonalds and next to learning routines from differing genres Weatherspoons. to popular music providing exercise for body and brain. No dance experience or For more information email andrew@ partners necessary. Contact Kay 01322 thenetchurch.co.uk or call 01322 272649. 276528 SHORNE FLOWER ARRANGERS 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 landaclatworthy@ btinternet.com

BEXLEY PHILATELIC SOCIETY Meetings first and third Friday of the month at Freemantle Hall, Bexley village, 7:30 for 7:45 start. Covering stamps and postal history, meetings offer displays, auctions, competitions, and convivial atmosphere. More information on www. bexleyps.org.uk MAKE A NOISE CHOIR Singing songs from the shows and having fun! We meet every Tuesday from 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. at St Anselm’s Church, West Hill, Dartford DA1 2HJ www.makeanoisechoir.com

GIRLGUIDING – DARTFORD DIVISION Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women aged 5-18 in the UK. There are more than 30 groups in the Dartford area run by our amazing volunteers who inspire girls every week. Our new programme delivers the fun and varied range of activities that you expect from guiding, and of course, there’s still plenty of badges to earn. We’ve introduced new topics, new skills and new ways for girls to broaden their horizons. There are lots of flexible ways to volunteer so no matter how much time you have you can #inspiregirls too. If you would like to find out more please register your interest www.girlguiding.org.uk/interested DARTFORD HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY www.historicaldartford.org.uk Our talks in 2019 continue with the following: Friday 18 October - Adrian Herbert will talk about “Dartford Marsh Names and Farms - The History”. Friday 15 November - AGM followed by members’ talks. Friday 13 December - Christoph Bull “Myths and Legends of Dartford and Gravesham” followed by a buffet. Please bring a plate to share. These events will be held at the Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherds Lane, Dartford, at 7.30 for 7.45pm and all are welcome. A small charge of £2.00 is made for nonmembers. Membership of the Society is currently £10.00 per annum and this includes a copy of the annual magazine which contains interesting articles on the history of Dartford and surrounds. Telephone 01322 221702 for further information.

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY DARTFORD’S BIG SING

Wednesdays 7pm – 9pm St Edmund’s Living Well Centre, St Edmund’s Road, Dartford, DA1 5ND The DARTFORD’s BIG Sing community choir is open to anyone and everyone! Come along when you can and sing with us! Each rehearsal is just £7 and there are NO sign up or long term financial commitments! Just your enthusiasm! Come along any week to sign up as a member! You don’t need to read music, be able to sing solo’s or even have any experience of singing! However, if you have singing experience we encourage people to try solo’s if they want to! We sing pop, soul, gospel, RnB, Motown and inspirational songs to uplift and energise your week! Great way to meet new friends in your community! We often perform in and around the community with various events throughout the year!

para sport please contact us on 01474 871484 or alternatively look at our website www.nagfencing.eu

ERITH YOUTH RUGBY

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

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 54

KENT EXILES AMERICAN FOOTBALL CLUB

www.kentexiles.co.uk. Coach Martin - 07944 730634. LITTLE TIGERS - KARATE FOR 3, 4 & All ages from 7 years to adult welcome

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 www. dartfordgymnastics.co.uk for full details or contact Linda on 01322 409312 or email dartfordgymclub@ yahoo.co.uk

The choir is open to ALL ages (from 12yrs) LEARN KARATE and ALL abilities in and around the comLearn karate with Yamato Damashii – munity of Dartford - however if you are not from the area, you are welcome too!! for adults & children Every Wednesday evening at the Leigh Academy & every Saturday morning at www.big-sing.com Becket Sport Centre, first lesson free. twitter.com/BIGSing1 For more info, visit www.ydma.club or www.facebook.com/theBIGsing/ find us on Facebook, search for Yamato Damashii Martial Arts.

SPORTS GROUPS AND CLUBS

For more information please contact Emma: emma@samadhi-yoga.co.uk TEL: 07932 621415 www.samadhi-yoga.co.uk

YOGA WITH EMMA

Becket Sports Centre (evenings):

- Mondays: Yoga for Men – 8.30pm to 9.30pm - Thursdays: Hatha Yoga – 6.00pm to 7.00pm - Fridays: Hatha Yoga – 7.00pm to 8.00pm

ENERGY FITNESS AND NUTRITION

I run group fitness classes as well as 1-1 and semi private personal training sessions in Darenth at Dimples Day Nursery DA2 7HT. ENERGY Fitness & Nutrition: we offer a wide variety of group classes such as strength & conditioning, boot camps, Boxercise, mum and baby classes, inside and outside classes with great equipment and suitable for all abilities. The website is www.energyfitnut.co.uk

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.

DARTFORD JU JITSU CLUB

Mondays 7-8pm for 7-16s at the Dartford Girls Grammar, Shepherds Lane Dartford DA1 2NT in the Dance Studio. We have an adult class 8-10pm too.  We’ve been running for 20 years, building confidence, teaching self-defence, hardening the target, developing skills and always welcome new members.

