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FREE March 2018 - Issue 141

INSIDE THE MAGAZINE

Bumps, Bubba’s and Beyond p8-9 Community comes out in support of ellenor p28 Ex-Dart running the Marathon p34-35 What’s on Locally Guide p48-56 Post-16 Open Evening Wed March 14, 2018 6-8pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New group opening on 01/01/2018 Dartford Social Club, Lowfield Street, DA1 1HP Monday 7.30pm Kate 07590995948

Albany Hotel 13 Steynton Avenue Bexley, DA 3HN 5.30pm and 7.30pm Del 07975 541082

TUESDAYS Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 10:00 am Paula 07891 424401

THURSDAYS The Howard Venue (formerly South East Dance Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, BR8 7LG 9:30am Caroline 07776 181413

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Gillian 07957 135737

Temple Hill Community Centre Temple Hill Square, Dartford, DA1 5HY 09:30am Jo 07800 797030 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 Baldwyns Baptist Church Dartford Road, Bexley DA5 2AY 5.30pm and 7.30pm Del 07975 541082 FRIDAYS Lesley Close Bourne Road , Bexley DA5 1LX 9am Del 07975 541082 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

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WELCOME TO THE LATEST ISSUE OF

DARTFORD LIVING

BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY Dear Readers, Welcome to the March 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! In case you weren’t aware, we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. It’s the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Please 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! If you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points including Dartford FC, local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Priory Shopping Centre, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, health centres and local Barclays branches. Additionally, if you email editor@dartfordliving.com we will add you to our e-newsletter and you will join 6,000 others who receive a copy of the magazine by email once a month. Until next time, Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living (and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team)

Check out our website for even more local news and articles

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YOUR NEXT DEADLINE IS 12TH MARCH

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 sales@dartfordliving.com David Shafford

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CONTENTS

5........................Dartford News 8-9....................Bumps, Bubba’s and Beyond 11......................Bip Bop Blog 13......................WASPI 14......................Life Under the Stairs 18-19................Travel Spotlight 21......................Gardening with the World Garden 24......................Valley to Paris 25......................Local Sports Clubs 26......................Grant Helps Wellbeing 28......................Community Supports ellenor 29......................Ride4Life 32......................Sports News 34-35.................EX-Dart running the Marathon 36......................Dartford District Schools FA 37......................Darts News 38......................Dartford Boccia Club 41......................Fitness 44......................Theatre Roundup 46......................Car News 47.....................Dartford Living Live 48-56................Where to go locally 57......................Useful Numbers 58......................Advertising Index

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. www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk 3


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NEWS

We love to hear from groups, organisations and individuals about what’s happening locally. Include a photo if you can. Email your stories to editor@dartfordliving.com

Councillor Patsy Thurlow said “I’m actually very proud that one hundred years after the first women were granted their right to vote I had an opportunity to make my own small contribution to marking their struggle with the suggestion that the carpet bed should remember the campaign. Today, women take our place in civic life at local and national level not just as voters but as effective representatives, leaders and even Prime Ministers but these first tentative steps towards equality one hundred years ago deserve to be celebrated.” The carpet bed features flowers in purple and green marking the colour scheme adopted by the Women’s Social and Political Union established by Emmeline Pankurst. To the suffrage movement purple and green stood for dignity and hope. The colours became a familiar, if controversial, sight in towns and cities across Britain in the early years of the twentieth century.

A CELEBRATION OF “VOTES FOR WOMEN” TO BE THE CENTREPIECE OF DARTFORD’S CENTRAL PARK THIS SUMMER. Visitors to Dartford’s Central Park this Summer will be welcomed by a floral reminder of the historic first milestone in the campaign to secure women’s suffrage exactly 100 years ago. Council Leader Jeremy Kite has announced that the park’s popular carpet bed will be dedicated to the Votes for Women campaign that secured the first extension of voting rights to women in 1918. Revealing the design of this year’s flower bed, Jeremy said “We always try to find designs that will speak to lots of people and provoke some thought or delight among the tens of thousands of park users who pass by the bed every year. This year, it was was very fitting that my colleague Patsy Thurlow should suggest a commemoration of the important first steps to equality that were taken in 1918. The bed features one of the traditional ‘Votes for Women’ designs that featured in the suffrage campaign and although the 1918 Act only granted votes to 40% of the adult women in the UK, it was a key milestone in the suffragette’s long struggle.”

The bed will be planted by council gardeners in early Summer and stay in place for the entire season. Information regarding the suffrage campaign will be installed nearby which Councillor Kite hopes will spark and inform conversations across generations about the hard-fought rights of people. He said, “It seems to me that we need more than ever to safeguard the equalities that have been won and continue to push tirelessly for those where they have not been fully secured. The lesson is that every time we fail to recognise any person’s potential it wastes talent, limits ambition and holds every one of us back. In 1918 the issue was the right of women to vote. Today there are new boundaries and it would be nice if even this small commemoration in a town park sparked some thoughtful conversations.”

If you have any news you would like us to publish or would like to write for Dartford Living please contact us: editor@dartfordliving.com

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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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BUMPS, BUBBA’S AND BEYOND by Michelle Deogun

Wow, so where do I start??

granting wishes and organising treats.

The last two years have been a crazy roller-coaster ride since starting Bumps, Bubba’s and Beyond Children’s Markets. We’ve hosted 8 events, raised over £3,000 for local charities and met amazing people along the way.

It is a medical fact that Neuroblastoma Children have little or no immune system so their laughter, smiling, high spirits ensures they battle through harsh chemo and radio therapies.

We’re now into our third year and our first event for 2018 will be for Stacey’s Smiles.

Stacey’s Smiles has created 24 memories since launching in April 2016 which have included sending families to the Stacey’s Smiles Holiday Home in Battle, a Special Go Karting a Birthday, Boogie Storm appearance at a Birthday Party, a Legoland VIP Trip, Football match VIP trips, a Harrods Frozen Makeover and Boxes of Smiles which are given to Children who are restricted to the Hospital. They also have special Children Entertainment Days at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey, where Stacey was treated.

This event will be held at Dartford FC on Sunday 25th March 2018, 1-3pm. Stacey’s Smiles is an amazing charity set up in memory of Stacey Mowle. Stacey from Gravesend was 9 years old when she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma Cancer in 2010. She fought a very brave battle but sadly passed away on the 6th March 2015. Neuroblastoma Cancer is diagnosed to 100 children per year in the UK, 80% under the age of 5 years old and often with a 2 in 10 chance of survival Stacey’s Parents, Warren & Samantha Mowle and their son Jake, older brother to Stacey, wanted to create a special legacy to the Stacey Mowle Appeal so they created “Stacey’s Smiles” as an official charity. Stacey’s Smiles creates special memories for the families of children diagnosed with Neuroblastoma Cancer by 8

This is such an amazing charity and although over the past two years Bumps, Bubba’s and Beyond have raised money for several fantastic charities, Stacey’s Smiles has really touched our hearts. Bumps, Bubba’s and Beyond events are entirely ‘NotFor-Profit’ therefore all money raised goes directly to the nominated charity. Hartbeeps North Kent will also be joining us on March 25th. They’ll be running mini taster classes throughout the afternoon so come down and check them out! I look forward to meeting everyone at our event so we can raise lots of money for Stacey’s Smiles.

