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By the community, for the community


June 2017 - Issue 132

The Art of AUTISM


The Art of Autism - Page 8-9 Arrow Riding Centre Royal Visit - Page 24 Dartford Health Walks - 32-33

Plus - All your regular

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

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

NEW CONSULTANT Wilmington Memorial Hall High Road Dartford DA2 7DW Tuesday, 530pm Susan 07584991531

British Legion Hall Devon Road South Darenth DA4 9AA 9:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm June 07957 902767

WEDNESDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 10:00am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Liz 07900 213548

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

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

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

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

TUESDAYS Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 10:00 am Paula 07891 424401 Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Angela 07956 896679


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

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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




W o w! 24 38 A m azi n g


8-9 Contents

8-9..................The Art of Autism 10...................Lewis Findley Local Actor 12...................Dartford Living Meets The Art 13...................Dartford of Property Report 16...................Life Under the Stairs AUTISM 19...................Quartz Financial Services 24....................Arrow Riding Centre Royal visit 29....................Local ex-serviceman releases charity single 32....................Dartford Health Walks 34....................Sports News Autism Awaren ess Exhib ition 1− 30

April 20 17


35-37..................Dartford FC season review 36.......................Local Band Supports DCC 36.......................Dartford Cricket Fixtures 38.......................Richard Trevithick 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.

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Dear Readers,

I hope you enjoy May’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 5,000 local people already do this!

Until next time, Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living (and Amie , Annie, Barbara, Bhavesh, Bradley , Cath, Catherine , Christine, Daniel, David, Dawn, Derek, Debbie, Dhiren, Elaine, Eleanor, Emma, Emma, Holly, Jackie, Jane, James , Jenny, Joanne, John, Kay, Ken, Kelly, Mark, Nickki, Nicola, Pam, Richey, Sarah, Sam, Sharon, Stephen, Steven, Teresa, 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 your 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

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! g n i z a Am The Art of


utism A warene ss Exhib ition 1− 30 Apri l 2017


April 2017 - Stephen Oliver: Studio & Gallery Visitors were wowed with over 130 artworks displayed by children and young adults on the autistic spectrum. Stephen teamed up with Cllr Mandy Garford to invite children from local schools and families to create an expression of what autism means to them. The result was an exceptional range of work as diverse as the contributors. There were paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages - some small and intimate; some large and collaborative. Some eyepoppingly colourful; some more muted and atmospheric. All of them gave a powerful message – “This is how I see the world” “This is how I feel about autism”. The exhibition has certainly had a positive impact. Parents and teachers alike were thrilled at the children’s achievements. Having had the opportunity to take part in the project, in some cases parents have seen a visible increase in their child’s confidence and wellbeing. A big thank you to our sponsors: • • • • • •

! l u f i t u a Be

Campanile Hotel, Dartford Dartford Lions Dartford Living Katrina & Dave Adams (Beams) Orchards Shopping Wisdom Estates

FEATURE ARTICLE: LEWIS FINDLAY - LOCAL ACTOR Dartford resident Louis Findlay is an actor who is quickly taking the industry by storm. He has recently been awarded best actor and continues to receive critical acclaim for his craft. Louis had always been interested in drama and attended the Leigh academy where he studied GCSE and A level drama. After his exams his teachers saw he had potential for performing and encouraged him to pursue an acting career. He landed his first stage role as judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd and went on to perform at The Orchard Theatre in footloose when he was just 19. Now aged 26 with an impressive cv full of credits in film and television, Louis informs us that it’s a tricky career to pursue. “Acting is what I want to do until the day I die. However it can be very hard to stay working with regular money coming in, you have to stay motivated and keep working towards your career” During Christmas last year (2016) louis decided to produce his first short film with the help of two Dartford Residents -Brandon Bailey and Marcus O’Brien. The film is titled “Days To Come” and follows a young man called Will who is suffering from anxiety and depression. The film is loosely based on Louis’s own experience with anxiety. “ I was having a bad moment, I came home one evening and felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone about it so I decided to write about how I was feeling at that time and it really helped. I instantly felt better and wish I had done this sooner. A year later I found my notes and decided to write a screenplay based of my notes. And with the help of my friend Brandon and Marcus, we set to work right away. They saw my vision and understood what I wanted from this and the results are amazing, I can’t thank them both enough for helping out. We are all so proud of this film.” Louis shot the film within two weeks, hired a song writer to score the track and edited the film from home. He tells us he made the film because he wanted to inspire other people (particularly men) to open up and seek help


rather than suffering in silence. “ I have shown Days To Come to two of the UK’s leading mental health charities and they were really impressed and said it was an accurate portrayal along with a strong performance. They even called my film beautiful.” Days To Come is taking the world by storm and is currently touring the globe participating in film festivals. The film won film of the week in Stockholm back in February and then went on to Los Angeles where Louis was awarded the title “Best Actor” at The Actor Awards L.A. The film has also been awarded “Best Picture” and “Best Plot” whilst collecting the 3rd Jury prize award at the BareTower Forge award. Asked about his recognition for best actor Louis said “I still can’t believe it. I never win anything haha. Never in a million years did I think I’d be an award winning actor, I didn’t even think my film would be accepted. I can’t thank everyone enough who supports me and has helped me get to this stage in my life. Awards like this just motivates me to keep working hard and knocking down doors.” Of the back of his success Louis is now working on his second film called “Think About It” and has gone on to gain representation with a reputable agent. We wish him the best of luck honing his craft and hope to see him on our screens very soon.

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DARTFORD LIVING MEETS....... JONATHAN DIX BY KELLY GOLDSWORTHY My name is Jonathan Dix. I have been teaching now for 16 years but since 2008 I have been at Dartford Science and Technology College which is a girls school based on Heath Lane. I teach food and nutrition to KS3 and catering to KS4. One of my whole school roles is regarding involvement in the community. I make sure that students are always involved in as many community projects as possible throughout the year. About 4 years ago our then Principal asked me to look at how the whole school could be involved in the community. The community day was born! Our very first event was in 2015. I never knew to what extent it would take over my life. Literally 3 months of evenings and weekends - emails, phone calls, meetings, risk assessments and fundraising but it was amazing. On the day every student and staff member in school goes out and volunteers in Dartford. Last year we had nearly 600 people out. We did everything from paint the sea cadets hut, play in the at Darent Valley Hospital to teaching primary students about water safety plus lots more. In total there were 45 different placements. We rely on the generosity of businesses to sponsor the event. We wear T shirts so the students are easily recognisable with the sponsor names on the back. Last year we had sponsorship from Bluewater, Rival Colour, Ergro, BartonWilmore, Campanile Hotel and KCC with goods donated from Brewers, Co-op, and Breyer. We welcome donations and placements from any community group or business. The benefits from the day are huge. Many of the charities and groups we help do not have the resources to do certain things – fundraise, give out leaflets, paint etc. but we can do all these things and more. The day unites not only the school but also the community. Throughout the year we often are called upon by the groups and charities to help. The community day is not just one day but the relationships go on all year.

are things they can only learn by helping others. As a Co-operative school with the values of equity, equality, solidarity, self-responsibility, self-help and democracy we know that community day helps to shape our students into strong, successful women. Our third community day is on Wednesday 19th July from 10am to 2pm. There are a few ways people take part. People may know of a group or charity that needs help. A group of ten students can do a lot in 4 hours! On the day people will see the students all over Dartford so give them some encouragement. If the public decide to give a donation then all money will go to the Mayors charities. If you work for, or have responsibility for, a company who would be willing to sponsor part of the day then we would love to talk to you.

