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Dartford Living January 2016 - Issue 115

New Year, New Career Room leader/deputy room leader position (level 3) Nursery Nurse vacancies (level 2 and 3) Apprenticeships (level 2 and 3) Full details on our website Due to expansion we are recruiting enthusiastic, knowledgeable practitioners to join our fantastic team. Candidates must have excellent knowledge of the EYFS, child development and be personable, caring and motivated. Successful applicants will love outdoor play and have a real passion for working with children aged 3 months to 5 years. Competitive salary and excellent working conditions. Full and part time positions available. Email CV and covering letter to or call 01322 285885 Dimples Day Nursery, Green Street Green Road, Darenth, Kent, DA2 7HT WHAT’S INSIDE... Local Networking Event Page 27

Dimples Nursery

Dartford Half Plus - All your regular features, puzzles, events, Marathon

Page 16

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.

Tel: 01322 278188

Haslemere, 4 Summerhill Rd, Dartford DA1 2LP Email:


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Dear Readers,

Firstly I’d like to wish all our readers a Happy New Year! We hope you enjoy this month’s magazine. 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

6-13....................... .................... What’s on 14...................................... Useful numbers 16-17................................Dimples Nursery 18-20 ............................Whats on in 2016? 21.........................Dartford Living meets... 27.................................Dartford Living Live 28................................Life under the stairs 30.....................................Max Makerspace 31.............................................Pets Corner 32.....Marshes, Mills and ‘earthly paradise’ 36-37.....................................Charity Focus 38..............................................Auto News 39.........................Tips for a small business 40....................................................Sudoku 40.....................................................Fitness 42..........................Dartford Half Marathon 43..................................Sporting Comment 44.....................................Experience Days 45..........................................Competitions



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Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Conradi Morrison & Co .....................................................2 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 Prime Plastering ...............................................................15 Steve Cook - Double Glazing............................................41 CHILDCARE Dimples.. ............................................................1 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Amazincare....................................................................... 28 Dia Wipes.. ............................................................17 Slimming World .................................................................24 The Well Counselling.................................................,,,,,,,,.35 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. .........................................................45 Leaders are Readers...........................................................41 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians...............................................................4 MTRPS Electricians ...........................................................15 ESTATE AGENTS GPS Lettings....................................................................17 Wisdom Estates..............................................................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 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...........................................................47 INTEGRAL MOVING SERVICES.......................................35 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Dartford Bootcamps............................................................4 Monkey Music.. ..........................................................7 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.............................................................33

PETS Easipetcare...................................................................48 K9 Camp - Dog Walking......................................................24 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 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .........................................................39 WEBSITE, BROCHURE DESIGN DS Brochure Webdesign..................................................4

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Where to go locally...

...local events, clubs & groups

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

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

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions

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


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

Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

a b c +=

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

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

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

Dartford Ostomy Group Support (DOGS) meet

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


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


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


Swanley History Group Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history. Venue Swanley Indoor Bowls Centre Garrolds Close Swanley BR8 7BF. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@ for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup.weebly. com or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter. BABY SENSORY CLASSES Baby Sensory classes are designed to support your baby’s development in their first year, along with having lots of fun! Sessions run on Tuesdays in Dartford - 9.40am & 10.50am 6 months to walking, 11.55am & 1pm birth to 6 months. Please prebook your place to avoid disappointment. Call Sarah on 07786 448701 or go on to to book your free taster session.

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

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

The Dartford Chess Club

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

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


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


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

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Where to go locally... TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES

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

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

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

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


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


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

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



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.

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).

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

Dartford & Crayford Sea Cadets based at Brooklands Lake Dartford, next to Homebase on Princes Road.

Gareth Johnson, Member ofMember Parliament forof Dartford, will be available meet with constituents on the Gareth Johnson, Parliament forto Dartford, will be dates: available to meet following 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 pm – 7.00 pm - Appointment Friday 2 October required) Friday 6 November th


We parade every Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7pm9.15pm and is open to new recruits, junior cadets aged 1012 and Sea Cadets aged 12-18.


Friday 4 December th

Friday 4th December Friday 8th January Friday 5th February Friday 4th March

Open Surgery (No appointment necessary) Saturday 18th July – all day, Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment based surgeries in the future, please If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment contact himbased at or telephone surgeries in the future, please020 7219 7047.

email for more details.

contact him at or telephone 020 7219 7047.

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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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DARTFORD LIVING MEETS....... BY KELLY GOLDSWORTHY Kelly met up with Tracy Imevbore, Project Coordinator from the Dartford Churches Cold Weather Shelter. Tracey moved to Dartford in 2007 and was employed by the Net Church as a Project Co­ordinator to run the night shelter for last year. She explained ‘I had worked for Lewisham Local Authority in a number of different roles, which all involved supporting vulnerable people. I saw this job advertised and was immediately excited. I just thought ‘wow,’ it’s so positive to see the churches working together. I really love it. As well as coordinating the night shelter which runs from January to March, I do other things such as running Inclusive Women which is for women who have faced domestic violence. We run workshops and create awareness.’ Tracy explained the way the project works: ‘The night shelter rotates between seven venues. The first year we had three, but we quickly realised that was not enough and other venues quickly came on board. We have volunteers working different shifts from about 5pm. We welcome the guests from 7pm. We give everyone a hot meal, play games, chat with people, give them a place to sleep and breakfast in the morning. Alcohol and drugs are not allowed. We have space for ten and entry is on a first come first served basis.’

