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December 2017 - Issue 138 FREE


By the community, for the community


Christmas Gift Guide - Pages 8-13 Shop ‘Small’ This Christmas - Page 20 The Argonauts WSC - Page 39

Plus - All your regular

features, events, information and much more in your larger 60 page issue. - -

live happy! with

Slimming World MONDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 9:30am, 11:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Sue 07507 599691 British Legion Hall Devon Road South Darenth DA4 9AA 9:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm June 07957 902767 Fleetdown Community Centre Swaledale Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6JZ 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Gillian 07957 135737 WEDNESDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 10:00am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Liz 07900 213548

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 9:30am and 12:00pm Gillian 07957 135737

The Howard Venue (formerly South East Church Centre, Dance Studios) 112 Swanscombe Street, 39 Egerton Avenue, Swanscombe, Kent Hextable, BR8 7LG DA10 0JZ 5:30pm and 7:30pm 7:30pm Caroline 07776 181413 Lisa 07986 030199 Temple Hill Community TUESDAYS Centre Greenhithe & Temple Hill Square, Swanscombe British Dartford, DA1 5HY Legion Club 3.30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm London Road, Jo 07800 797030 Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 10:00 am Paula 07891 424401

0344 897 8000


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THURSDAYS The Howard Venue (formerly South East Dance Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, BR8 7LG 9:30am Caroline 07776 181413 St Anselm’s Parish Centre 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Gillian 07957 135737 Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401

SATURDAYS Amar Hall East Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RX 9:00am Sarah 07739 027161 Christ Church Centre Kingswood Avenue, Swanley, BR8 8AN 8:00am and 10:00am Kelli 07931 085668




39 20 35 8 -13 Contents

8-13................Christmas Gift Guide 14...................Dartford Living Meets 16...................Life Under the Stairs 18...................Travel Spotlight 20..................Shop ‘small’ this Christmas 24...................Valley to Paris 25...................CAP Money Matters 27...................Lights of love service - ellenor 34...................Sports News 35...................Dartford District Schools Sports

39...................... The Argonauts WSC 44.......................Local Entertainment 45.......................Fitness 46.......................Auto News 47.......................Gardening News 48-55..................Where to go locally 57.......................Advertising Index 58.......................Useful Numbers

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

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


nking Business - October 2017_Layout 1 26/09/2017 10:09 Page 46

a5 Flyer.pdf




The View Hotel & Cliffe Restaurant with

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Dates available : Friday 24 November Saturday 25 November Friday 1 December Saturday 2 December Friday 8 December Saturday 9 December Friday 15 December Saturday 16 December Thursday 21 December

Time: 7:30pm-Midnight

Price : ÂŁ37 per person

Price inclusive of a three course Christmas meal and entertainment.

Bookings: 01322 278 925 The location is :

Campanile Hotel Dartford, Crossways Business Park, Clipper Boulevard West, Dartford, Kent .DA2 6QN



Nestled in the heart of Folkestone, our hotel is perfectly situated on the famous Leas. The View Hotel is a 4* high quality boutique hotel that has been passionately restored to it's former glory. Wake up to stunning views of the English Channel from any of our 44 modern, stylish and comfortable bedrooms. If you are looking for corporate accommodation, we provide tailor-made corporate rates to suit you and your business and we do our utmost to ensure your stay with us is seamless and hassle-free. Dine with us at The Cliffe Restaurant & sample our carefully designed menus to showcase the Best of British food, using local sustainable suppliers and fresh Kentish produce. With our modern and newly decorated function room, we can accommodate all kinds of corporate events, providing a meeting space and in-house catering.

The View Hotel, 30-32 Clifton Road, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2EF

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Dear Readers,

I hope you enjoy December’s magazine. As usual it’s jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - “use them or lose them!” Don’t forget that we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. Dartford Living is YOUR magazine, the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Feel free to get in touch if you would like to write an article for the magazine. If writing is not for you then perhaps you could volunteer to deliver 100 or so magazines to your local roads - you will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! We deliver to thousands of homes and businesses in the local area, however if you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points. These include Dartford Football Club, numerous local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Priory Shopping Centre, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, numerous health centres and local Barclays branches. The ‘Previous Editions’ section of the Dartford Living website also includes electronic versions of Dartford Living magazine. Additionally, if you email we will add you to our newsletter email mailing list and contact you just once a month with an electronic copy of Dartford Living! Over 6,000 local people already do this!

Until next time, Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living (and Annie, Barbara, Bhavesh, Bradley , Cath, Catherine , Christine, Daniel, David, Dawn, Derek, Debbie, Dhiren, Elaine, Eleanor, Emma, EmmaJ ackie, James , Jenny, Joanne, John, Kay, Ken, Kelly, Mark, Nickki, Nicola, Pam, Sarah, Sam, Sharon, Stephen, Steven, Teresa, Tarnya, Vanessa and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team) Photo by



We offer amazing value advertising with adverts starting from just £30 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 our website and/ or social media channels. We feel we have every base covered. To book in an advert call 01322 507817 or email

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Apex Law are excited to announce the opening of their new offices in Dartford. Our Dartford office is in a very convenient position with free visitor parking and close to the station. It is run by Pam Downes a well known local Lawyer with an experienced team. Pam deals with all aspects of Residential Conveyancing plus Private Client issues such as Lasting Powers of Attorney’s, Court of Protection Applications, Wills, Probate, Compromise Agreements and she is a specialist in Equity Release matters. Apex Law has case handlers located throughout the South of England and further afield who are all highly experienced in their fields of law including commercial property, Wills, Family Law, Residential Conveyancing and Private Client. In this highly technological world, expensive office premises can only drive up costs and at Apex Law LLP we are passionate about offering the highest level of service but at a price you can afford, because many of our Lawyers are self-employed they are frequently able to offer more flexible hours to suit you. We have Lawyers fluent in French, Chinese and Malay. We also have strategic alliances with Spanish Lawyers. At our offices we offer a friendly comfortable environment in which you can relax whilst dealing with your legal issues. We provide a cost effective local, national and international service in most areas of law and if we have no specialist in regard to any matters in which you require advice, we have arrangements with other firms of solicitors to whom we can refer you with confidence. Our offices are located at: 3 The Pantiles

Unit 32

1st Floor


Basepoint Business Park

87 Rainham High Street


Victoria Road, Dartford

Rainham, Kent







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Let GPS navigate the way to your new home

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 to test their blood. Keep Dia-wipes handy so your blood glucose testing does not slow you down: · School · Office · Car · Beach · Sports · Many more! Each finger wipe measures 45mm x 70mm. Does not contain alcohol, fragrance or any product or chemical that will interfere with your blood glucose result. 25 wipes in each resealable pack. RRP £1.49 per pack

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Dartford Living



Bellus beauty based in Dartford offer beautiful classic individual eyelash extensions and LVL lash lifts and tints. We have gift vouchers that you can purchase as a lovely gift that can be used when convenient for the person purchased for. Contact Hayley @ Bellusbeauty on 07554420529 or email


Produced by Dartford Living, Dartford Borough Council. Photos by local resident Janice Blake. All profits from the calendar will go to local charity ellenor. See for locations to purchase the calendar.

