Page 1

By the community, for the community


NEW YEAR, NEW CAREER for details of full and part time positions available, please visit our website January 2017 - Issue 127

Dimples Day Nursery, Green Street Green Road, Darenth, Kent, DA2 7HT |01322 285885


SERV Kent - Page 8 Legacy Historical Services - Page 10 Local Disability Darts Player - Page 35

Plus - All your regular

features, events, information and much more in your 56 page issue. - -

live happy! with

Slimming World membership* PLUS new easy-start book

of menus

Co m un ce tdo De wn b h t 5 etween 2

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 9:30am and 12:00pm Angela 07956 896679

St Anselm’s Parish Centre 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Gillian 07957 135737

Wilmington Memorial Hall High Road, Wilmington, TUESDAYS DA2 7DW Greenhithe & Swanscombe 9:30am British Legion Club Lindsey 07849 352213 London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ The Howard Venue 10:00 am (formerly South East Dance Paula 07891 424401 Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Glentworth Ex Service Club Hextable, BR8 7LG 154 Lowfield Street, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB Caroline 07776 181413 5:30pm and 7:30pm Angela 07956 896679 Temple Hill Community Centre Temple Hill Square, Wilmington Memorial Hall Dartford, DA1 5HY High Road, Wilmington, 5:30pm and 7:30pm DA2 7DW Jo 07800 797030 5:30pm and 7:30pm Lindsey 07849 352213 THURSDAYS The Howard Venue WEDNESDAYS (formerly South East Dance VCD Sports Club, Old Road Studios) Crayford, DA1 4DN 39 Egerton Avenue, 10:00am, 5:30pm and Hextable, BR8 7LG 7:30pm 9:30am Liz 07900 213548 Caroline 07776 181413

Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401

Church Centre, 112 Swanscombe Street, Swanscombe, Kent DA10 0JZ 7:30pm Lisa 07986 030199

0344 897Please 8000 mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers


an d2 1st Janu ry a

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


be r

Sutton Court, Church Road Sutton at Hone, DA4 9EX 9:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm June 07957 902767

k ee -w *wh en you buy a 12

MONDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 9:30am, 11:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Sue 07507 599691

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

SATURDAYS Amar Hall East Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RX 9:00am Sarah 07739 027161 Christ Church Centre Kingswood Avenue, Swanley, BR8 8AN 9:00am Kelli 07931 085668




24 35 34 8 Contents 8.........................SERV Kent 9.........................Dartford Library 10.......................Legacy Historical Services 12.......................Dartford Living Meets 13.......................Dartford Property Report 16.......................Life Under the Stairs 19.......................Dartford Living Live 24.......................Second Chance Animal Rescue 25.......................Money Advice 26.......................ellenor Winter Walk 30.......................Sports News 31.......................News from Princes Park 32.......................Dartford Valley RFC

33.......................Dartford FC 10 Year Draw 34.......................Adam Fathers Racing 35.......................Kevin Stringer Disability Darts 40.......................Local Entertainment 41.......................Fitness 42.......................Auto News 43.......................Gardening News 44-51..................Where to go locally 52.......................Orchard Theatre Competition 53.......................Advertising Index 54.......................Useful Numbers

check out our website for even more local news and articles Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living



tel k.

Book directly for a good value hotel to call your pad and enjoy FREE WiFi, FREE parking in a warm environment in a well-connected location. From informal debriefs around a coffee, through working lunches and residential meetings of up to 50 people, the Campanile is your local one stop shop!


be eds. ou



Call: 01322 278 925



Please Pleasemention mentionDartford DartfordLiving Living when contacting contacting our our advertisers advertisers

Dear Readers,

Firstly, I’d like to wish all our readers a Happy New Year. I hope you like the new look magazine. It may be a fresh design but it’s still jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can “use them or lose them!” Don’t forget that we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. Dartford Living is YOUR magazine, the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Feel free to get in touch if you would like to write an article for the magazine. If writing is not for you then perhaps you could volunteer to deliver 100 or so magazines to your local roads - you will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! We deliver to thousands of homes and businesses in the local area, however if you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points. These include Dartford Football Club, numerous local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Priory Shopping Centre, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, numerous health centres and local Barclays branches. The ‘Previous Editions’ section of the Dartford Living website also includes electronic versions of Dartford Living magazine. Additionally, if you email we will add you to our newsletter email mailing list and contact you just once a month with an electronic copy of Dartford Living! Nearly 5000 local people already do this!

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



We offer amazing value advertising with adverts starting from just £26 per 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

David Shafford Magazine/ Website Design and Sales

Advertising from only

£26 p/m

Photo by

in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 5 Interested inInterested advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Dartford Living




Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Winners of “Lettings Agency of the Year”

gps lettings

has been identified by specific applicants on our database. If you’re thinking of letting please call us today. 020 8859 2200

Dia Wipes are an essential part of your blood testing routine. Suitable for Dia Wipes are an essential part of your blood testing routine. Suitable for anyone who has Type 1 Diabetes, or those with Type 2 Diabetes who need anyone who has Type 1 Diabetes, or those with Type 2 Diabetes who need to test their blood. to test their blood. Keep Dia-wipes handy so your blood glucose Keep Dia-wipes handy so your blood glucose testing does not slow you down: testing does not slow you down: · School · Office · Car · Beach · Sports · Many more! · School · Office · Car · Beach · Sports · Many more! Each finger wipe measures 45mm x 70mm. Does not contain alcohol, Each finger wipe measures 45mm x 70mm. Does not contain alcohol, fragrance or any product or chemical that will interfere with your fragrance or any product or chemical that will interfere with your blood glucose result. 25 wipes in each resealable pack. RRP £1.49 per blood glucose result. 25 wipes in each resealable pack. RRP £1.49 per pack pack

Available to order from leading insulin Available to order from leading insulin pump pouch and diabetic accessory supplier: pump pouch and diabetic accessory supplier: Funky Pumpers Funky Pumpers or or


Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Dartford Living Living

7 17


Website: twitter: SERVKent

One morning, when Luke Pitman was just 3 years old, he developed a high temperature and broke out in a rash. His parents immediately took him to Urgent Care at Darent Valley Hospital where he was quickly admitted to a ward. He began vomiting and was immediately treated for suspected meningitis whilst tests were carried out. It was an extremely worrying time for his parents, who felt helpless. Although he was kept in overnight the tests came back clear and all was well. He was allowed home that afternoon.

to and from the hospitals of Kent, Demelza House, Ellenor Hospice, patient addresses and the Kent Air Ambulance. These services are provided by a team of volunteers including riders, drivers and controllers 365 nights a year and all day at weekends and bank holidays.

Luke’s father, Darryl, was very impressed with the care he received from the doctors and nurses. They soon had Luke smiling and laughing again. He can’t thank the staff enough for the care and attention that Luke received. Realising how much we rely on the NHS and perhaps sometimes take it for granted, Darryl wanted to give something back in return for the treatment Luke received at Darent Valley Hospital.

“As a controller, I can do this from home with little impact on my life knowing that I’m helping others, possibly in the same situation Luke was” said Darryl. “While Luke doesn’t remember much about that occasion, he understands what SERV Kent does for the hospitals across Kent and the Kent Air Ambulance and how it helps others who might be in a similar position to the one he was in. Luke’s always happy to join me at fundraising events and loves getting involved”.

Having seen a SERV Kent stand at an event in Faversham a few years earlier, Darryl was reminded about them when he saw a post on Twitter around four years ago. He decided to find out more. SERV (Kent) is a charity (No. 1154270) that provides free transportation of blood, blood products, samples, equipment, medicines and other patient essential items


Darryl decided to become a Controller. When on shift he takes the calls from the hospitals and tasks the riders and drivers to collect and deliver whatever product has been requested.

Luke is now 9 and joins his Dad to fundraise for SERV whenever he can and aspires to join the Bloodrunners as soon as he’s old enough. Are you interested in joining SERV Kent? Go to for further details and an application form.