Tracey is a fan of Dartford saying ‘I really like working in the town I live in. It’s great to see more of the town and be a real part of it.’ The Winter Night Shelter rotates across the following venues: Monday Grace Outreach Church Tuesday Christchurch Wednesday Methodist Church (Spital Street) Thursday St Edmonds Friday Vineyard Saturday Methodist Church (The Brent) Sunday Net Church Their facebook page is ‘Dartford Churches Cold Weather Shelter.’

‘I love doing the night shelter. It brings me such joy seeing people here. You get to know them and their stories. People are very grateful. People have spoken to us about how, without the shelter last winter, they would have ended their lives, so you can imagine how much we want to carry on.’ Tracy is keen to encourage other Dartfordians to get involved: ‘The churches coordinate this project, but we welcome volunteers from all backgrounds. Last year we had people from ages 18 to 72. Other organisations, like the Dartford Lions, get involved too. We can offer training, so please get I touch if you would like to get involved. We’d also welcome any food donations. The funding for the shelter comes from the churches involved.’


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Dartford Living


What’s on in 2016

We are taking a look at some of the events and shows our local attractions are putting on over the coming year.

LULLINGSTONE CASTLE & THE WORLD GARDEN - EVENTS 2016 March New Season 2016 Opening - 26th March – Easter Saturday Easter Egg Quiz – Easter Saturday 26th March- Bank Holiday Monday 28th March -11am – 5pm Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden kick off its 40th season of opening with family fun on Easter Saturday with our annual FREE Easter Egg Trail. Aspiring plant hunters will be able to scour The World Garden for Easter clues and then report on their discoveries to claim an Easter eggtastic surprise May The World Garden Orchid Festival – Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May – 11am – 5pm Medieval Weekend Sunday 29th & Bank Holiday 30th May - 11am - 5pm* Lullingstone Castle grounds will be transformed into a medieval village – step back in time to experience the authentic sights and sounds with ‘living history’ displays, character dress, campfires, tents and medieval weapons, courtesy of the remarkable Woodvilles medieval reenactment group. June National Gardens Scheme - Sunday 19th June – 12 noon - 5pm July Fire Engine Rally – Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd July 11am - 5pm* Visitors will see a spectacular showcase of fire-fighting history with around 40 fire engines and carts from the Victorian hose carts of the 1890s and the Edwardian period right up to present day, courtesy of the Kent Firefighting Museum and the Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Experience epic live fire displays run by the Fire Service Preservation Group South East Branch enthusiasts, demonstrating how to put out various kinds of fires! Younger visitors can get a slice of the action and learn how they operate, with the opportunity to even squirt the hoses! 18 1816

Flowerpot Festival – celebrating 40 years of opening – Friday 22nd July until 4th September – normal opening times 12 noon – 5pm (11am on August BH Monday) August Plant Hunters Weekend - Friday 27th, 28th & 29th August Bank Holiday Monday 11am - 5pm* The World Garden celebrates the lives of some of Britain’s most intrepid plant hunters who heroically discovered the far-flung botanical delights of the world and have inspired Tom Hart Dyke, as a modern day plant hunter, to travel all over the world. Tom leads free guided tours of the World Garden at 12 noon and 2pm (no prior booking required) on both days. September Special Plant Celebration Weekend - 17th & 18th September – 11am - 5pm October Guided Garden & House Tours - Open Sunday only – 12 noon - 5pm Sunday 30th October – Halloween & Pumpkin Carving Event – 12 noon - 8 pm *2016 Special Events - admission charge £10 per adult and children of ANY age FREE entry – 2 for 1 entry and family tickets are not valid on special event days. All other events £8 – Adult, £4 Child (5-15) under 5’s go FREE and seniors £6.50

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The Orchard Theatre MAUREEN NOLAN JOINS THE CAST OF FOOTLOOSE: THE MUSICAL RETURNING IN A BRAND NEW PRODUCTION One of Kent’s leading entertainment venues The Orchard Theatre, Dartford is the chosen venue for the premiere of a new production of the worldwide smash hit Footloose: The Musical. It will burst onto Dartford’s stage in 2016, playing from Monday 8 - Saturday 13 February as part of a major new UK tour. Joining the previously announced Gareth Gates as Willard will be Maureen Nolan as Vi Moore. Maureen Nolan has been singing with her sisters since she was nine years old, when they became one of Europe’s first girl bands, The Nolans. Best known for their smash hit single I’m in the Mood for Dancing, The Nolans enjoyed phenomenal record sales worldwide, and worked with some of the world’s most respected artists including Frank Sinatra. Based on the 1984 screen sensation starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose: The Musical tells the story of city boy Ren, who has to move to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren breaks loose and soon has the whole town up on its feet. Featuring classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear it for the Boy and the unforgettable title track, Footloose: The Musical is set to take the world by storm once again in this brand new production, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music. 4 ACTORS, 130 CHARACTERS IN 100 HILARIOUS MINUTES The West End’s long-running show, The 39 Steps, will tour the UK and Ireland next year to mark the Olivier Award-Winning Comedy’s 10th anniversary. Based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie and John Buchan’s 1914 spy thriller The Thirty Nine Steps and adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow, The 39 Steps will at The Orchard Theatre from Monday 1 – Saturday 6 February. The 39 Steps follows dashing hero Richard Hannay with a stiff upper lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache in a dangerous tale of cat-and mouse from London to the Scottish Highlands. In this hilarious production four actors

play over 130 characters in 100 minutes. The cast for this touring production are Richard Ede (the eponymous hero Hannay), Olivia Greene (the three women in Hannay’s life, Pamela, Annabella and Margaret) and the myriad of other roles are played with speed and dexterity by Andrew Hodges and Rob Witcomb.