ÂŁ5 8

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS . . . AN ALPACA LIVING AT KENT LIFE If you’re fretting over what to buy for the friend or relative who has everything this Christmas, Kent Life offers the chance to choose a gift that’s really special – particularly for the animal-lover. The award-winning attraction, near Maidstone, gives the opportunity to adopt one of its farmyard animals for a year; a gift that’s both caring and educational for animal lovers of all ages. An Adopt an Animal pack costs just £20 a year which goes towards keeping one of the farmyard animals fed, watered, clean, well-housed and happy for one calendar year. The pack includes a photo of your furry friend, along with a certificate, a complimentary ticket to visit, and a fact sheet, telling you all about their daily life and requirements. Kent Life is home to a variety of creatures, including alpacas Wispa, Cookie and Biscuit; donkeys Ellie, Dora and George; goats Eric, Beano, Dandy and Gizmo; horses Tasha and Walter; ponies Lily and Truffles; and pigs Anastasia and Jasmine. Pictures and short biographies of each of these animals are featured on the Kent Life website Kent Life’s General Manager Natalie Cox said: “People love to come to Kent Life and to interact with our animals, but it makes a visit extra special if you’ve adopted one of our furry friends. Another option at Christmas is to treat your loved-one to a Kent Life gift voucher, or even an annual membership pass, which offers virtually unlimited visits to a whole range of events throughout 2018.” Find out more by calling 01622 763936 or speaking to staff in the Kent Life Gift Shop. Alternatively email enquiries@ or visit You can also follow Kent Life on Twitter @Kent_Life

PET & GARDEN SUPPLIES Lots of Christmas goodies available including Christmas dinners, toys and treats. Pet & Garden Supplies, 148 Colney Road, Dartford. 01322 226330

Dartford Living


BEAutiful BEAds Handmade jewellery

inspired by the power of stones. This Christmas find a unique and individual present for your loved ones. BEAutiful BEAds offers a range of bespoke jewellery made with semiprecious stones that are perfect for any occasion. Each piece has a meaning... or if you prefer I can create a tailored meaningful piece just for you! Each piece is one of a kind so you will own something that you will not see on anyone else! Custom orders are welcome! I love being asked to put a bracelet or a charm together to suit personal likes and needs. Feel free to create your own piece! For more information please contact us via email: Visit our website: beabeautifulbeads Follow us on Instagram @beabeautifulbeads Facebook @BeaBEAutifulBEAds

Local Author -Joseph Hopkins

Christmas Trees Tree Variety

Size Range

Price From

Norway Spruce

Approx. 5-7ft


Blue Spruce

Approx. 5-7ft


Nordman Fir

Approx. 4-8ft



British Grown Trees

Available from early December Subject to availability Stanhill Farm

Birchwood Road, Wilmington, Dartford, Kent DA2 7HD

Tel: 01322 669711 Email:

Fully stocked farm shop


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Seasonal fresh produce grown on the farm

Online Baby & Children’s Gift Shop Support a Local Mum’s Startup Business! We’re Now Award Winning! Enter DART10 at Checkout for 10% Off Orders Over £20! Follow Us @bbshopity

DARTFORD LIVING MEETS.......CHRIS CHAMBERS BY KELLY GOLDSWORTHY Dartford Living caught up with Chris who runs Altar Skate Shop in The Orchard Centre Chris explained his love of skateboarding I love skateboarding because it is complete freedom, no rules and you can do what you want without anything being wrong or right. Skating has also given me the chance to travel the world and meet amazing people. I have no idea what I would be doing if I hadn’t have got a board. The skate park in Dartford is a really good scene and everyone supports everyone else. the different groups that go there make it a good place. I opened the shop because when I started 7 and half years ago there were only a few skate shops in London and the only other close one was in Broadstairs. Skaters would either have to get our stuff from them or online from corporate companies that don’t help out the scene so I thought I would get a few bits and sell from the boot of my car. That then led to me getting a website and eventually opening up the store. Apart from running Altar in Dartford I have a concession at


Better Extreme in Barking, Essex. I am a welder by trade, so I do a little labouring here and there to help out with quiet times at the shop. I’d love it if locals could support local businesses before the bigger chain stores. If we all did then we all benefit from it. We would all grow instead of just the big corporations having all the say and power and that would be better for everyone. Check out Altar here: Or visit the shop in The Orchard Centre (near Primark).

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Life Under The Stairs by Jane Stevenson IT’S A DOG’S LIFE I’ve inherited a small elderly dog. Given that I have four cats I’m sure you will appreciate my dilemma. My knowledge of canine care is sparse to say the least, and I rely on the Eldest Offspring, who works for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to intervene if I do anything really wrong. Dogs also need a walk – not my favourite past time at all. However, after a visit to Pets At Home, and parting with several pounds on a new collar, harness and lead for said dog, I felt duty bound to take her out for some exercise (both of us need it to be honest). What a pleasant surprise I had! Dartford must have the friendliest dog owners, and most interesting walks locally. I started off with Dartford Heath as I know the pooch was familiar with the area. I hadn’t gone too far along the path when we encountered a lively spaniel. Pooch, or Cindy to give her her correct name was unconcerned and put up with the spaniel’s advances. Her owner stopped and passed the time of day. I’ve never met this lady before but felt at ease and spent some minutes chatting away. As the walk progressed I got to meet several other dogs and owners, all enjoying a wander round the heath. I was offered advice, told where the best paths were and given a new name ‘Cindy’s mum’. I noted that other dog owners greet each other by the dog’s name – overnight I’ve become a member of that friendly private club. Thanks to the council for maintaining this lovely area, its walkways and environment. Since then, I’ve ventured to other parts. Oakfield Park, Wilmington Common, Farningham Woods and the fields local to my home. I’ve enjoyed the exercise, and seen sights I took for granted. Starlings swooping and twisting in huge numbers, tiny little wild flowers half hidden by hedges, amazing cloud formations over Dartford Bridge in the east and the M25 in the west. During my twilight walks I’ve seen foxes ambling down a quiet road without a care in the world, and less welcoming, rats scurrying across the field. I am one of the first to criticise the town and its inability to move forward from the Tesco fiasco. There is so much more to Dartford than the town centre. I should have opened my eyes long ago to the rich and diverse area surrounding us. FLASH BANG WALLOP We still have fireworks being set off here in Dartford, even though we are half way through November. I have no opinion on fireworks. I enjoyed them as a little child and attended public displays as an adult. My own children are in their twenties so it’s not something we do anymore. The animals are fine, they’re in, warm and