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers



Website: email:

By local resident Jen Pufky My son and I have been regular visitors to Dartford’s Library in Central Park since he was born. He loves books, exploring and reading stories together. We always found the quality, availability and selection of the children’s books to be quite good. And, while the space for kids was accessible, it was certainly on the small side. When we first heard the news about the library renovation, I was initially skeptical about a few things. Firstly, how would the temporary facilities compare to what my son and I were used to? And, secondly, would the new space give children the room they needed to make the most of their library experience?   I have been pleasantly surprised on both fronts. The temporary facility in Acacia Hall was fantastic. The staff, as always, were incredibly helpful and warm, updating us on the progress of the site renovation. The selection of the books was fantastic, given that they had to downsize temporarily. If there were any books we were looking for but couldn’t find, they were able to reserve them and have them available in just a few days for us.  In no time at all, we had the notice that the temporary facility would be closed for two weeks while the newly renovated space was organised.  We stocked up on our books and eagerly awaited the opening of the new space, which did not disappoint. My son was so excited when he first walked into the newly renovated library. He didn’t quite know where to start first! The new children’s area is open and an accessible space with lots of light streaming in from the park.  The

selection of children’s books appears to have doubled in size. Every other book we take out is brand new! There is so much more additional seating (both sofas and desks) for the kids. They now have a lovely space for story time (taking place on Mondays and Thursdays at 10.30am and Fridays at 2.15pm). Each time we’ve visited, the old library, temporary library or new facilities, I’ve been pleased to see how busy it is. I hope the library in Dartford will continue to grow in popularity and attendance as our community continues to grow. We must remember that we need to use it or we could lose it. My only criticism is the lack of free, longer term or some kind of incentive parking in the area around the library. My son and I would happily spend more than 2 hours at the library and the rest of the town on any given morning but very few car parks accommodate this so we always end up rushing. It would also be great to figure out some kind of scheme where you could get free or reimbursed parking if you are using the library. I have a feeling that might be one for the 2017 wish list!

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living



LEGACY HISTORICAL SERVICES For 27 years Steve Hookins worked for the Ministry of Defence, the last seven as part of the curatorial team at the now closed Royal Artillery Museum (Firepower) in Woolwich. In May 2016 he formed his own company called Legacy Historical Services Ltd to carry on the educational work of that great museum.

Steve with one of his favourite guns at the now defunct Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich

A museum is more than just a building full of old bits & pieces for people to look at. Museums have a soul and character; and at their heart are the artefacts on display. But the lifeblood of any museum is the staff who works there. They are the people who live with the collection and its history and are the people entrusted with the task of bringing that collection to life, and that information is handed down from one generation of museum employees to the next. The Royal Artillery museum opened to the public in 1820 which means that it was 196 years old when it finally closed on 8th July 2016. But, what it also meant was that all that knowledge, information & history accrued by the museum staff over nearly 200 years, was, like the museum’s collection, scattered. Steve had a choice, stay in the MoD doing a menial job, or, somehow make use of the knowledge and experience he had accumulated during his service at Firepower, but how to do that? In stepped Tim Lewis of Lewis Coaches who gave Steve a very simple brief, to create a battlefield tour company from scratch. And so Legacy was born in May 2016. Steve wanted to continue to utilize the skills and talents learned at the museum. Therefore, he has made large parts of the museum’s educational program, much of it which he wrote, available to Primary and Secondary schools, including one for KS2 where he dresses up as an Air Raid Warden from WW2 based on his own book “My Grandad, the Air Raid Warden” published in 2014 (Steve’s grandad was an Air Raid Warden, during the Blitz). For KS3 and KS4


Website: Telephon 0208 311 5309 he has developed a one day tour of the Ypres Salient supported by a computerised presentation on WW1 complimented with a travelling display of WW1 military and civilian memorabilia which Steve calls “The Museum in a Box” But his love is touring, and therefore he has developed a range of affordable, accessible and unique tours aimed at the first time battlefield tourist with Steve acting as your tour guide, tour manager and host. Steve wants his tours to be educational and informative, but, at the same time they must be relaxed, sociable and where possible fun! Steve’s view is that a visit to Belgium or France is as much about the local scenery and culture as it is about the history. Legacy is also able to cater for groups wishing to have a tour designed specifically for them. Therefore Steve is happy to develop battlefield tours to suit the needs of the group in question. As Steve points out, “When you go out for a meal you don’t wait for the cab driver to tell you when he is available, you book a cab for the time that suits you. Why not do that with tours? You tell me where and when you want to go and how many there is in the group and I’ll design a tour that’s appropriate and within your budget”

teve working with Arsenal FCs Under 19 Squad, Halle Military Cemetery, Belgium, 2014

2016 has been a steep learning curve for Steve as he had no business experience at all when he started and has therefore had to learn how to be a businessman from scratch as well as publicising Legacy’s services. But he is making headway, with enquiries for bespoke tours for 2017 and 2018 coming in from societies, groups and clubs. For more information go to the Legacy website at www. or phone Steve on 0208 311 5309.

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

15 years of high quality work and exceeding customer expectation, through innovation and first class service.

       

Play Installation & Repairs Tree Surgery & 24/7 Emergency Callout Stump Grinding Hard & Soft Landscape Construction Grounds Maintenance Equipment Hire Traffic Management Highways & Local Authority

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

01322 311141 Dartford Living




Rae is Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) Campaigns Manager for the South Rae explained ‘‘I have very fond memories of Dartford town centre as I studied at North West Kent College between 2001-2003 when it was based on Miskin Road. I think Dartford is at times underrated as a community hub. It fosters a great sense of support for local businesses and charities, with a host of independent shops, and local markets.’ Talking about her job, Rae said ‘I have worked in campaigning since I graduated from university in 2006, spanning both the political and third sectors. I have been in the position of Campaigns Manager at the Motor Neurone Disease Association since August 2015, and can genuinely say I love my job. I work to support campaigning volunteers from across the South of the UK, to influence key decision makers, both locally and nationally in order to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease, and improve service provision. The best part of my role are the relationships I am able to build with the Campaigns Contacts (campaigning volunteers), many of whom have experienced the loss of a loved one to the dreadful disease, or are currently living with MND themselves. The passion and commitment I see in these volunteers to ensure those with MND receive the right services, in a place of their choosing, and in the best timescales possible is very humbling. I think I get to witness the human spirit at its very finest. Doing this job I feel a sense of fulfilment and pride. 

to campaign, and support an increasing number of volunteers to be able to do so in their local areas. I would like to see our number of campaigns contacts grow in order to give a voice to those who are sometimes unable to advocate for themselves.’ If you would like to find our more about the Motor Neurone Disease Associations campaigning work please visit to sign up to their campaigning network.  If you would like to get involved with the North West Kent branch please visit:

The role can be demanding, and comes with a very unique set of challenges, however knowing what I do is helping to have a positive impact on people who are living with an incurable, and debilitating condition makes late nights, long journeys, and any setbacks I face entirely worth it.’ Rae told us about local provision: ‘‘I am a member of the North West Kent MNDA branch, who I know undertake regular donation collections in and around the Dartford area. The local community are very generous, and is these crucial contributions which allow the North West Kent branch to help support people in the local area living with, and caring or those with MND.’ Speaking about the future  Rae said ‘I hope to continue


Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Numbers Dartford Property Report -Useful January 2017 Well, hasn’t 2016 been eventful. The ups and downs of Brexit, the Queen’s 90th, Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, Trump, Bake Off to Channel 4 and something close to the hearts of every buy to let landlord and homeowner in Dartford ... the Dartford property market. So, let’s look at the headlines for the Dartford property market... In the last month, Dartford property values rose by 0.69%, leaving them, year on year 15.1% higher, whilst interestingly, Dartford asking prices are down 2.0% month on month. All three statistics go to show the Dartford property market has recovered well after the summer lull, which was worsened by the uncertainty surrounding the EU vote back in June. Irrespective of all the issues, the average value of a Dartford home now stands at £342,900. Generally, Dartford asking prices continue to hold up well, as asking prices are 4.7% higher year on year. At this time of year, asking prices tend to drop on the run up to Christmas and locally, they have dropped by 2.0% this month (November 2016), although this compares well with last year’s drop in Dartford asking prices, as we saw asking prices drop by 1.1% in November 2015.

note from a recent survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, stating new buyer enquiries and new instructions are falling at the same rate, suggesting that there will not be a downward pressure on property values. Looking at the figures for the UK (as we can’t just look at Dartford in isolation), property values are generally rising slower than a few years ago, but on a positive note, there’s still growth across the UK. You see, slowing property value growth isn’t solely Brexit related, but after a number years of double digit rises in property values, affordability has weakened and cooling price growth is widely seen to be a natural correction of the market. On the other hand, interest rates being at a record low of 0.25% are helping the property market. The cut in interest rates in the late summer was the medicine for the post-Brexit worry and will, as a consequence, ensure that the UK economy continues to be underpinned by buoyant property prices. So, what will happen in 2017 in the Dartford property market? Some say until we know what type of exit the UK will make from the EU it is hard to evaluate the outcome. Although, I believe, the whole Brexit issue is a sideshow to the main issue in the UK (and Dartford) housing market as a whole. As I have mentioned time and time again over the last few months, the biggest issue is demand outstripping supply when it comes to the number of households required to house us all. Dartford has an ever-growing population: with immigration (we still have at least two years of free movement from EU members into the UK), people living longer and the fact we need thousands of additional households as the country has nearly 115,000 divorces a year (where one household becomes two households). These are interesting times ahead! For more thoughts on the Dartford Property

Now it’s true to say, after chatting with fellow property professionals in Dartford, all of us have seen the number of property sales fall slightly, suggesting a slowing market, but it is very early days and it could be the time of year. Also, the numbers are limited, so it’s interesting to take

Market, please contact: Mark Salter 01322 250334 or

Help with English and Maths 7-16. Extension and support. Qualified Teachers.