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Before I go, I’d also like to mention a HUGE challenge Stacey’s Smiles are undertaking a this year and that is to connect with as many Neuroblastoma Families as possible and raise awareness up and down the country. Steve Nash, from Kent, supports Stacey’s Smiles and is ensuring this happens by running the London Marathon on 22nd April followed just 4 days later, on 26th April by walking from John O Groats to Lands End. That’s 900 miles in 30 days, walking 30 miles per day over 7 days a week. This is a MASSIVE challenge. Incredibly, Steve aims to be back in Kent by the 27th May 2018. Steve would appreciate any help and support with this massive challenge. Here is link to the Facebook event page “Miles4Smiles”: www.facebook.com/events/1787513911323053/ you can also find the link to the Just Giving page on his Facebook page. Stacey’s Smiles are unique because they prefer to shake hands rather than tins and their slogan is “Partners not Pockets” which simply means they do not ask businesses for money they ask initially for their skill set, knowledge, experience, resources, sources, time, suppliers, media platform, website etc. If anyone reading this can be of help to this amazing charity and help spread lots more smiles then please contact Steve Nash on 07494 283 111. www.staceyssmiles.org.uk @staceyssmiles (Twitter)

smile@staceyssmiles.org.uk Lets spread the word about Stacey’s Smiles, support the charity in any way possible and make lots of memories for Neuroblastoma children and their families. Michelle xx

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BIP BOP BLOG by Charlotte Wise

A ‘Hoot’ of a Time at Eagle Heights How are we in March already?! The year is just flying by!

end of the paddock and landed neatly on my arm... unbelievable Jeff!

If you have been following me on social media, you will have seen that my brand new children’s gift website will be going live later this month! Eeeek! So excited and nervous and then excited again! I have so many new gifts to share very soon! If you don’t already follow me, please do @bipbopmum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The launch date is coming later this month! Stay tuned! Speaking of flying though, with the Easter holidays now looming (so early this year!) I thought I would write about a recent trip I had to Eagle Heights in Eynsford where we took part in their Owl Handling Experience. I would never have known this place existed if it weren’t for my Father in Law who found it on a gift experience website. We had no idea this place was on our doorstep! Based in Eynsford, Eagle Heights is a n o t fo r p ro f i t organisation helping the conservation and protection of a variety of birds and other animals. It is also home to Kayla, the famous Eagle and live mascot that flies before every Crystal Palace home game. You can just turn up on the day (adults are £8.95 per person and under 3s are free) or you can book an experience in advance. As well as birds there are huskies, crocodiles, snakes and iguanas to see which make it even more interesting for the little ones and a fun, local alternative to a zoo or farm. Our Owl Handling Experience allowed us to hold a variety of owls including a beautiful Eagle Owl. The one pictured is called Kamara. She flew from one

There is an age restriction for the Owl Handling Experience so our little boy sadly couldn’t take part but fortunately, an exciting flying display with birds of prey followed straight after which he loved. There’s also a separate play area, cafe and guess what mums? - They do birthday parties too! So if you fancy doing something different this Easter - I would definitely recommend Eagle Heights. All proceeds go towards the animals too so it’s a great day out whilst supporting a worthy cause. Special mention to our owl handling instructor, Emma who was so knowledgeable and brought her pet owl for us to hold. In fact, all the staff were lovely and we all had a fantastic time! For more information head over to the Eagle Heights Website www.EagleHeights.co.uk. Hope you all have a lovely Easter and the next time I blog, my new website will be live! Can’t wait for you to see it! Charlotte x www.BipBopShop.com Follow me Facebook/Instagram @bbshopity Twitter @BipBopMum

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1950’S BORN WOMEN AND THEIR STATE PENSION by Shirley Clark

In 1995 and 2011 the Government changed the State Pension Age (SPA) for women born in the 1950s to become equal with men’s SPA.

There are many women born in the 1950s who started working when they were aged 15/16 and, throughout their lives, thought they would receive their State Pension when they reached the age of 60, working for 44/45 years. Men and women should have equal SPAs, but actually women have never been equal during their lives. But from April 2010 the SPA for these women started to rise, unevenly, by up to 6 years. A woman born after 6 October 1954 will have to wait until she is 66 to be eligible to receive her State Pension. That means working for 50/51 years. There are approximately 5,600 women born in the 1950s who are affected by the pension changes in the Dartford area. The changes are being implemented without giving sufficient personal notice of the change to the women. Some notification letters were sent in 2009 and 2012, but even that left very little time to change their future retirement plans, and too late to be able to make meaningful adjustments to their finances.

These women often feel alone, worried and angry. Their future has been thrown into jeopardy which is unsettling and sometimes even poverty. Some recent divorce settlements have been based on a women getting her State Pension at the age of 60. Some have been made redundant and are finding it difficult to get another job. Women contribute a lot to local communities voluntarily, and often care for elderly relatives, grandchildren, neighbours etc. This generation of women feel very let down – they still give, yet they have been denied their State Pension when they need it. WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) helps women born in the 1950s write letters to Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) following the DWP Complaints Procedure. WASPI have local groups across the UK and the world. The WASPI Kent North West group is a friendly group and will welcome any 1950s born women who are

suffering or feel alone. They meet regularly to offer help, support and advice. The next meeting will be on Monday 5 March 2018 at 7pm in The Meeting Place, the Orchards Shopping Centre, Dartford (opposite the rear entrance/exit to Boots). For further information email: waspikentnorthwest@gmail.com

G F K L S C S K C A 27 B B Tel: 01322 224415 royalvictoria.southcoastinns.co.uk RVB Dartford FC Board.indd 1

20/02/2018 09:45

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LIFE UNDER THE STAIRS

by Local Resident, Jane Stevenson VALUE FOR MONEY I am definitely turning into that grumpy old woman you all know and try to avoid.