There is significant benefit to students. At DSTC the students receive an excellent education in the classroom however there


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Dartford Property ReportUseful - JuneNumbers 2017 ‘Flipping’ Heck - Dartford Property Values Rise by £55.29 a day Investing in Dartford buy to let property is different from investing in the stock market or depositing your hard-earned cash in the Building Society. When you invest your money in the Building Society, this is considered by many as the safe option but the returns you can achieve are awfully low (the best 2-year bond rate from Nationwide is a whopping 0.75% a year!). Another investment is the Stock Market, which can give good returns, but unless you are on the phone every day to your Stockbroker, most people invest in stock market funds, making the investment quite hands off and one always has the feeling of not being in control. However, with buy to let, things can be more hands on. One of the things many landlords like is the tactile nature of property - the fact that you can touch the bricks and mortar. It is this factor that attracts many of Dartford’s landlords – they are making their own decisions rather than entrusting them to city whizz kids in Canary Wharf playing roulette with their savings. I always say investing in property is a long-term game. When you invest in the property market, you can earn from your investment in two ways. When a property increases in value over time, it is known as ‘capital growth’. Capital growth, also known as capital appreciation, has been strong in recent times in Dartford, but the value of property does go up as well as down just like shares do but the initial purchase price rarely decreases. Rental income is what the tenant pays you - hopefully this will also grow over time. If you divide the annual rent into the value (or purchase price) of the property, this is your yield, or annual return. So, over the last 5 years, an average Dartford property has risen by £100,900 (equivalent to £55.29 a day), taking it to a current average value of £328,800. Yields range from 5% a year and can reach double digits’ percentages (although to achieve those sorts of returns, the risks are higher). However, something I haven’t spoken of before is the

more specialist area of flipping property to make money. (flipping - buying a property, carrying out some minor cosmetics and re selling it quickly). I have seen several investors recently who have made decent returns from this strategy. For example … • One Dartford Investor paid £137,000 for a 2 bed maisonette on Burnham Crescent in November 2015. It appears some cosmetic work was done to the property and it was resold a few months ago (November 2016) for £184,000 … 34.31% return before costs (or compound annual return equivalent of 34.42% AER) http://www. p=55290445&sale=4491685&country=england This demonstrates how the Dartford property market has not only provided very strong returns for the average investor over the last five years but how it has permitted a group of motivated buy to let Dartford landlords and investors to become particularly wealthy. As my article mentioned a few weeks ago, more and more Dartford people may be giving up on owning their own home and are instead accepting long term renting whilst buy to let lending continues to grow from strength to strength. If you want to know what (and what would not) make a decent buy to let property in Dartford, then one place for such information would be the Dartford Property report.

Managed by Places for People Leisure Ltd for Dartford Borough Council.


Activities @ Fairfield

Junior Football Coaching - NEW

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A fun and active tots session for the under 5’s

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Fairfield Leisure Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent DA1 1JB Tel: 01322 421166

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Life Under The Stairs by Jane Stevenson ADDICTED TO... ‘A cup of coffee shared with a friend, is happiness tasted, and time well spent’ A few months ago I would have nodded wisely at these words and carried on drinking my tea. My flirtation with coffee ended many years ago after I left my job with an international bank. The coffee culture wasn’t the trend it is today, but I needed my ten cups of unsweetened, black coffee just to get through the day. Since then I’ve gone through the gamut of teas; fruit flavoured, green, white and black tea, chai and decaf tea. I know I love raspberry and cranberry tea, dislike green tea, enjoy jasmine tea and love Yorkshire Blend. When I gave up work, I joined the ranks of the ‘ladies who lunch’ although in my case, it was the ladies who meet at Costa to drink coffee and eat tea cakes. On my first visit, I stared at the drinks menu and all the different coffee drinks I could have and tentatively ordered a mocha. So far so good. Fast forward four years and my coffee habit is well and truly out of control. It started innocuously enough drinking ordinary black coffee at a weekly meeting I go to. Then I ventured into the kitchen one evening to make a cup, to be confronted with Island Coconut coffee. Given my slavish devotion to Bounty bars, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it and so my habit was born. Today, I’ve just finished a large mug of cherry chocolate coffee – even the smell is delicious. It was a hard decision – I could have had Island Coconut, Cinnamon, Chocolate Orange, Chocolate Caramel or my brand new favourite, Cookie Dough coffee.

You can keep your lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and americanos. Mine’s a flavoured black coffee thanks. By the way, should anyone call round, you will be offered the bog standard supermarket blend – I have to get rid


of it so I can get more flavours! MAD, BAD AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW As I write this, we are in the middle of Mental Health Awareness week – 8th May to 14th May. By the time you read this it will all be over, the media will have moved on and many of you will have forgotten what it was all about anyway. Thankfully, with the high profile stories concerning Prince Harry and Stephen Fry, more people are aware of mental illness, yet attitudes to these news items vary wildly. I’ve read such rubbish on social media about how the rich can afford the best doctors and treatments and how their experiences are exaggerated to make good news. So I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is: I’ve suffered from depression on and off for over forty years. My mental health problems began as a teenager – I’ve no idea what triggered the situation. An unhappiness with life in general perhaps, the angst of being young. Initially I was prescribed pills to take which left me with no energy, enthusiasm or even the ability to think for myself. As time went by, I entered group therapy, self help groups and one to one counselling. At the time, my depression wasn’t referred to at home, except in hushed tones. It was a dark secret. It was seen as a slur on mum and dad’s parenting skills, as if they were responsible for how I felt. To suggest I may have to see a psychiatrist was to commit social suicide. It was swept under the carpet and we put on a ‘jolly good show’ for the neighbours. Thankfully times have changed with better drugs, different therapies and a healthier attitude towards mental illness. There are still long waits for referrals, and this must change. Mental illness is completely indifferent to class, culture, creed, age and gender. It doesn’t give a hoot if you are a secretary, student, publican or rocket fuel scientist. It employs stealth tactics and can disguise itself, making it harder to realise what you’re up against. We should always be ready to talk about mental illness, its causes and effects. It doesn’t like the publicity and it fears understanding and compassion. I refer to mine as the ‘black dog’ – with apologies to all perfectly wonderful black dogs out there. With a therapist and support from my local GP surgery, I’m working towards sending it away on a very long walk so it won’t bother me again for a long, long time. Have a good month all.

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Website: Telephone: 07932 616400/01474 887948 keen to avoid further negative financial implications.