DARTFORD ORIENTEERING

Europa Gymnastics Centre (mornings): CLUB - Wednesdays: Hatha Yoga – 9.30am to 10.30am For more details see www.dfok.co.uk - Fridays: Hatha Yoga – 9.30am to 10.30am - Fridays: Mindful Yin Yoga – 10.45am to 11.45am

HOP LIKE IT’S HOT

A fun (different) circuit based workout

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D A R T FO R D A N D W H I T E O A K TRIATHLON CLUB We are the local British Triathlon Federation Club covering Bexley, Dartford and Swanley. We offer coached swimming sessions 3 times per week at White oak pool in Swanley and Fairfield pool THE HIGHLY STRUNG BADMINTON in Dartford. Our members compete in CLUB, many local Triathlons plus many members Friendly club seeking new members. are training towards Iron Man distance. Abilities mixed. We also have our own Triathlon in June Would suit players with some prior every year which has been running since experience. 1989. If you are interested in joining us Thursdays at 7.45-9.45pm, Dartford Girls’ then please visit our website Grammar School, DA1 2NT http://www.dartfordandwhiteoaktri.co.uk with space hoppers that challenges core stabilty, balance and strength. It is suitable for all levels and abilities. Classes are held every Wednesday evening at the stone pavilion starting at 8:15 until 9:00 costing £5 per person.

For further information please email: highlystrungbc@gmail.com

WAR GAMES AND MODEL CLUB

Based in Erith we have a wide number of members from across SE London and Kent. A great place to come and have a game, make, paint and hobby! Or, if you prefer, come grab a cup of tea and chat about all things hobby and some things not! For more info visit - https:// emperors10th.wixsite.com/home

DARTFORD PARKRUN Dartford parkrun is a free to enter 5k run every Saturday morning starting by the Dartford harriers track in Central Park at 9am. All participants get a time a position emailed and texted after the event. To register go to www.parkrun.org.uk. Remember to bring your printed Barcode. Every Sunday Morning in the Park there is a Junior parkrun over 2k – registration is the same. DARTFORD HEATH PARKRUN Dartford’s 2nd parkrun event is now live. The run starts behind the Heath Lane car park and is a free 5k run every Saturday morning at 9am. Parking is restricted in the area so please do not park in Heathclose Road and wherever possible please walk. FOOTSCRAY MEADOW PARKRUN A new Parkrun event with parking at Crazy Barn

SEEDS CYCLING CLUB DARTFORD Seeds is a long-established cycling Club in Dartford and we share our headquarters at Hesketh with Dartford Cricket Club. We cater for most abilities and have a social ride most Saturday mornings. For info on joining us please visit our website www.seedscycling.co.uk

coached track sessions on Wednesday evenings for runners of all abilities.

This is a tough but very popular way to increase your stamina and running technique, and you’ll be in the company of qualified coaches and some of the friendliest runners around. For more information please visit our website http://centralparkathletics.co.uk/

Every Sunday 10-11am – Child friendly coached sessions – Come and join the CPA Swifts – As a fledgling club we would like to give children of all ages and abilities the chance to experience training and The White Oak Triathlon is one of the coaching within a club environment – oldest Triathlon events in England. come and be part of the team Now in its 29th year the event is a club Free first session with this advert organised event, for triathletes delivered by triathletes so you can be sure that SO LET’S GO RUNNING (SLGR) the club focuses upon delivering a first SLGR is a local running club with class race experience. The 2019 race structured training sessions designed will take place on 9th June. to improve runners speed and stamina. h t t p s : // w w w . s t u w e b . c o . u k / events/2019/06/9/3250/ There are currently four runs available with more starting soon; see below for DARTFORD ROAD RUNNERS more details. Dartford Road Runners are based at Princes Park Stadium and are one of the The Run leaders for each group are as biggest road running clubs in Kent. We follows; currently have about 200 members of all Dartford Cricket Club, Dartford - Dawn abilities including a beginners group. DRR & Brian teams compete in the Kent League, the Assembly League and the Kent Fitness Cyclopark, Gravesend - Dawn & Brian League. To see what we offer and how to New runners are always welcome, and join us please visit our website – anyone you can contact Brian if you would like is welcome to join us with all abilities. more information; see contact details http://dartfordroadrunners.co.uk/ and e-mail link on Our Group page. node/440 YOGA & MEDITATION CLASSES DARTFORD HARRIERS ATHLETICS Every Tuesday from 6-7pm &Thursday CLUB from 10.30am to 12.00pm at Peppercorns, Dartford Harriers is among the leading 3 Orchard Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2DF. athletics clubs in Kent, with a history For more information please call The Hope stretching back to the 1920′s, making Group on 07580 615206. it one of the oldest clubs in the country. If you are interested in seeing how we DARTFORD BOCCIA CLUB can help you advance your Athletics Boccia is a Paralympic Sport similar to then please visit our website Pétanque or Boules. It is played in a seated http://www.dartfordharriersac.co.uk position therefore ideal for disabled or Entries are now open for the 2019 non-disabled persons to play together. Dartford Half marathon at the website – The event will be on 3rd march 2019 We meet once a fortnight on a Saturday CENTRAL PARK ATHLETICS CLUB We are situated in Dartford’s outstanding Central Park and can provide access to a state of the art running track (re-laid in 2015) and the full range of track and field facilities for just £4.50 per session (we offer discounted annual memberships). Refreshments and changing facilities are also available. For no extra charge, we hold

between 5-6pm. Cost is £2.50 per player per session. There is FREE parking on site. All welcome. Facebook: Dartford Boccia Club

THE ASHES BADMINTON CLUB

Mondays, Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane. 8-9.30. Jacqui 07764 182854.