Much has been made in the news recently of council tax increases in almost 95% of councils. It isn’t a popular topic in this house. We seem to get very little for our hard earned cash. I checked the council website to see how the money is spent, and it was a bit of an eye opener to say the least. For every pound we pay, a whopping 73p goes to the Kent County Council who are responsible for Education, Social Services and Adult Social Care, Community and living, Roads and transport, Environment and Planning, Health and Wellbeing and Leisure and Culture. Funds for Roads and Transport is particularly interesting! Where I live, the drains remain blocked despite contacting the KCC on numerous occasions over time. Whenever we have heavy rain, the road floods and the water runs down my drive, causing flooding in the back garden. Potholes line the roads, and being a semi rural area are often left untended. They get deeper and more dangerous weekly. Should it snow – and it has been trying to – we won’t benefit from the gritting lorries, despite the road being a rat run linking Wilmington to Hawley. We have no bus service other than that serving Hawley Road and Top Dartford Road. KCC seem hell-bent on covering this area with more houses without ensuring there is the infrastructure to serve these communities. I’d like a rebate on my 73p please as I don’t think I’m getting value for money here. Dartford Borough Council gets a measly 10p, as do the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent. DBC is responsible for Community and Housing, Refuse collection and recycling, Environmental services, Housing Benefits, Leisure services, Street cleaning, transportation and parking, Planning services. Despite my feelings about our council and the Tesco fiasco, I can’t say I fare too badly. Street cleaning is infrequent in this neck of the woods and parking in the town seems to be either private and expensive. Minor gripes really. Our refuse collectors are a smashing bunch who turn up when they say and do the job with humour. Lovely blokes. Environmental services called in to remove a wasps nest – spot on. Recycling – well, I’m near a large area where there are a number of bins for clothes, 14

newspapers, bottle etc, so can’t moan about that. I am alarmed at the paltry amount for the Police. It’s long been a whinge of mine that in a town as large as Dartford, and growing exponentially, we have no Police station. Someone, somewhere thought it was a good idea to streamline the service without taking into account the need for a police presence in a growing town. The area the North Kent and Medway Division covers is too large for effective policing in my opinion. It covers a huge swathe of the county from Dartford to Faversham, with neighbourhood policing being carried out at a district level – whatever that is! Crime investigation and emergency response are managed at a central level from the Force Command and Communication Centre (Dartford’s nearest is at Ebbsfleet). At the very least I would expect an ‘emergency response’ to be more local. Sadly I have experience of the length of time police response can take, since this reshuffle. Two family members had need of police assistance in the past. My mother waited two days for someone to come and take details of being robbed in her own garden, while my daughter, threatened and harrassed in a pub, waited over an hour for a police response. I have no axe to grind with the police themselves – they do an excellent job in such straightened circumstances. Yet just think how much better the service could be with a local police station staffed by officers who know the area and its problems. The Fire and Rescue Authority fares even worse. 5p! 2p on average goes to the Town and Parish Councils. Perhaps a rethink is needed about how the Council Tax is spent. Cuts have to be made as this is the way of the world today. Redirecting funds away from some Community and living, Health and Wellbeing and Leisure and Culture projects and towards the emergency services and Police would be a start. Both councils need to think about their priorities and duty towards the townsfolk they are elected to serve. Roll on the warmer weather. Have a good month all.

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TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT LONG HAUL FAMILY HOLIDAYS by Tim Harden

TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT - LONG HAUL FAMILY HOLIDAYS The Mediterranean has long been the staple holiday destination for British families looking for some wellearned Summer Sun. However, for parents who want to mix things up and take their kids on an adventure farther afield there are plenty of options. Whether it’s travel to somewhere exotic and rich in culture or just fun-filled and action-packed, long-haul holidays can be surprisingly family-friendly. Costa Rica

For any family who has a passion for wildlife, Costa Rica has a lot going for it, monkeys swinging in the canopies and sloths lazing in the trees. With activities like ziplining through the rainforest and turtle spotting on the coast. And with British Airways flying direct from London to San Jose, Costa Rica is easily accessible from the UK. Trafalgar has a 7 day Monkeys, Jungles & Volcanoes tour starting from £1,495 for an adult and £1,337 for under-18s.

no signs of abating, and is increasingly shifting focus towards to family travel. With IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Parks & Resorts, KidZania, Wild Wadi waterpark, sand buggy tours of the desert, there is certainly plenty to do. There is also a strong push towards providing more value to families with ‘kids go free’ offers and theme park entrance included. An example of this comes from Gold Medal with a three night stay at Atlantis The Palm in August starting from £529 including complimentary half board and entrance to Aquaventure Waterpark. Thailand A country of variety, Thailand offers both culture, wildlife, and idyllic beaches. Families will love Elephant Hills, a luxury tented camp in Khao Sok where they can feed and wash the elephants. It’s easily combined with a beach break at Khao Lak and both Emirates and Qatar airlines offer flight into Phuket, removing the need to transit through Bangkok. The United States An old favourite with British travellers, Florida has been hugely popular for decades. Recently being named as the best-value long haul destination by the Post Office’s Best Bargains report, Orlando is constantly evolving and offering something new to those who haven’t been in a while. Recent additions include Universal’s Volcano Bay, Lego Ninjago World at Legoland Florida Resort, and Watl Disney World Resort’s magical, bioluminescent land, Pandora – The World of Avatar. However, the rest of the country also offers a massive amount for families. Just think of the Southwest and its cowboy landscapes, canyons and big skies. Utah, Nevada and Arizona make for a great family holiday with visits to the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and the Navajo Nation. Tauck have an eight day Red Rocks & Painted Canyons tour starting from £2,480 per person that makes for an unforgettable family holiday. South Africa

Dubai The expansion of Dubai as a holiday destination shows 18

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Nothing beats Kruger National Park for giving youngsters their first tastes of a safari. To stay in the heart of it, the &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge features family cottages, alongside a ‘wild child’ programme offering baking, village walks and more. Anti-malarial medication is not suitable for under-12s, so the game reserves in the Eastern Cape are a good alternative for younger families. Cruising

aboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, the Family Connected Junior Suites connects three cabins, a junior suite, a studio cabin (meant for one but that can sleep two) and a regular balcony stateroom. NCL’s newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, will have a two-storey electric go-kart race track and double loop waterslides that extend over the side of the ship. A 7 night cruise on the Norwegian Bliss around the Caribbean from Miami starts from £1,729 for a balcony cabin including flights and 1 night in a Miami hotel. These are just half a dozen of the amazing, long-haul destinations that are suitable for families. So maybe consider something more adventurous for your family holiday this year, it’s a big world out there. Tim Harden is the Manager of Harden Holidays, Dartford’s local travel agent, now open in the town centre.