fed so I leave the ‘oohs and aahs’ to another generation. I do question whether there should be some sort of rethink surrounding the legislation of fireworks. The law says you can let off fireworks all year around including Sundays but not between the hours of 11pm and 7am. There are exceptions – Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am. This seems quite fair to me They mustn’t be thrown in the street or other public place. Common sense I would have thought. Fireworks aren’t toys – they can cause serious injury. My question is whether they should be sold to the general public at all. Is there any need to use them all year round? I’m all for large public exhibitions where the fireworks are overseen by trained marshals, set alight at a safe distance and there are the requisite first aiders present. I would support an amendment to the law permitting the sale of them all year round. Perhaps a license for anyone who wanted to organise a display for a birthday or wedding or other event should be introduced. They contain a number of chemicals harmful to humans, so to let them off wherever and whenever isn’t the soundest of ideas. After all, isn’t it better to leave the arrangements of a display to the professionals allowing us to stand back and gaze upwards and just enjoy the spectacle? GENTLY DOES IT I don’t watch much TV, I don’t have Sky, or subscribe to Netflix. There simply isn’t enough on the box to warrant my attentions; but I did like Inspector George Gently. The final ever episode was shown last week. Ten years from its inception and I’ve watched Bacchus grow from a sullen, adulterous young man, into a tenacious, argumentative but ultimately good copper. Lee Ingleby is to be congratulated on his portrayal of Bacchus. I’ve watched George deal with his demons over his murdered wife, his illness and a changing culture in the UK. The final episode was a tour de force by Martin Shaw, showing the vulnerability of a man who fought for his beliefs in World War 2, only to realise he was too old, too tired and out of step with the Swinging Sixties. The final scene, where he is callously murdered by the authorities to stop him revealing evidence was heartbreaking and sadly contemporary. This series is unlikely to win any awards – it’s another police series like so many on our screens. It was well written, well acted and deeper than the usual cops and robbers show and I for one will miss it greatly. Best wishes for Christmas everyone. See you next month.

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South Flying south from the UK, the first Winter destination you reach is the Canary Islands. Whilst not quite as tropical as other destinations, they are the closest, being only 4 hours from the UK. This also classes them as a short-haul destination, and this is reflected in the weather, during the winter the temperatures are generally in the high teens. A week in Tenerife, Lanzarote or Fuerteventura can be found for as low as £300. The mornings where you see your own breath are increasing, and when I woke this morning there was a thick layer of frost on the garden. Hence, I thought this month I would look at how you can banish the winter doldrums and escape to warmer climes. When looking for some Winter sun, I am going to focus in three directions. West towards the Caribbean, South towards the Canaries, Cape Verde & Africa, and East towards the Middle East and Asia. However, there are many, many more places to explore during the Winter as South America, Australia and Southern Africa are all great during this time. West The Caribbean and the surrounding area is a wonderful place for a Winter break, with white sands and azure waters. You can holiday in destinations like Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia, Cuba and the Bahamas, as well resorts in Mexico and the Florida Keys. With a very pleasantly warm climate through the winter months, temperatures are generally in the high 20s. The sea temperature is also very pleasant and in the high 20s. But it’s not just wonderful climate and beautiful beaches, there is also plenty of culture and friendly, local people to meet. Islands like Barbados can be explored in a hire car, or you can climb on a bus with the locals, or jump on a sailboat trip to go snorkelling with turtles! So much to see and do. Flight times are between 8 and 11 hours from the UK, and prices start from £800 for a package holiday for a week. Some islands are more exclusive and hence more expensive than others, and the sky’s the limit once you start looking at luxury resorts. Also, the Caribbean is a very popular area for cruising, with the island’s proximity to each other allowing you to wake up to a new beach every day.


A little further from the Canaries lies Cape Verde, 6 hours from the UK. With a climate similar to the Caribbean, the average temperature in January is 25C. There are 10 islands, but tourism is mainly focussed on three. While it is a developing area, there are some very good hotels and some great beaches. East Flying East from the UK for 6 hours brings you to the Middle East and destinations like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is a luxurious and expensive destination, but holidays start from £600. An area of superlatives, with the World’s tallest building, biggest mall and more, there is plenty to occupy any traveller. During the Winter the temperatures drop to around 20C during the day, which makes it a very pleasant destination for a short break. Further on are the wonders of Asia, and the beach resorts found in places such as Thailand and Vietnam. Flight times are longer and while the flight costs are higher, the cost of living is lower. Hence it can be a great Winter destination, especially for an extended stay. Although a week can start from around £800, it’s a great area to take a bit longer and travel around, to explore and experience. The temperatures are nice and high, and the humidity low, making it a lovely time to enjoy the stunningly beautiful beaches. Thailand’s islands have some of the most gorgeous beaches in the World, remember The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio? That would be Phi Phi Leh Island, near Phuket. Stunning. So, it need not be a full Winter of freezing weather. Use the dark months of January & February as an excuse to explore the World. Tim Harden is the manager of Harden Holidays, Dartford’s local travel agency. Now open on Hythe St.

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Group ART Exhibition

Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford 2nd Dec - 3rd Jan Works for sale

Affordable original local art

Hi Dartford Living Readers!