STARRING EASTENDERS AND WEST END LEADING MAN JOHN PARTRIDGE AS ‘BILLY FLYNN’, CORONATION STREET AND EMMERDALE FAVOURITE HAYLEY TAMADDON AS ‘ROXIE HART’ AND REAL LIFE PRISON WARDEN AND X FACTOR WINNER SAM BAILEY AS ‘MAMA MORTON’ ‘Murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery… all those things we hold near and dear to our hearts’… so begins the international award-winning musical, Chicago which will be hitting The Orchard Theatre at From Monday 29 February – Saturday 5 March 2016. John Partridge is probably best known for playing the role of Christian Clarke in EastEnders. His many musical theatre credits include Rum Tum Tugger in Cats in the West End, on tour and the official film of the show, Jon in Miss Saigon on the first UK national tour and most recently Zach in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. John was also a judge on BBC1’s Over the Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search to find a Dorothy for the musical The Wizard of Oz. Hayley Tamaddon has just finished playing Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street. She also played Del Dingle in Emmerdale. Her numerous theatre credits include The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Janet in The Rocky Horror Show. Hayley also won the 5th series of ITV1’s Dancing on Ice.

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Sam Bailey worked as a prison officer at HM Prison Gartree for three years until 2013. At the end of that year Sam won the tenth series of The X Factor receiving more than a million votes over the course of the final weekend. Based on real life events back in the roaring 1920s, nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover and along with cell block rival, double-murderess Velma Kelly, they fight to keep from death row with the help of smooth talking lawyer, Chicago opened at the Adelphi Theatre in London on 18 November 1997 to rave reviews, winning the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Musical Production’ as well as the 1998 Critics Circle Drama Award for ‘Best Musical’ and immediately became a sell-out hit running for 15 years. Chicago is currently playing in New York where it holds the record as the longest running musical revival and also the second longest running musical in Broadway history. The 2016 UK National Tour of Chicago will be produced by David Ian and Michael Watt in association with the Broadway producers Barry and Fran Weissler. What’s on at the Woodville.

of America’s Jazz Age with The Great Gatsby on the 9th March and Dyad Productions will be turning the dramatic tables on this with the restraint and unspoken passion of Austen’s Women on the 10th. We have our regular comedy club every month where we have the top names on the comedy touring circuit performing in our intimate studio space. And in our main house we are looking forward to hosting some mega comedy names including Stewart Francis, Rob Beckett and Andrew Lawrence. For all those romantics amongst you we will be celebrating Valentine’s day in big band style on the 13th February with the Ultimate Buble Experience. We will also be offering sharing platters in our restaurant to make this the perfect night out. If dance is more your thing we have the super exciting dance theatre company C-12 and their new production of Shhh! Set in a library with flying books, parcour on the shelving and of course a love story. The Woodville is where it is at this Spring, we’d love you to be there too! What If.....? Gallery - Dartford CREATIVE PEOPLE? the what if...? Gallery is pleased to announce that as from 6th January 2016 - we will host an OPEN ARTS EVENING - we invite all creative people to come along and paint, draw, or create.

The Woodville is going to be full of love, drama, music, comedy and dance this Spring as we burst into 2016. On the 3rd February we will be welcoming back the brilliant Marc Robinson as Buddy Holly recreating the historic last tour of this iconic artist, this is just the start of our fantastic music season. We are welcoming Jackson in concert, The Simon and Garfunkel Story and T.Rextacy to name but many. Blackeyed Theatre are taking us back to the decadence


Maybe you would like to sit for us as a model whilst artists sketch. Maybe you would like to make collage? Come along and enjoy being with other artistic people. The cost is just £2 per person and is intended for over 16’s. Its on Wednesday evenings from 6-9pm For more details please email What if...? Gallery 67-69 High Street Dartford DA1 1DJ

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Dartford Living


Featured Local Business

Dimples Nursery

Dimples Day Nursery and the Forest School Approach Forest schools originated in Scandinavia and research in the early year’s sector shows the positive impact that these types of schools have on young children’s development. Six of our practitioners have achieved level 3 accredited training and one has level two. We became a Forest School in early 2012 and we have a fire pit, canopy and two yurts on site that we use daily. Our children also use the woods close to the nursery every week as well as the country park and other local amenities. The children explore the natural world and by doing so develop their problem solving skills, risk taking,thinking skills, social skills and general well being. All of these help to equip the children with the foundations forlifelong learning and help to prepare them for the worldaround them. Forest School leaders and other practitioners risk assess the environment and ensure that the surroundings and the activities on offer are as safe as they can be. However, risk can never be eliminated and risk taking is seen as an important aspect of Forest School. Children are allowed to build on their skills so that small risks are experienced. Children who learn to risk assess their activities learn to keep themselves safe, they grow in self confidence, self esteem and resilience. Forest School leaders teach children new skills when they assess that they are ready. These skills may includetool work, fire lighting, den building, flora and fauna identification, care of