A style of holiday that is becoming much younger in it’s focus, cruising gives families the opportunity to explore a variety of destinations whilst only unpacking once. The features on the larger, modern ships by the like of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival are enough to keep a family entertained without ever disembarking the ship. Cruise lines are not only added more family friendly entertainment but also family cabins. For example,

Call - 0800 023 8974 E-mail - tim@hardenholidays.co.uk Website: www.hardenholidays.co.uk Visit us at: Unit 1B Henley House, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1AS

(Opposite Prospect Place & Costa, next to Subway)

Reynolds Beauty Sixth Form New from September 2018

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GARDENING WITH THE WORLD GARDEN byTom Hart Dyke and the Lullingstone Team

March sees the welcome arrival of Spring and here at The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle it’s a hive of activity in the garden. All our volunteers including Tom are busy making the finishing touches before opening, everyone is still in full flow of pruning duties to ensure everything is looking at its best!

hand with planting advice. Easter is set to be an actionpacked weekend for all the family, with a new Easter trail, scouring the garden and the grounds for clues to be rewarded with an eggtastic surprise, plus the chance to meet some Easter characters! The Café marquee team will be also ready to keep everyone warm with a great choice of food and drinks. Lullingstone Castle is open Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday – 11am – 5pm

Photos Alan Graham

Tom is passionate about trees and this month is an ideal time for planting your new beauties, with the soil still nice and moist, it’s easier to plant them and don’t forget to water them in! It’s also a great time to finish pruning ‘hard fruits’ such as your apple and pear trees, by removing the dead and crossing branches. Tom recommends with fruit trees to prune and reduce last year’s growth by around a third, all encouraging light and air movement for fruit production. Here at Lullingstone, Tom has recently planted for the first time soft fruit trees in the garden (apricots, peaches and nectarines) behind the Potting Shed, so watch this space later in the year for news! Tom’s top tips for soft fruit trees is to fleece them in April and May (if frosts are forecast to prevent flower damage) and ideally grow them against a warm wall, partly for frost protection but also to ripen wood. If it still feels a tad chilly in the garden, get into your green house to start sowing your seeds and plug plants, window sills are also a place for seed filled containers if you are short on space. Spring is the time of year to start thinking ahead for the rest of the gardening calendar, so a great time to order plant catalogues for planting and seed sowing activities later in the year. The World Garden opens for the Spring on Easter Saturday - 31st March and we will have our nursery fully stocked with a variety of plant delights, with Tom and the team on

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EVENTS 5PM RIL -11AM – 1ST & 2ND AP 31ST MARCHuiz EasterEgg Q - 5PM MAY - 11AM 27TH & 28TH kend ee W l Medieva 5PM* – 12 NOON 17TH JUNE den Scheme ar G l Nationa 11AM - 5PM & 1ST JULY 30TH JUNE lly Fire Engine Ra - 5PM UST - 11AM & 27TH AUG 25TH, 26TH rs Weekend Plant Hunte – 11AM - 5PM SEPTEMBER 15TH & 16THebration Weekend Mexican Cel ON - 7PM BER - 12 NO 28TH OCTO ving Event Pumpkin Car Halloween &

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PARIS

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LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS By Brian Downton

DARTFORD PARKRUN Dartford parkrun is a free to enter 5k run every Saturday morning starting by the Dartford harriers track in Central Park at 9am. All participants get a time a position emailed and texted after the event. To register go to www.parkrun.org.uk. Remember to bring your printed Barcode. Every Sunday Morning in the Park there is a Junior parkrun over 2k – registration is the same. SEEDS CYCLING CLUB DARTFORD Seeds is a long established cycling Club in Dartford and we share our headquarters at Hesketh with Dartford Cricket Club. We cater for most abilities and have a social ride most Saturday mornings. For info on joining us please visit our website www.seedscycling.co.uk DARTFORD AND WHITE OAK TRIATHLON CLUB We are the local British Triathlon Federation Club covering Bexley, Dartford and Swanley. We offer coached swimming sessions 3 times per week at White oak pool in Swanley and Fairfield pool in Dartford. Our members compete in many local Triathlons plus many members are training towards Iron Man distance. We also have our own Triathlon in June every year which has been running since 1989. If you are interested in joining us then please visit our website www.dartfordandwhiteoaktri.co.uk Entries are now open for the DWOT club annual triathlon The White Oak Triathlon is one of the oldest Triathlon events in England. Now in its 29th year the event is a club organised event, for triathletes delivered by triathletes so you can be sure that the club focuses upon delivering a first class race experience. This is open to anyone whatever their experience Entries and more info at the following link www.dartfordandwhiteoaktri.co.uk/white-oak-triathlon/ DARTFORD ROAD RUNNERS Dartford Road Runners are based at Princes Park Stadium and are one of the biggest road running clubs in Kent. We currently have about 200 members of all abilities including a beginners group. DRR teams compete in the Kent League, the Assembly League and the Kent Fitness League. To see what we offer and how to join us please visit our website – anyone is welcome to join us with all abilities. dartfordroadrunners.co.uk/node/440 Joydens Wood summer series – First race will be Wednesday 30th May 2018 at 7.15pm and is open to anyone – save the date and

entry forms will be available soon Run Dartford Series 2018 again sponsored by Downton and Ali Associates – First of the 5 races will be on Friday April 20th on Dartford Heath – save the date and entries will be open soon DARTFORD HARRIERS ATHLETICS CLUB Dartford Harriers is among the leading athletics clubs in Kent, with a history stretching back to the 1920′s, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country. If you are interested in seeing how we can help you advance your Athletics then please visit our website www.dartfordharriersac.co.uk The Dartford Half Marathon is one of the longest-running events of its kind. We warmly welcome runners of all ages and abilities to enjoy a mix of urban and rural running through lanes paved with the enthusiasm of our dedicated volunteers. Your participation in this event also supports athletics in the local community as well as a number of nominated charities. This year’s event is on the 11th March and entries are still open at: www.dartfordhalfmarathon.co.uk CENTRAL PARK ATHLETICS CLUB We are situated in Dartford’s outstanding Central Park, and can provide access to a state of the art running track (relaid in 2015) and the full range of track and field facilities for just £4.50 per session (we offer discounted annual memberships). Refreshments and changing facilities are also available. For no extra charge, we hold coached track sessions on Wednesday evenings for runners of all abilities. This is a tough but very popular way to increase your stamina and running technique, and you’ll be in the company of qualified coaches and some of the friendliest runners around. For more information please visit our website centralparkathletics.co.uk SO LETS GO RUNNING (SLGR) SLGR is a local running club with structured training sessions designed to improve runners speed and stamina. There are currently four runs available with more starting soon; see below for more details. The Run leaders for each group are as follows; Dartford Cricket Club, Dartford - Dawn & Brian Cyclopark, Gravesend - Dawn & Brian New runners are always welcome and you can contact Brian if you would like more information; see contact details and e-mail link on Our Group page.

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CLAREMONT DECORATIVE SERVICES • ALL TYPES OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DECORATING • AROUND THE HOUSE MAINTENANCE JOBS • FREE ESTIMATES • REFERENCES AVAILABLE • RELIABLE, INEXPENSIVE AND QUALITY WORK BY LOCAL TRADESMEN CAN WE HELP YOU?

