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Dartford Living December 2015 - Issue 114

WHAT’S INSIDE... Christmas Gift Guide

Dartford Toy Appeal 2

Dartford FC Plus - All your regular features, puzzles, events, Youth

Page 18-20

Page 15

Page 42

information and much, much more in your new 48 page issue.


“A Hand Holding Service” Established 35 years

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

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Dear Readers,

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

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

check out our new website for even more local news and articles

6-13....................... .................... What’s on 14...................................... Useful numbers 15............................................Toy Appeal 2 18-20 .........................Christmas Gift Guide 21.........................Dartford Living meets... 28.................................Thoughts of a local 30.....................................Max Makerspace 31.............................................Pets Corner 32............................The Demise of the Bee 36-37.....................................Charity Focus 38..............................................Auto News 39.........................Tips for a small business 40....................................................Sudoku 40.....................................................Fitness 41........................................Gardening Tips 42..............................................Dartford FC 43.................................Dartford Valley RFC 43..................................Sporting Comment 44..............Eastender comes to Gravesend 45..........................................Competitions



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Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Conradi Morrison & Co .....................................................2 Dartford Legal .................................................................31 GF+Co......................................................23 Lynton & Co ........................................................................5 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, KITCHENS & WINDOWS 4k Building Services.........................................................47 A Baines & Son Roofing.....................................................26 Claremont Decorative Services.. .................................46 John Hargreaves Building...................................................34 Michael Jones ...................................................................26 Steve Cook - Double Glazing............................................16 Trade2Trade Windows ............................................16 and 45 CHILDCARE Dimples.. ............................................................25 Singalong Babysign............................................................13 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Amazincare....................................................................... 34 Dia Wipes.. ............................................................17 Slimming World .................................................................24 The Well Counselling.................................................,,,,,,,,.35 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. .........................................................27 Leaders are Readers...........................................................22 ENTERTAINMENT VENUE Gravesend Panto.............................................................1 Woodville Theatre .........................................................48 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians...............................................................4 ESTATE AGENTS GPS Lettings....................................................................17 Wisdom Estates..............................................................33 FARM SHOP Stanhill Farm. .....................................................................24 FOSTER CARE FCA....................................................................33 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Shenley Road Garage..........................................................39 GARDENING SERVICES Hawley Garden Centre .......................................................31 HEATING AND PLUMBING JA Projects........................................................................35 JEWELLERY Bradleys............................................................................26 LOCKSMITHS/HOME SECURITY Dartford Locksmith.............................................................39 LEGAL SERVICES Dartford Legal .................................................................34

LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...........................................................47 INTEGRAL MOVING SERVICES.......................................35 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Dartford Bootcamps............................................................4 Monkey Music.. ..........................................................7 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.............................................................16 PET CARE AJ’s Dog Salon...................................................................16 Easipetcare...............................................................27 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.. ...........................................................34 SHOPPING Priory Shopping Centre......................................................29 SPORTS Ladies Basketball ..............................................................13 STOVES AND FIREPLACES The Stove and Fireplace ....................................................19 VOLUNTEERING West Kent Befriending Service.......................................33

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Where to go locally...

...local events, clubs & groups

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

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

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions

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


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

Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

a b c +=

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

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

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

Dartford Ostomy Group Support (DOGS) meet

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


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

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


Swanley History Group January Meeting Tuesday 5th January 2016 Hextable Then and Now. Keith Whitmore explores photographic views and memories of Hextable. 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 website https:// the ‘what if…?’ Gallery is pleased to announce our CHRISTMAS FAIR Monday 16th November 2015 to 31st December 2015 •Where? - at our Gallery in Dartford •Over 20 artists and creatives exhibiting work •With 3 rooms of Gallery space •A wide range of styles and prices •We also have plenty of crafts and cards Please come and see us. We are sure you will enjoy the exhibition and find perfect unique presents for your friends and family which you will not find on any other High street Age UK, Crayford library Pop in Parlour coffee morning every Friday morning 10.30 - 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1


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


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

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

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


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

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

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

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

The Dartford Chess Club

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

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


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


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

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Where to go locally... TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES


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

Established for 36years - No Expensive courses Puppies from 3months - Older dogs any age. Tel. Barbara for more details 01322 663956

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!!


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 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 -

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


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!

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 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 at the Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see

Dartford Art Group

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

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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

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.



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

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.

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.

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

DARTFORD LIONS CLUB 1st Tuesday of every month Dartford Conservative Club Spital Street, Dartford DA1 2DT. Meeting start at 20:00. Further details call Cathy 01322 618640

Crayford and District Probus Club

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

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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.

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.



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

Dartford Orienteering Club

For more details see

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

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

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Gareth Johnson, Member ofMember Parliament for of Dartford, will be available with constituents on the Gareth Johnson, Parliament forto meet Dartford, will be dates: available to meetfollowing with constituents on the Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm to 7.00 pm - Appointment required) following dates: Friday 4 September Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 – 7.00 pm - Appointment Fridaypm 2 October required) Friday 6 November th



Friday 4th December

Friday 4th December 8th January OpenFriday Surgery (No appointment necessary) Friday February Saturday 18 July – all day,5th Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford Friday 4th March th

If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment based surgeries in the future, please contact him at or telephone 020 7219 7047.

If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment based surgeries in the future, please

contact him at or telephone 020 7219 7047.