Equity release – how Quartz Financial Services helped a couple stay in their home. Faced with losing their home, a Kentish couple was able to save it using equity release. Helped by Quartz Financial Services, they are now safe in the knowledge that their home is their own. In their seventies, they had bought a bungalow together in 2000 but recently found out that the mortgage they signed up to wasn’t quite what they thought. They had believed that their interest-only mortgage would continue to be extended unquestionably, every 5 years. But their lender did not offer this any longer, leaving them owing £86,000 against their £220,000 bungalow. With no way to pay and re-mortgaging not an option, the debt was transferred to an administration company that wanted to recall the loan and not extend it. Sleepless nights and anxiety set in, with the couple facing the imminent sale of their beloved home and moving into a park home, which would also mean giving up their pet dog. But before that was decided upon and with help from their children, they turned to the internet to find a financial advisor to help, finding Quartz. Melinda said: “I went to see them, fully understood all I could about them and their home, and used my expert knowledge of equity release providers to find one to release enough money to repay the debt to the previous lender. “They now owe the new lender the full amount instead, plus interest accrued each year.” In addition to Melinda visiting them, the solicitor she uses also met with them, to ensure they understood exactly, the terms they were signing to. An extra level of protection for an already anxious couple


They now have no monthly outgoing - a relief, as they were paying an interest-only mortgage from their limited pension income. The Lifetime mortgage they now have, allows both of them to have ownership and occupancy of the home until both have passed away, or moved into long-term care. There is a ‘no negative equity guarantee’ from the provider meaning that if the interest accrued and the loan advanced would ever surpass the value of the property, there will be no debt for the family or the estate to pay. This is a lifetime mortgage. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

For a consultation about equity release, contact Quartz Financial Services. 07932 616400 01474 887948 Quartz Financial Services Limited is an appointed representative of New Leaf Distribution Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Melinda Bush - founder, Quartz F

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Dartford Living 23


website Facebook: Arrow Riding Centre

Afterwards HRH met all the display riders, horses, staff, volunteers and a select number of unmounted riders. Everyone received a special rosette from the Princess to commemorate the occasion, and the Princess spent considerable time talking with every single person. It was magical to see the look on everyone’s faces as she passed down the line. The Princess also presented several long service awards to some of our volunteers in recognition of their amazing dedication.

Arrow Riding Centre for the Disabled had a very special visit last week from HRH Princess Anne (President of the Riding for the Disabled Association), to celebrate 35 years since the Centre opened. It was a huge event and attended by most of the Centre’s riders, parents, carers and volunteers. Princess Anne was received by a number of dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, the High Sheriff of Kent, the Chairman of Kent County Council, the Mayor of Dartford, the Chief Inspector of Kent, and the Chairman of the RDA. Valerie Blake (Group Organiser of Arrow) then gave the Princess a tour of the facilities and introduced her to some of the sponsors of Arrow.

It was an incredible afternoon which none of us will ever forget and we feel extremely privileged to have met Princess Anne, and to have been able to show Arrow off to her. Arrow Riding Centre is completely self-funded and has to raise in excess of £140,000 per year. We provide therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with all manner of physical and mental disabilities. Some people ride for pleasure and therapy, while others ride competitively up to National level and beyond. We are very lucky to have some very supportive sponsors, a number of which helped us to complete the concreting of the frontage just in time for the royal visit! We would like to say a huge thank you to Friends of Shelby Newstead, Dartford Borough Council, J.Clubb LTD, Hope Cement, Cemex, Gillett Morrissey, and Walkers. If anyone is interested in becoming a rider, volunteer, sponsor, or wish to know more about the Centre please visit our website or follow us on Facebook. - Photos courtesy of Matt James Photography

Once the formalities were concluded the fun part began! Princess Anne was invited to watch some ridden displays performed by some of the disabled riders. A lot of planning had gone into the displays and everything went incredibly smoothly, showing the vast range of abilities. HRH looked particularly taken with a musical drill ride performed to “The Great Escape”!


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MONEY ADVICE Glam up your garden on a budget 21 June – the first day of summer! What better time to get out in the garden, get digging, planting and enjoying the fresh air, if you haven’t been already? The problem is, as hobbies go, gardening can be on the expensive side, especially if you’re starting from scratch. But fear not, green-fingered friends – here are some simple ways to keep your outdoor space spruced up without the hefty bill. Shop around, save pounds. Of course, it may seem like the easiest plan of action to head to the nearest garden centre to stock up, but it’s rarely going to be the cheapest option. It’s definitely worth taking a proper look around before you buy – check out budget supermarket chains, charity shops, pound shops and online. Visit to find the best value garden accessories, tools, plants, bulbs and more across a variety of high street retailers. Raid your neighbour’s shed. With permission, of course! Your neighbours, friends and family might be willing to share tools, or even better, have some they no longer need. Especially for items you’re only going to use once or twice, it definitely pays to ask. Need for seed. You can get a packet of seeds for a couple of pounds and you’ll get loads out of it. It’s likely you’ll have some left over, so you could save them for next year by putting them in a foil sachet in a dry place, or why not find another greenfingered friend to swap your spare seeds with? It’s a surefire way to save you both a bit of cash. Salad can be grown all year round indoors and it’s SO much cheaper and fresher to do this than buy bags of salad. Herbie Fully Loaded. Herbs are really easy to grow and don’t take up a huge amount of space either, which is useful for those with smaller gardens. Plus, the seeds are fairly cheap to buy as they’re classed as food and therefore don’t have VAT – nice. Your own way’s the best way. With a bag of compost coming in at an average of £5 a bag, simply keeping your garden healthy can prove costly, so is there any way to do it cheaply? There is!

Website: Telephone: 0800 328 0006 To make your own compost, combine ‘greens’ like dead plants, peelings, tea bags and filter paper, and ‘browns’ like cardboard, wood and leaves, in a large container and leave them to rot, while adding to them regularly. There’s some more great advice on starting a compost heap at edenproject. com/learn/for-everyone/how-to-make-a-compost-heap10-top-tips. As for weed killer, mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:8, then combine it with another mixture of sugar and water in a ratio of 1:8, and it’s ready to go! Get growing. If you’ve got space, growing your own fruit and veg is a great way to boost your garden and save money. Things like potatoes and carrots are relatively cheap to buy in the supermarket, so it might be worth going for stuff that’s more expensive, like raspberries – they’ll pop up in abundance every year and save you a pretty penny on a tasty treat. It’s definitely worth checking out if you can get your own allotment from the council if you have the time to give it – it’s often a great community where you can share ideas and produce. Blooming lovely. Plan ahead for next year by buying your bulbs in the autumn when prices are lower. Plant snowdrops, narcissus, daffodils, muscari and tulips in October and they’ll bloom (in that order) over the spring. At Christians Against Poverty (CAP) we believe that living on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing all the things that add beauty to the world around us. Our CAP Money Courses offer free teaching on budgeting skills and a simple, cash-based system that helps people get to grips with their finances so they can budget, spend more wisely and save for the future. Visit to find out about local courses being run in the area. If you need support in dealing with debt visit, give CAP a call on 0800 328 0006 or pop in to the CAP Drop In at Dartford Community Church Bungalow, 171 Dartford Road, DA1 3EW (via side entrance in Broomhill Road) on the last Wednesday of the month between 12 noon and 2pm to have an informal chat over a cuppa with Karen, our Debt Centre manager (no appointment necessary). All CAP’s services are available to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background and are free.