Please call Mike or John on: Tel 01322 406439 / 01322 525708 Mobile: 07742 085333 Email: mikeperry5001@aol.com Partners: Mike Perry and John Petherick

Spring Ball Black Tie

Friday 23rd March 2018 6:30pm to Midnight Raising Funds for

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Tickets £35 or £350 for a Table of 10 3 Course Meal, Live Music, Magician, Roulette Table, Raffle, Photo Boothe, Charity Aution & an art Exhibition by local Artist Dartford Football Club, Princes Park, Dartford DA1 1RT Contact Brian for further info brian@downtonandali.co.uk - 07956 217 716

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COMMUNITY COMES OUT IN SUPPORT OF ELLENOR By Basia Wilson

Staff at ellenor hospice, Gravesend were devastated to discover that on Tuesday evening, 30 January, thieves removed the catalytic convertors from the exhaust systems of two of their minibuses which have rendered the vehicles inoperable. This has meant that a large number of patients were unable to access the hospice’s day and well being services. The vandalism sparked an outpouring of support from across the local community, which supports patients and their families living with a terminal illness. Hundreds of kind messages and offers of help were received and showed a remarkable sense of community spirit and the high regard in which ellenor is held by the local community. People come to ellenor for a range of support, which is open not only to patients facing a terminal illness or a life-limiting condition, but also to their families. Volunteer drivers use the specially adapted vehicles to collect patients in the community who may be very ill, have mobility problems or might be elderly or frail and bring them to ellenor for Day hospice care and other services. 28

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our local community, and their passionate support to ellenor. We raised an incredible £10,000 and would like to offer our sincerest thanks to everyone in the community who donated to our Just Giving page enabling us to continue our vital care - their generosity will make a real difference. Both minibuses are now back on the road and will enable us to offer ellenor patients improved access to our personalised care. We also would like to take this opportunity to thank ProtectAVan Brentwood, Mr Clutch Gravesend and Northfleet & Windmill Masonic Lodges” says Jacquie Hackett Director of Patient Care. ellenor is committed to providing quality care and support to both children and adults in the hospice and in the home, while enhancing comfort, dignity, choice and quality of life. The hospice supports patients for the duration of their illness, continuing on with the surviving family with bereavement support. The hospice serves all members of the community who have a life limiting or terminal illness with no fee for any services.

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RIDE FOR LIFE CYCLE CHALLENGE by Sally George

Join our Ride4Life cycle challenge from Darent Valley Hospital to Paris, and achieve something amazing in 2018! Make new friendships and unforgettable memories, whilst supporting Valley Hospital Charity to deliver the best patient care at your local hospital.

quaint hamlets with plenty of photo opportunities. You’ll need to work together to tackle the challenging climbs, before relaxing into the exhilarating downs. The evenings at the hotels will be spent replaying the day’s adventures over good food, great company, and just a splash of vin! You’ll reach Paris on day 4 where the sense of team achievement and emotions will be running high! Friends and family are welcome to join you for the celebration meal in Paris on Saturday evening, and you’ll be free on Sunday 23rd September 2018 to explore the French Capital, before catching the Eurostar home to Ebbsfleet, where you’ll be reunited with you bike. If you would like to find out more or to request an Enquiry Park please call: 01322 428256, email: dgn-tr.fundraising@ nhs.net You can sign up online today at www.dvh.nhs. uk/ride4life We look forward to welcoming you to the team!

Following the success of our inaugural event in September 2017, we are looking to return to Paris with an even bigger team this year. You’ll set off bright and early from the Hospital on Wednesday 19th September 2018, following a briefing and guidance from our expert Tour Operator: Discover Adventure, who will be on hand with technical and medical support throughout the 4 day ride. You’ll experience the undulating Kent countryside as you reach the White Cliffs of Dover and relax on the ferry ride to Calais. The next few days will be full of beautiful scenery; rugged farm land, and www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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SPORTS NEWS Bav’s Sporting Comment

The Olympics are supposed to be an opportunity to “contribute to building a peaceful and better world” by bringing countries together under the umbrella of Sport. That mission, however, has frequently been undermined by real-world politics. Will it be the same in South Korea, Pyeongchang this time around? South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife shook hands with Kim Yong Nam, the most senior North Korean delegate, at the opening ceremony. This is the first time since the Korean war that South Korea has welcomed a North Korean delegation. The handshake was a significant diplomatic signal. Even more stunning was that North and South Korea marched under the same flag of a unified Korea during the Olympic parade. Deepening the relationship, South and North Korea have assembled a co-country women’s hockey team that will play together in the games. South Korea was ranked last in the sport coming into the games, so the combination should not be harmful to the country’s outcome!

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

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

UPCOMING EVENTS IN MARCH INCLUDE: 2-4: Athletics - World Indoor Championships, Birmingham 9-18: Winter Paralympics, Pyeongchang, South Korea 10: Rugby union - Six Nations - Ireland v Scotland, France v England 11: Rugby union - Six Nations - Wales v Italy 13-16: Horse racing - Cheltenham Festival 17: Rugby union - Six Nations final round - Italy v Scotland, England v Ireland, Wales v France 22-26: Cricket - New Zealand v England, first Test (d/n), Auckland 23: Football - Netherlands v England, Amsterdam Arena 25: Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne 27: Football - England v Italy, Wembley 30 Mar-3 Apr: Cricket - New Zealand v England, second Test, Christchurch (starts 22:00 GMT on 29 Mar) 31: Boxing - Heavyweight unification, Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker, Principality Stadium, Cardiff 32

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DARTFORD BOOTCAMPS Outdoor Bootcamp classes Bootcamp Strength Sessions Animal Flow (indoors) Personal Training and Nutrition Coaching also available.