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Dartford Living


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


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

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

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Available to order from leading insulin pump pouch and diabetic accessory supplier: Funky Pumpers or Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Christmas Gift Guide

from £20

St Albans Flowers - St Albans Road Dartford Use the code da1xmas for 5% off both off these items if ordered online. Both of these items along with many more will be available to order online for Christmas at, by phone on 01322 224013 and in store from 1st December

from £15

Aloe Rosewood Wellbeing

My name is Gemma and I am a Forever Living Business owner. My products are Aloe and Bee pollen based. I have a range of products from Skincare to makeup to Vitamins and Weight Management. I am also offering a personal shopper experience, give me a budget and I will hand pick the products to suit your receipient and gift wrap it ready for your tree. These are a few of my gift sets that I can make to order. The moisturising lotion will leave your skin feeling silky smooth this winter. Why not pamper your self with this lovely Forever scrub. Have any teenager boys or me that love to style their hair? This hair styling gel makes a perfect gift or a stocking filler. The Fleur De jouvence range is amazing. This activator and mask powder makes a lovely face mask to give your skin a delightful pamper. Facebook: Aloe Rosewood Wellbeing Tel: 07983599437 Email: 18 1816

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Please mention Dartford Please mention DartfordLiving Livingwhen whencontacting contactingour ouradvertisers advertisers

Over the many years the heavyweight division has produced a number of great champions men like Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis. A new book by Ralph Oates titled The Noble Art of Heavyweight Boxing( published by Robert Hale) captures the many fine moments which have taken place in the weight division. The publication is illustrated with contemporary photographs and packed with fascinating true details about the various personalities and fights, this book will prove to be a winner with every sports fan and boxing enthusiast. In fact it’s a knockout read. The book can be purchased from Waterstones, Amazeon RRP £17.99 or direct from Robert Hale Ltd enter discount code Boxing 15 at checkout and buy for the discounted price £15 + free post & package.

Carla’s Sweetz & Treatz Lots of different Christmas products on offer at Carla's Sweetz & Treatz perfect for stocking fillers & gifts, Santa cones, hot chocolate cones, reindeer poop cones & gift boxes to name just a few. Contact Carla either through her Facebook page: or call on 07939176734. Based locally in Crayford for collection.

Dartford FC

Why not get your Little Darts fan (or not so little Darts fan) the latest club shirt. They are available from the club shop at Princes Park or online at From

£34 Interested in Tel: advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Interested in advertising? 01322 507817 Dartford Living

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Music and Rhyme Time How about giving an experience gift to the youngest members of our community. Children seem to have so much and we are always struggling to come up with ideas for pressies so how about paying for a class as a Christmas present Music and Rhyme Time offer a 7 week term in January for £35 (siblings free) xx this is a gift that both adult and child can enjoy time together and lasts longer than just a day Please call Kate 07770860450 to book and for further info www.


Vibe Dance Nights

Treat yourself, your friend or a family member to a nine weeks Modern Jive dancing course for just £30, (normally £72) with this exclusive Dartford Living offer. ViBe Dance Nights is the largest independent Modern Jive company id North Kent with over 2, 000 members. Modern Jive, is just 30 years old but is quickly becoming the UK preferred partner dance as it is easy to learn and has a massive social scene. You can lean this dance too at classes held in Swanley, Sidcup & Bexley. Take advantage of this offer before it’s too late by visiting the Dartford living website. Order now and get your vouchers in time to make the perfect Xmas present. (Adults only) ( offer available for new members only ) To claim the offer go to for more information go to


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DARTFORD LIVING MEETS....... BY KELLY GOLDSWORTHY This month Kelly met David Pearce who is Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the campaigning and membership organisation Dignity in Dying. David moved to Dartford from Sidcup six years ago and lives here with his fiancée and dog. He describes his love for the parks in the area. He has worked for Dignity in Dying for three years, having previously worked at a disability charity. He explained ‘Dignity in Dying is a campaigning organisation which fights for a change in the law to allow assisted Dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults. My role is responsible for our membership, digital campaigning and raising funds and awareness. We believe that, basically, the current law is broken. It is illegal for a doctor to help you to die but if a relative helps you they are unlikely to be prosecuted. This leaves people in a very difficult situation, where the law forces those who want to control their death to do so behind closed doors with only amateur assistance, outside the law. We feel strongly that a better law, with upfront safeguards, would better protect vulnerable people and reduce the suffering faced by some people at the end of their life.’

Discussing future plans David said ‘Our intention now is to campaign on a more local level and to co-ordinate more volunteers getting involved. It has been really great to be involved with in such an important campaign. Our recent bill failed to change the law, but the groundswell of public support was really touching. It is very sad that MPs did not listen and did not put proper safeguards in place for people already suffering because of hypothetical concerns. But we fight on.’ Asked about his free time David said ‘I also volunteer at the local charity, Bexley Moorings Project, which works with vulnerable young people such as young carers and children on the autistic spectrum. I am a volunteer trustee. I think it is important to be involved in small charities which make such a difference, but have such limited resources.’ To find out more about Dignity in Dying go to: To get involved contact David at: To find out more about the Bexley Moorings project go to

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living




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Slimming World

Join a warm and friendly group near you today…



VCD Sports Club, Old Road, Crayford, Kent, DA1 4DN 9:30am and 11:30am Your Consultant’s name is Sue 07507 599691

Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion, London Road, Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9EJ 10:00am Your Consultant’s name is Paula 07891 424401

Sutton Court, Church Road,Sutton At Hone, Dartford, Kent, DA4 9EX 9:30am Your Consultant’s name is June 07957 902767 VCD Sports Club, Old Road, Crayford, Kent, DA1 4DN 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Sue 07507599691 Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6JZ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Paula 07891 424401


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Sutton Court, Church Road,Sutton At Hone, Dartford, Kent, DA4 9EX 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is June 07957 902767 Church Centre, 112 Swanscombe Street, Swanscombe, Kent, DA10 0JZ 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Lisa 07986 030199