Dartford Property Renovations

Garage Conversions Extensions Loft Conversions Wood Flooring Decking Carpentry Works Plumbing and electrical Works Gas Safe and Electrical Safe Kitchen and Bathroom Refurbishments Painting and Decorating Boiler Installation (with warranty) All work undertaken please ask. 26

Contact Details Email: Telephone: Robert - 07948566829 for a FREE quote

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“Learn to play tennis the modern way� We are running weekly Saturday morning Tennis group coaching for ages 3-12 years old using the latest equipment and techniques at the Leigh UTC, Dartford. - Indoor and Outdoor coaching sessions - 1.5 hour group coaching lesson for ages 5-12 years, with snack break. - 45 minute tots lessons - free equipment hire and no membership fees - sibling discounts of up to 50% - summer camps also available - LTA accredited+ - online booking and course information Please contact Rob for all enquiries or book online T: 07815 753532 E: W: LEIGH UTC The Bridge, Brunel Way,

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LOCAL EX SERVICEMAN RELEASES SONG FOR ARMED FORCES My name is Alex Askew from Crayford, Kent, I have a song that I am releasing for the armed forces charity SSAFA. It is called Just another week and is a rock/pop song performed by my band Shadey Scandals and written by myself. Please see the below for a link to the music video on Youtube: <https://> The song was produced and published at the Animal farm which is an independently owned music company based in London and it was mastered by Hafod mastering in Wales. We are already getting radio airtime and completed an interview with BBC Radio Kent that is planned to be aired this Friday on the breakfast show and we wish for the song and the message to go as far as possible. The song is set available to buy and stream now from all major digital music stores. I am an ex serviceman and in the past myself and my

wife Lisa have received help from the said charity. Since then we have become supporters and fundraisers, trying to help raise funds and awareness. As I work part time as a musician, we have done this through fundraising festivals, featured in newspapers, interviews on radio, TV and more. This song was written few years ago. It was an outlet for the experiences and emotions we went through after leaving the forces. After recently making a demo with some friends of mine, it occurred to us that these feelings would be relevant to many of the ex serviceman that SSAFA deal with. So we made contact with our friends at SSAFA and asked if they would support us in producing and promoting the song. On release we could use it to raise awareness for the charity and give a donation from every track sold to the charity. They loved the idea and the song, so myself and Lisa raised the money to get the song professionally produced and now here we are.

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The new Dartford Business Awards are now officially open for entry With several categories available, the awards are all free to enter and designed to cater for every size of business, from the smallest to the largest in the Borough. Entrants must be based in the Dartford Borough Council rates areas, and must have been trading for a full year to January 1st, 2017. To enter your business, visit

Our great sponsors are: Barclays Bluewater Dartford Borough Council Dartford Living Fairfield Leigh Academies Trust NatWest Oxford Innovation The Creation Lab The Learning Shop The Nucleus Thomson Snell & Passmore Wilkins Kennedy LLP


Dartford’s Health Walks

Living Centre - Mondays 10.00am MyHealthy GP referred me onto Dartford Borough Council’s Why Darenth Country Park - Tuesdays 10.30am Greenhithe - Wednesdays Weight programme six11.30am months ago after my 40+ health Central Park - Thursdays 10.30am check-up, to give me 10.00am some help with losing weight. I was Swanscombe - Fridays Temple Hill/The - Fridays reluctant at first,Bridge but can now11.00am honestly say it’s changed my life for the better. To date I’ve lost 1st 5lb, my body fat’s decreased by 13.5% and I’ve gone down a clothes size. I never ever imagined that I could achieve that.


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

For more details including During the first weeks, by making small changes to starting points pleasefew contact Healthy Lifestyles Project Coordinator on 01732 227000 my diet - healthier snacks, better awareness of portion sizes and how to mix food groups - I was very gradually losing weight. I’d heard people say before that they were eating more but losing weight, and thought what rubbish that was - but it really was the case for me. When my food diary was assessed each week by the supporting nutritionist Kashmir Powar, she didn’t rip it apart and tell me what rubbish eating habits I had. Instead I was told that generally it was a healthy diet and small tweaks here and there would enhance it and make great changes. It really was much easier than I had envisaged and was now feeling achievable. Somehow my mind set changed, and I was hooked.

I began to introduce more exercise into my life, investing in a fitness tracker and becoming obsessed with my daily step count. Instead of just walking to get lunch, I walked the long route and returned the long way to the office. I started attending a weekly walk on Sunday mornings run by one of the health trainers at Why Weight, Maureen Ejimofor. It was a struggle at first to get up early on a Sunday morning and go for a walk, but I honestly love it now. I started taking further walks at lunchtime when my fitness level improved and persuaded one of my colleagues to join me. She now walks everyday too. So by seeing the difference in me I’m also encouraging others to make changes.

Website: walkfinder/dartford-health-walks Telephone:

On completing WW I asked if there was further support, as I wanted to continue on this new healthy living regime. I was offered an eight-week one-to-one service with Maureen, which I grabbed with both hands. I’d keep a daily food diary and we’d get together once a week to discuss and critique it. We’d set weekly SMART objectives for other things to try to incorporate. These were never forced on me; they were either agreed or I would suggest things I wanted to achieve. I’d also send daily photographs of my evening meal to Maureen and she would give me feedback, advice and tips. At the end of the twelve weeks, although it was a bit daunting to begin with, I felt ready to go ahead on my own. I was now fully equipped with the knowledge and skills I needed to continue down this healthier living path. I don’t think without this continued support I would have been able to do as well as I have. I’ve attended Weight Watchers in the past, but for me the difference has been the ongoing support. At Weight Watchers once I left the meeting I was on my own; I had no one to turn to for support during the week and after I’d finished. Although I had the course leader’s number, I never even thought of calling it. Another difference was that there were forbidden foods. The great thing about my healthier way of living is that if I have a treat, I can do more exercise, tweak what I eat later that day or just start again the next day. There’s no need to punish myself - I can eat anything, within reason.

At the last WW meeting I achieved my 5% goal. I was ecstatic; I never thought that I would achieve this.


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I’m still walking regularly, both with the walking group and on my own. With the support of a fellow walker, Maria Roberts, I’ve set up a Facebook group for others like us that are on a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Maureen Ejimofor has provided lots of guidance and has actively supported us by adding many members, advertising and posting about her walks and encouraging members. We now have over 90 members; the group is quite active and people share tips, demonstrating their chosen activity for others to see, notifying members of up and coming walking events, supporting, encouraging and motivating each other. Two of my colleagues have been influenced to work toward a healthier lifestyle having seen my results, and I can ignore the treat table opposite my desk now and take a healthy snack instead of the chocolates and cakes on there.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to Kashmir Powar, Maureen Ejimofor and my friends from WW and the awesome Swanscombe Sunday Walking Group for all their support, help, encouragement and motivational words to help me get on and stay on this healthier lifestyle footpath. For more details about Why Weight, contact Kashmir Powar at, or visit www. to find out about Dartford’s Health Walks.

What would I say to anyone thinking of signing up? DO IT! You don’t have to pay a fortune for the gym. With small tweaks to your diet, drinking more water and pushing yourself to be more active the changes will come. And when you reach points where you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask. There’s support all around that’s willing and waiting to help you out.

Stanhill Farm Birchwood Road, Wilmington, Dartford, Kent DA2 7HD Tel: 01322 669711

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BAV’S SPORTING COMMENT Anthony Joshua is the real deal. Wladimir Klitschko is far from done. There will be no pause for breath after a breathless Joshua stoppage win. In stopping the most dominant heavyweight of this century, Wladimir Klitschko, in front of a record post-war UK boxing crowd - in a fight which had everything - Joshua has everywhere to go and yet nowhere to go. Matching an event as iconic as this - delivering a pay day to beat the £15m he was expected to earn and finding an opponent capable of competing looks difficult in the short-term. Substantially overweight and devoid of a boxing licence, former world champion Tyson Fury will likely need time and a warm-up bout before meeting the new IBF and WBA champion. WBC champion Deontay Wilder warned Joshua not to get “comfortable”, while Klitschko confirmed he holds a rematch option, adding that he believes the champion is “vulnerable” at times. Lest we forget, Joshua did hit the canvas hard before toppling Klitschko. Fury ducked, weaved and earned a comfortable points win by comparison in 2015. Heavyweight boxing can provide a slap of reality. Mike Tyson ran into Buster Douglas, Lennox Lewis fell to Hasim Rahman. Joshua seems to have a mind which is unlikely to fall lazy and such drive will be critical. He could be very special indeed.