Shop ‘Small’ This Christmas

I’m Charlotte, a startup business owner and blogger. A few weeks ago, I was extremely privileged to meet the Mayor of Dartford at her chambers after winning my first ever award at the Dartford Business Awards and being commended as a finalist for Best Owner Managed Business. I set up my business so that I could work around my little boy and I thought it would be a good experience for us both if he came with me so he could see what his mummy had achieved. I’ll admit, I did do a quick search in Google beforehand to find out the protocol of meeting a Mayor: How do I address her? Should I bow?! It was completely unfamiliar to me. Of course as a mother of a toddler, any protocol went out the window as soon as I entered the room buggy first with a snack eating toddler! I just hoped that he would be well behaved and wouldn’t wipe his hands on any of the fancy furniture! We talked about my business and the constant juggle of being a working mum. I am quite simply one of many grafters out there and I am beyond grateful that my business has been recognised. So with Christmas not too far away - it got me thinking... What if we all recognised as many small businesses as we can by shopping ‘small’ this Christmas? Supporting small businesses is a fantastic way to give back to the local community without really doing much at all. It helps families, boosts morale, not to mention puts money back into our economy. There are so many small business owners out there too including parents like me working from home, the local butcher, florist or even the next door neighbour who can knit a good scarf! You will be surprised at how many people will do a little happy dance every time you shop with their small business. So why not spread a little Christmas cheer? Check out the Dartford Living Christmas Gift Guide for lots of great gift ideas! Thankfully, as luck would have it my little boy loved meeting the Mayor and was so well behaved. Maybe he will aspire to be another small business owner too! Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy 2018!

Charlotte x Bippity Boppity Shopity Follow me Facebook/Instagram @bbshopity Twitter @BipBopMum

Stephen P. Gay Funeral Service

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Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford, will be available to meet with constituents on the following dates: Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm – 7.00 pm - Appointment required) Friday 8th December Friday 12th January Friday 9th February Friday 9th March Friday 20th April 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


Home visits Funeral plans Obituaries

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

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Dartford Living 23


📞📞 ✉

MONEY ADVICE LOCAL DEBT CHARITY SAYS: “WE WISH YOU A PRICELESS CHRISTMAS” Dartford Community Church, which runs a debt counselling service in conjunction with national charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP), has launched a list of tried-andtested ways to avoid festive financial meltdown. Karen Simmons, Dartford Debt Centre Manager, said: “All the adverts sell us the line that the best kind of Christmas is one that can be bought, which just isn’t true; the best Christmases are about making priceless memories, which is why we created the list.” She added that for the last few years the Dartford CAP Debt Centre has seen a spike in the numbers of people coming to them in the months after Christmas. Karen Simmons said: “The reason for this is either because some people realise they have spent more than they can afford, or they have reached a crisis point in their finances. Various things can trigger this, but most commonly it’s job loss, an unexpected illness or relationship breakdown.

Website: Telephone: 0800 328 0006

something new, without the cost. 4. If you’re doing the meal, ask guests to each contribute something: drinks? pudding? cheese? cake? a turkey?! If you’re spending time cooking a Christmas feast, you are already giving a lot.   5. Aim to only buy the food you will actually eat and decide what you will do with left-overs. For example, potato cakes can be made from cooked potatoes, make stock from the Turkey carcass, soup from uneaten vegetables or freeze unused gravy for another time. 6. Home-made goodies always go down well – cupcakes, chocolate truffles, shortbread, jam – all are cheap to make and, wrapped with cellophane and ribbon, make great presents. 7. Your time and thoughtfulness are every bit as valuable as your money. Instead of presents, offer vouchers for gardening, washing the car, a few hours cleaning, ironing or making someone’s favourite cake or snack.

“Now is the right time for families to talk to each other about creating a sensible game-plan for a Christmas and a Happy New Year - for everyone.”

8. So many people live alone – a cheery visit from you is worth more than any present.

The top tips have come from both the experience of those within the charity as well as CAP’s own clients who know what it is like to stick to a tight budget as they clear their debts.

9. Spend time focusing on what you can enjoy at no cost and make Christmas really special: watching your kids in the school nativity; watching the lights get switched on; enjoying Christmas carols in church; dressing the tree; playing family games.

1. Agree on a game plan to stop all of you overspending: do a ‘secret Santa’? Agree on a set amount each? A ‘just for the kids’ rule? A ‘from charity shops only’ rule? 2. If children have their heart set on something out of your price range, club together with relatives. 3. Short of a new Christmas outfit? Get together with mates for a swapping party and you’ll all go home with


10. Never take out credit or be tempted by a Christmas loan – you don’t know what the new year will bring. Your income may change and it could affect your whole family’s security. No Christmas is worth that. • If you have problem debts, give yourself the gift of peace of mind: visit or call 0800 328 0006

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living 25

Managed by places for people Ltd for Dartford Borough Council.


“Focussing on the festivities.” It’s beginning to look a lot like fitness Fairfield Leisure 01322 421166 Get December memberships free – just pay joining fee. Quote DEC17 online or give us a call.

Whatever place you’re into

Terms and conditions apply. Membership offer available 1st to 14th December 2017. Normal monthly fees apply from 1st January 2018.

LIGHTS OF LOVE SERVICES - ELLENOR HOSPICE LIGHTS OF LOVE SERVICES – ELLENOR HOSPICE CHARITY – DARTFORD AND GRAVESEND. REMEMBER A LOVED ONE THIS CHRISTMAS COMMUNITIES across Dartford and Gravesend will come together in memory of lost loved ones at the Lights of Love services next month. Christmas is a special time of year for sharing memories and we recognise that it can also be a difficult time of year for those of us with a loved one who has died. Our uplifting and heart-warming Lights of Love services offer all families – whether they have been supported by ellenor or not, an opportunity to pause during this busy time of year and remember those who are unable to share Christmas with us. By donating to our Lights of Love appeal, you can dedicate a light, or a number of lights, on our Christmas tree in memory of someone special. The name of your loved one or loved ones will then be displayed in our annual Lights of Love book, which you can view throughout the

year at our hospice at ellenor Gravesend. Joanne Bradley - Ward Sister at ellenor says: “Dedicating a light can be a comfort following the death of a loved one, as well as supporting all the valuable work that ellenor does”. We would like to invite you to join us at our services being held on Saturday 9 December at Grace Outreach Church, Dartford and on Sunday 10 December at ellenor Gravesend. Doors open 4pm, so that you can view the dedicated names, light a candle and write a message on a star, which you can either take home or hang on our indoor tree at ellenor hospice in remembrance of your loved one. The non-denominational services at 4.30pm are an opportunity to pause for reflection and through music, readings and the lighting of candles, commemorate lives and loves past. The evenings will end at 6pm.

3 magnificent oak beamed function rooms, self -contained with their own Bar and toilets. Licenced for Civil Ceremonies. Off peak discounts available. Ample free parking. Unique photo opportunities in the High Rocks National Monument. 2 am licence for drinking and dancing.