the natural environment and more. As all children are individuals, the rate at which they learn thesenew skills will differ. Once children have learnt a new skill they are encouraged to use it independently so that they follow their own interests, develop their problem solving skills and their autonomy. Forest School sessions are special moments of learning. They allow children (and adults) to connect with the natural environment and to learn at their own pace. Forest School can take place anywhere in a natural outdoor environment, ideally in a woodland. Our main site for our Forest School sessions is the field behind the nursery. We have planted over 450 treesin this area and there are already several larger fruit trees. The area is bordered in hedgerow and there are mature trees on the neighbouring land. Forest School sessions take place ‘whatever the weather’ (except in very strong winds/storms). Exploring the outdoors in all seasons is a fundamental element for children to discover and learn about. However, with a wet UK climate our very young children often get too wet and cold in very inclement weather and the two yurts on the site offer shelter and warmth for the children. (Appropriate clothing is essential and children must have the clothing outlined in the clothing policy.) There is a parachute canopy over the fire pit and children are taught


the rules and safety procedures so that they can benefit from this area and keep themselves safe. All children from our 3 month old babies to our preschoolers and holiday club children experience outdoor play on a daily basis. In addition to these outdoor experiences the children in preschool also attend planned Forest School sessions. These weekly sessions allow children to take the lead in their own learning, they are able to direct, choose, plan, and risk access their own play. The adults act as facilitators to the children’s play and learning and they bring ideas, creativity and new challenges for children to explore. Sessions are led by a level 3 qualified Forest school leader and the children have the opportunity to use tools, whittle wood, learn about fires and explore the natural environment. The learning experienced during a Forest School session is as far as possible child initiated and always play based.

as children are ready we involve them in the process of growing, picking and eating fruit and vegetables. All rooms have herbs, some vegetables and fruits growing in their own gardens and children also help to tend the vegetable patch too. All children have the right to experience the natural world and we hope that by allowing children opportunities through Forest school sessions they will be excited, awe inspired and amazed by nature.

Outdoor play is very important for young children and all of our children use the outside areas whatever the weather. Parents provide suitable clothing so that children can go outside in all weather conditions. At Dimples we have several large sand areas, a mud pit, vegetable patches and the children use the field areas regularly. As soon

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Hi every one! My name is Fabiana from K9Camp. My passion is animals, all creatures great and small. I am a professional dog walker and pet sitter for cats/dogs/reptiles and any other animals you may wish to have looked after. So why me???? I have worked with the RSPCA, Met Police dogs, dangerous dogs and dogs with various behavioural issues plus lots of experience with reptiles; from small snakes to large lizards! I have well over 20 years experience working with both dogs and reptiles! I have a big love for all animals, give a lot care and have a lot of patience. I have passed my bronze and silver good citizen award and currently waiting to complete my gold award. As I have said I am a PROFESSIONAL dog walker and pet sitter for cats/dogs/reptiles and any other animals you may have, I’m fully insured and provide the best of care which is second to none! Please follow my link and share if you wish to have your pet babies cared for in any way. - Or my webpage which is been built)


Fab is walking my dog while I recuperate and she is WONDERFUL. Reliable, friendly, absolutely dotty about animals and passionate about what she does. Fab is clearly very knowledgeable about dogs and their behaviour - tailoring the walks to the need of the dog (mine comes back exhausted ;) ) I cannot recommend K9 Camp highly enough!- R Martin



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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


up to


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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… 0844 897 8000

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

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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We are now in the position to announce our 2nd Dartford Living Meetup. The Free event (now given the more catchier title of Dartford Living Live) will once again be sponsored by Wisdom Estates and hosted by the Campanile Hotel Dartford. We wanted to build on the success of the first meetup, and after reading the responses from the survey that we sent around, we feel that the 2nd meetup will be even more beneficial that the first. The date for your diaries is the 20th January 2016 from 7pm-9pm at the Campanile Hotel just off Crossways Boulevard, Dartford. The venue is very accessible and has dedicated parking (without any time limits!) It also has a station nearby. Locally sourced food will again be provided for the event by Question of Thyme. What we plan to allow on the night is a number of business/charities to speak about their organisation in front of the group. These slots will be allocated on a first come first served basis and have only been opened up to people who attended the previous meeting. If there are still spaces available, then they will be offered out to new businesses/charities. After listening to feedback we will also be providing proper printed name badges so people know who the other attendees are and what business/ charity they represent. As part of the event we will be creating goodie bags that we are inviting businesses and charities to place their flyers, sample products or even just a business card in, so that we can all start to build up a network of local businesses that we can start to use. We are not charging anything at all for businesses to include their items in our goodie bag however if businesses can afford it we are asking for a ÂŁ10 voluntary contribution (not compulsory) to allow us to create these goodie bags and cover our costs. We are hoping for another great turn out. If you are interested in reserving a space please can you email letting us know how many places are required, the names of attendees and whether you are interested in either speaking and or contributing to the goodie bags.

Local News

Life Under The Stairs

by Jane Stevenson


that it close to you.

I love Christmas! From the first lists of cards and gifts (usually started in September here), to the buying, wrapping and giving, I enjoy every aspect of the whole occasion.

Happy New Year everyone.

However, I sometimes wonder if we have really lost the whole meaning of the season. I’m not talking about the religious aspect – we are a multi faceted society nowadays, and many will celebrate Yule, the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Ramadam or Bhodi Day as well as the birth of Christ. What does annoy me are the adverts extolling me to buy a gift way beyond my means. Computer games, luxury perfumes, even some toys all have a price tag that would keep me in tea and biccies for the year! Yet we are bombarded with TV ads for weeks beforehand, ramping the excitement and promoting items that often lose their appeal by New Year.