Upcoming events in June include:

1: Football - Women’s Champions League final, Cardiff 1-18: Cricket - Champions Trophy, England (Cardiff, Edgbaston and The Oval) - full fixtures 3: Football - Champions League final, Cardiff 10: Football - 2018 World Cup qualifiers: Scotland v England (Group F) 11: Formula 1 - Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal 13: Football - International friendly: France v England 15-18: Golf - US Open, Erin Hills, Wisconsin 17: Rugby union - Argentina v England, second Test, Santa Fe; Japan v Ireland, first Test, venue TBC; Australia v Scotland, Sydney 20-24: Horse racing - Royal Ascot 24: Rugby union - New Zealand v British & Irish Lions, first Test; 25: Formula 1 - Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku 24 Jun-23 Jul: Cricket - Women’s World Cup, England 26-29: Cricket - full round of day/night matches in the County Championship

Dartford Cricket Club – Match Day Sponsor

Do you have a business to promote? Dartford Cricket Club is one of the oldest clubs in England having been established in 1727 and has been playing cricket at Hesketh Park since 1904. We are now offering the opportunity to sponsor a Saturday home league game for a one off fee of just £50. We will announce your sponsorship on our Twitter, Facebook and website on the day of your choice and we will display your name or company around our pavilion. As a not for profit charitable organisation registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club any proceeds received will be applied towards our stated aim of investment in sporting facilities for the benefits of all within our local community. If you are interested please call 01322 225152 or email for more information





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Bradbrook’s statement of intent was true, last term the Darts missed out on the playoffs, and although that was confirmed on the final day of the season, the chances leading up to that final match were slim. As usual manager, Tony Burman worked tirelessly to attract new signings and when he captured Alex Brown, the returns of Tom Bonner and Keaton Wood, Ellis Brown, Luke Wanadio and finally Duane Ofori-Acheampong the squad was in better shape, results proved it but not immediately.

A testimonial, an international call up, goals that went viral, two centurions and a play-off place. Dartford’s second season back in the National South was packed with talking points and here’s how it all unfolded. At the start of the campaign Dartford had one thing in mind and that was to challenge for promotion. Whether through the playoffs or an assault on the National South title, the Darts’ determination to return to the National League has brought about its own pressures. Rewind to the summer belonging to loyal servant and fans favourite, Ryan Hayes who by March created his own part of Dartford history scoring his 100th goal, played his testimonial. The Darts won against local rivals Ebbsfleet United marking a fantastic achievement for Hayes. Fellow midfielder and captain Elliot Bradbrook, who saw his brother Tom leave in the summer, set the side’s aim for the campaign telling the local press: “We should at least expect to be challenging in the play-offs. It’s hard to look past Ebbsfleet again, although we’re in better shape as a team this year than we were last year”. Bradbrook played yet another integral part to the season, beating Hayes to 100 club goals for Dartford in October with his strike against Slough Town in the F.A Cup.

The opening four games may have yielded just three points and no victories, but there was a sense the Darts would be harder to crack. Injuries to Elliot Bradbrook, Andy Pugh and Ronnie Vint and with Ofori-Acheampong lacking pre-season action it took until an away trip to Weston-super-Mare for win number one and for the Darts to settle down, but it was the first home victory that got everyone talking, or perhaps watching. With the first ever meeting against newly promoted Hungerford Town heading for a goalless draw, national internet headlines were written with just over ten minutes to go. Goalkeeper, Deren Ibrahim took a free kick from inside his own half and struck the ball down the centre, the ball sailed over everyone including George Legg in the Hungerford Town goal and so Ibrahim became an unlikely goalscorer, with national news organisations taking an interest. And it wasn’t the only time the Darts goalkeeper would hit national headlines. Selected to play in a World Cup qualifier for Gibraltar, the 25-year-old made his debut against Belgium. Unfortunately or fortunately, whichever way you want to look at it, Christian Benteke scored after just 8.1 seconds setting a new record for the quickest goal in World Cup qualifying history. At least Ibrahim could say he played in the World Cup against the likes of Eden Hazard and his opposite number Thibaut Courtois.

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Bradbrook continued his excellent cup form. Weston-super-Mare were dispatched even with the Darts reduced to ten men, Bradbrook scored a hat-trick and out of the hat came a tasty draw against Dover Athletic. In the first round, Ronnie Vint became the hero scoring in both fixtures, the defender netted the equaliser to send the tie to a replay. At the Crabble he levelled the match once more and Luke Wanadio scored the goal to take the Darts through. A month later and Chelmsford City put an end to Dartford’s trophy run, ending any chance of silverware in cup competitions.

If there was one period in the season the Darts showed what they are capable of doing, then it started after the Bank Holiday August defeat to Hampton and Richmond. Having suffered a heavy 4-1 reverse at the Beveree, Dartford began to typify the sides Burman often creates. A 12 match unbeaten run in all competitions included nine wins in a row. The impressive sequence included a F.A Cup run which saw the Darts overcome Chelmsford City, Slough Town and Tonbridge Angels to reach the first round, a terrific performance down at Truro City where Dartford won 5-0 and a run of four games without conceding. In the win over Slough Town, captain Bradbrook became the fifth Dartford player in history to score over one hundred goals for the club. One more win and a club record would be equalled and that game was the F.A Cup second round tie versus eventual giant killers Sutton United. The run of victories and clean sheets came to an end in some style and whilst the Darts scored the most goals in the F.A Cup against the U’s, even beating Arsenal’s tally, they also conceded the most in an entertaining 6-3 defeat. As one cup journey halted, Dartford embarked on their F.A Trophy campaign and captain Elliot


Whilst the F.A Trophy run was in progress a mixture of results against the top two questioned whether an automatic promotion spot was possible. The biggest set back of the campaign was the away trip to league leaders Maidenhead United. The afternoon belonged to Dave Tarpey, scorer of four including the wonder goal that went viral in the Magpies resounding 5-0 win, not the best preparation for a local derby versus second placed Ebbsfleet United on Boxing Day. Once again, showing belief and character the Darts bounced back with Tom Bonner opening the scoring against his former club and Duane Ofori-Acheampong side footing what turned out to be the winner. A 2-1 victory, followed by Ibrahim’s celebrating in front of the Fleet fans at full time set up the return fixture on New Years Day. The Fleet got their revenge with a 1-0 win but it’s what happened in the next six league games which gave Dartford hope. An incredible glut of goals where Dartford put away twenty three of them scored by eleven different players, including the wonder strike from Keaton Wood in the 4-0 triumph at Gosport Borough, against a former Premier League striker in between the sticks, Rowan Vine. Leading up to the victory over Boro, the Darts beat East Thurrock United 6-1 and were involved in the foggiest match of the season at Eastbourne Borough, where it was reported that Dartford won 3-2! All of a sudden there was talk of being involved in the title race seeing as the gap closed to just four points.