Visit the website to read Zoes story…

Glentworth Ex Service Club, 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Angela 07956 896679 Wednesday Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 9:30am and 12:00pm Your Consultant’s name is Angela 07956 896679 Crayford Royal British Legion Club, 214A Iron Mill Lane, Dartford, Kent, DA1 4PE 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Liz 07900 213548 South East Dance Studios, On the site of Oasis Academy,39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, Swanley,Kent, BR8 7LG 5:00pm and 7:00pm Your Consultant’s name is Caroline 07776 181413 Thursday Crayford Royal British Legion Club, 214A Iron Mill Lane, Dartford, Kent, DA1 4PE

24 0844 897 8000Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

9:30am Your Consultant’s name is Liz 07900 213548 South East Dance Studios, On the site of Oasis Academy,39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, Swanley,Kent, BR8 7LG 9:30am Your Consultant’s name is Caroline 07776 181413 St Anselm’s Parish Centre, 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Your Consultant’s name is Gillian 07957 135737 Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion, London Road, Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9EJ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Paula 07891 424401 Saturday Amar Hall, East Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RX 9:00am Your Consultant’s name is Sarah 07739 027161 Christ Church Centre, Kingswood Avenue, Swanley, Kent, BR8 8AN Saturdays 9:00am Your Consultant’s name is Kelli 07535 443981

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FULL PRACTICE NOW OPEN Amazing opening offers CONSULTATIONS .............................£20 VACCINATIONS Kittens (9+ weeks) .......... £15 per vacc Puppies (6+ weeks) ........ £15 per vacc Rabbits ...............................................£15 Annual boosters.................... from £15

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Local News

Thoughts of a Local....

by Jane Stevenson

Distracted Driving Keep your eyes on the road and yours hands upon the wheel (Morrison 1970). I’m not sure anyone would want to know my thoughts recently. They have been fairly rude and grumpy to say the least. This all stems from an enforced stay at home following a minor op. ‘No driving for at least a month’ was the stern order from the hospital doctor. So I was reliant on family and friends to help out and they thankfully did (I’m not the world’s most patient, patient). A trip to the supermarket required military planning and a designated driver. However, this gave me time to observe other drivers round the Dartford area, and oh dear, things are not good! Firstly let me set the scene; I live in a semi rural area, served by one not awfully wide road, with potholes along its length and a few of those ‘natural’ pulling in spots. Most cars navigate successfully, but There’s Always One! This One, was a younger lady, driving a huge 4x4, yakking into her phone in between screaming at her kids. She had one hand on the wheel – goodness knows where the other was. The vehicle was being driven at a speed unsuited to the road and she was not in control of the vehicle. I saw all this as we were pulled half way up the bank to avoid her; I don’t think she even saw us. Unfortunately I saw several examples of this callous disregard for safety, during my ‘no driving’ ban mostly perpetrated during the infamous school run. If my safety is not your concern people, perhaps that of your passengers should be. I have nothing against 4x4s, mobiles or children, but together they are toxic mix. I am an ex 4x4 driver myself, and know such cars require both hands on the wheel and a degree of understanding on how they should be driven. Sadly there are all too many of these vehicles purchased to fulfil a need to flaunt wealth and appear fashionable. By all means drive these vehicles, but remember their size alone can be intimidating to other road users, and a badly driven 4x4 can be a lethal weapon on the road.


Angels and My Demon Having got that off my chest, allow me to cheer loudly about Darent Valley Hospital. As I’ve said, I needed a minor op and I am terrified of anaesthetics. Having bored everyone on the planet about my fears prior to the date, I went into DVH full of dread and trepidation. Sitting there waiting for my turn I was seen by day care staff, the anaesthetist and others. I told everyone how scared I was – sort of verbal vomit to whoever would listen. In every case I ws treated with kindness, humour and support. No one told me to ‘pull myself together’. When it was time to go into theatre, two older nurses were with me. They told the young bearded doctor of my concerns, and he held my hand. When I came round he was still there, and gently told me it was all over. Back on the ward, while I slipped in and out of sleep the nurses did their observation checks unobtrusively. The night nurses were amazing. Under-staffed and with a ward rapidly filling up, they maintained a sense of humour and treated everyone with a kindness and sense of dignity. The next morning, fuelled with the best morning cuppa I’ve had for while, I lay back in my little cocoon of well being, waiting for the doctor to discharge me. When he turned up I was amazed how young he was, yet full of good humour. He checked my stitches, looked at my charts and joked with me. I asked him how long he’d been working – it was, he told me, a short week – ‘about 70 hours’. The attitude displayed by the staff at DVH isn’t the answer to mending the NHS; what I experienced was a band of professionals, of all ages and backgrounds, working together to help sick people. There’s no way I could thank everyone who looked after me for my short stay. However, when I next hear someone moaning about hospitals, doctors’ pay or whatever, I will gently ask them when they last worked 70 hours, held the hand of an old woman scared of a minor op or just sat and talked to someone who needed a friendly face. And woe betides them if they still don’t appreciate how lucky we are to have Darent Valley in our area.

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Letters to S anta

Sa nt a


a nt Sa

S anta’s


SANTA’S GROTTO Opens 27th November

LETTERS TO SANTA SATURDAY 5th, 12th & 19th December 11am-4pm

For opening times and prices visit

Come design, decorate and send your Christmas list to Santa!