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EX-DART RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON by James Sanwell

For those of you who do not know, Ted Ansell is a former Dartford FC player and now a local business owner, he runs Priory Flowers in the Priory Shopping Centre. He is also taking part in the 2018 London Marathon raising money for Children with Cancer. Dartford Living caught up with Ted to discuss his time playing for Dartford and his marathon run. You started out for Dartford in the reserves, before making it to the first team. Did you feel a sense of accomplishment when the opportunity came about? Coming through the ranks was great, but I didn’t realise at the time what a great club I was going to be playing for. I still remember my first game, we were away at Fisher and we drew 1-1 after having 2 men sent off! I had provided the assist for Paul McCarthy, who flattened me when celebrating! Throughout your career who was the best opposition player you came up against? No one ever really stood out to be honest, I played against a host of ex-pros, but I was never over awed by anyone, regardless of who they played for. I was happy to fly into anyone! Looking back at your career, who would be the best footballer you played with? Paul Sykes, without a doubt. He wasn’t the most gifted footballer I played with, but he was someone you would want to go to war with. His attitude was first class and he set an exemplary example on and off the pitch. I really looked up to him. Was there a particular Dartford game that has stuck with you? Obviously my Debut, but that aside it would be the goal I scored against Ilford Town. Every time I talk about it, it gets further out, so let’s just say it was a 30 yard half volley that went top corner! I remember this mainly because long standing supporter John Hoverd, had bet me £50 that I wouldn’t score a better goal than the one I got a few weeks earlier. Despite me not wanting to take the money, he made me, and we still talk about it today. What do you remember about the opening of Princes Park? Was it great to be involved? 34

I was gutted, I had just come back from yet another injury, but wasn’t deemed fit enough to even make the bench. I was still involved on the day, and I remember as the coach went through the town, two of the girls who work for us (Priory Flowers, shameless plug!) brought out a banner with “WE LOVE YOU TEDDY” written on it. Needless to say I received some stick from the lads for that. Since retiring from football have you stayed in the game at all? Who said I’d retired? I’m like Rocky Balboa, I’ve still got a good 90 minutes in me, although they might have to spread across 10 appearances! So if you need me Tony, you know where I am! Have you been back to Princes Park as a fan? Unfortunately not, I work Saturdays now, but am always kept up to date with what’s going

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on by the fans who come past the shop. What do you think of the season so far for Dartford? I think they are doing well, and hopefully the squad can stay fit, and push for a promotion this season. Some may not know but you also ran the 2017 London Marathon, raising over £2500 for charity, congratulations. What are your hopes for this year? Last year was amazing and I managed to get under my target time of 4 hours, with very little training. So this year I’ll be running it again with a bit more training under my belt. So watch out Mo Farah! I will be running for Children with Cancer again, so any donations will be gratefully received.

remember him travelling to every game, screaming his head off. I wished that I believed in myself as much as he believed in me, because if I did, who knows what I would have achieved in the game. This year I am running a raffle in partnership with my family business, Priory Flowers. For everyone that donates at least £2, they will be entered into a raffle to win FREE FLOWERS FOR A YEAR! This will be a bouquet of flowers once a month for 12 months. The draw for the raffle will take place on Monday 1st May 2018, and will be shown live on our Facebook page.

Who was your biggest influence in football? I have two. My first is Tommy Sampson, he is the manager that I loved to hate. He gave me my debut and I will never forget that. Whatever people think of him, he managed to keep Dartford playing at a decent level, on a tiny budget. A true legend of the game. The other is Dad. Those who know him will www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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DARTFORD DISTRICT SCHOOLS FA By Darren Phillips

Dartford District Schools FA were invited to play in the Cobham Cup at the training ground of Chelsea FC. The 13 boys who attended Cobham Cup on Friday 16th Feb with Mr Kitchener from Hextable Primary did themselves proud against seven other districts. The boys qualified in 2nd place in their group with three draws against Newham, Wandsworth and Wokingham Schools. They eventually reached the semi finals losing out to Thurrock 2-0.

Spice (Fleetdown), Liam Stephens (Darenth), Shane Nti (Holy Trinity), Harvey Jackson (Oakfield), Scott Nicklin (Oakfield), Bowe Hardy (Sutton at Hone), Jarvis Stockford (West Hill), Toby Clarke (Maypole), Frank Marriner (Joydens Wood)

Dartford Squad; Reece Demarzo (Maypole), Harvey Syrett (Gateway), Charlie Bygrave (Gateway), Brandon Barrance (Gateway), Billy

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DARTS NEWS By David Shafford

the Official away shirt sponsor for two seasons commencing 2018/19 Season. And for a limited time only next season is discounted to facilitate an early deal. For more details please contact Jack Smedley on 01322 299993 or visit our website on www.dartfordfc.com/sponsorship/

WARBLER MASCOT

Dartford have teamed up with local author/ Illustrator Joe Hopkins to design a new mascot for the club. The mascot is based on the Dartford Warbler. The mascot currently doesn’t have a name and this is where you come in. Email your name suggestions to programme@dartfordfc.com. The club will then chose the top 3 names. These will be put out to a vote and the people who chose the winning name will be entered into a draw to win a family ticket to our final game of the season. We have already had a large number of name suggestions from Watling and Wally to Tony McBirdman and Dart. Keep the entries coming in.

AWAY SHIRT SPONSORSHIP

Want to raise your brand profile? An exciting opportunity has arisen to become associated with the table topping Dartford FC by becoming

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DARTFORD BOCCIA CLUB By Judith Maskell

Dartford Boccia Club is 4 years old this April. It was set up by parents in and around Dartford who felt existing social facilities did not suit their children, some of whom are disabled. After a group meeting with the children’s minister and other local councillors we were encouraged by Mike Bishop of Kent Sport to create a new Boccia group as it is ideal for disabled and non-disabled persons of all ages to play together. Mike equipped us with a set of Boccia balls and we began fortnightly sessions at Peppercorns in Orchard Street Dartford. When Fairfields refurb was complete, we moved over to their facilities as our club had outgrown Peppercorns. We have been lucky enough to have from the start an experienced coach who guides our players and deputy coach with the game rules. We have played competitive games with other national teams and have been affiliated with Boccia England for a few years now. At the end of last year we applied for and was awarded a grant from the Dartford Big Local Community Chest which enabled our club to purchase some new quality Boccia balls, club polo shirts with the Boccia club logo and various other Boccia related items from Boccia England. One of our members Gabby had this to say about the club. “I have been attending for just over a year and have found the club welcoming from the start! I enjoy the sport as its carefree and has an element of competitiveness without being too difficult! I am now entering competitions and the club has been encouraging and supportive. Would highly recommend the club!”

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Stephen P. Gay

Historical Military Themed Tours for Clubs, Groups and Societies

Funeral Service

The only independently owned and family run funeral directors in Longfield, Dartford and the surrounding villages Especially for the first time, any time of the day or night you can talk to us We will attend to everything We will liaise with doctors, coroners, hospitals, churches, celebrants and ministers We have a private chapel of rest and can provide a fleet of Hearses and Limousines to compliment a dignified occasion Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament Dartford, will be available to meet with constituents on the Weforalso provide: 24 hour personal service following dates: Home visits

Experienced staff members Funeral plans Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm – 7.00 pm - Appointment required) Worldwide repatriation Obituaries rd

25 Station Road, Longfield, DA3 7QD

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

01474 700194

Legacy offers a range of military themed tours from a day trip to the scene of the Battle of Hastings, to bespoke tours to the WWI and WWII battlegrounds of Belgium and France from as little as £39 per person. • Luxury Coach Travel • Local Collection Points • The Services of an Expert Battlefield Tour Guide

Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament fordetails Dartford, will be For further please contact • Channel Tunnel Crossings Steve available to meet with constituents onHookins the following dates: (where applicable) • Accommodation (B&B

65 Darenth Road, Dartford, DA1 1LU

01322 617499

24 Hour Open Surgery –available (no appointment necessary) Parking on site

Legacy Historical Services Ltd

Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm – 7.00Room pm -9,Appointment required) basis) (where applicable) 145 Nathan Way, Thamesmead SE28 0AB Friday 9th March Friday 20thTelephone: April 0208 311 5309 Friday 18thMobile: May 07783 021508 Friday 8th June Friday 6thEmail: July legacy@lewiscoaches.co.uk www.legacyhs.co.uk

Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford – Saturday 15th July Email: longfield@stephenpgay.co.uk dartford@stephenpgay.co.uk

If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment based surgeries in the future, please www.stephenpgayfunerals.co.uk contact him at gareth.johnson.mp@parliament.uk or telephone 020 7219 7047.