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Yet again it was Chelmsford City who spoiled the party and Rod Stringer’s team claimed their second 1-0 win at Princes Park. Last minute slip ups cost points at Oxford City and Concord Rangers with two draws, the Darts were also held by Welling United and despite three points at home to Bath City, Dartford were now off the pace and concentrating on the playoff places. At least crowd favourite and loyal winger Ryan Hayes finally reached the landmark of one hundred goals for the club to join Bradbrook, Tommy Huckstepp, John Mitchell, John Ripley and Tony Burman in achieving that same feat. Bradbrook hit two brilliant goals in the consecutive matches, first his volley in the entertaining 5-3 victory over Truro City, then his long range effort as the Darts breezed past Margate 4-0. It looked like another glut of goals were on their way until Ian Allinson again got the better of Burman as St Albans City completed a double over the Darts. In recent weeks Dartford have been making hard work in trying to secure a playoff spot. Away form has slipped putting pressure on the side and bringing about a nervousness in their play. However, home form has continued to be excellent and victory on

Easter Monday against Hampton and Richmond was enough to get the Darts over that dotted line. The Darts ended their home campaign of the regular season with a convincing 4-0 victory over Bishop’s Stortford. Then finally on the road they clinched a dramatic 3-2 triumph over Poole Town, with two stoppage time goals. Tony Burman summed up the decent 2016/2017 season and expressed how delighted he is at achieving the club’s objective, after securing a playoff spot: “They’ve done well over the course of the season and deserve to be in the play-offs as far as I’m concerned. If I’m honest with you, to get into the playoffs is probably one of the best things me and my coaching staff have done since we’ve been here”. Unfortunately Dartford lost to Chelmsford City in the National League South Playoff Semi Finals meaning they will be staying in the National League South Division for the upcoming season. If Dartford can keep the majority of their squad together then there is no reason why they cannot challenge for promotion next season. By Stuart Maidment Photos by Carol White-Griffiths

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LOCAL HISTORY: RICHARD TREVITHICK Richard Trevithick-Engineer & Pioneer of High Pressure Steam born 13/04/1771 died in Dartford Kent on 22/04/1833 Richard Trevithick died aged 62 penniless and lonely in a room in the Royal Victoria & Bull Hotel in Dartford Town centre on 22nd April 1833.

successful and he used the profits he made from this to invest in his own silver mine in Peru. In 1826 war broke out in Peru and he fled losing everything, luckily a chance meeting with George Stephenson in Columbia, saw Stephenson give him £50 to enable him to pay for his journey back to the UK and he arrived in Falmouth in October 1827. George Stephenson had always argued that Trevithick’s work had been vital to his own development of locomotives. One of Trevithick’s high pressure engines (No14) built by Hazledine& Co in 1804 is on view in The Science Museum in London still today. Of his time in Dartford he worked on an engine for a new vessel for John Hall the founder of J&E Hall Ltd and for this he earned £1,200

His contribution to mining and to steam as an engineer was immense although on the day of his death this was not realised by local people. Born in Cornwall (where today there is a statue of him in his home town of-Camborne) the only boy in a family of 6 children, he did not do too well at school although he did excel in one subject maths. As a youngster he had watched steam engines pump water from local tin and copper mines and this was to influence his life. He went on to become an engineer and in 1797 pioneered high pressure steam pumps. Using his success he later worked on building and modifying steam engines to try and avoid the royalties due to James Watt on his copyrighted model.

There is an almost obscure plaque at St.Edmunds Burial Ground in East Hill, Dartford which confirms his once nearby grave and it reads “he was a great engineer and pioneer of high-pressure steam”. A blue plaque unveiled in 2007 is displayed on the front of the Royal Victoria & Bull Hotel in Dartford, confirming that he had lived his final years and died there in 1833. By Dana Wiffen (Mr)

In 1808 he erected a circular railway track in Euston Square charging 1 shilling a ride, but constant problems with the track meant this was abandoned after 2 months, and he went on to develop a steam dredger instead. After a while though his steam engines did become


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FAIRFIELD CONTINUE AS OFFICIAL TRAINING PARTNER OF DARTFORD FC Fairfield leisure are delighted to announce the renewal of their ‘official training partner’ sponsorship deal with Dartford FC for the coming 2017/2018 season.

Please keep an eye of our Facebook and Twitter pages for up to date information and giveaways.

Dartford FC are an important part of our local community in Dartford with the team and club going from strength to strength and we are delighted to be working closely with them. It’s great to have the team using of our fitness and leisure facilities on a regular basis. The club have a great following and supporters are very passionate about their local club. This sponsorship deal gives us the opportunity for us to be involved with the supporters, many of who will also use our facilities! And be able to give the supporters the opportunity to get up close and personal with their team through offering them VIP tickets to matches that they would not normally have the opportunity to be involved with. We look forward to a great season ahead with the club.

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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

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 3rd March Friday 21st April Friday 19th May Friday 9th June Friday 28th July Friday 8th September

• The Services of an Expert Battlefield Tour Guide • Channel Tunnel Crossings (where applicable)

For further details please contact Steve Hookins

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

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

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

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Local Entertainment

May/ June Theatre Roundup by Liz Dyer As May comes to an end, let’s take a quick look back at a month that had dinosaurs, drag queens, dancing and dictators (not all at once - though what a show that would have been), as well as hilarious comedy, fantastic live music and charming family fun. We were lucky enough to see sensational performances from West End stars John Partridge and Emma Hatton, and enjoyed a brilliant charity gala raising money for Demelza House Children’s Hospice and Ifield School. And now we’re into June - so what’s up next? Well, first at the Orchard is Out of Order (5th-10th) from the “master of farce” Ray Cooney. The show’s star cast includes TV favourites Shaun Williamson (best known as Barry from Eastenders), Susie Amy, last seen in Dartford in the tense thriller Rehearsal for Murder, and Only Fools and Horses’ Sue Holderness. They’re followed on 19th-21st by All Or Nothing, the Mod Musical featuring the hits of the Small Faces, written by Carol Harrison and starring The Bill actor Chris Simmons.

Orchestra on the 11th; singer, actress and former Loose Woman Jane McDonald on the 18th; and bringing the month to a close, The Magic of the Beatles (29th) and Bubbles and Bublé (30th). It’s also a great month for our local schools, as the Dartford Choral Project’s Celebrate! brings together several local primary schools on 26th and 27th, as does Centre Stage - Curtain Up at Woodville Halls on the 17th - and we can see even more young talent in Gravesend in the Amelia Appleby School of Performing Arts’ production of The Sound of Music on 23rd and 24th. Finally, for those willing to travel a little further, two brilliant shows are coming to the Marlowe in Canterbury this month: Running Wild (31st May-3rd June), based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo (worth seeing if only for the life-size elephant!) and Charlotte Brontë’s classic romance, Jane Eyre (19th-24th). I saw both in London last year and can’t recommend them enough - they’re definitely worth the hour’s drive.

Going on holiday? No worries - there’ll be another chance to see both these shows at the Churchill in Bromley later in the month. And if you missed Joanne Clifton in Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Orchard, she’ll also be taking to the Churchill stage this month (6th-10th).

Don’t forget panto tickets are on sale at all our local theatres, and keep an eye on the Dartford Council website for details of this summer’s outdoor theatre and cinema in Central Park, which will include the excellent Changeling Theatre performing Hamlet for the first time to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Sounds like one not to be missed!