I wonder if we really appreciate the professionalism and thoughtfulness of retail staff. Over the past few weeks I’ve received some excellent help from local shop staff. Whether it is from the manageress of the smaller stationers in the town, a knowledgeable and friendly assistant helping to arrange a ‘click and collect’ gift of perfume, or the librarian who spent some time searching for a book for me, all served me efficiently and with a smile. I know Dartford hasn’t got the greatest diversity of choice, or the array of big name shops. However we do seem to have the nicest people working in them!

I’m not going to hark back to the days when everyone got an orange and one other small gift – that would be ridiculous; times have changed and we are a far more materialistic society than we used to be. Like many of you, I want my family to open a gift they really want but sadly my purse is not bottomless!


AND SO TO 2016 New Year Resolutions anyone?

What I do like is a trawl around the Christmas markets and Fayres. On a recent trip to the ‘Fayre on the Square’, I found some unusual gifts that didn’t break the bank yet were well made and individual. Further afield is the Dickensian Christmas Market in Rochester, as well as any number of local community efforts. As well as finding affordable items we could also support a local school, church or group in swelling their coffers for the year ahead. I wonder if we should also consider making a charity donation as well. This time of year charities are in full swing, and I’ve been stopped several times recently by young, enthusiastic people trying to sign me up for a direct debit to a cause. They are bright, smiling and persistent. It’s a bit like being hit over the head with a cushion. What I’d rather do is support a charity of my own choice and make a donation. I don’t like to be guilt tripped into giving – it is a very personal preference and not everyone wants to or can, take part. All I ask is that you give it a thought and perhaps start the year with a gift to a cause


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Ar ts & Crafts

ytelling r o t S

e & mor

Dartford Living


Kids’ Zone Crafts

Max's Makerspace By MicroHackers - A Dartford Edtech Startup

Hello, it's lovely to meet you, I'm a robot, and my name is Max. I'm going to share an activity with you, but first a few safety facts. Sometimes a task might be dangerous, so you really have to take care. Please promise you won’t play around with this stuff, unless an adult is there. Follow the instructions I’ve written, and if you get stuck then please ask. I’m happy to help, just send me a mail, I do love a puzzling task.

Hovering Spacecraft

Materials: • 1 x Shoebox • 1 x Paperclip • 1 x Piece of thread • 1 x Piece of card • 1 x Magnet • 1 x Pencil

Tools and equipment: • Scissors • Sellotape

Instructions: 1. To make yourself a spacecraft that hovers in the air. 2. Grab yourself a shoebox, without the shoes in there. 3. Put the shoebox on its side, the long one, not the short. 4. Tie a paperclip with thread, to give the taut support. 5. Draw yourself a spacecraft, and with scissors cut it out. 6. Now tape the paperclip on it, it wont hover there without. 7. Put a magnet on the box, and hold your craft below. 8. Now tape the thread inside the box, and then just let it go!


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Every month Judy Walker (CEO of easipetcare) will be sharing her hints and tips for caring for your pet The World Of Pesky Parasites Firstly, a very happy New Year to you all! I hope you, your families and your precious pets have enjoyed a fun-filled Christmas and an exciting start to 2016! Whilst this time of year is traditional portrayed with snow scenes, woolly jumpers and roaring fires, the reality is that the British winter can be somewhat of a wet weekend! That is why this month I want to to draw your attention to the dangers posed to your perfect pooch (and in some cases your furry felines) by pesky parasites.

Pet Corner

It really can be that simple to protect them. If you have any concerns at all, don’t hesitate to visit your vet for advice. With best wishes for a healthy start to 2016! Judy. x

On the increase in dogs especially, lungworm is a parasite that can cause serious health problems and can even be fatal if not diagnosed and treated. It is also a disease that particularly thrives during damp, wet weather. The long and complicated journey this parasite takes to make its way to your canine companion is in some ways fascinating, as I explain here: Lungworm starts off in foxes and the lungworm larvae passes in their poo. This is then ingested by slugs or snails as they slither over the poo and in turn this is then ingested by our dogs. Healthcare organisation Bayer explains that whilst most dogs do not tend to eat these creatures on purpose, they can accidently do so when playing with a toy or drinking from a puddle. Unfortunately there is also evidence that the lung worm larvae can be transmitted in the slime trail alone – posing an even greater threat to your precious pet. There is a seasonal increase in the number of foxes in our parks and gardens at this time of year as the weather is cooler and they seek easier food sources such as household bins, but there is also an increase in the number of slugs and snails as their eggs hatch at this time of year. With statistics showing that in the South-East of England, 50% of all foxes are now believed to be carrying lungworm, this is a very scary set of statistics indeed! So, what can you do to keep your pet safe? Two things: - Be vigilant with your pet whilst on walks or in the garden - Use preventative products ON A REGULAR BASIS Furthermore, there’s an added bonus with the two leading products for preventing lungworm as they also tackle other parasites such as fleas, mites and other types of worms at the same time. Bonus! Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Local News

Marshes, mills and an ‘earthly paradise’

The Darent Valley. Rural countryside on the edge of London within easy reaching distance for Dartford residents to explore and enjoy. It’s such an important landscape that much of the area is protected as part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); a national designation on par with the UK’s National Parks. It’s remarkable beauty captured the imagination of resident artist, Samuel Palmer, nearly 200 years ago who painted many of his greatest works around the Shoreham landscape he affectionately called an ‘earthly paradise’.