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

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FITNESS: REVIEWING YOUR GOALS AND TRACKING PROGRESS By Mark Broadbent Many people who start training without the guidance of a good coach tend to fall into the same trap of trying to progress too fast or even starting with completely unrealistic expectations. With all of the fancy, gimmicky kit that’s available in most gyms now, and the internet giving us insane exercise ideas that look cool, but are, in reality, just stupid, people are trying exercises that they’re just not ready for and not only are they not getting the results they want, they may even be getting injured. I’ve seen many coaches/trainers who are also guilty of this – using crazy exercises or training methods with clients who aren’t ready for it, just so they can be seen as the trainer who does all the “cool” stuff with his/her clients. The most important thing is to start with what you can do. It’s important to challenge yourself and not go too easy, but start small and with basic exercises. Step One is to ensure you have the mobility and flexibility to do the exercise you’re using. If you can’t do a deep, bodyweight squat for example, you’ve got no reason to be adding weight to a bar and squatting with that. It’s an injury waiting to happen and, at best, you just won’t get the results you’re aiming for from it. Pick whatever exercises you plan to do (make informed decisions on this, don’t just pick random exercises you’ve seen people do or that look cool), and set out to achieve the required flexibility to perform these exercises correctly, with perfect form. Step Two, once you’ve achieved the required mobility, is to perform the exercises with light weight for a good number of repetitions to condition that movement with some weight, and drill the technique a bit more. This will prepare your body for heavier weights to eventually follow. Without this, your technique will almost certainly fail as soon as you increase the weight putting you in danger of injuries. Step Three, only to be done after achieving the required mobility and “practicing” the exercises with perfect form

and light weights, is to challenge yourself with slightly heavier weights but maintaining perfect technique. These weights may be lighter than you expect in order to keep good technique, but that will get you better results in a safer manner. Weights will eventually increase more and more, but don’t rush this. Just completing a set with a weight doesn’t mean you can progress to heavier weights. Completing a set perfectly with a weight does qualify you to progress (if you want to – it’s not always necessary). There are also other ways to progress an exercise beyond just increasing the weight (sets, reps, tempo, rest periods etc.). Step Four isn’t completely necessary either, but once you’ve reached a good level of proficiency in your training and have good body awareness and control, then you can start to introduce some of the more “sexy” exercises. But the basics are enough for the majority of people. To summarise, your training should follow a set pattern. First ensure your body can do the exercises unweighted (mobility); then drill the exercise with no/light weights to strengthen the movement pattern; then [gradually] increase the weight whilst maintaining good technique. It may take some time, but you’ll be in a far better position for it, and time lost to injury is worse than progressing steadily. Building a solid foundation will pay dividends later on. Pick appropriate exercises for your goals and get to work! If you need help, get in touch for Personal Training via www. MarkOneFitness.co.uk or www.DartfordBootcamps.com Train safe! Mark Broadbent

www.DartfordBootcamps.com MarkOneFitness.blogspot.co.uk

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THEATRE ROUNDUP By Liz Dyer

It may be only four weeks long, but Dartford’s managed to pack a lot of entertainment in this February, with highlights at the Orchard including the gasp-inducing Cirque Berserk, family fun in David Walliams’ Awful Auntie, and classic rock n roll with the King himself in This Is Elvis. March’s family entertainment comes in the form of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Tiddler and other Terrific Tales (1st-3rd), brought to us by the award-winning team behind Stick Man Live. The colourful stories and characters will come to life through live music and puppetry, with plenty to delight kids and grownups alike. Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching, and if you’re looking for something different to the usual flowers and chocolates, why not treat Mum to a mystery thriller? The world premiere of Ruth Rendell’s Gallowglass (6th-10th) is the latest production from Middle Ground Theatre Company, who we saw in Dartford last year with A Murder is Announced, and features a host of familiar faces, including Emmerdale’s Paul Opacic and Waterloo Road’s Dean Smith. The drama doesn’t stop there - hot on their heels is classic gothic horror story Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (13th-17th), starring Phil Daniels as both the upstanding Dr Jekyll and his villainous alter ego, Mr Hyde. Not only does this look like a great show, it also comes with a Tell A Tale creative

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writing competition for aspiring authors - check out the Orchard website for more details. For something a bit less scary but no doubt just as thrilling (and possibly more up your Mum’s street), formerly Strictly favourites Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace return to the Orchard this month with their latest show, Tango Moderno (20th-24th). Anyone who’s seen these dance partners of over two decades perform together will know how incredible they are - if you’ve never had the opportunity, grab this one! Finally, bringing an action-packed month to a close, a chance to celebrate the music of the legendary Michael Jackson in Thriller Live (26th-31st). The show comes direct from the West End, where it’s now in its record-breaking 9th year - now it’s Dartford’s turn to join over 4 million people worldwide who have enjoyed this spectacular concert. And if that’s not enough Jacko for you, why not join the Thriller singing workshop on 31st March and belt out the classic hits one more time? Whatever you see at the theatre this month - enjoy! For London and local theatre reviews, visit theblogoftheatrethings.com

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COMPETITION

Lovingly ripped off from the hugely successful 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this spammier than ever production is a riotous comedy full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns and ferocious Frenchmen. TUE 24 - SAT 28 APRIL 2018 To book tickets visit orchardtheatreo.uk | Ticket Office: 01322 220000 We have teamed up with The Orchard Theatre to offer a family ticket to the opening night of Spamalot Tues 24 April at 7.30pm (worth nearly £150) To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question... Which film is the musical Spamalot based on? a) Monty Python and the Holy Pail b) Monty Python and the Holy Snail c) Monty Python and the Holy Grail Closing date 15th March

RUES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered.. 4. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 5. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 6. Closing date for the competition is stated above. 6. Unless you advise otherwise we can use your email to send you promotional material from Dartford Living.