Call us now on 01892 515 532 to arrange a viewing or visit The High Rocks | Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 9JJ

Regency Roofing & Property Services All aspects of roofing undertaken from small repairs to re-roofs, UPVC Fascias, Soffits and Gutters. Fully Insured and all work guaranteed. 01322 914340 | 07391 905052 | 56 Whitehall Lane, Erith, Kent, DA8 2DN

Is Christmas the most wonderful time of the year? Or are you overwhelmed by noise, cost pressures, family challenges or feelings of emptiness?

Hypnotherapy for anxiety, depression, loss Private therapy practice on Saturdays in Crown House Free initial consultation Register at online or 078 1464 2212 Crown House, Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1DZ

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Dartford Living


Christmas Service


Carols & Coffee Service Sunday 17th December @ 6pm

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS refreshments available from the Newly built 'Two Trees tea room @ STONE PAVILION HAYES ROAD DARTFORD KENT DA99DS WWW.CROSSWAYSCC.CO.UK



BAV’S SPORTING COMMENT Four-time champions Italy failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after a play-off defeat against Sweden. It means the Azzurri will not be present in the competition for only the second time in their history having declined to play at the inaugural tournament in 1930. Midfielder Jakob Johansson’s deflected strike in the first leg was the difference as the second leg at Milan’s San Siro stadium ended goalless. Be in no doubt; this is a national tragedy for Italy. It feels surreal that in a World Cup where so many nations take part, Italy will not be there. It also marked the end of an era, as goalkeeper captain Gianluigi Buffon earning his 175th cap for Italy, confirmed it was his last international appearance, having announced his decision to retire from football at the end of the season. World Cup winner Buffon, who was in tears at the final whistle, said: “I am not sorry for myself but all of Italian football. We failed at something which also means something on a social level.”

Upcoming events in December include: 2-6: Cricket - Australia v England, second Ashes Test, Adelaide (day/night) 2: Rugby league - World Cup final, Brisbane 9-17: Squash - World Championships, Manchester 14-18: Cricket - Australia v England, third Ashes Test, Perth 17: BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards 17: Boxing - Tony Bellew v David Haye, O2 Arena, London 26-30: Cricket - Australia v England, fourth Ashes Test, Melbourne NEXT HOME GAME - 23rd December KO 3pm

v January 28-Day Health and Fitness Kickstart Do you want to lose weight and improve your health and fitness in 2018? This will guide you step-by-step through what you need to do to get your diet and fitness regime working for you, not just in January, but for good.

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Premiership and Championship leagues.

Dartford School Sport Foundation Wentworth girls and Joydens Wood boys were crowned Dartford District Schools FA champions and now progress onto represent Dartford in the Kent Schools FA finals in Thamesmead. We wish both schools the best of luck in the finals.

The new School Sport Foundation that officially launches in 2018 has started working with primary schools within Dartford. A number of the schools have already had the banner arrive during one of their PE lessons.

Boys District Teams

The boys year six representative squads have started the new season with four wins from four games in the

The foundation is home to our Sports Leaders project, these young people will play a huge role in developing sport in the years ahead and producing new coaches for the next generation.

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Dartford Living


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



Monday Peppercorns Orchard Street Dartford DA1 2DF Monday 8th Jan 2018 to 26th March 2018 1.15pm2.45pm

Wednesday Peppercorns Orchard Street Dartford DA1 2DF Wednesday 10th Jan 2018 to 28th March 2018 6.30pm8.00pm

y... a d o t n la p ? ... T H IG Y WE H W e h t r fo p u n ig S Fairfield Leisure Centre Lowfield St, Dartford DA1 1LH Thursday tooTownlsHalltoGrove Road e h t u o y 01322 421166 Swanscombe &Greenhith e iv g l il w nd2018 11pm-12 Swanscombe DA10 0GA EEto 26thaMarch Monday It’s8thFJanR2018 * 2018 6.00-8PM ely noon Thursday 11th Jan 2018 to 29th March ctiv ffe

ht more e ig e w r u o y e g a n a m Tuesday Fairfield Leisure Centre Lowfield St, Dartford DA1 1LH 01322 421166 Tuesday 9th Jan 2018 to 27th March 2018 6.30-7.30pm

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


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

Ofsted Registered Maths Reading English Spelling Comprehension

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Dartford Living



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The Argonauts WSC was founded in September of last year. The Charity’s purpose is to provide wheelchair sports for both disabled and able-bodied people of all ages. We now have more than twenty playing members. We are currently focusing on Wheelchair Rugby League but also provide Wheelchair Fencing and Wheelchair Basketball. One of the Charity’s great achievements is how we have been able to fully integrate disabled people into the wider community, through sports and social events, breaking down the barriers that exist. The Charity’s Chairman, John Davis-Ashdown, said, “Now that we are established in Dartford, we aim to start reaching out to local schools and colleges to get them involved in this wonderful opportunity. Many thanks to Dartford Borough Council and Fairfield Leisure Centre (Places For People) for their support - we couldn’t do it without them.” Two of our disabled players had this to say about how the Charity is improving their lives: Chris Martin, “I am happy to be involved with The Argonauts because it means a lot to me to be involved with a team again after a long absence due to my disability. To get regular exercise and to be invited to social events again means a lot” Scott Cooper: “The Argonauts means a lot to me, because I can now play a team sport and get fit. It has also done great things for me socially. It also means that I get to try out other sports as well - that why I love The Argonauts.”

The disabilities cover a very wide range, where anyone can be involved. Some of our able-bodied players are simply too old or carrying injuries to play traditional contact sports, such as rugby or football. The Argonauts finished the league season in second place. Co-Founder, Cee Ess Best said, “We have every chance of winning our league next year and that would mean promotion to the National League. We would then have to travel as far as Scotland for fixtures!” Co-Founder and Head Coach, Fred Nye, said, “It’s a sport where everyone is on a level playing field. Come along and give it a go - for information, find us on Facebook or email Our hashtag says it all: #WeIncludeYou” . The Argonauts have received grants from Wooden Spoon (the Rugby Charity for disabled and disadvantaged children), The Dartford Lions, The Northfleet & Ebbsfleet Lions, Prepworld and Planet Eclipse.

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Local solicitors for all your personal and business needs Property conveyancing Family and divorce Employment law

Wills, trusts and probate Dispute resolution Company and commercial law

T: 01322 220 235

Dartford Office: 2 Banks Place, Market Place, Darford, DA1 1EX








Buss Murton Law LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership No. OC345994 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.