Ofsted Registered Maths Reading English Spelling Comprehension

DARTFORD • 01322 285685 67 Darenth Road, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1LU


Call today for a FREE assessment

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Life Under The Stairs by Jane Stevenson MINCE PIES I’m ‘over mince-pied’ and it’s still a few days away from The Day. I never realised the diversity of the humble mince pie until I discovered the online Mince Pie Club, whose reviewers test and taste a range of pies from Aldi, Tesco and Waitrose to name but a few. Features such as aroma, texture, quality and quantity of the filling are all discussed in a light hearted, yet serious manner. I learned about the dreaded ‘air gap’ which should be full of filling but invariably isn’t! I also learned about the vast choice of cakes for those of us who like an afternoon mince pie with our cuppa. All butter pastry, gluten free, premium and basic ranges, orange flavoured, iced topping, lattice topped, open – the list is endless. Yesterday I went to a carol concert followed by the ubiquitous mulled wine and mince pie buffet. All the food was homemade, irregular in size and shape, decorated, sugared, open and topped and all tasty and packed full of filling. Both vegetarians and vegans were catered for (you can buy suitable mince meat, and I defy anyone to tell the difference) and a good time was had by all. Does anyone make their own pies anymore? I have an Aged Aunt who used to make her own mince meat as well. There’s dedication for you. Why not experiment with different flavouring. Chuck in a tablespoon of liqueur for some extra taste. Give the young’uns a pastry cutter and let them stamp out stars and holly shapes for decoration. Above all, have some fun baking together. Did you know: - Eating a mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas is supposed to give you good luck for the following year - Cutting it with a knife will bring bad luck - You should make a wish when eating the first mince pie of the season - A mince pie should be eaten in silence - Mince pies should have a star on top depicting the Christmas star that led the three wise men and the shepherds to baby Jesus - The three chief spices – cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves – are a nod to the three gifts of the Magi ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Could we please make 2017 the year when Dartford gets a face lift? After a disastrous few years of neglect, there are signs that Dartford town centre is coming to life. There are new shops in the Orchard and Priory Centres, a new Lidl on the site of the old police station.


Dartford has a rich history going back a quarter of a million years starting with a tribe of hunter gatherers followed in turn by the Romans, Saxons, Tudors and others. We have the historical buildings to show for it – Holy Trinity church, . Yet much of this is now shabby and falling into disrepair, and this viewpoint came up in conversation recently. ‘Dirtford’ is the new Dartford. Ever ready to defend my place of birth, although I agree whole heartedly with much of what was said, I decided to pay particular attention to the place on my next visit. Which was last Saturday. And rather an eye opener. I’m old enough to remember Potts, Kerrs, the High Street when traffic ran through it, and we could shop in the local Marks and Spencer and Woolworths, as well as a host of other small, but well known retailers all now defunct. What remains is the infrastructure housing newer retailers. Yet look at the building themselves. Fine, elegant architecture, now humbled by bricked up windows, dirty windows and peeling paint. Posters and flyers torn and flapping are stuck on the windows of empty shops. The brickwork is dirty, coloured by years of car exhaust. The paving, especially around the area by One Bell Corner, is broken and uneven and has been for a long while. Everything is grubby, messy and untidy. Surely the retailers or the council could spend some money on a general clean up – make the area more inviting, in order to attract new businesses. It is a false economy to hope that the new plans for Lowfield Street will somehow magically transform the town. The fate of other building remains in the balance – the development of the old Eleven Cricketers pub and the adjoining Jolly Millers still blights East Hill, some thirty years after its closure shows no sign of being completed. The area is dirty, shabby and an eyesore. We have several Grade l and Grade ll listed buildings in and around the town. Unfortunately, some such as the old council offices in the High Street and the old Co-op premises are vacant and looking worse for wear. Imagine if they were clean and repaired and marketed. Dartford will renovate itself in time – progress is often circular. It is in our own interests to question who is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of these buildings, before they are too far gone to bother with, and merely pulled down to make way for modern structures. We need to retain our identity and history. If we do not, and allow the fabric of our town to disappear, we will lose something of our local identity. – and that would be such a shame.

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


LOCAL BUSINESS: ORCHARD GARAGE Orchard Garage Limited is an established, family run, Dartford business. We try to make having a vehicle in the garage as easy as possible and strive to give value for money along with a high standard of customer care.     We are a used car dealer with a full servicing and repair workshop and MOT testing centre.   We look after cars, small vans and motorbikes.  We are a Which Trusted Trader and a member of The Good Garage Scheme.  Independent reviews can be seen on www.whichtraders., and on   Most of our customers come to us through recommendation and stay with us.  We are always available to offer help and advice on any motoring needs and never pressurize anyone into something they don’t want or need.   We have a selection of used cars for sale and all our cars are HPI checked, serviced, warranted and come with a full year’s MOT.  We can also arrange finance and have a quick finance calculator on our website. www.   We have several courtesy cars (you may have seen them


Website: Telephone: 01322 271000 whizzing around!) which we can loan to our customers free of charge, whilst their vehicles are being repaired.     We support Dartford Cricket Club and The British Heart Foundation.  Last year we donated a total of £1,920 to the BHF, which we raised by donating £5 for every Good Garage Scheme Full Service we carried out and doing a parachute jump.  We recently donated a car to ‘Bangers for Ben’, which they decorated as a Pokemon and took to Italy and back in a Gumball-style rally to raise funds for the charity BEN.     We have a good team here.  We enjoy working together and therefore all have the same aim - to make sure we are looking after our customers.  To see some of our team building exploits, like us on Facebook or Twitter.   For more information on our used cars or services please see our website, or ring 01322 271000 and speak to Geoff, Dave, Jane or Pam.

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

After the continued success of the Dartford Living Live events we are very pleased to announce the next date and venue. The Nucleus Business and Innovation Centre on The Bridge development is hosting the event on the 1st February 2017 from 7-9pm. Once again food will be provided and Mobile Bar Hire will be providing the drinks. Tickets are FREE and are available for all local businesses and charities through our website

After the success of our previous networking events, we hoped to build on this to make the last event of 2016 even better and it didn’t disappoint. Following a similar format to the previous events, Dartford Science and Technology College provided a perfect backdrop for the event. The food provided by Sally Sue’s Sandwich bar on St Vincents Road Dartford was also very popular too. A number of business and charities were given the opportunity to speak about their organisation in front of the whole networking group. A team of volunteers also created goody bags and local businesses and charities were invited to place their flyers, sample products and business card in so that local people start to build up a network of local businesses and charities. Dartford Living charged absolutely nothing for organisations to attend the event and we also did not charge anything at all for businesses to include their items in our goodie bag.

“Brilliant” “Fantastic event” “I’ve made so many great new contacts” Just a few of the lovely comments received after the fifth FREE Dartford Living Live networking event.

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


why weight...? This 12 week programme includes: • Weekly weight and waist check • Gentle exercise classes • Healthy eating advice • Ongoing personal Support

FREE Stone Pavilion

RAMME 12 WEEK PROG Fairfield Leisure Centre


toda n la p ? ... T H IG E W Y Sign up for the WH ols to o t e h t u o y e iv g l il Peppercorns and wTown Hall Orchard Street Dartford DA1 2DFly* ’s FREE&Greenhith ItSwanscombe ctive Hayes Road Greenhithe  DA9 9DS  Thursday 12th Jan 2017 to 30th March 2017  10.30-12.00  

Lowfield St, Dartford DA1 1LH Tuesday 10th Jan 2017 to 28 th March 2017 6.30-8PM  

re e9thffJane2017 to 27th March 2017   oMonday m t h ig e w r u o y e g mana 1.15pm-2.45pm Grove Road Swanscombe  DA10 0GA Thursday 12th Jan 2017 to 30th  March 2017  6.30-8PM  

Wednesday 11th Jan 2017 to 29th March 2017   6.30pm-8.00pm

For more information and to book your place call 01732 227000 * for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) over 28

Stephen P. Gay Funeral Service

The only independently owned and family run funeral directors in Longfield, Dartford and the surrounding villages Especially for the first time, any time of the day or night you can talk to us We will attend to everything We will liaise with doctors, coroners, hospitals, churches, celebrants and ministers We have a private chapel of rest and can provide a fleet of Hearses and Limousines to compliment a dignified occasion We also provide: 24 hour personal service Experienced staff members Worldwide repatriation

65 Darenth Road, Dartford, DA1 1LU

25 Station Road, Longfield, DA3 7QD

01474 700194

01322 617499

24 Hour Parking available on site



Home visits Funeral plans Obituaries

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers



Mob: 07747 015223 Tel: 01322 412791 45 Knole Road, Dartford, Kent. DA1 3JN. E-mail:

OVER 30 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE Most common problems that arise with double glazing can be solved quickly and cost effectively:

• Misted, cracked or broken glass • Drafts, leaks & condensation • Sticking, loose or broken handles • Window/doors not opening, closing • Patio doors not running smoothly • Cat flap & letterbox fitting/replacement • Lock and key replacement

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living




Website: Facebook: Second Chance Animal Rescue

Brent Primary being a very community orientated school, the two of them were given the go ahead and they soon created and presented an appeal in assembly within the week. Tamsyn hoped that the appeal would raise a good few bags of donations for the centre. As can be seen by the pictures, they blew their target out of the water as the whole school participated enthusiastically. SCAR described this to be the biggest collection haul from any school donation and their large collection car was literally bursting by the time it had been packed with the donated items of duvets, towels, animal food, food bowls, sawdust, pears and animal toys. Whilst the actions of these two caring and enthusiastic young ladies will undoubtedly make a difference to the centre in the short term, the need never stops, for the number of animals needing help continues to grow. If you think you would like to help and you have items, you could donate why not be inspired by Tamsyn and Molly and be part of the next collection. It was on a trip to Second Chance Animal Rescue centre (affectionately known as SCAR) that a young animal lover, Tamsyn McArdle aged ten, became inspired and decided that she wanted to do something to help. SCAR is an animal charity based in Crockenhill, Kent. It was set up in 2011 and aims to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals who are abused, neglected or abandoned. As one of the charity’s cats climbed onto Tamsyn’s lap, Tamsyn chatted to a SCAR volunteer who explained to her that they always needed more equipment to keep the animals fed, housed and warm, and that at this time of the year they were in desperate need of bedding, towels, pillows and duvets, not to mention animal feed. It was then that Tamsyn had an idea! After enlisting the help of her best friend Molly, the girls decided to ask their head teacher if they could present a collection appeal in front of the whole school. With the


TEN WAYS TO SAVE MONEY IN 2017 It’s a new year and the perfect time for your finances to have a fresh start. New Year’s Resolution? Save money! 1. Make a budget. Here at CAP we bang on about budgets A LOT. But that’s only because it’s so important! Getting your head around your income and expenditure can help to prevent you from running into real financial trouble in the future. Start today and see if you can keep it up every month for the rest of the year! For a free course with expert, practical money management advice, see 2. A recent report by the Money Advice Service revealed that more than 16 million Brits have less than £100 in savings. Savings can be a safety net in case of unexpected disasters – what if the house floods or the car breaks down? Even with insurance, you’ll need to pay an excess, so having a bank of savings to fall back on is essential. Skint Dad’s 1p per day savings challenge could be the ideal place to start: 3. If the last two tips have filled you with dread thinking ’I’m already on a low income and struggling to cope as it is!’ then pay a visit to to find out about a free, friendly course with practical sessions on shopping, cooking and living better within your means. 4. If you’re a car owner, it’s likely you’ll see a significant drain on your finances caused by car insurance at some point in the year. Money Saving Expert suggests car insurance prices have risen by 16% since last year, so it’s worth looking at ways to bring down the ever-rising cost. For some excellent tips, see www.moneysavingexpert. com/car-insurance. 5. Did you know 79% of people who took part in Dry January last year say they saved money? The monthlong alcohol abstinence campaign aims to show the health and savings benefits of kicking the booze. Find out how many pennies and calories you could save at If you feel your drinking, smoking, gambling or other habit is controlling your life, visit 6. In the UK, we throw away seven million tonnes of food every year – half of which is perfectly edible! Even

Website: Telephone: 0800 328 0006

more shockingly, for an average family with children this equates to a loss of £60 per month, or £700 per year! This year, make the most of your food leftovers and your bank balance will surely thank you - www.lovefoodhatewaste. com/recipes offers some tasty leftover recipe ideas. 7. If you’re a slave to credit and find you’re often tempted to buy more than you can realistically afford, why not make it your mission this year to opt for cash instead? Draw out your allowance in cash at the start of the month and once it’s gone, it’s gone! Although it takes discipline to stick to it, this is an invaluable way to spend less and take control of your finances. If you have already taken out more credit than you can afford and are in debt visit 8. Of course the easiest way to increase your savings is to increase your income, but this can prove difficult when you’re struggling to find work. CAP Job Clubs are designed to give you the skills and self-belief to go out there and get yourself a job. The programme helps more than 350 people find work every year – could you be one of them? is the place to start. 9. Did you know CAP’s blog is regularly updated with everyday money saving tips, including a recent post on how to reduce your energy bills? Check out www.capuk. org/blog for this and lots more. 10. Finally, one thing that can make your finances easier to deal with is being honest and open with the people around you. Don’t ever be afraid to talk to your friends, family, partner or children if you’re struggling. Even if they’re not able to help, the fact that they know and understand will take pressure off you and give you breathing space to get yourself sorted. If you aren’t sure who to talk to feel free to chat to Karen at the Dartford CAP Drop In over a free cuppa and sandwich between 12 noon and 2pm on the last Wednesday of every month at the Dartford Community Church Meeting Hall, 171 Dartford Road, DA1 3EW. Happy 2017! For free debt advice and to find out more about any of CAP’s services, visit or call 0800 328 0006. Help is available to all, regardless of age, gender, faith and background.


WINTER WALK AT SHORNE COUNTRY PARK Festive family time on ellenor’s Winter Walk Hospice charity ellenor’s traditional Winter Walk took place on Sunday 11 December at Shorne Woods Country Park and brought together all generations – and lots of four-legged friends – for some family time in the fresh air ahead of Christmas. The charity’s festive ramble in the woods was an opportunity to unwind from Christmas shopping stress and, most importantly, support families facing terminal illness.

the care we provide at ellenor to families in Kent and Bexley over the entire Christmas period – 90% of which we provide in the community; ensuring that families can spend this special time of year together,” says Hayley Brown, Events Manager at ellenor. To see what events and challenges ellenor has planned for 2017, visit:

The 300 participants were all given an ellenor goody bag and a festive Santa hat before setting off and it was such a warm day that some people ditched their scarves and gloves for shorts and sunglasses! Having completed the walk, there were mince pies and drinks – including mulled wine for the grown-ups. “Our Winter Walk is not only a way of raising vital funds for families facing terminal illness, but it’s a reminder of


Website: Telephone: 01474 320 007

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Competitive Rates!

An introduction to

Mindfulness Beginners' course starts 17th January in Dartford. Learn a proven technique which reduces stress, helps you to focus, interact better with others and get more enjoyment from life


Start creating the 2017 that you want to have. What is mindfulness? What do you do? How does it work? What are the benefits for me? How can I apply it to the rest of my life and work? 7:30pm - 8:30pm every Tuesday for 5 weeks.

• New Roofs • Repairs • Tiles • Slates • Flat Roofs • All Lead Work • UPVC Fascias & Soffits • All Guttering

Holy Trinity Church Hall, Dartford DA1 1DE. £60 for the full course and all downloads/materials.

see, for more details. * NB. This course is already more than half-full

• All Work Guaranteed • Insurance Work Undertaken

Contact: Dr Nick Buckley email: Call/Text: 07958 516967

TEL: 01322 271693 MOBILE: 07971 792463

RECRUITING NOW! Due to unprecedented demand on our services, we currently have vacancies for:

Community Care Support Workers Night Care Support Workers Senior Care Support Workers We are offering:

Minimum of £8.00 per hour with enhanced payment for weekend and Bank Holiday working

    

Mileage allowance A full hour with each client Uniform provided Free DBS Check for Vulnerable Adults Sector In house training and career progression

If you are caring and compassionate, take pride in your work and want to make a difference by working for an award winning dementia charity, we would like to hear from you but you will need a full driving licence and access to a car. For further information and application pack please call Jo or Karen on

01474 533990 or email Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services, Safeharbour, Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AE Registered Charity No. 1024385

Dartford’s Health Walks Healthy Living Centre - Mondays 10.00am Darenth Country Park - Tuesdays 10.30am Greenhithe - Wednesdays 11.30am Central Park - Thursdays 11.30am Swanscombe - Fridays 10.00am Temple Hill/The Bridge - Fridays 11.00am


• • • • •

Health walks are free and led by trained volunteer walk leaders Short social walks that last around an hour No need to book - just turn up Any age and ability welcome Great for people getting little or no exercise, recovering or suffering from an illness or lacking in confidence • Dress for the weather including comfortable footwear

For more details including starting points please contact Healthy Lifestyles Project Coordinator on 01732 227000

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Wills LPAs Probate Trusts Home visits available for Will Instructions Fully insured - 2 million pounds PI Insurance Reasonable fees Member of IPW and regulated by Trading Standards Institute Website: www.smnwillwriting Email: susan.norris@ Tel: 01322 291739

Happy New Year! From Dartford’s Markets!