Dartford Living


Kids Zone Crafts

Max's Makerspace By MicroHackers - A Dartford Edtech Startup

Light up Xmas cards Materials: • 1 x Piece of card • 1 x Watch battery • 1 x Copper tape or graphite pencil • 1 x LED • 1 x Paperclip Equipment: • Colouring pencils • Hole punch • Sellotape Download: • Free circuit template christmas-circuit-cards-template Instructions: 1. Fold the piece of card in half to make your Xmas card shape. 2. Draw and colour a festive picture with your colouring pencils. 3. Using a hole punch, punch a hole into your card where you would like the light to shine through. 4. Download, print, and cut out the free circuit template. 5. Either stick copper tape to the circuit tracks, or draw over them heavily with a graphite pencil. 5. If you have a standard LED push the legs through the tracks, or if you have an LED sticker, stick it into place on the tracks. 6. Put the watch battery in place, and fold over the corner of the circuit template as indicated. Fix into position with a paperclip 7. Position the LED over the hole you punched in your Xmas card, and stick with sellotape on the inside face of the card. 8. Fold over the switch as indicated on the template. The LED will illuminate and light up your Xmas card. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR


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Every month Judy Walker (CEO of easipetcare) will be sharing her hints and tips for caring for your pet Is Your Bunny Winter Ready? We have had the pleasure of a relatively mild autumn but the cold snap of winter is now fully upon us. It is at this time of year that we need to pay extra consideration for our outdoor furries and look to provide the support they will require to make it comfortably through the winter months. It is a sad truth that too many bunnies die through the cold months as a result of hypothermia. Remember, rabbits do not hibernate, so they need help to ensure they have housing which stays warm, comfortable and protected from the elements. At easipetcare we have a fabulous team of dedicated veterinary staff and one of our RVN’s has kindly put together the following advice to help you protect your rabbit this winter...

Pet Corner

bad weather, but suitable housing provisions must still be available. - Natural daylight is essential for Vitamin D - Free range rabbits are found to have higher red blood cell counts and higher lymphocyte counts than hutched rabbits, which naturally makes them much healthier and robust - Rabbits are very social animals, and enjoy a good cuddle, groom, and play together – a great way of keeping them warm! I hope these tips are of use for you, your family and your little nose-twitcher. Here’s to a warm and snuggly December for all!

- Rabbits cope well in moderately cold temperatures but a warm, dry shelter must be provided - Bedding areas must be above freezing outside temperatures – housing can be raised with legs, bricks or pallets and must be water-tight - Renew preservatives on wooden structures as often as necessary to keep wood waterproof (using animal-safe products) - Clear Perspex or plastic can be used to partially cover wire mesh fronted sections of hutches, for wind proofing and rain proofing. Note, you must allow an open area for ventilation and natural daylight - Housing should be positioned so the front is away from wind direction - Housing can be completely covered with blankets or carpet with a tarp sheet over the top, to provide additional insulation. Custom made hutch covers are widely available, as are microwaveable heat pads - Rabbits can be moved to sheds, homes or garages, as long as outside access, stimulation and natural daylight is available - Bubble wrap, socks, or purpose made bottle snugs can be used to prevent water bottles from freezing at low temperatures! - A ping pong ball can be placed in a water bowl to prevent freezing at low temperatures. Water in bowls takes longer to freeze than in bottles. - Water bowls can be sunk into the ground, so the water itself is at ground level to prevent freezing - As much, if not more, exercise and calories are required during the winter months - Free range rabbits will often choose to sit outside in Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Local News

The Demise of the Bee By William Mundy

In 1955 Pete Seeger wrote the folk- song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” Today the question is “where are all the bees going”. Since 1980 the number of beekeepers, in the Dartford Area, has declined from 125 members of the Dartford Branch of the Kent Beekeepers’ Association to the preset number of 23, resulting in a loss of efficient pollinating insects. This decline was caused by the destruction of colonies of Honey Bees by an Asian parasite arriving in Britain from Europe. This loss coupled with further losses resulting from the indiscrimate use of pesticides and insecticides has meant a serious decline, not only in the population of Honeybees, but also of both Solitary and Bumblebees. Why is the decline in pollinating Insects of such importance? Perhaps the following information will assist in answering this question. Of the world’s 115 most important food crops, 87 require pollination to produce fruits, nuts and seeds. They account for a third of the $3 trillion worth of agricultural produce sold each year. These crops provide 35% of the calories we consume yearly and most of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Seven of the nine crops that provide at least half the vitamin C to the human diet depend on insect pollination. They include oranges, cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, melons, tangerines and watermelons. Eight major fruit crops (apple, pears, plums, cherries, almond, avocado, blueberry and cranberry) are reliant on insect pollination.

nectar to meet their needs. Not only will they greatly benefit but you will have greatly improved blossoms and if you have planted vegetables the yield will be increased. The allotments holders adjoining the Dartford Branch Apiary will confirm this to be a fact. There many agencies on the internet which give advice on plants suitable for gardens and bees or alternatively contact willmumby8@ who will be pleased to supply details. Secondly, avoid the use or insecticides and pesticides which are harmful to insects and never spray open blossoms. Lastly consider the possibility of keeping bees. It is appreciated that initially there is a cost involved, no greater that a good quality camera or much less than a set of golf clubs, but the returns are greater. An Instruction Course is being held at 7pm on Thursday evenings at the Meeting Room, Orchard Shopping Centre, to which anyone is welcome, even if the keeping of bees is not your present intention. Details on

Apart from supplying our human needs, birds and many small mammals depend on the results of pollination for food. The beauty of our gardens, parks and countryside would be lost as without insect pollination they would fail to reproduce. What then can be done to ensure the environment and a sufficient amount of produce is maintained. First and foremost is “plant for bees” in your garden so that when the spring arrives there is an abundance of pollen and


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finding room to foster Young people in care need a place to stay and a place in your life. If you’ve got room to foster, call Foster Care Associates today on 0800 022 4012.