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ADVERTISERS INDEX

DIRECTORY OF LOCAL BUSINESSES ADVERTISING IN DARTFORD LIVING ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL

Downton Ali Associates....................................................59

FARM SHOP

BEAUTY

H&M Foods........................................................................15 Stanhill Farm......................................................................16

BUILDERS, DECORATORS, ROOFING, BATHROOMS, HEATING, KITCHENS, WINDOWS & DOORS

Dartford Florist.................................................................21 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES

Gorgeous Nail & Beauty....................................................10

Claremont Decorative Services........................................36 Steve Cook - Double Glazing.............................................22 The Double Glazing Repair Man.........................................4

YRS Refurbishments............................................................4 CAFE

Two Trees Cafe ................................................................37 CAR CARE

FLORIST

Orchard Garage.................................................................60 Shenley Road Garage.........................................................7 GARDENING

Bow Arrow Gardening........................................................7 JEWELLERY

Bradleys..............................................................................25 NURSERY

ChipsAway..........................................................................11 Holy Trinity Church Pre School...................................12 The Brent Playgroup....................................................47 CHILDREN Bip Bop Shop................................................................19 MEDICAL AND HEALTH Dartford Our Space.....................................................47 Monkey Music...............................................................55

Delmergate Pharmacy.................................................15

Crossways Church.........................................................7

Dartford Bootcamps..........................................................32

CHURCH

Slimming World...............................................................2 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS

COUNCIL

Fairfield Leisure Centre.....................................................30

ENTERTAINMENT

Why Weight?......................................................................20

Dartford Borough Council ................................................31 Bexley Park Sports & Social Club......................................37

Orchard Theatre................................................................43 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS

Fox Estates ........................................................................17 Wisdom Estates.................................................................23

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On Pointe Pilates................................................................19 OPTICIANS

Linklater Opticians.............................................................43 PICTURE FRAMING

Craft Frames.......................................................................38

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RESTAURANT/ TEA ROOMS/CAFE

EFES...................................................................................18

The Churchyard Tea Room................................................11 Two Tree Tea Room...........................................................36 SECURITY

Excel Security Systems.....................................................21 SPORTS

Dartford Football Club..................................................0,41

Fairfield Leisure Centre.....................................................28

Paul Page Golf Academy......................................................7 TUTOR

my Bluewater tutor............ ................................................49 WILL WRITING

SMN Will Writing ..........................................................21

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We offer amazing value advertising with adverts starting from just £30 for a month. We don’t just take your money and add you to the magazine. We want to work with you to promote your businesses as much as we can using our website and social media channels for maximum exposure. We can also provide advertising options solely online on your website and/ or social media channels. We feel we have every base covered. To book in an advert call 01322 507817 or email sales@dartfordliving.com David Shafford

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YOUR NEXT DEADLINE IS 10TH DECEMBER 2019

Dartford Living does not certify, endorse or verify the contents of any communication within the magazine/our online presence or make warranty of any kind, express or implied, with regard to the information contained therein. Dartford Living and its owners cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or claims made by advertisers or endorse companies, products or services that appear in any Dartford Living publication or media outlet. Dartford Living is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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USEFUL NUMBERS LOCAL AND NATIONAL 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 105 Flooding 03459881180 Highways Kent 03000 41 41 41 Social Services 03000 41 41 41 Water Burst 0800 820 999 (Southern) 0800 714614 (Thames) HEALTH Darent Valley Hospital 01322 428100 Dartford East Health Centre 01322 421480 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

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: 116 123 LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047 LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or www.pitchero.com/clubs/ bexleyrfc/ Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250

Dartford Ju Jitsu Club Mondays, Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds Lane. 6.308.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www.dartfordjujitsu.co.uk 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- Contact: 01322 299990 www.dartfordfc.com Dartford Valley RFC www.pitchero.com/clubs/ darenthvalleyrfc/ USEFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Living Community Group

HELPLINES 24 Hour Kent Dementia Helpline: 0800 500 3014 Alcoholics Anonymous: 08457 697 555 Citizens Advice Bureau: 01322 472 979 Debt Councilling (CAP) 0800 328 0006 Information About Drugs - FRANK: 58

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Profile for Dartford Living

Dartford Living December 2019  

The December issue of Dartford Living featuring: Fairfield Leisure centre toy appeal, WWII Veterans meet Dartford school children, Bluewater...

Dartford Living December 2019  

The December issue of Dartford Living featuring: Fairfield Leisure centre toy appeal, WWII Veterans meet Dartford school children, Bluewater...

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