There’s plenty more music to look forward to, with something for any taste: don’t miss the Royal Philharmonic

For London and local theatre reviews, visit


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Practice being good We all have an idea in our heads of how we want to be. We want to eat healthier, lose bodyfat, build muscle, exercise more, get stronger, be more organised, etc. etc. What we need to do is remind ourselves of this every single day! We are tempted to make bad choices every day. Lazy, easier options are available to us everywhere, and sometimes avoiding them is more than a little difficult. We make excuses and reason with our inner demons as to why this is ok. You don’t have time to prepare a fresh meal, so you buy a sandwich (or worse)… The fruit would be a better option, but you want the chocolate bar… You don’t have energy for a workout, you’ll go “tomorrow”… We are busy and overworked, and making these tough, disciplined decisions is hard, sometimes too hard; and sometimes, we just forget and pick something up without even giving it a thought! Like mindless eating in front of the TV, or automatically driving home instead of the gym, without even thinking about it. In order to be the person you want to be, you have to act like that person – what would they do in this situation? Would the “Healthy Me” pick the fruit or the chocolate? Would they stop when full, or cram in a dessert? Would they go for a workout regardless of feeling a bit tired? Act like the person you want to be, and soon enough, you’ll start turning into that person. Repeat these things enough and they’ll start to become habit, a part of who you are. The more you make the tough decisions, the easier they’ll get. This can be easier said than done, but what helps is constant reminders. Every day, you should revive your commitment to being that person. Write down who you want to be, ideally in detail, but even just saying “be a healthier Me” and putting it somewhere you’ll see it regularly (multiple times per day) can be enough. Maybe on the fridge or the cupboard door, where you need the reminder before you do something that goes against your goals. You could set a reminder or alarm on your phone to go off every few hours, reminding you of what habit you want to practice that day, like “make better/healthier choices”. You won’t get this right 100% of the time. Sometimes the urges are strong and will win; but other times, think before you buy the chocolate or crisps, think about who you want to be, what your goals are, and what the best

action to take here would be – and sometimes, you’ll stop yourself… and you’ll feel great about it. You’ll be proud that you avoided the temptation, and you’ll be stronger the next time you’re in that same situation because you know you can do it. It has a snowball effect. The take-home point here is to stay aware of what you want. Constantly remind yourself what your bigger goals are, instead of giving in to your in-the-moment urges. Think about everything you do. Why are you doing this? What will you gain from it? What will you lose from it? The example of buying a bar of chocolate (or whatever your hedonistic foods are) is perfect. It’s an in-the-moment urge to eat chocolate that you’ll usually give in to… because you want it. Think about that – what a terrible “reason!” If you stop to think “I want some chocolate right now. I really want some; but what will I get out of it? Immediate gratification (that’s actually not as enjoyable as I’m anticipating), I’ll feel bad about it afterwards; because I feel bad I’ll likely make other poor choices after this and then I’ll feel s*** about myself and get depressed and angry. OR… I could avoid the temptation with some willpower and avoid the bad feelings which would follow. It’s hard, but I’m going to make the decision now NOT to have this chocolate.” If you have this dialogue in your head (or something similar) and you make the better decision, you’ll feel awesome and empowered to make these better decisions more often. The rest of your day will likely go the same way and tomorrow, you’ll know that you can do it again. Sure, some days the urge will win, but that will have been a conscious decision you made, with less guilt, and hopefully won’t throw you off too much. Think about who you want to be. Think about how “Healthy You” behaves. And copy. Make decisions consciously based on solid reasoning, and be proud when you make a good choice. Give yourself a high five and continue with your great day! If you make a bad choice, own it. Realise you made a mistake, feel bad for a moment, but then move on with your day vowing to be better next time. If you want help with your nutrition, and feel you’d benefit from daily reminders and habit reinforcement, check out the Nutrition page on my website and get in touch. www.

Dhiren’s Auto News June . 2017 Vauxhall Crossland X

The Crossland X is very similar in size to the Mokka, but while that is a traditional SUV with butch looks and the option of four-wheel drive, the Crossland X is front-wheel drive-only. Under the skin the Crossland X is closely related to the Peugeot 2008, and it will use the same range of engines: a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel after a deal between the two manufacturers. Inside, the Crossland X features many of the features SUV buyers look for, including an elevated driving position and good all-round visibility. It feels quite a bit roomier than the Mokka X, helped by larger windows. The list of standard equipment includes alloy wheels, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. It’s expected to be offered for less than the £17,640 of the Mokka X. An entry point of around £16,000 would keep it competitive with key rivals such as the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. 2017 Skoda Karoq

– Skoda has revealed its new small SUV – the Karoq. This replaces the Yeti. The Karoq name continues Skoda’s


In this month’s article we’ll bring you new SUV models to be launched in late 2017 to get market share in a competitive vehicle sector group

theme with Alaska and is a reference to the language of Alaska’s indigenous people; the Kodiaq is the name of an Alaskan bear. The Karoq is extremely similar to its Volkswagen group sister car, the SEAT Ateca in size. We’d expect the engine range to be inherited from the rest of the Volkswagen Group – so expect to see a selection of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. The range will likely kick off with the same 1.0-litre turbo petrol, with a 1.4-litre petrol sitting above that. The diesel range will consist of 1.6 and 2.0-litre units, as with most of the rest of the VW crossover range. The new SUV is set to arrive on sale in late 2017 and prices yet to be announced. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Mitsubishi is taking renewed aim at the profitable SUV market with this new Eclipse Cross. It’s planned to go on sale in the UK early next year, where it will face competition from the Seat Ateca, Kia Sportage and, of course, the benchmark in the sector the Nissan Qashqai itself. The Eclipse Cross certainly apes many of the hallmark features of modern SUVs - namely an oversized front grille, body cladding around its lower edges and a muscular, aggressive look with a coupé-like sloping rear. Two, likely popular, engine options will be available in the UK - a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel. Mitsubishi is promising a tablet-style infotainment screen in the middle of the dashboard – controlled via a touchpad – alongside a head-up display and “futuristic” interior design on the inside. The prices are not announced but a starting price of around £18,000 seems likely for the Eclipse Cross, similar to its competitors.

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Gardening Hints and Tips - June Aftercare for rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias If the leaves of your camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons have a black, sooty deposit on them, then scale insects – or a similar pest – are probably attacking them. Treat now with a suitable systemic insecticide. Because these plants are shallow rooted they need plenty of regular watering so that they don’t dry out; mulching the soil with composted bark or ericaceous compost will help, too. If they do dry out it can seriously reduce flowering next year. When you water, give them a feed of a rhododendron fertiliser at the same time. Baskets and containers Make the most of your hanging baskets and containers this year and ensure they provide a display to be proud of by using a controlled-release fertiliser and water-retention gel in the compost. Check that hanging basket brackets will hold the weight and replace any that are suspect. You could use self-lowering brackets or install a drip watering system to make watering easier. If you haven’t planted your containers and want instant results, take a look at our ready-planted ones. Cuttings This is a good time to take cuttings of pansies, violas and pinks for a supply of young, vigorous plants for next year. You can strike six or seven cuttings in a 10cm (4 inch) pot using a gritty cuttings compost, or make your own from equal parts peat or coir and sharp sand or vermiculite. Using hormone rooting liquid or powder will improve the results. Furniture & BBQs If you haven’t seen your garden furniture or barbecue since last summer, now’s a good time to rescue them from the back of the shed and give them a good spruce up ready for plenty of outdoor entertaining. We stock a wide range of cleaning and renovating products. And if your furniture and barbecue are past their best then this is a good time to replace them. Greenhouse care As summer temperatures rise, make sure the plants in your greenhouse are looking their best. Shading the glass with Vitax liquid shading or shade netting will help keep temperatures at a bearable level. Automatic vent openers are another worthwhile purchase, as they work even when you’re not at