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Historical Military Themed Tours for Clubs, Groups and Societies Legacy offers a range of military themed tours from a day trip to the scene of the Battle of Hastings, to bespoke tours to the WWI and WWII battlegrounds of Belgium and France from as little as £39 per person. • Luxury Coach Travel • Local Collection Points • The Services of an Expert Battlefield Tour Guide Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford, will be available to meet with constituents on the • Channel Tunnel Crossings following dates: BENEFITS OF LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE (where applicable)

Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm – 7.00 pm - Appointment required) Friday 3rd March Friday 21st April Friday 19th May Friday 9th June Friday 28th July Friday 8th September

• Accommodation (B&B basis) (where applicable)

For further details please contact Steve Hookins Legacy Historical Services Ltd Room 9, 145 Nathan Way, Thamesmead SE28 0AB Telephone: 0208 311 5309 Mobile: 07783 021508 Email:

Open Surgery – (no appointment necessary) Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford – Saturday 15th July 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 Harriers Clubhouse Central Park Dartford 5k Entry fee £6 – Fun Run £4 £1 from each entry will go to Ellenor

Entry forms can be downloaded from the Dartford Harriers website Entries will be available on the day For information Contact: Ken Pickett 01322 557974 or 07910 778329


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


• • • • •

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

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Local Entertainment Theatre Roundup by Liz Dyer

It’s nearly Christmas, which means panto season is almost upon us. But before Louie Spence and Michelle Collins take to the Orchard stage in Cinderella (don’t forget your tickets), let’s have a look back at some highlights from another great year of theatre here in Dartford. Here are five of my 2017 favourites - what makes your list? Let’s kick off with a classic: in February, the fun, colourful and brilliantly bonkers Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat proved it’s still a firm family (and personal) favourite, even at nearly 50 years old. This time around it was former X Factor winner Joe McElderry’s turn to put on the famous coat - and it’s fair to say he wore it with effortless style. February was a great month, in fact, because the very next week we got to enjoy the not unappealing sight of Gary Lucy, Chris Fountain and Anthony Lewis getting their kit off in The Full Monty. This was definitely hen party theatre at its finest, but like the original movie it also told a heartwarming story of male friendship in tough times, and proved to be satisfying in more ways than one. Skipping on a few months to May, and it’s a second entry for Andrew Lloyd Webber with Evita - another show that’s


stood the test of time. West End star Emma Hatton dazzled in a lavish new production charting the meteoric rise and tragic fall of Eva Perón, a celebrity who decided to have a go at politics, and ended up the most powerful woman in Argentina. Remind you of anyone…? In August we once again had the great pleasure of seeing Dartford’s talented youngsters take to the stage with the Summer Youth Project. This year they took on Little Shop of Horrors, the classic horror comedy about a man-eating plant and the perils of fame, and after just two weeks of rehearsal pulled off a brilliant and incredibly professional show that did us all proud. And last but by no means least is Hairspray, a feel-good show guaranteed to entertain, packed with irresistible numbers and brilliant choreography. Funny and frothy, it also had a serious point to make about not judging people by appearances - a message that shouldn’t be necessary in the 21st century, but one that for some reason we seem to need now more than ever. And that’s all for 2017! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and let’s do it all again in 2018…

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A little bit of what you fancy... December. Christmas. New Year. It’s the time of year when people tend to over-indulge even beyond their regular over-indulgences. This tends to involve either a lot of guilt, or a decision to just blow-out and start again next year. So how can you do things differently this year? You want to eat those treats, go out for drinks, have a glass of wine and enjoy yourself, but you also don’t want to gain 20lbs, look and feel terrible, and get ill. What you need to do is have a plan - how you’ll deal with each situation in a way that enables you to enjoy yourself, but also without feeling bad about it. If you know you have a night out coming up, you can still go and enjoy yourself, indulge in a few drinks and nice food, just prepare yourself for it. If Friday night is going to be “party night”, then use Friday day to eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, maybe reduce calories slightly to compensate for what’s coming up in the evening. Saturday would then be the same. Try to eat more healthy foods, drink more water, and forego the sweets and treats as much as possible. I’m not condoning a binge followed by starvation to make up for your sins; just to balance out the heavy nights with some healthier choices surrounding those episodes. Having a full weekend of eating and drinking anything and everything you like, followed by 4 or 5 days of starving yourself (or “dieting”) only to do it all over again the following week is going to create a bad relationship with food and yo-yo dieting behaviour, and failure in your weight loss/health goals. If you can get some healthy habits in during that social weekend, you’re learning to moderate the damage in an achievable way. This is the same as any diet plan. It’s a case of moderation and finding ways to eat healthily whilst still having the foods you enjoy. If you can limit the amount of “bad” foods you have at the weekend, and get in some healthy options, you don’t have to eliminate those foods you love during the week. Just cut back slightly and choose the healthier option from time to time. This is a sustainable way of eating that can really help you to lose weight and gain control of your eating habits. No cravings for your hyper-palatable foods (because you can still eat them – just reduce the amount). No starvation to make up for binges. Let’s use an example of a typical person who needs to eat 2,000 calories a day to maintain their current weight. To lose weight they’d need to aim for around 1,600-1,800 calories a day, and anything above 2,000 calories would mean weight gain. If they ate/drank 4,000 calories a day at the weekend (quite

easily done with liquid calories and takeaways etc.), then to just maintain their weight (not gain or lose any), they’d need to reduce calories to 1,200 calories per day for the rest of the week. That’s not a lot of food and doesn’t leave any room for higher calorie treats. Meaning starving yourself and using willpower to go without the foods you like, which leads into another binge at the end of the week! The cycle continues… If, however this person could moderate their “junk” consumption at the weekend by slightly reducing the amount they eat/drink when out, and eating more healthily during the daytimes, it’s quite possible to get that calorie count down to around 3,000 (still quite a lot for this person, but 1,000 calories less than before). Meaning for the rest of the week, there’s some wiggle room for the odd treat, and no starvation as the calorie goal would now be 1,600 - much easier to stick to than 1,200 and not so low that your body will suffer. As you can see, it’s far easier the rest of the week if you can just moderate the damage at the weekends, and planning ahead can make this a lot easier. For the party season, I would recommend you just look to maintain your bodyweight, rather than attempting to lose weight at this time unless you are happy to forego the majority of the indulgences. If you’re still going to have the 3,000 calorie days at the weekend, the calorie reduction for the rest of the week would be too dramatic and too difficult to stick to. You’ll feel tired and lethargic, hungry, and likely just go even harder at the weekend when the diet’s out of the window. Maintain now – be good and focus on not gaining weight. Then, when the parties and work do’s are all over with, get control of your diet and start you weight loss efforts in January… sensibly. I’ll check back in in January with some tips on how you can approach your New Year weight loss regime in a sensible and manageable way, that’s sustainable for the long-term as oppose to another resolution that’s failed and forgotten about by February! Or you can check out my 28-Day January Kickstart Program at if you’d like to be guided step-by-step through setting up your diet and exercise regime for the year, without restrictive dieting and extreme exercise routines. Have a great Christmas! If you’re interested in Personal Training, Online Training, Nutrition coaching, fitness classes and lifestyle changes go to www. for more information. See you there!