But the Darent Valley isn’t just the (perhaps more wellknown) rural stretch between Farningham and Otford, with its lavender fields, chalk downland hillsides, wooded tops and farmland. It includes Dartford Marshes where the 19 mile Darent Valley Path begins, taking you through Dartford town centre, Central Park, Brooklands Lakes and through the sometimes overlooked countryside that hugs the River Darent in South Darenth and Horton Kirby then continuing on to Sevenoaks. The history and heritage of this section, and the whole of the Darent Valley, is vast yet often not realised. Roman Villas, a palace that in its heyday would have rivalled Hampton Court Palace and over 38 mills including a gunpowder mill and England’s first commercial paper mill in 1588 is just the beginning! Yet the Darent Valley’s position with neighbouring


London – just 14 miles to Big Ben - coupled with bouts of fly-tipping, surrounding development growth, increasing visitor pressures, congested transport networks and uncoordinated habitat management, mean the Darent Valley is under threat. The Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme (DVLPS), armed with £3.65 million, (the majority thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund), is tackling these issues head on. Over 50 cultural, art, heritage, conservation and access projects make up this exciting scheme, with on the ground delivery starting in Spring 2017, running for five years. A host of partners including local groups and organisations, councils and landowners will deliver these engaging projects in a bid to reconnect local communities to the Darent Valley landscape, using Samuel Palmer as their influence. Archaeological digs, creative activities, an events programme and conservation projects are only a handful of the opportunities available for local people to engage with and benefit from. With partners including the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum, our ambition to showcase Palmer’s actual works within the Darent Valley could become a reality! Over coming months our work with existing (and new) partners to turn ideas into costed projects will continue. We will work to secure remaining match funding before a final application is submitted to HLF in Autumn 2016. We will be talking to you, Dartford residents, to find out what you value about the Darent Valley, what you’d change, what can be improved and any barriers that stop you exploring and enjoying this delightful valley further.

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Our tweets (@Darent_Valley) and Facebook posts (www. should keep you up to date with our progress. Keep an eye out for our online survey coming soon ( to have your say and help shape DVLPS projects for local people. Jennifer Smith Interpretation & Community Engagement Officer Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme (part of the Kent Downs AONB)

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Charity Focus

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

Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that transforms children’s life chances by supporting volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading.

Many of the pupils that Beanstalk help come from disadvantaged backgrounds and do not have the opportunity to read at home. Additionally, with more than 30 children in a classroom, there’s often limited opportunity for individual attention. Children who are struggling with their reading are at risk of getting left behind and this can affect them for years to come if they do not get the help they require. Literacy charity Beanstalk is searching for members of the community to volunteer as Reading Helpers across Dartford and Gravesend, visiting a school for just 90 minutes twice a week. Each reading helper works with 3 pupils, on a 1:1 basis, for a year. Full training and support is provided before starting and all Reading Helpers have a dedicated Volunteer Support Worker, to help them throughout.

principles and let the children pick the text. My children are all young so we like stories where we can shout or shriek or make animal noises. Did I mention I was loud as well as greedy? In the middle of the session we choose from activities like crosswords, join the dots and drawing - all of which let us talk together as we work. At the end we play games. I like to pretend that I will thrash them and then grow increasingly surprised as they do well. As I take them back I generally have to warn them quite sternly that they must lose next time!” During the last academic year Beanstalk supported over 10,000 children across the UK. The latest figures show 93% of the young children supported by Beanstalk reading helpers showed meaningful improvement in their reading level. In our most recent survey, our volunteers said that: - 98% would recommend becoming a reading helper to other people - 64% felt more like a part of their community If you would like to find out more, call us for a chat on 01622 662 026 or you can read more and apply on our website at

The time spent with a Reading Helper differs from classroom sessions and involves reading, playing games and conversation, with a focus on having fun. For many children, this is all it takes to help build their self-esteem and give them the confidence to develop their literacy skills. A reading helper provided the following story of a day in his life as a reading helper: “I am a large and greedy person with an overdeveloped interest in food. This gives me the advantage of always having an opening line when I pick up my children - “What did you have for lunch today”?” I usually choose to read first and here I stick to Beanstalk

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Business and Dhiren’s Automotive News Automotive In this edition we’ll look at new models for 2016 and tips to stay safe in your car during the winter months.

Porsche Boxster and Cayman new names

Porsche has announced new names for its Boxster and Cayman sports cars, 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, as well as the option of a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will be available from 2016. The names are in reference to the 718 racing cars built by Porsche between 1957 and 1962. No engines details are known yet however the name change is set to coincide with facelifts for both the Boxster and Cayman. The main reason for this is to reduce its CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy but without compromising on performance. Adopting a fourcylinder engine should do this. Porsche has also confirmed that the Boxster roadster will be positioned at a higher price level than the Cayman coupe, as is the case for the 30 Please mention Dartford Living larger 911. Exact prices are not known.

A plug-in hybrid variant, dubbed the GTE, was also shown in concept form at the Frankfurt show. The concept mates a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to give a combined power output of 215bhp. The concept is capable of returning up to 149mpg with CO2 emissions of 42g/km. Volkswagen has yet to reveal specification levels for the new Tiguan, but we do know there will be a range-topping R-Line version. Volkswagen hasn’t yet revealed how much the new Tiguan will cost, but the current model is priced from £22,975. This will go on sale from Spring 2016. Winter driving tips – Here are a few tips to help you during the colder months.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan is Volkswagen’s mass-market SUV and this second-generation version is longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces. Its larger dimensions mean that space inside has increased as well. At the core of the Tiguan’s engine range will be a line-up of efficient diesels. The entry-level diesel option is a 114bhp 1.6-litre unit, while a trio of 2.0-litre units with outputs of 148bhp, 178bhp and 217bhp are also available. Petrol options include a variety of 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged engines, but they’re likely to be a rare sight.