home. Damping down floors and surfaces will keep humidity high and help deter red spider mite and powdery mildew disease. Pest Watch During the warm days of summer, pests like red spider mite, aphids and whitefly, and diseases like mildew, rust and blackspot can really take hold and get out of control. Check your plants regularly for signs of trouble and deal with it quickly to keepthem strong and healthy. Slugs and snails can also be a problem, so make sure you stock up with your favourite control methods. Plants of the Month Brighten up your garden with our Plants of the Month. During the summer there’s so much to choose from for instant colour, including: roses, buddleia, cistus, deutzia, hebes, philadelphus, lilacs and weigela together with: aquilegia, delphiniums, hardy geraniums, irises and lupins. Take a good look around our planteria for plants looking great now to provide instant colour. Seed Sowing If you need quick growing climbers to hide eyesores or provide summer colour, then try annual climbers. These include morning glory (ipomoea), canary creeper (Tropaeolum perigrinum) and the exotic purple bells of rhodochiton. Don’t forget that the plants will need trellis or a similar support to climb up. And tie in the stems regularly to prevent them becoming tangled and damaged. Spring Bedding Plan ahead for next year’s spring bedding displays. Now’s the time to sow seeds of all your spring favourites, including wallflowers, sweet Williams, polyanthus and primroses and winter-flowering pansies. Some can be sown outdoors in a seed bed, while others will need to be sown indoors with gentle heat. Take a look at the seed varieties we have in stock –and remember to pick up compost, seed trays, small pots, labels and anything else you’ll need for successful sowing.

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Where to go locally...

...local events, clubs & groups

Parent & Toddler Groups (Term Time) Mondays

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


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


9:30am - 11:30am. St Paulinus Church Hall, Manor Road, Crayford. Child - £1 Non Walkers 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - facebook. 1pm-2.30pm Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per com/ToeRags


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


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

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions

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

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. 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


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

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


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


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:


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

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

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

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

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

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


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

Dartford Floral Club

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

The Dartford Chess Club


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

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Where to go locally... Mummy On The Mend


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

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

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

Haven (LGBT) Social Group. London / Kent area. Every Friday - a safe Place to Meet. For more information please contact 01322 287356 or 07503 306467 or email -

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



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.


A support group for parents affected by pre and post natal depression Mondays - 10-11.30am St Peters Church, Pickford Lane, Bexleyheath Kent DA7 4RW Wednesdays (starting 26th April) 9.30-11.30 Tree Estate community hall Tree Estate Dartford Kent DA1 2RG Fridays 12-2pm St Mary’s Church Hall Greenhithe - Mount’s road, Greenhithe Kent DA9 9ND Email for more details.

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

North West Kent Family History Society

The Dartford Branch meet 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 The Annual Hartley Music Festival & Picnic takes place on Sunday, 25th June 2017 at Manor Field, Church Road, Hartley, Kent DA3 8DT at 12noon until 6pm, featuring The Mike Richards Big Band, Mardi Gras Jazz Band, special guest Shane Hampsheir and the Hartley’s community choir – Local Vocals. East Enders star Jamie Foreman will be appearing and there will be all the usual stalls, an auction, raffle, hog roast, Pimms, a classic car display and much more. All proceeds go to the ellenor.x hospice. Tickets at £7.50 available at the gate or £6.50 in advance from Cliftons & Co, Longfield Hardware, Pets Pantry and Image Hair Studio. For more information, call 01474-709068.

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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

The Rotary Club of the North Downs

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

The National Women’s Register

The National Women’s Register (NWR) is a national organisation that meets in the Dartford area. The NWR is a discussion group for ‘lively minded women’. Contact can be made via or call 01603406767 and ask about the Dartford group.


The Rendezvous Club (50+)

Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm Location: Close to Bexleyheath Town Centre Description: We are a (non-profit making) friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. 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


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


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



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 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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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 :

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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 £5.50 per class 07768 447657 for more info

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


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

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

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

01322 221251

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11 15 55

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.


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

Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton .............................................................. 40 Downton Ali Associates..............................................59 GF + Co........................................................................41 Lynton & Co ................................................................4 Quartz Financial Services.............................................19 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, BATHROOMS, KITCHENS & WINDOWS

Affix Windows..............................................................30 Claremont Decorative Services..................................52 Nightingale Bathrooms.................................................5 RB Building..................................................................26 Steve Cook - Double Glazing.......................................23 CONVENIENCE STORE S3 ................................................................................17 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ...........................................31 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. ...................................................17 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians.. ....................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings............................................................7 Fox Estates ..................................................................11 Virotti................................................................13 Wisdom Estates...........................................................34 FARM SHOP/ PICK YOUR OWN Stanhill Farm...............................................................33 FUNERAL SERVICES Stephen P Gay Funeral Services..............................22 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Orchard Garage...........................................................60 Shenley Road Garage...................................................42 GARDENING SERVICES Barge Group................................................................11 HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE The Barge Group.....................................................11 HOTELS Campanile...................................................................4 JEWELLERY

Bradleys..................................................................23 LAW Apex Law.......................................................................6 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...................................................42 MARKETING DL MARKETING AND DESIGN...............................28 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Worried about your childs weight?.............................21 Dartford Bootcamps.....................................................30 Fairfield Leisure Centre...............................................30 Monkey Music............................................................49 Why Weight?...............................................................20 Vibe...............................................................18 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.. ...............................................40 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.............................................................42 RESTURANT Kent Curry....................................................................19 SECURITY Excel Security......................... ..............................43 SPORTS Fairfield Leisure Centre................................................15 RHN Tennis..................................................................27 TREE SURGERY The BARGE Group.................................................11 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .....................................................22

Advertise in the magazine for as little as £30 per month Contact:

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Dartford Living


Call 999 in an Emergency Fire, Police, Ambulance and Coastguard 101 Non Emergency Number for Kent Police Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 111 NHS Non Emergency Number

Useful Numbers KEY NUMBERS Police 01622 690690 NON EMERGENCY ONLY Fire Safety Advice & FREE Home Fire Safety Check 0800 169 1125 Dartford Borough Council 01322 343434 Gas Leaks (24 hour) 0800 111 999 EDF Energy Networks Emergencies/Powercuts Helpline 105 Flooding 03459881180 Highways Kent 03000 41 41 41 Social Services 03000 41 41 41 Water Burst 0800 820 999 (Southern) 0800 714614 (Thames) HEALTH 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 Love Dartford

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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01322 271000    

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

Car MOT Test £30

Bike MOT Test £25

See our independent feedback at: and

Supporting the British Heart Foundation & Dartford Cricket Club

128 Park Road, Dartford, DA1 1SZ

Dartford Living June Issue  
Dartford Living June Issue  

Dartford Living June 17 - Featuring The Art of Autism, Arrow Riding Centre Royal Visit, Dartford Health Walks and much more....