0800 022 4012

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

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Dartford Legal Services Ltd Commercial & Residential Conveyancing Probate & Wills Commissioner for Oaths Reasonable fixed fees

Regulated by Council for Licensed Conveyancers Fully Insured Tel: 01322 291379 Email: Website: www.dartfordlegalservices. com


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

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


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Specialists in the packing , moving & storage of household goods, art & antiques - Professional local, UK & European removals at affordable prices - Local long & short term storage at our fully secure facility - Export packing & export/import container services - Specialists in the packing, handling & transport of fine art & antiques - Art & antiques fairs - Gallery moves - Please contact us to arrange a free home survey for domestic removals or a no obligation quotation.

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The pressures of modern day life often mean that we get to the stage where we find it difficult to cope. When things get on top of us, it can be helpful to share the load with a sympathetic counsellor. That is why we are here.

THE WELL COUNSELLING CENTRE (Attached to Wilmington Christian Fellowship)

Broad Lane, Wilmington, Dartford. DA2 7AQ Also at Welling Baptist Church, 123 Axminster Crescent, DA16 1HF

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817


Charity Focus

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

Shorne Woods Country Park - Winter Walk for ellenor 13th December - Photos by Pete Bresser

Popular with ramblers, joggers, dog walkers, nature lovers and families alike, Shorne Woods Country Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit locally. Set in 292 acres of woodland, wetland and meadows, the site includes the eco-friendly visitor centre and café, a sensory garden, orienteering, fishing lakes, a trim trail and picnic and play areas. The park is worth a visit any day, but on 13th December is hosting something very special: ellenor’s Winter Walk. ellenor provides care to adults and children facing terminal illnesse at its hospice and in the community. The charity needs to raise £6.7 million per year to fund the services

it provides. The Winter Walk is a 5km run, walk or ramble around the woods of Shorne Woods Country Park. The walk will begin at 11am with a mass participation start. The walk starts on hard paths but continues onto woodland paths for the majority of the course. The event will be finished by 3pm. ellenor promises that there will be refreshments enroute with mince pies and a drink and that all walkers will receive a goodie bag and Santa hat. Kirsty Doubleday who is organising the event says: “This promises to be a fabulous family event and it’s a great way of raising much needed funds for local families facing terminal illness – while enjoying beautiful scenery and having fun at the same time.” For more information or to register for the Winter Walk email Cost per Adult: £7.00 Cost per Child: £5.00 Family ticket: £20.00 Have you got a bike you no longer want? Do you have a bike that needs some fixing to be road worthy? Or are you looking to purchase a bike? ellenor have the answer! They have joined the ‘Recycle Your Cycle Scheme.’ Bikes and trikes of any size can be donated at ellenor shops or through contacting Hannah on 01322 626502. They are then used as part of a social enterprise scheme that supports prison workshops in the refurbishment of cycles with inmates receiving training in refurbishment and maintenance which can lead to an NVQ. Re-furbished bikes are then sold in ellenor shops, helping to fund vital care.

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Please Pleasemention mentionDartford DartfordLiving Living when when contacting contactingour ouradvertisers advertisers

Cards for Good Causes is stocking up for the Festive Season in Dartford The UK’s largest multi-charity Christmas card organisation is once again decking the halls in its Dartford shop, offering an array of festive cards and Christmas gift ideas. Staffed by volunteers, the outlet sells cards for more than 25 national and local charities, including Demelza House. “In keeping with the Christmas spirit, sending Christmas cards allows you to give twice, once to friends and family, and again to worthwhile causes of your choice.” In the past five years, charities have received more than £20 million from Cards for Good Causes - representing at least 70p in every pound out of which charities had to pay for the production and distribution of their Christmas card and any VAT. The shop is open every Mon - Sat until 18th December, when open you will see the distinctive banner and triangular red Santa sign outside the Dartford library.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia S U P P O RT S E R V I C E S Registered Charity No. 1024385

FREE MEMORY CAFÉS Hartley Wellfield Community Hall DA3 7EG 1st Thursday of The Month 10am - 12pm

West Kingsdown Kingswood Court TN15 6LN 1st Tuesday of The Month 10am - 12pm

Swanley White Oak Court BR8 7WF 2nd Friday of the month 2pm - 4pm

Meopham St John’s Church Hall DA13 0AA 3rd Tuesday of the month 10am - 12pm

Dartford The Orchard Shopping Centre DA1 1DU 3rd Wednesday of The Month 10am - 12pm

Gravesend The Woodville Halls DA12 1AU 4th Wednesday of The Month 11am - 1pm

Living well with dementia, Practical information, Refreshments Chance to relax in a safe environment

Call Us On - 01474 533 990

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


Business and Dhiren’s Automotive News Automotive In this edition we’ll look at new models from Suzuki, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce available from early next year.