Dartford’s Thursday and Saturday markets offer a great selection of products from fresh fruit & veg to clothes and accessories, all at value for money prices! Enjoy live entertainment at One Bell Corner and don’t forget the Farmers’ Market 10am to 2pm every third Friday of the month! For more information visit

Make sure you don’t miss a single thing that’s happening in our community. Visit the We Love Dartford Twitter and Instagram pages and join the followers already enjoying some great offers, news and community information. Supported by

Local Sports News Bav’s Sporting Comment

It is three weeks since ex-Crewe defender Andy Woodward waived his right to anonymity to say he was a victim of sexual abuse as a young footballer. Since then, more than 20 former footballers - including ex-youth players, trainees and professionals - have also come forward with allegations of historical abuse in football. The Football Association has announced an internal review, at least 350 people have alleged they are victims and 55 amateur and professional football clubs are linked to allegations of abuse. FA chairman Greg Clarke says it is the biggest crisis he can remember for the organisation. For a driver who strove with such fierce diligence to win the world championship Nico Rosberg has given up its rewards very quickly; champion on Sunday, retired on Friday, he was not even a six-day wonder. Nico Rosberg took 10 years in Formula One to finally win his prize – only Nigel Mansell took longer, with 12. By doing so Rosberg confounded the many people who said he would never be capable of prevailing against Hamilton over a season, and with 21 races we have just seen the longest campaign in F1 history. He has also been acclaimed, belatedly, in his own country following the second place in Abu Dhabi that got him over the championship line.

Upcoming events in January include:

2: Darts - PDC World Championship final, Alexandra Palace 7-15: Darts - BDO World Professional Championships, Lakeside 13-29: Bowls - World Indoor Championships, Hopton-on-Sea 14 Jan-5 Feb: Football - African Cup of Nations, Gabon 15-22: Snooker - Masters, Alexandra Palace 15-19-22: Cricket - India v England ODIs 16-29: Tennis - Australian Open, Melbourne


Are you frustrated with weight loss failure? Diet not going as planned?

Try Over 45,000 client success stories. Nearly 1 million pounds of fat loss.

Are You Ready To Tap Into Your Power? Wing Tsun will give you streetwise tools for personal transformation...

What if you could actually make a change this year? Would you? Visit and check out the short video on the Nutrition page to see what it’s all about now.

Supercharge 2017! Register in January - Get 50% Off

Or Text/Call Mark on 07841 848 404 for more information

Bexley Wing Tsun 30 07720 783664 176 Town Hall Square, Crayford, DA1 4FN

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

News From Princes Park

 Website: Email:

Since the last issue of the magazine Dartford have been in action against Bishops Stortford (Won 3-0), Welling United in the Kent Senior Cup (2-2 draw, losing 4-2 on penalties) . They beat Weston-Super-Mare 4-2 in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying round, beat Poole Town 2-1 in the league and then beat rivals Dover Atheltic in the FA Trophy 1st Round after a replay after

drawing 1-1 at Home. Dartford are currently sitting 4th in the Vanarama National League South with a game in hand over 3rd placed Ebbsfleet. Over the Christmas period Dartford play Ebbsfleet at home and then visit Stonebridge Road on 1st January in what could be a season defining set of matches.



07.01.17 KO 3PM


% *

Selling Fees Why pay more to sell your property?

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

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

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

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

*Subject to VAT, minimum fees and Terms & Conditions

25/02/2016 15:23

Dartford Living



Website: Facebook: DartfordRugby * Played when you were younger, interested in trying it again? * Want to volunteer and get involved? * Know someone who might be interested?

Dartford Valley new clubhouse & grounds confirmed at Stone Lodge - opens September 2018! In the biggest news in the clubs history, Dartford Valley RFC are proud to announce that plans for a stunning, state of the art new home for the club have today been confirmed by Dartford Borough Council. The new DVRFC Clubhouse & Grounds will be located at Stone Lodge, Cotton Lane and is planned for completion by September 2018, ready for the 2018/19 Season. Members of the Club Executive Committee and Club President met with Council leaders this afternoon to discuss the draft plans. Further details will be published in the New Year when the initial site layout, design and functionality plan have been finalised.

Come to Dartford Valley RFC!! The only Rugby Club in Dartford!! Men’s Squad training - every Tuesday & Thursday - 7.309.00pm - See the picture below of our men’s squad training this evening under floodlight at Leigh Academy - 30 guys of all ability enjoying a crisp December evening and preparing for the weekend fixtures. DVRFC are the fastest growing club in the region and have ambitious plans for the future, including a brand new Clubhouse & Grounds in 2018 at Cotton Lane, Stone Lodge. We are an all-inclusive, family club who welcomes everyone, irrespective of experience of ability and focus on the key elements of Rugby: RESPECT / DISCIPLINE / TEAMWORK and (above all) FUN !! We have a committed group of players, supporters, volunteers, sponsors and friends whose focus is clearly on promoting a positive community-based atmosphere and continuing to grow the club. We have Men’s and Ladies squads, a thriving Youth Academy (ages 3-16), Wheelchair Squad and will be launching a mixed sex Tag-Rugby Sqaud in the spring. Why not come and give it a try? We are the definition of grassroots sport! Come and join us! Want to know more? Visit our website ( We look forward to seeing you!!

We have much to do as a club over the next 22 months to prepare for our new home and are all very excited about the journey ahead. Dartford Valley Rugby Club - Want to get involved? All welcome!! * New to the game, never tried it before?


Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

© Pete Bresser

DARTFoRD FC TEN YEAR DRAW To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Dartford FC being back at home in Dartford at Princes Park, we are running a draw, with 10 different prizes up for grabs. There are some prizes in connection with Dartford FC and some prizes donated by local businesses. 1. A 10 year season ticket 2. £100 voucher for Macron 3. Golf or Foot golf membership for 2 years at Princes Park 4. £100 Bluewater voucher donated by Practical Van & Car Hire 5. Director for a day at an away game 6. Spa Day for 4 People at Rowhill Grange Hotel & Spa 7. A Free programme at each home league game for the 2017 / 2018 season 8. Family ticket to a show at The Orchard Theatre 9. £5 refreshment voucher for every home league game for the 2017 / 2018 season 10. 10% off at Radhuny and Royal Siam Restaurants for the 2017 / 2018 season Tickets will be £10 and will be available from Saturday 3rd December at the Poole Town game, then every match day onwards, the Champions Bar during the week and online through the official website. The draw will take place at half time of the last league home game of the season on Saturday 22nd April at home to Bishop’s Stortford. The 10 year season ticket will be the top prize and will have a selected winner,tickets that are drawn after this, people will be able to choose from the remaining prizes. Full details of prizes and terms & conditions can be found at Tickets are non - refundable. Prize winners will be contacted after the draw and names will appear on the club website. Dartford FC would like to thank the following local businesses for their kind donations: Macron, Practical, Rowhill Grange, Orchard Theatre and Radhuny & Royal Siam. Prize winners can pass their prize onto someone else if they wish, but Dartford FC must be given this name at the time required.

Tickets Just £10 Tickets available, on sale matchday’s from the club shop and during the week from the Champions bar Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living



Website: Email:

I’ve now completed over 15 races and have managed to get quicker and quicker each time as the car and myself have developed throughout the year, i’ve also gained respect and applauds from fellow racers and teams in how quickly I have developed considering I have zero experience in motor racing - other than being an avid fan of the sport of course.

I’m Adam Fathers (27) and live in Swanscombe, I have just completed my first year in motorsport racing in the Formula Ford 1600 Champion of Brands Championship, I also competed in the two biggest Formula Ford events world wide – The Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and The Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, both of which events show a very respectful roll of honor with previous winners including F1 stars such as Jenson Button, Johnny Herbert, Mark Webber, Eddie Irvine Sky Sports F1 pundit Anthony Davidson plus many more. I’ve always had a passion and love for motorsport since I was a small boy watching my uncle compete in formula ford many years ago, sadly when I was just 8 he gave up the sport to start a family. At the beginning of 2015 he decided to re start his engine and make a comeback in the sport our family love so much. I was eager to get involved with his return as much as I could and before long I was his number 1 mechanic and loving every second of it. As his 2015 season and ‘comeback’ year was coming to an end I came to realise that I could no longer sit behind the pit wall and it was about time I made the plunge and had a go for my self.

This is a developing journey that supporters and myself have loved to keep an eye on, for myself it’s been a huge learning experience both in and out of the car but one that I cant wait to continue into 2017. For 2017 I will be looking for support from local companies that would like to get involved with both the sport and myself. To run a Formula Ford for the season doesn’t cost 100s of thousands of pounds and you might be surprised just how much you could help me continue this journey into 2017. I ask if you would be kind enough to look through my website to find out more about myself, my racing and possibly sponsorship opportunities at  Please help me to continue this exhilarating roller coaster I’m currently riding and hey, why not jump aboard with me? not only will you enjoy some of the closest and competitive racing the sport has to offer there’s also plenty of benefits on offer for both you and your company.   You can follow Adam’s journey on social media: Facebook: adamfathersracing Twitter: @adam_fathers Linkedin: adam_fathers

I was lucky enough to get myself a car with all the set up I needed that would be ideal to learn my craft in, I’ve had great support from family, friends and of course my uncle throughout my maiden year. My current sponsors have also played a huge part and have all helped so much and without them this dream couldn’t have become a reality.


Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers



Website: Email:

© DBBA & DGMedia 2016. images courtesy of Jackie Gill Local Disability Darts player, Kevin Stringer, has recently competed in his first Disibility Darts World Masters event a little over a year since he started playing Disability Darts. He was knocked out in the Quarter Finals but managed to score 3 180 during those matches. Kevin has been playing Darts since he was 13 (29 years ago). He had to stop when his disability meant that he was no longer able to stand up to take his turn at the Dart board. He was asked by his cousin, a former champion and player on the main tour, to start playing on the Disability Darts tour. Kevin qualified for the finals at an event in Belgium after he missed out on qualifying in the UK due to him having to miss one of the qualifying matches. In the run up to the event Kevin has be training in the Champions Bar at Princes Park after asking co-chairman Steve Irving if it was possible as the ground floor bar offers the perfect space for him to train and is also very accessible for his wheelchair. Kevin has been a Dartford FC fan for 34 year now. He used to sell programmes at Watling Street and while he prefers Princes Park he has fond memories of the Watling street ground.

Kevin would like to thank Bonzo for the sponsorship that has enabled him to compete on the tour. If anyone is interested in sponsoring alongside his current sponsorship please contact him on The World Disability Darts Association was founded in Australia with the aim of encouraging and supporting those with disabilities to take up darts or return to a sport they love.   As part of making “Darts for all” the WDDA successfully gained official approval by the WDF that a board set at 137cm to the bull, is a fair and equivalent height for a wheelchair player compared to the standard board height of 173cm for a standing player, using the same length oche. The ingenious Wildfire 137 dart frame was designed to allow wheelchair players the opportunity to compete directly with standing players throwing at their respective heights on the one piece of equipment.   Whilst encouraging those with disabilities to take part and play at all levels, to ensure fair competition in tournaments, the WDDA has set up an impairment classification guidelines. This uses the criteria set out by the International Paralympic Association.

Dartford Living


We have been providing expert and trusted legal advice to individuals and businesses for generations.

T: 01322 220 235



Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

web design

graphic design


social media


pay per click


web hosting

“We provide our customers with a full selection of creative services, ultimately saving you time and money”

City Arms House 125-127 London Road Dartford, Kent, DA2 6BH T: 01322 319387 E:

AK Advert - Half Page.indd 4

15/08/2016 12:38

Attention: Small & Medium-Sized Businesses...

“Improve Your Financial Performance, Increase Your Sales And Pay Less Tax—GUARANTEED”


f you operate an ownermanaged business and you’re thinking of changing your accountant, I have good news... FREE: The Blueprint To Help You Get More Sales & Profits We’ve invested in an initiative which enables ALL our clients to have completely FREE access to ‘The Business Growth System’. This is one of the world’s leading business growth and marketing solutions. The system itself has generated tens of millions of pounds worldwide for businesses of all types.

5 More Reasons Why Our Clients Choose Us In fact, in addition to this, there are 5 more reasons why our clients choose us over and above every other firm… 1. The Accounting & Tax EXPERTS For OwnerManaged Businesses 2. 3-Step Risk-Free Guarantee Puts Your Mind At Rest 3. Easy Payment Plan So You Can Spread Your Costs 4. Unlimited FREE (worth £2,000.00)


GF & Co

Regus House, Victory Way, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6QD

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

5. Monthly Newsletter For Owner-Managed Businesses Helps You Get Even More Growth & Sales Arrange Your FREE No-Obligation Meeting Now... So if you’re looking for an accountant with a difference, one who genuinely cares about the financial health and growth of your business, call us now on 01322 303121 and arrange your FREE noobligation meeting.


01322 303121 Dartford Living







Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers


Our unique drama programme will help children develop excellent social skills. Over time, we guarantee children’s confidence and communication skills will increase in many ways.

OPENING IN DARTFORD -JANUARY 2017 Contact us NOW to arrange a FREE trial lesson.

Classes also available in: Bexleyheath, Falconwood, Plumstead and Welling

01322 221251

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Local Entertainment

December/ January Theatre Roundup by Liz Dyer Happy New Year! After a faaaabulous few weeks - you’ll get that if you were there - it’s time to bid a fond farewell to Joe Pasquale and the rest of the Snow White cast and crew. Yes, panto season’s come to an end. (You could even say it’s behind us.) Moving swiftly on... It’s a new year, so let’s take a quick look ahead at the many theatrical treats that lie in store this January. And what a great month it looks set to be, with a programme that has something for everyone. Wasting no time, the Orchard kicks off 2017 just two days in with Sister Act (2nd-7th), starring X Factor winner Alexandra Burke and directed and choreographed by Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood. Based on the hit movie starring Whoopi Goldberg as a nightclub singer who takes refuge in a convent to escape from gangsters, the show features original music from Alan Menken inspired by Motown, soul and disco. If singing nuns aren’t your cup of tea, fear not - Sister Act is followed immediately by the sensational Moscow City Ballet, who present two of Tchaikovsky’s best loved ballets, Sleeping Beauty (10th-11th) and Swan Lake (12th14th). These classic stories of love’s triumph over evil are guaranteed to brighten the dark winter days.

enough, we’ve got another to look forward to later in January. Ghost the Musical (17th-21st) is the story of recently murdered Sam, who enlists the help of a phoney psychic to avenge his death and ensure the safety of his girlfriend Molly. The musical includes new songs from Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, and of course, the iconic Unchained Melody. Finally, the end of the month sees the world premiere in Dartford of Not Dead Enough (25th-28th). Starring TV favourite Shane Richie and Strictly Come Dancing’s Laura Whitmore, Not Dead Enough is the third play from bestselling crime writer Peter James, following the success of Dead Simple and The Perfect Murder. And if you’re interested in finding out more, on 26th January there’ll be a Q&A with Peter James himself after the matinee performance. If none of that grabs your fancy… well, you’re very hard to please. But don’t forget we have lots of other great theatres not too far away, with offerings this month that include Evita (Churchill Theatre, 12-14th January) and The Snowman (Marlowe Theatre, 18th-22nd January). Enjoy! For regional and London theatre reviews, visit theatrethings. blog.

As if one show based on a Whoopi Goldberg movie wasn’t


Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers


January Re-Boot Let me guess… you’ve eaten too much, drank too much, overindulged, over-spent, under-slept, skipped workouts and generally lived a pretty unhealthy lifestyle for the last month? Ok, so it might not have been that bad, but chances are you’re guilty of some or all of these at least a little bit; and chances are, like millions of other people who’ve done the same, you’re now feeling a bit guilty and looking to embark on your New Year Diet and Exercise plan. The annual New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get fit is in full swing (well… it will be on Monday. Next Monday). If this is your yearly routine then chances are you’ve tried half of the diets out there, and you’re still right back where you were this time last year. Off the peg diets are popular for one reason – they work. The catch is they only work for some people, and if you’re not one of them, you’re taking a gamble (with your health) when you choose which one to follow this time around. My advice to you is to seriously consider which “diet” you choose. Research them, and see which one you think is the best fit for you, but bear in mind that making simple changes to your current diet will always be a better choice than following a “plan”. What to look for: - Something sustainable – if you read what you have to do and are thinking “that sounds hard”, “what will I eat?”, “I’ll be hungry all the time”, “I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work”, “when do I get my cheat day?”, “this is complicated”, then you haven’t found the diet for you. It doesn’t matter if it worked for your friend, or even a million other people; if you think it sounds too hard for you, then it won’t work for you. - Something simple – Complicated diets are hard to follow and tend to be way more complex than is necessary. If you want to lose weight it’s simple. Look for a diet that you think sounds easy, almost too easy. That way you’ll be a lot more likely to be able to stick to it and without stressing over what you’re “allowed” to eat all the time. More complex doesn’t equal more effective. Often it’s the simplest things that have the biggest impact. - Something that isn’t based around selling you more “stuff” Supplements are NOT the way to lose weight. Pre-packaged, branded meals are there to make that company money – they’re packaged, advertised and sold for that sole purpose. Don’t be fooled. The diet should be based around eating real food, foods that you like, and sensible choices; not pushing its own products. - Something non-restrictive – banning entire food groups will leave you feeling terrible and missing out on vital nutrients needed for your health. Banned foods and drinks only leave you wanting those things even more and at some point you’ll crack and binge on all the things you’ve been told you’re not allowed. Yes, you have to be in a calorie deficit, no you don’t have to exclude the foods you like, just make better choices, more often.