Tyres - its recommended you regularly check their condition and pressure and ensure that your tyres have plenty of tread (1.6mm across three-quarters of the tyre, all the way round, is the legal minimum). You can measure the tread with a 20p piece. Hold the coin in the tread and as long as the rubber comes above the border around the coin, your car’s tyres are legal. The recommended tyre pressures for your car will be listed either in the manual or on the door frame. Battery - you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere because of a flat battery. You can take your car into a garage to have the battery tested. Make sure it’s in good condition and fully charged. Radiator - top up your radiator with anti-freeze - your local garage will be able to check that it’s the right concentration. Keep in the car - Its recommended you keep the following with you in the car: torch, warm clothing, mobile phone charger, some food and drink and de-icer and scraper.

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Tips for small businesses Each month Paul Conradi, Chartered Accountant at Conradi Morrison & Another change in the Budget means that Co, will be giving us his professional savers will soon be able to draw cash from a d v i c e fo r s m a l l b u s i n e s s e s . . ISAs and put it back again without using the annual allowance.

Tax on Bank and Building Society Interest

Some of the above has not yet been finalised, so you should constantly monitor the same.

From 6th April 2016, the Chancellor has announced that bank and building societies will automatically stop deducting interest from your savings. Any interest will be paid tax free. Those who earn below £16,800 per year will not have to pay any tax on savings interest. This is because they will benefit from the £10,800 personal allowance, the abolishing of 10% tax on the first £5000 of income for low earners and tax free interest up to £1000. Anyone earning below £42,700 (the point at which the higher rate of tax begins), will be allowed to have £1000 in savings, interest free and those earning between £42,700 and £150,000 will have a £500 allowance. Anyone earning above this latter amount will have no interest tax allowance.

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.

It is very important that all married couples arrange wherever possible, try to equally share their interest earning investments between them. Tax due on interest will be collected through the self-assessment Annual Tax Return. In the short term, these new rules may make ISAs seem identical to normal interest accounts. However, in my view, it would still be preferable to use ISAs wherever possible, as when interest rates rise, the £1000 allowance may suddenly appear less generous. We also do not know when the government might once again change the rules. Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

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Coffee break

SUDOKU 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)

January Madness


As with every year, chances are you over-indulged in December; and more likely than not, you’re feeling a bit guilty and a bit fat as a result!

So having set your New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get fit again, your first port of call is to starve yourself for a month (or a week, until you decide it’s just not worth the perceived effort and give up).But you’ve read the articles and heard us trainers rant about not starving yourselves, as well as listened to your friend who lost 10 stone in a week on a supplement program (you know the one) and not eating a bean! So who are you going to listen to? Well the first thing to do is to clean up your act and get straight on just what you’re willing to do and commit to. Don’t start a ridiculous diet that you’re going to whine about from day one when you’re hungry and cranky, and make everyone else in the house and at work suffer with you.

Avoid “low-fat” or “diet” anything!!! Increase water consumption to at least 2 litres a day (not tap water if you can help it! Personally I use the Virgin Pure water filter – you can get 2 months free with the code PTMB) If you’re joining the gym for the first time, be realistic – don’t try and get there 6 days a week for 2 hours. Start with 2-3 times a week (that’s already 2-3 times more than you previously were), and then if you’re consistent throughout January, you can increase that slightly in February. Training harder, with a sensible and suitable program is far more effective than wasting hours on end on treadmills and exercise bikes, and using weight machines on their lightest settings.

Remove the worst culprits that you’ve eaten to excess in December – alcohol, chocolates, cakes, biscuits... the usual things you know you should be eating less of.

If you currently use the gym, don’t go mad. Still only increase by maybe 1 session a week, just work harder; increase your weights and work on quality over quantity. Stick to the staples – squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, pushups, lunges, rows.

After that, look to increase your protein intake (meat/ fish/eggs etc.), which should automatically help reduce your carb intake and some food cravings.

Be sensible and realistic with your approach and you’ll find sticking to your resolution much easier, which means less stress and better results.

Eat 1-2 cups of veggies with every meal. Some raw, some cooked. And eat these and your protein (meat) first, before the other carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes etc. (which you’re trying to reduce).

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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Local Sports News The Dartford Half Marathon Celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2016 Words by Steven Caller Just as the athletics track in Dartford Park has something of an unusual characteristic, namely being blue in colour, the Dartford Half Marathon has one or two unique selling points worthy of mention. Britain loves running, and if we’re to believe research by Sport England, there are two million (and counting) of us pavement pounding at least once a week in the UK. It is therefore unsurprising that there are so many races of all distances and terrains the length and breadth of the country. Very few of these, however, can boast the same history and length of service as the Dartford Half Marathon which is celebrating its 40th anniversary on 13th March 2016. This is all the more impressive when we consider the increasing pressures placed on race organisers who must busy themselves with traffic management, entry procedures and admin, refreshments and amenities, promotion, medical cover and many further licences and processes that bear little interest to anyone averse to paperwork (and expense). This burdening bundle of responsibilities, despite the strain it may well assert, will do little to prevent a race first won by Olympic athlete Steve Ovett from producing another vintage year in 2016, particularly in the context of the 2015 race which attracted a total of 771 entries. Since history alone is no guarantor of success, we’ve gone the extra mile (no pun intended, we really have made an effort!) to make DHM 2016 the very best yet, with a fantastic new website (http://dartfordhalfmarathon., an extra special medal (which some say functions as a bottle-opener) and a spectacular finish on the newlylaid track. We’re also present on Facebook and Twitter to enable runners and participants to reach us with their questions and suggestions. With so many people taking up running it’s important we get the word out that there’s such an event near them.