2016 Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Land Rover have revealed the Evoque convertible after showing the concept car three and a half years ago. This will be available only as a high-end model, with a choice of Dynamic and HSE Dynamic spec levels – the top two in the range. All versions will have four-wheel drive as standard, too. You’ll also have a choice of engines – either the 2.0 TD4, in 178bhp form, or the similarly sized 237bhp 30 petrol unit.Please mention Living turbocharged The hood can Dartford be changed up or down in 21 seconds, so there’s no need to fear sudden changes in the weather. It’ll do the job at up to 30mph, so there may however be reason to fear sudden changes in the speed limit. Prices for the Range Rover Evoque Convertible start at £47,500 for the diesel in HSE Dynamic trim and £48,200 for the similarly appointed petrol. HSE Dynamic Lux models start at £51,700 and £52,400 respectively. The car can be ordered now with first deliveries in spring 2016. 2016 Ford Focus RS

The Focus RS is the hottest version of the standard car, and a step up in performance from the Ford Focus ST. It is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-litre engine producing


more than 345bhp. Drive is sent through a variable allwheel-drive system. The RS has an official average fuel economy figure of 36.7mpg and emits 175g/km of CO2. The new Focus RS is especially notable for having fourwheel drive. Ford says its so-called All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring system gives the Focus RS “class-leading corner speed, limit handling and a unique drift capability”. The Focus RS interior gets several upgrades to match its exaggerated exterior appearance. Highlights include Recaro sports seats, a flat-bottomed, leather-clad steering wheel, alloy pedals and a simpler dash layout than on standard cars. The third-generation Ford Focus RS will cost from £29,995 when it arrives in spring 2016. 2016 MG3 supermini upgraded

The MG3 supermini has been upgraded, and now comes with a more economical engine and new personalisation options. The changes for the 2016 model year MG3, which has been on sale in the UK since November this year, will focus around a revised 1.5-litre petrol engine. The engine, which produces 105bhp, now emits 124g/ km of CO2 (compared with 136g/km on the current car) and also includes an engine stop-start system for the first time. Other changes include a new chrome grille at the front while new paintwork personalisation options are also available. Pricing for the MG3 has also changed. While the entry-level 3Time model continues to be priced from £8,399, the 3Form now costs £9,599, the 3Form Sport will be £9,899, the 3Style is £10,499 and the range-topping 3Style Lux costs £10,999, a £1,000 increase on the current car.

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Tips for small businesses Each month Paul Conradi, Chartered Accountant at Conradi Morrison & Co, will be giving us his professional a d v i c e fo r s m a l l b u s i n e s s e s . .

Christmas Cheer As our thoughts turn to Christmas and giving, I thought it would be nice to write an few words on tax issues relating to the forthcoming festive season in the hope that this would give you some inspiration and ideas while planning treats for your customers and staff. The cost of a staff party or other annual functions for employees is an allowable tax deduction for businesses. This does not apply to sole traders and business partners of unincorporated organisations. As long as the function meets the following criteria, there will be no charges made on the employee to tax. It must be open to all employees or to all at a particular location. The cost per head must not exceed £150 per annum, so if there is more than one function during the year, the total must not exceed £150. If this is exceeded, then the staff will be taxed in full on total costs per head including that for their spouse/partner. Cost is calculated as the total cost of the party or function including any transport or accommodation.

HMRC have conceded that an employer may provide an employee with a seasonal gift such as turkey and an ordinary bottle of wine or a box of chocolates and this will be considered as an exempt benefit. However, a case of ordinary wine, a bottle of fine wine or a hamper is unlikely to be considered trivial. The concession also applies to a seasonal flu jab, but I suspect most employers would not consider this to be an appropriate gift for Christmas. As you can see from the above, the Tax man does not have much Christmas cheer! As your local Accountant, I would be very glad to meet you and discuss the possibility of tax planning in your business. For more information, please see page two of this month’s Dartford Living and feel free to call me on 01322 278188 to arrange a meeting without charge.

Entertaining clients is never an allowable deduction for tax purposes for a business and Input VAT cannot be recovered on the same. Gifts to customers are only allowable as a tax deduction if the total cost of the gift to any one individual per annum, does not exceed £50 and the gift bears a conspicuous advert or the business and the gift is not food, drink, tobacco or an exchangeable voucher. However, samples of a trader’s products are allowable, even if they are food, drink or tobacco. In respect of gifts to staff, in some cases HMRC will consider this not to be a benefit and exempt on the grounds that the cash equivalent of the benefit taxable on the employer is so trivial as to be not worth pursuing. Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Coffee break Sudoku Puzzle



8 6


7 2 8 4 3 7 3 6 8 5 1 5 2 2 9 1 3 7 2 8 5 4 6 1 7 7 9 2

HOW TO PLAY: Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through to 9, with no repetition. That’s all there is to it!

(Solution on page 46)

Don’t panic at Christmas! Sudoku Puzzle

F I T N E S S 2

As exciting as Christmas can be, at this time of year people 2 too much, stress, and generally tend to over-eat,1 drink get5 run-down and feel 6 bad; often leading 8 3 to illness. It’s7a hectic time4of year that we6often let9overwhelm us, and as a result, diets and fitness regimes tend to suffer. 8 people just accept1that they’re 6 going to put on Many weight 4 9before they’ve 8 even tried to mitigate the excesses. But don’t panic. While it may 3 seem9like it’s 2 all too much, you don’t need to let life get in the way of your bigger, 6 5 2 longer-term goals. Health should be your primary 2 1 8 9 4 5 6 concern, always. 1 I hear you say.3Well7here’s the truth: “Easier5said than done!” Stress has a huge impact on your immune system and health, so letting things get on top of you will almost certainly be more detrimental than just accepting some truths. If you slip up on your diet get over it, don’t stress, just start again, right away (not tomorrow/next week/ next year!). If you have a bad lunch – dinner will be healthy; that day is not ruined and free to eat what you want until you start again tomorrow. Plan ahead. Set days and times to exercise – if you go to classes this is even easier! And you can probably guess the next bit – DON’T MISS THAT SESSION! For any reason (certainly not shopping and eating). You may think you can’t make that class because you have to get this shopping done today, but you’ll feel bad for it, I promise you! Once you’ve set your training days, you can plan your shopping etc. around that. If you prioritize your health, you’ll find/make time elsewhere to do the other stuff. As for diet, yes, it’s likely you’ll be out more this month eating and drinking more than usual, but there’s no need