- Something that fills you up! Starvation diets or calorie-restricted diets tend to be of the “less is better” mind. You shouldn’t be hungry. You shouldn’t be starving. You shouldn’t be cutting calories too low. For HEALTH reasons, you NEED to eat enough food for your body to function properly. Dropping calories much below your daily requirement (generally somewhere around 2,000 calories for women, 2,500 for men) will leave your body in a bad way, slowing down and STOPPING you from burning fat. If you’re eating less than 1,500 calories a day for any sustained period, your body is slowing down and suffering. Your health is at risk. Obviously individual circumstances vary so use your brain and if you have any underlying conditions seek professional, personalised dietary recommendations over any diets or even my advice here. - Something that takes YOU into consideration. This is the missing key in nearly all diets, and as I’ve said above. You are you. That means what works for someone else may not work for you. If the diet doesn’t take your current status into consideration then it’s unlikely it’ll work well for you. Not just a basic estimate of your calorie requirements, but your current health status, activity levels, goals, medications, diet history and more. This is YOUR diet so it needs to be tailored to YOU. Simple as that. Otherwise it’s just a roll of the dice when you choose which diet to follow. Now the shameless plug… Yes, I offer a nutrition coaching program that follows all of my “rules”, which means that you don’t have to follow strict rules or worry about starving yourself or having to resist the foods you want to eat. It’s a year-long program that will teach you how to eat for your body, starting from where you are now. Small, easy-to-follow changes that will gradually improve your diet over the course of the year. The goal: to make you healthier, to teach you what your body needs, to make sure you never have to “Diet” again, and so that this time next year you’ve actually made changes, permanent ones! A year’s worth of small, simple changes adds up to a big change in the way you eat, your health, and your waistline. Go to for more information on the Nutrition Coaching Program (there’s a video you can watch to see what it’s all about) and maybe I’ll hear from you in the next few weeks (but the sooner the better remember – no point putting it off even longer!). Good luck, Happy New Year, and I hope to hear from you soon!

By Mark Broadbent, Master Personal Trainer & Instructor at Dartford Bootcamps.

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Dhiren’s Auto News January Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is Tesla’s newest electric car and most affordable product ever. It will sit alongside the current Model S saloon and the Model X SUV. Priced from $35,000 in the US – which equates to about £25,000 – the five-seater Model 3 is powered by an all-electric powertrain that produces zero emissions and could offer unprecedented levels of efficiency in its class. Tesla has integrated a touchscreen infotainment system into the car’s dash, and commands for the car’s multimedia and ancillary controls are held here. This removes the need for buttons on the dash, helping to free up more space. Tesla is yet to confirm exact specifications, but the car maker says the Model 3’s electric powertrain will be capable of accelerating it from 0-60mph in under six seconds, while still offering as much as 250 miles to one charge. US pricing has been revealed, but we’re yet to learn what British buyers will have to pay. We’re expecting a starting figure of around £35,000, which would place the Model 3 in direct firing line of cars like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. Orders are being taken now, but first deliveries aren’t expected until late 2017. For the UK, a date in early 2018 seems more likely. 2017 Peugeot 5008


In this month’s article we’ll bring you new vehicles to the SUV market to be launched in 2017 and a new cabriolet model.

The Peugeot 5008 is already a great family car. It’s an MPV with all the practicality a growing family would expect, along with enough refinement and comfortable driving style for buyers to traverse long distances on their holidays – even with all seven seats filled. The new 5008 looks far tougher than its predecessor – helping the car to appeal to a younger, more upmarket global audience than the traditional MPV market would attract. There’s a fully digital 12.3in virtual instrument display on offer – similar to the type offered in various Audi and VW cars – which can be configured by the driver to show navigation or infotainment information as well as speed; there’s also an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dash. Buyers can choose between 1.2 and 1.6-litre petrol engines, or 1.6 (118bhp) and 2.0-litre (148bhp) diesels. Drivers will also be able to control their smartphones through the car using the Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink apps. Peugeot has yet to announce pricing for the new 5008 but ay be around the £28,000 mark when available from Febraury 2017 2017 Seat Arona

Following the success with the larger Ateca SUV, Seat has confirmed that it will launch a second, smaller SUV called the Arona, aimed at growing families who value the extra space and versatility of an SUV. It will compete with the Captur, Juke and Mokka as well as premium Audi Q2. The Ateca has already set a precedent for Seat’s SUVs representing good value for money. With the range costing from £17,990, it undercuts many of our favourite cars in this market. Dates for relese are unknown but expected to be in showrooms in late 2017.

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Gardening Hints and Tips January Post-Christmas check up Keep your houseplants in tip-top condition and they’ll continue to give you a colourful display for ages. All plants will need watering as and when needed – but make sure you don’t overdo it. Flowering houseplants should be dead-headed regularly and given a weekly to fortnightly feed with a flowering houseplant fertiliser. Foliage plants need regular hand misting or standing on a saucer of damp pebbles or Hortag to maintain humidity around the leaves. Save water Save money on your water bill and have a handy source of water that’s perfect for many plants especially rhododendrons, azaleas and other lime haters by installing a water butt or two. And we sell easy to install kits that will link your water butts to each other and to the down pipes of your house or garage – perfect for saving all that rain water. Reduce weeding time Now’s the time to plant ground cover shrubs and perennials to help keep weeds down; we have a wide range in our plant area. And to save more time on weeding and give all plants the best possible start, don’t forget to buy weed suppressing membrane. To hide it, cover with bark, gravel or similar materials. Build a bed for acid lovers Check out our plant area for a great selection of rhododendrons, azaleas, heathers and camellias. And don’t worry if you don’t have the right soil to grow these acid lovers – simply buy some ericaceous compost and pop them into a large container or make raised beds for them. Top dress containers Now’s a good time to check plants growing in containers. If they have become potbound and the roots completely fill the pot, it may be time to repot them or plant them in the garden. Those that can remain in their pots for at least another year will benefit from top dressing. Remove the top inch or so of compost and replace it with fresh compost and add a controlled-release fertiliser for perfect results.

Website: : Telephone: 01322 224108

Plant winter shrubs Fill your garden with some seasonal colour with a selection of winter-flowering shrubs. They can be planted at any time providing the soil isn’t frozen solid or waterlogged. Choose from mahonia, viburnums, sarcococca, witch hazel, winter jasmine and winter-flowering heathers and shrubby honeysuckles. Many have the added bonus of strong perfume – so plant them close to the house. Give them the best possible start by digging in plenty of organic matter – such as compost or composted bark – and add some general granular fertiliser. Pest watch Although it’s too cold outside for most pests and diseases to be active, temperatures indoors are just right. Keep a close eye on plants in the house, greenhouse or conservatory for whitefly, red spider mite, aphids, scale insects and mealybug. In the greenhouse and frames grey mould can be a problem, so keep watering to a minimum, avoid splashing water about and ventilate whenever the weather conditions allow. Outdoors, tidying up and removing any dead plant debris will take away the hiding places for various insect pests. Potato Chitting Thinking of growing potatoes this year, maybe in your veg plot or even in a potato barrel. Try a new variety perhaps; When you buy potatoes remember to keep them cool and frost free at home until your ready to chit them. Chit them, well that’s getting the shoots to grow, lay the potatoes out on old egg trays or crumpled newspaper on top of a box, and don’t forget somewhere light and frost free. Prune Soft Fruit It’s good to get out of the house in January and if there is no frost about lets prune some of that soft fruit. A good sharp pair of secateurs is a start. On all soft fruit cut out crossing stems, damaged and diseased wood. Gooseberries- Cut back new growth of last year by half. This will induce more fruit.

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Where to go locally...

...local events, clubs & groups

Parent & Toddler Groups (Term Time) Mondays

£2.00 per one 9:15am - 11:00am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. snack for small biscuits, Tea/coffee each. adults or children extra any for 50p and child adult and of session Contact end at dancing and singing and table Craft slice per 20p Toast juice. with children Julie on 01322 291092. Tuesdays , Dartford. Contact Catherine on Session 1: 9.15-10.45am, and Session 2: 11-12.30pm. Christchurch, Crossroad 01322 220036. on (01322) 288434 for further 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us information. snack time for the children For 9.30am-11.30am Sticky Fingers - £1.50 per adult includes tea ,biscuits and healthy Greenhithe Contact 01322 382031 pre school children up to 4 years St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall London Road or see


on (01322) 288434 for further 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us information. per family including all snacks and 10am -12pm - Little Angels Net Church, (Formerly Gala Bingo Hall) Dartford, £3 drinks. John 01322 272649. Road, Dartford, DA2 6JZ 12:45pm -2.45pm - Fleetdown Open House - Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale £2.50 per Adult


further details. The Vineyard Centre, 24 Market St, Dartford. Contact Jane on 07956 430244 for 9:30am - 11:30am. St Paulinus Church Hall, Manor Road, Crayford. Child - £1 Non Walkers 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - facebook. 1pm-2.30pm Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per com/ToeRags


up to 2. £1 per adult 9.30am-11am Baby and me for expectant mothers and mothers / carers of chidrenor see 382031 01322 Contact e. Greenhith Road London Hall, Church e Greenhith St Mary Child - £1 Non Walkers 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Greenhithe. Jeanne 01322 9.30am-11.30am Carer & Toddler Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Stone Place Rd, 380322 1-3pm Gigglekidz, Tree Estate Community Centre on Cedar Road - £2 Per Child