- Mark Broadbent

Dhiren’s Auto News December 2018 BMW X2

It is described as “a new breed of car” by BMW, the X2 is a coupé-styled SUV. It’s aimed at affluent younger buyers who want the practicality of an SUV without a traditionally boxy shape. The X2 will be offered with just three engines at launch - sDrive20i petrol, 187bhp xDrive20d diesel and 228bhp xDrive25d, but expected to grow soon after. sDrive models are front-wheel drive, while xDrive versions offer four-wheel drive. As standard, every X2 will come with BMW’s iDrive infotainment and navigation system presented on a 6.5in screen. Buyers will be able to choose from four trim levels – SE, Sport, M Sport and M Sport X. Even entry-level SE comes with plenty of equipment, including cruise control, sat-nav, 17in alloy wheels, front fog lights and dual-zone climate control. The new X2 will be priced from £33,980 in xDrive20d SE form and available from March 2018.

In this month’s article we’ll bring you a new 2018 models to the SUV market, one of which is making its UK return.

Citroën has re-invented model range to include an ultramodern, style-led SUV in the form of this C5 Aircross. The new C5 Aircross features more space between its front and rear axles than almost any other car in this class – this should result in plenty of space inside. The new SUV features a digital instrument cluster alongside an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system on the centre console that offers smartphone connectivity and satellite navigation. Engine options are expected to be the same range of Puretech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines with a plug-in hybrid version available soon after it goes on sale. Safety equipment will include Active City Brake, which is Citroën’s version of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. The prices have not been annouced although expect to be around £20,000 in line with its sister car the Peugeot’s 3008 and on sale mid-2018. 2018 Mitsubishi Shogun Sport

2018 Citroën C5 Aircross

Mitsuibishi has confirmed that the Shogun Sport SUV will return to the UK market early in 2018 after 10 years from its last model. The front-end design of the Asian market Pajero Sport - which will take on the Shogun Sport name in the UK - is similar to the facelifted Outlander SUV. A large rear overhang translates into seven full-size seats and a huge boot, while the back end gets unusual stretched tail-lamps. UK buyers will be offered a 2.4-litre four-cylinder diesel engine producing 178bhp. Features such as hill descent control, trailer assist and hill start assist will be standard equipment. Dates and prices have yet to be announced but expected to be early part of 2018 and start from around £30,000.


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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.

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. 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.

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. Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817


Dartford Living


Where to go locally... Mondays

...local events, clubs & groups

Parent & Toddler Groups (Term Time)

£2.00 per one 9:15am - 11:00am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. small snack for adult and child and 50p for any extra children or adults each. Tea/coffee biscuits, of session Contact children with juice. Toast 20p per slice Craft table and singing and dancing at end 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 n. informatio 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 Road London Hall Church e Greenhith Mary St years 4 to up children school pre or see


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


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 St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 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 Road London Hall, Church e Greenhith Mary St children. the for time snack healthy rygreenhit www.stma see or 382031

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


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

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

a b c +=

Little Bright Sparks Fun phonics, literacy and numeracy classes for 2-4 year olds. Held in West Kingsdown on Tuesdays at 1.15 and Wednesdays at 12.12 £6.95 per class one to one tuition also available for 2-7 year olds. 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

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.


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.

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

THE GARDENING CLUB SUTTON AT HONE Monthly meetings, Visits to Gardens, Annual Garden Show and much more. For more information or to become a member please ring 01322 863556.

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.

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

JUST FOR GROWN UPS GROUP We are a small friendly group who meet at the Meeting Place in the Orchards Shopping Centre on the first Tuesday of the month. Join us any time between 11am and 1pm for a social chat, coffee and biscuits or a fun quiz. For more information contact


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



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


St Michael & All Angels Church Hall, DA2 7EG 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 Kay 01322 276528

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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 BRIDGE CLUB

Dartford Books and

Culture Club meets every Tuesday evening at 7.00 pm at meets once a month Wilmington Christian Fellowship Church Hall, on Saturday mornings Broad Lane, Wilmington DA2 7AQ. at Dartford Library. For We are seeking new members at all levels to play more information, find Duplicate Bridge -cost £2 per session. us at www.meetup. com/West-Kent-BookEnquiries: contact Club/ John Davies on 01474 832221 or e-mail

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

DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE) 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.

The Dartford Stroke Group

This group meets Monday afternoons at the YMCA Roundhouse, Overy Street, Dartford for a chat in a relaxing atmosphere, chair-based excise sessions, stroke leaflets and magazines, informal workshops, special art or games sessions and outings. It is aimed at Stroke Survivors, their carers, family and friends. Please contact Theo Hodges on or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68296 for more details and current dates of our events and meetings

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

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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 www.

The Manor Hall Variety Group This group was set up after the founder suffered with PND herself and on trying to find support groups noticed there wasn’t any in KENT, We now support mums from all over the world online, in person or at groups. We pride ourselves on being there so no one feels alone or scared when dealing with PND. Groups held every Friday 12-2pm at St Mary’s church hall Greenhithe Kent. Groups are set up in a playgroup style with activities for children of all ages and adults. Free to attend and refreshments/snacks supplied by Mummy on the Mend. Staff are available to talk with should you feel you need extra support. We are also able to help refer parents onto other services if needed. Staff are DBS checked, Frist aid trained and have training in mental health problems. This is a friendly relaxed group for families to meet others in the same situation as them. Our focus is on mental health however anyone is able to attend.

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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. TALK TIME TUESDAY 2.00 - 3.00PM (TERM TIME ONLY) Fleetdown Library Everybody welcome, join us for a friendly chat and light refreshments. 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 -


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

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 scrappydays@hotmail.

PAVILION PLAYERS 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 pavilionplayers or call us on 07505 006539. Alternatively just pop down on a Tuesday night! Everyone welcome!