to let that ruin your waistline. You always have a choice. If you’re eating more unhealthy foods than usual, limit yourself – don’t overeat for the sake of it. If you want a few drinks – fine, but again there’s no need to go mad. If you make healthier choices the rest of the day (breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinks etc.) then the excesses on those party nights will cause minimal damage. It’s unlikely you’ll be out every night, so eat better (not less) than usual the rest of the week and you’ll have nothing to worry about and the guilt (aka stress) associated with a blowout will be unnecessary. The main take-home point here is that you don’t need to let Christmas and all the associated stresses interfere with your health and fitness goals. Plan your days and make better food choices to compensate for the poor food choices on party nights. Don’t drink to excess; and don’t compromise on your workouts. By all means put more effort into your training (that’s always a good idea anyway), but you won’t make up for a lost session – so don’t miss any! That being said, enjoy the holidays and hopefully I’ll see you at Bootcamp in the coming weeks/months! Happy Holidays! By Mark Broadbent, Master Personal Trainer & Instructor at Dartford Bootcamps. Visit for information on Personal Training, Nutrition coaching or Bootcamp Fitness classes.

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Gardening Hints and Tips - December Plants of the month Ensure your garden remains colourful throughout the winter with our plants of the month. There’s plenty to choose from including: winter-flowering heathers, winter jasmine, Viburnum Bodnantense, Viburnum farreri, Viburnum tinus and Mahonias And don’t forget plants grown for their berries or colourful stems, and the huge range of evergreens that are available – including conifers. Poinsettias Poinsettias are the perfect way to bring festive colour to any home over Christmas. They’re available in a wide range of colours – such as red, salmon and cream and even bi-colours. Or what about planted bowls of beautifully scented hyacinths? Both make great presents.


Plan next year’s garden This time of year is perfect for erecting fences, trellis, pergolas, arches and other garden structures Discover how easy it is to add a new feature and explore the wide range of types and styles we have available. Feed feathered friends for winter Garden birds need our help throughout winter – so make sure you put out food and water every day. We have a wide range of feeders, tables and food available, so take a look at what’s on offer and help our feathered friends. in association with

Hedges & other bare-rooted shrubs/trees Now’s a great time to buy and plant bare-rooted plants including hedging, fruit, roses and other shrubs. If you’re planning for next year, include a new rose bed. Or you could opt for stocking a fruit garden or plant a new hedge for privacy and as a windbreak. Camellias With their glossy, evergreen foliage and large flowers in spring, camellias are the perfect way of brightening up the garden. Buy yourself some now or give them as presents. They need a lime-free soil, so if yours isn’t suitable grow them in large pots filled with ericaceous compost. Structure for the garden Is your garden looking a bit dull now? Then brighten it up with evergreen shrubs. We have a fantastic range to choose from – many of which also have attractive flowers and berries – to provide colour all year round. Get them off to the best possible start by planting with tree & shrub planting compost, or other planting medium, and adding a slow release fertiliser. Interestedininadvertising? advertising? 01322 507817 Interested Tel:Tel: 01322 507817 Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Dartford Living



Local Sports News

Dartford Football Club have recently visited The Wilmington Academy, The Longfield Academy and The Leigh Academy Post-16 Open Evenings to recruit students ready for the start of the September 2016 academic year. The Dartford Football Academy is a 2-year, full-time Education and Football Development programme delivered in partnership with Professional and NonLeague Football Clubs. Below some of the players and staff share their thoughts on their time with Dartford FC Academy. Harvey Brinkley – Captain of the Dartford FC Reds I like the academy here because it’s very established. The way we are treated is the right way and the club and coaches look after us well. I get the right balance of football and school work which I do enjoy. I like all the coaching staff here as well. As Captain my duties also involve making sure all the kit is done in time for the match, making sure we do a proper warm up, and making sure everyone is on time. Hopefully I will progress to a higher standard in football through being a part of the Dartford Academy, and I will make it into the first team, ideally here. Tremayne Lowe – Dartford FC Reds I enjoy the football side of things here. I made a decision to join Dartford FC Academy because I was playing here with the Under 15s and this was a good club where I have the possibility of getting First Team football. Also


I think the coaches are good and they help me with everything. They always give me areas for improvement. I don’t have a favourite coach here as they are all very good in different ways. Jason Long – Academy Manager – Dartford FC Reds I enjoy coaching our boys to grow and develop into young men, teaching them all aspects of the game from their technical ability to their tactical understanding. We educate the boys on being respectful at the club and just to follow the code of conduct that ensures their professionalism remains at all times. I am a great believer in the harder the boys work the luckier they will get, and that their good habits will not let them down. Deren Ibrahim – First Team Goalkeeper and Academy Manager of Dartford Whites I like developing players that will progress into the First Team, but I also like to help these young men to go on in their career and get a good job by maintaining their education with us. This will also allow them to progress into any level in football should they wish to and the opportunity is given. I was in the academy for 3 years myself so I know what it takes to have the education and football provided by Dartford FC. The Dartford FC Academy is a great way to give our players the opportunity to gain qualifications but also maintain their love of playing football, something which I am proud to be a part of.