The Dartford Half Marathon is an important fundraising event for Dartford Harriers and Central Park Athletics and the proceeds thereof are poured straight back into amateur athletics, ensuring that we provide a worthwhile sporting activity for those that want it. This we achieve whilst maintaining a very competitive entry fee for the Dartford Half Marathon. The event itself will take place on 13th March 2016 – fortunately slotting in between the Mothers day Weekend and the Sports Relief mile – and race HQ will be Central Park Arena. There will be a fun run of one mile (four laps of the new blue track) and a variety of refreshments for spectators. Our thanks must go to our main race sponsors J Clubb and Mercedes Benz Dartford. We are very easy to find these days – just search “Dartford Half Marathon” and you’ll find us. PS. Don’t forget to run the Dartford Harriers Christmas Dash too! Details here www. wordcontent/Information/ Events/ChristmasDash.pdf

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Bav’s Sporting Comment The decision by the scandal-hit IAAF to award the 2021 World Athletics Championships to the American city of Eugene is being investigated by French prosecutors. Eugene is closely linked to sportswear giant Nike; was given the event without the usual bidding process. French officials are investigating corruption allegations involving former IAAF president Lamine Diack already. In November, current IAAF president Lord Coe severed his links to Nike two days after a media story suggested he had held talks with Diack and Nike about the awarding of the 2021 event while he was on the Nike payroll. Lord Coe said at the time that he “did not lobby anyone” over Eugene’s bid, but simply “encouraged them to reenter another bidding cycle as they had a strong bid”. Current investigations into athletics World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada): Following its report into systematic doping in Russian athletics, Wada is expected to publish the second part of its report focusing on possible corruption within the IAAF in early 2016. French financial prosecutors: French prosecutors are investigating former IAAF president Lamine Diack and three others over allegations of corruption, bribery and covering up suspicious dope tests. IAAF ethics commission: Four IAAF officials, including Lamine Diack’s son Papa Massata Diack, have been charged with various alleged breaches of the governing body’s code of conduct and will have their cases heard in front of an IAAF ethics commission panel next week. US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada): Usada is currently investigating doping allegations against Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar following a BBC Panorama documentary in June.

Upcoming events in January include: 2-6: Cricket - South Africa v England second Test, Cape Town 2-10: Darts - BDO World Professional Championships, Lakeside 3: Darts - PDC World Championships final, Alexandra Palace 9-10: Football - FA Cup third round 14-18: Cricket - South Africa v England third Test, Johannesburg 16-7 Feb: Football - African Nations Championships, Rwanda 18-31: Tennis - Australian Open, Melbourne 22-26: Cricket - South Africa v England fourth Test, Centurion 26-27: Football - League Cup semi-finals

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Local Entertainment News New research has revealed Dartford’s most popular experience days. The study is based on just under 500,000 unique searches on www. from January 2012 to September 2015. Taking the top spot for Dartford is going out for Afternoon Tea, followed by the chance to fly in a Lancaster Bomber. Rolling around in an inflated plastic bubble – or Zorbing as its known – was the third most popular search term.

Dartford’s Favourite Experience Days Revealed in activity gift vouchers, conducted the research nationwide and also found that Juicing was popular in Aberdeen, as were Singing Lessons in Manchester and Spitfire Flights in London. Tom Hale of the company said ‘Dartford was a surprising result for us, we did not expect Afternoon Tea to be so popular. However, being relatively close to the river we expected water sports to be prevalent in the findings. One thing that is a constant is more and more people are choosing to spend their hard earned money on experiences as opposed to material things, and I think that’s reflected in the fact that most towns and cities

Interestingly Dartford is one of the only places in the UK for being a Zoo Keeper for a day to rank highly, in at 4th position. Further down the likes of stunt driving, Jet Lev – which is essentially jetpack on water - and Spa days make an appearance. Right is a breakdown of the report for the top 20 highest searches: IntoTheBlue, an experience days company who specialise


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Ticket Office


01322 220000 ILLEGAL EAGLES


25TH FEBRUARY 2016 Now established as the World’s Official No.1 Eagles tribute, the Illegal Eagles continue to amaze crowds everywhere with their extremely tight harmonies and acute attention to detail. With over 15 years international touring experience, their uncanny ability to capture the emotion of Don Henley’s vocal deliveries have won mass audience acclaim both at home and abroad. This latest production features all the classics – Hotel California, Take It Easy, Lyin’ Eyes, Desperado, Life in the Fast Lane, Take it to the Limit, and a whole lot more! 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 songs is not featured in the show? A) Hotel California B) Take It Easy C) Take it to the Limit D) Angels Please send your entries to Orchard Theatre Competition, Dartford Living, PO Box 283, Dartford, Kent, DA1 9BW or email by the 15TH January- 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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Dartford Living January 2016  
Dartford Living January 2016  

January issue of Dartford Living Magazine featuring Dimples Nursery, Dartford Living Live, Dartford Half Marathon and our usual features and...