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 Erith Model Railway Society has been in existence for over 50 years and has well over 50 active members. As the club continues to grow new members are always welcome. The club meets on Wednesday evenings from around 7.00pm until around 9.30pm at our new clubrooms in Invicta House (aka Belvedere Workingmen’s Club), 66 Gilbert Road, Belvedere DA17 5DA. We have our own entrance off the car park. Unlike many other clubs, we are in the fortunate position of not having to share our facilities with anybody else. Some of the members meet on a Tuesday and Thursday to work on the various club layouts that are currently under construction (or being updated).

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Dartford Active Retirement Group,[ DARTARA,] We are a group that meets on second Thursday once a month 2 - 4pm at Fleetdown community centre. At the meeting we have a guest entertainer or speaker, we also organise holidays and day trips out as well as activities including theatre trips, curling, short mat bowls, indoor games, coffee and cake afternoons and an art group. Just turn up on the day or phone Maureen Dixon-Jones 01322 383337 or Glenys Theobald 01322 273108 for more information

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


Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm Location: Close to Bexleyheath Town Centre Description: We are a (non-profit making) friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. We enjoy socialising, making new friends and activities including Quizzes, Meals Out, Trips to the Theatre, Cinema, Coach Trips, Gentle Walks and Short Breaks Away. Admission: Subs £2.50 per week. Annual membership £6 If you would like to join us or require further information please telephone: Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414

The Rotary Club of Dartford

The Rotary Club of the North Downs

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 01603406767 and ask about the Dartford group.

The Rendezvous Club (50+)

We meet at lunchtime at The Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesdays. Time 12.45 for 1 pm For further details phone: 07706 103706


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 Crayford Women’s Institute 1st Thursday of every month at 1.45pm. Baker Trust Hall. Maxim Road, Crayford (near Sainsburys). Contact Secretary, Jean Monk 01322 557142

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

Crayford and District Probus Club

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

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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 – for adults & children Every Wednesday evening at the Leigh Academy & every Saturday morning at Becket Sport Centre, first lesson free. For more info, visit or find us on Facebook, search for Yamato Damashii Martial Arts.


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


Tuesday Morning Yoga Class at Sutton Court, Sutton-AtHone The class is from 9.30am to 11am and is a mixed ability class - beginners are always welcome. More information is available at or please contact Lesley at or 07531 140646

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

Dartford Orienteering Club

For more details see

Hop like it’s hot

A fun (different) circuit based workout with space hoppers that challenges core stabilty, balance and strength. It is suitable for all levels and abilities. Classes are held every Wednesday evening at the stone pavilion starting at 8:15 until 9:00 costing £5 per person.

The Highly Strung Badminton Club, a friendly, all ages (must be over 18years old) & all abilities(sorry no beginners) Thursdays at 745-945pm,at the Dartford Girls Grammar School sports hall Shepherds Lane,Dartford,Kent,DA1 2NT For further information email

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CHOICES – an independent specialist domestic abuse service Providing: Support, Prevention, Education, Signposting, Advice & Training Head Office in Dartford but working across North & West Kent

CHOICES Confidential Helpline: 0800 917 9948 (weekdays) Your local independent specialist domestic abuse service

Providing: Support, Prevention, Education, Signposting, Advice & Training Head Office in Dartford but working across North & West Kent E: Community outreach services and support groups Specialist support for LGBT community, male victims & young people Preventative programmes in schools Supported hostel for single homeless young people


The Brent Playgroup meet Monday to Friday 9.15am to 12.15pm Term time only. For enquiries please contact: Mobile: 07989073866 Tel 01322 271738 (between 8 and 12:30) email: or call in at any time. Registered for Free for Two Children The Brent Methodist Church Hall PostCode DA1 1XF Interested advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 ininadvertising? 01322 507817 InterestedInterested in advertising? Tel: 01322 Tel: 507817 Dartford Living

11 15 55

COMPETITION High energy, high kicking and gloriously glamorous, “CRAZY OR YOU” is the ultimate feel-good musical with a fabulous score from the Gershwin brothers’ songbook. Mistaken identities, plot twists, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes, including I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Embraceable You, all feature in thisexhilarating celebration of the great Broadway musicals.

TUE 23 - SAT 27 JAN

Find out more here: | Ticket Office: 01322 220000 We have teamed up with The Orchard Theatre to offer a pair of tickets to the opening night of the show. To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question...

What soap did Claire Sweeney star in? a) Brookside b) Coronation Street c) Eastenders d) Emmerdale Email your answer to This competition closes on 15th December. Good luck! 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. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 5. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 6. Closing date for the competition is stated above. 6. Unless you advise otherwise we can use your email to send you promotional material from Dartford Living.

Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton .............................................................. 40 Downton Ali Associates..............................................59 GF + Co........................................................................41 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, BATHROOMS, KITCHENS & WINDOWS

Dream Doors................................................................14 GPM Designs..............................................................15 Nightingale Bathrooms................................................17 Steve Cook - Double Glazing.......................................23 Regency Roofing..........................................................29 CHARITY Multi Christmas Card Shop..........................................43 CHURCH Crossways Community Church....................................30 CONVENIENCE STORE S3 ................................................................................22 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ...........................................31 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. ...................................................11 French Pour Tous.........................................................41 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians.. ....................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings............................................................7 Fox Estates ..................................................................15 Wisdom Estates...........................................................39 FARM SHOP Riverford .....................................................................29 Stanhill Farm...............................................................12 FUNERAL SERVICES Stephen P Gay Funeral Services..............................22 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Orchard Garage...........................................................60 Shenley Road Garage...................................................42 HOTELS Campanile...................................................................4 JEWELLERY Bradleys..................................................................23

LAW Apex Law.......................................................................6 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...................................................42 NURSERY The Brent Playgroup.............................................5 MEDICAL AND HEALTH Ifield Therepy......................................................29 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Worried about your childs weight?.............................21 Dartford Bootcamps.....................................................30 Fairfield Leisure Centre...............................................36 Why Weight?...............................................................20 Vibe...............................................................28 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.. ...............................................40 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.............................................................42 SPORTS Fairfield Leisure Centre................................................37 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .....................................................22 WEDDING High Rocks...................................................................28

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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 Darent Valley Hospital 01322 428100 Dartford 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

Dartford Ju Jitsu Club Mondays, Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds Lane. 6.30-8.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www.

LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047


LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or bexleyrfc/

Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Living Community Group

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: 01322 299990 The Ashes Badminton Club Mondays, Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane. 7.30-9.30. Jacqui 07764 182854. Dartford Valley RFC darenthvalleyrfc/

Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250

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Dartford Living December 2017  
Dartford Living December 2017  

December issue of Dartford Living - Featuring Christmas Gift Guide, Shop 'small' this Christmas, The Argonauts WSC and much more....