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Dartford Valley RFC launches Wheelchair Rugby The 15th November saw the launch of the Dartford Valley RFC Wheelchair Rugby team. The lauch was attended by the Mayor of Dartford, representatives from the Wooden Spoon Charity and members of Dartford Valley RFC other teams. Wheelchair Rugby is a sport incorporating elements of rugby, hockey, basketball, and volleyball, played by competitors who have a physical disability that requires the use of a wheelchair. Dartford’s Wheelchair Rubgy squad will be based at Leigh UTC and hold regular training sessions and mtches. Follow Dartford Valley WRFC Training & Matches on Facebook for more information or contact JAMES.YATES@DVRFC.COM or 07807 101829

Bav’s Sporting Comment Russia’s athletics federation has been provisionally suspended from international competition - including the O l y m p i c Games - for its alleged involvement in widespread doping. The IAAF took action after the publication of an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that alleged “state-sponsored doping”. The council members voted 22-1 in favour of Russia being banned. As it stands, Russian athletes may not enter international competitions, including the World Athletic Series and Rio Olympics.This feels like a moment when the suspicion of athletes and others inside the sport is shown to be warranted and the sport’s leaders are forced, finally, into a constructive response. The vote in favour of suspension serves as a clear signal to Russia that the era of winning dirty is over. The Russian authorities say they are ready to change the culture of corruption and cover-up. Lord Coe’s tenure will be judged on the effectiveness of his remedies.

Upcoming events in November include: 2-6: Tennis - Wheelchair Masters, London 9-13: Badminton - World Superseries finals, Dubai 12: Football - draw for Euro 2016 26: Horse racing - King George VI Chase, Kempton 26-30: Cricket - South Africa v England first Test, Durban Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Local Entertainment News

Eastender comes to Gravesend the Witch Of The Woods. Kieran and Sarah from Britain’s Got Talent also join the cast as Friar Tuck and Little John, and back by popular demand, Payne & Pearce will play Silly Billy Scarlet and Nurse Nellie. Tickets -

This Christmas will mark Ricky Norwood’s debut in pantomime, following in the footsteps of fellow EastEnders star Jamie Foreman (Derek Branning), who starred in last years smash hit panto at the Woodville, Aladdin. Ricky will play the wicked Sheriff Of Nottingham in Robin Hood And The Babes In The Wood, with Keavy and Edele Lynch from B*Witched as the Fairy Of The Forest and

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Ticket Office

01322 220000 NEW JERSEY NIGHTS



5-10TH JANUARY 2016 Direct from the USA the international smash hit show New Jersey Nights comes to the UK as part of their world tour. The show is a spectacular celebration of the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and takes the audience on a nostalgic musical journey through the career of one of the biggest selling groups of all time. From the back street studio in New Jersey where it all began, this vibrant production includes all of The Four Seasons greatest hits, including Sherry, Rag Doll, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man and many more. The production features an award-winning cast of singers, dancers and a rockin’ on stage band. Dartford Living and The Orchard have teamed up to offer 2 tickets to the show. To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question... Which of the following is not an American state? A) New Jersey B) New York C) Texas D) Toronto Please send your entries to Orchard Theatre Competition, Dartford Living, PO Box 283, Dartford, Kent, DA1 9BW or email by the 15th December - RULES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered. 4. Proof of posting will not be regarded as proof of delivery. 5. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 6. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 7. Closing date for the competition is stated above.



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Sudoku Puzzle 1 Solution

3 7 8 4 1 2 9 6 5

2 6 4 7 5 9 1 3 8

5 1 9 3 6 8 7 2 4

9 5 1 6 2 4 3 8 7

4 2 7 8 3 1 6 5 9

8 3 6 5 9 7 2 4 1

6 4 2 1 7 5 8 9 3

Sudoku Puzzle 3 Solution

7 8 3 9 4 6 5 1 2

1 9 5 2 8 3 4 7 6Kick off times & further information can be found at

9 2 6 4 8 1 5 3 7£ 12 adults £6 concessions 1 4 5 7 3 6 8 9 2£ 2 children 8 7 3 2 5 9 6 4 1 5 9 7 6 4 8 1 2 3 6 8 4 1 2 3 7 5 9 2 3 TYPES 1 9 7 OF 5 4INTERNAL 6 8 • ALL 3 1 9 5 6 DECORATING 7 2 8 4 AND EXTERNAL 7 5 2 8 9 4 3 1 6 • AROUND THE HOUSE 4 6 8 3 1 2 9 7 5


MAINTENANCE JOBS • FREE ESTIMATES 5 9 8 1 4 6 3 2 7 • REFERENCES AVAILABLE 6 2 3 8 5 7 9 4 1 • 4RELIABLE, INEXPENSIVE 7 1 2 9 3 8 6 5 1AND 5 6 QUALITY 4 2 8 7WORK 9 3 BY 8 4 LOCAL 2 3 7 9TRADESMEN 1 5 6 Sudoku Puzzle 5 Solution

7 3 9 6 1 5 4 8 2 CAN WE HELP YOU? 9 1 4 5 3 2 6 7 8

2 6 7 9 8 1 5 3 4 8 5 7 / 01322 6 4 2 525708 1 9 Please call Mike or John on: Tel 013223 406439

Mobile: 07742 085333 Email: Sudoku Puzzle 7 Solution Partners: Mike Perry and John Petherick


3 7 9 8 6 4 2 5 1 4 6ourour 1advertisers 5 2 7 9 3 8 Please mention Dartford Living when contacting Please mention Dartford Living when contacting advertisers





in advertising? 01322 507817 InterestedInterested in advertising? Tel: 01322Tel: 507817 Dartford Living


Dartford Living December 15  
Dartford Living December 15  

The December issue of Dartford Living featuring a local Christmas Gift guide, The Dartford Toy Appeal 2, Dartford FC Academy plus our usual...