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

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions

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

Tennis Tots is the UK’s leading tennis play and coaching programme for boys and girls aged 2-6 years


07891 545965

To book a free taster contact Tennis Tots North West Kent Call 07796 943798 email northwestkent@ northwestkent

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

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

Dartford Ostomy Group Support (DOGS) meet

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


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


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


Swanley History Group Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history. Venue Swanley Indoor Bowls Centre Garrolds Close Swanley BR8 7BF. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@ for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup.weebly. com or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter. NORTH KENT EMBROIDERERS’ GROUP Meets on the third Saturday of every month (except August) from 2pm - 4pm in the Community Room of Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1BE. The programme of activities is varied with workshops, talks and sit and stitch sessions. Visitors are very welcome. More information can be found on our website or phone 01474324734. The Dartford Stroke Group is starting chair-based excise classes on Monday afternoons at the YMCA Roundhouse at 2.30pm on 19th September, 3rd October, 17th October, 7th November, 21st November, 5th December and 19th December. This is as well as the regular meetings of the Stroke Group at the Meeting Place on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.  Please contact Theo at or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68 296 to get the current dates for our events and for more information

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


For people with Parkinsons and their carers. We have 2 meetings per month. Bexley: 4th Thursday of each month, at Pincott Hall, 2-4pm. Dartford: 2nd Thursday of each month, Mick Jagger Centre, 7.30-9.30pm. Information support workers available, guest speakers and quizzes. Contact Wendy Leach.  Tel:  02083065973


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

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

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

Dartford Books and Culture Club meets once a month on Saturday mornings at Dartford Library. For more information, find us at www.meetup. com/West-Kent-BookClub/

20s 30s Dartford Bexleyheath surrounding areas social group more information visit:


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

Dartford Stroke Group is aimed at Stroke Survivors, their families and carers. It meets at the Meeting Place in the Orchard Shopping Centre, Dartford for a chat, support, excise classes, outings and speakers. Please contact Theo at Theo.Hodges@ or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68 296 to get the current dates for our events and for more information.

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

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

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

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


meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month at Sutton at Hone Village Hall. 1.30pm until 4.30pm. £3.00 per afternoon (to include a raffle ticket and tea/ coffee) £10.00 yearly fee. We are a small, friendly club, not expensive. Tuition given. All supplies can be bought in situe. Come and see if you like it, You will be very welcome. Contact - Maureen Beckham 01322 287214. Marie Blake 01474 704581. Doreen Goddard 01474 707357.

Dartford Floral Club

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

The Dartford Chess Club


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

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Where to go locally... TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES

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

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

The 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

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

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


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

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



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

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

North West Kent Family History Society

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

Creative sessions at the what if...? Gallery in Dartford. Every Wednesday evening between 6-9pm. The cost is just £3.50 and you will be able to mix with other artistic people and paint and draw - in fact do anything creative that you like to do. Just turn up - no need to book and bring your own materials. See you there!

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Mummy On The Mend

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

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

The National Women’s Register

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


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

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


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

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

MALE? AGED 18 - 44?

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

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

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

Crayford and District Probus Club

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

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Where to go locally... WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING

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

Erith Youth Rugby

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

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

Hartley Swimclub at White Oak Pool, Swanley

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


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

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

Dartford Gymnastics

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

Learn Karate

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


Wednesdays & Fridays 9:30am-10:30am At Europa Gymnastics Centre Mondays 7.30pm to 8.30pm and Fridays 7.00pm – 8.00pm at Becket Sports Centre For more information please contact Emma: TEL: 07932 621415


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

Dartford Orienteering Club

For more details see

JUNIOR TABLE TENNIS The Sutton at Hone Table Tennis club run a junior practice session on friday evenings during school terms at the village hall. The session runs from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. The session is run by an Table Tennis England qualified coach. Further details please telephone: John Jones 01322 272953

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers


Classes for under-fives teaching the basic elements of music through whole body movement, using the Dalcroze and Kodaly methods. With action songs and games, using percussion instruments and props like hoops, balls and soft toys, the children develop musical, physical and social awareness, concentration, co-ordination and confidence - and have lots of fun! Becket Sports Centre, Thursdays during term time: babies and toddlers: 9.15 till 9.55; 3 and 4 year-olds: 10.00 till 10.40 Contact Myrtle : 07763 378451 Email :

a b c +=

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

Slade Green and Howbury Community Library Baby and Toddler Action Rhyme time group Every Wednesday (Term Time only) at 11.15am LEGO Club Every Saturday 2-3pm for ages 5 and over Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

Nearly New Sale mummarket 2 mum

Face Painting Refreshments & Cakes Free Car Park Free Shopping Bag for First 100 Visitors


DARTFORD 2017 DATES!!! Christchurch Hall,Christchurch Road, DARTFORD, DA1 3DH

Saturday 11th February Saturday 13th May are open Saturday 10th June 2-4pm 10am-12 Saturday 9th September Saturday 14th October Buy top quality preloved baby11th & kidsNovember goods at Text Saturday All sales

2 ry ÂŁ Ent or 1 f 2 on

our award winning pop-up market.

Contact Sarah 07891 545 965 Overyour 20 sellers one roof you aofhuge BOOK STALL under online today and giving keep 100% the choice theonbest money youand make the bargains! day! Come along as a buyer and grab some amazing, pre-loved, nearly new, good as new BARGAINS!

r che vou bsite we

t to



tall rs ou k y and o Bo line the on % of 00 p1 eeds e e c k pro

n Wa

www .

mum 2 mum market

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

11 15 51

Competition Singing sensation and X Factor favourite Joe McElderry will once again wear the world’s most famous coat in the UK’s longest running musical, as the 2017 nation al tour will be at The Orchard Theatre from Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 February. Tickets available from or Ticket Office

We have teamed up with The Orchard Theatre to offer 2 tickets to the opening night of the show (7th February 7.30pm) To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question...

What reality competition did Joe enter?: a) X-Factor b) The Voice c) Big Brother d) Love Island Please email your entries to by the 15th January RUES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered. 4. Proof of posting will not be regarded as proof of delivery. 5. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 6. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 7. Closing date for the competition is stated above.


CAN WE HELP YOU? Please call Mike or John on: Tel 01322 406439 / 01322 525708 Mobile: 07742 085333 Email: Partners: Mike Perry and John Petherick


Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton .............................................................. 36 Downton Ali Associates..............................................55 GF + Co........................................................................37 Lynton & Co ................................................................4 Smith Kiew Partners......................................................16 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, KITCHENS & WINDOWS A Baines & Son Roofing................................................32 Claremont Decorative Services..................................52 Humphrey Belle...........................................................22 Steve Cook - Double Glazing.......................................23 CONVENIENCE STORE S3 ................................................................................17 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ...........................................29 DATING Wishes Online Dating...................................................17 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. ...................................................14 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians.. ....................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings............................................................7 Fox Estates ..................................................................11 Virotti................................................................13 Wisdom Estates...........................................................31 FUNERAL SERVICES Stephen P Gay Funeral Services..............................51 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Dynes Auto Services...................................................17 Orchard Garage...........................................................56 Shenley Road Garage...................................................38 GARDENING SERVICES Barge Group................................................................11 HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE The Barge Group.....................................................11 HOTELS Campanile...................................................................4

JEWELLERY Bradleys..................................................................23 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...................................................38 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Worried about your childs weight?.............................21 Dartford Bootcamps.....................................................30 Monkey Music............................................................45 Why Weight?...............................................................20 Vibe...............................................................18 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.. ...............................................36 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.............................................................38 SANDWICH BAR Sally Sues....................................................................22 SPORTS Bexley Wing Tun...........................................................30 Fairfield Leisure Centre................................................16 TREE SURGERY The BARGE Group.................................................11 THEATRE Orchard Theatre ....................................................52 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .....................................................28 WEBSITE DESIGN/ DESIGNERS/ GRAPHICS AK Creative ............................................................37

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


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

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


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: 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: 0208 301 1010 LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047 LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or bexleyrfc/ Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250

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

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living



01322 271000    

Local, established, independent garage Customer courtesy cars Wide range of used cars in stock Used Car Finance available

Car MOT Test £30

Bike MOT Test £25

See our independent feedback at: and

Supporting the British Heart Foundation & Dartford Cricket Club

128 Park Road, Dartford, DA1 1SZ

Dartford Living January 17  
Dartford Living January 17  

The January issue of Dartford Living featuring SERV Kent, Adam Fathers - Local Racing Driver, Legacy Historical Services plus all our usual...