NEW SATURDAY OPPORTUNITY

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Would you like to improve the community’s green spaces for people and wildlife? This new weekend opportunity is new for Spring 2018

If you prefer email: Meet our friendly team and sara.spellman@kent.gov come and see what we are .uk all about! www.dartfordlivinglive.co.uk - www.dartfordliving.com - www.dartfordbusinessdirectory.co.uk

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CAR NEWS - MARCH 2018 By Dhiren Ganesh

In this month’s article we’ll bring you new model versions available in 2018 from different classes including a luxury a new SUV model.

2018 Mercedes A-Class – The five-door A-Class is bigger in almost every respect compared with the old car and those larger dimensions serve two purposes: they give the car more space inside but especially in the rear and it enhances its aggressive looks. The rear doors are now bigger to get in and out easier and there’s also more space for your luggage in the boot. The biggest changes for the new A-Class are inside, where the car comes with the same dual-screen infotainment set-up. Two 7.0in screens housed within a single black frame – with one given over to digital instruments and the other handling sat-nav – come as standard. Three engines will be offered from launch - 1.5-litre A180 diesel (114bhp), 1.4-litre A200 (160bhp) and 2.0-litre A250 (221bhp). Prices for the manual A180d will start at £24,000, making the A-Class significantly more expensive than both the A3 Sportback and 1 Series. It will be on sale from June 2018.

2018 Lexus CT 200h – This is the updated CT 200h. Lexus has applied light visual tweaks to the exterior, 46

centred around a new mesh front grille and new metallic grey surrounds for the fog lights. At the rear, the car gets new L-shaped details in its tail-lights and a reshaped bumper with a grey lower section. Inside, a new 10.3in infotainment touchscreen with satellite navigation has been added to the centre console on all but the entry model. That variant, the SE, sticks with the 7.0in screen of the old car and doesn’t come with sat-nav. It will also come with the brand’s Safety System+, which includes a pre-collision braking system that works between 6mph and 50mph and can recognise obstacles including pedestrians. The entry-level SE comes with dual-zone air conditioning, 16in alloy wheels and rain-sensing wipers, as well as a reversing camera and six-speaker audio system. No changes have been made to the CT 200h’s petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain. It is available to order now priced from £23,495.

2018 Lamborghini Urus – Lamborghini first showcased its ambitions to build a new SUV in 2012. The imposing Urus features plenty of design traits from Lamborghini’s supercar range, including the company’s thin LED lights, widened wheel arches and bold front and rear bumpers. The Urus has a 12.3in digital instrument cluster, which can put key information, such as the sat-nav map, directly in front of the driver. Electrically adjustable, heated leather seats are standard, while the rear seats can either be specified as a three-seat bench or as two individual seats. Powering the Urus is a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine producing 641bhp. That’s enough to propel the fourwheel-drive Urus from 0-62mph in 3.6sec – faster than most versions of the Porsche 911 sports car – and on to a top speed of 190mph. Prices have yet to be finalised, but officials say a starting price of around £165,000 is likely and will be available to order from Spring 2018.

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Parent and Toddler Groups - Term Time Only

MONDAYS 9:15am - 11:00am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. £2.00 per one adult and child and 50p for any extra children or adults each. Tea/coffee biscuits, small snack for children with juice. Toast 20p per slice Craft table and singing and dancing at end of session Contact Julie on 01322 291092. TUESDAYS Session 1: 9.15-10.45am, and Session 2: 11-12.30pm. Christchurch, Crossroad, Dartford. Contact Catherine on 01322 220036. 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 for further information. 9.30am-11.30am Sticky Fingers - £1.50 per adult includes tea ,biscuits and healthy snack time for the children For pre school children up to 4 years St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall London Road Greenhithe Contact 01322 382031 or see www.stmarygreenhithe.com WEDNESDAYS 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 for further information. 10am -12pm - Little Angels Net Church, (Formerly Gala Bingo Hall) Dartford, £3 per family including all snacks and drinks. John 01322 272649. 12:45pm -2.45pm - Fleetdown Open House - Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale Road, Dartford, DA2 6JZ £2.50 per Adult THURSDAYS 9:30am - 11:30am. St Paulinus Church Hall, Manor Road, Crayford. 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - facebook.com/ ToeRags 1pm-2.30pm Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - facebook.com/ToeRags FRIDAYS 9.30am-11am Baby and me for expectant mothers and mothers / carers of chidren up to 2. £1 per adult St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 or see www.stmarygreenhithe.com 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers facebook.com/ToeRags 9.30am-11.30am Carer & Toddler Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Stone Place Rd, Greenhithe. Jeanne 01322 380322 jeannehoadley@yahoo.co.uk 1-3pm Gigglekidz, Tree Estate Community Centre on Cedar Road - £2 Per Child SATURDAYS 9.30am-11.30am Daddy and Me - A group for dads and male carers of children up to 5years. £1.50 includes healthy snack time for the children. St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 or see www. stmarygreenhithe.com

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

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

a b c +=

LITTLE BRIGHT SPARKS Fun phonics, literacy and numeracy classes for 2-4 year olds. Held in West Kingsdown on Tuesdays at 1.15 and Wednesdays at 12.12 £6.95 per class one to one tuition also available for 2-7 year olds. 07768 447657 for more info www.facebook.com/littlebrightsparks http://www.babysign.org.uk/

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

Come along and join in the fun! Term time only For more information please call 03000 41 31 31 48 Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Groups and Clubs

THE NORTH WEST KENT BRANCH OF THE MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE ASSOCIATION meets at 8pm on the 4th Wednesday evening of each month in the PopIn 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. ALL DIRECTIONS 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.

p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@hotmail.co.uk 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 www. northkentembroiderers.co.uk or phone 01474324734. THE GARDENING CLUB SUTTON AT HONE Monthly meetings, Visits to Gardens, Annual Garden Show and much more. For more information or to become a member please ring 01322 863556. AGE UK, CRAYFORD LIBRARY POP IN PARLOUR COFFEE MORNING every Friday morning 10.30 - 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1

BEXLEY AND DARTFORD BRANCH PARKINSONS UK For people with Parkinsons and their carers. We have 2 meetings per month. Bexley: 4th Thursday JUST FOR GROWN UPS GROUP of each month, at Pincott Hall, 2-4pm. Dartford: 2nd We are a small friendly group who meet at the Meeting Place Thursday of each month, Mick Jagger Centre, 7.30-9.30pm. in the Orchards Shopping Centre on the first Tuesday of the Information support workers available, guest speakers and month. Join us any time between 11am and 1pm for a social quizzes. chat, coffee and biscuits or a fun quiz. For more information Contact Wendy Leach.  Tel:  02083065973 contact mikeansell.dt@hotmail.co.uk MODERN LINEDANCING CLASSES SHORNE FLOWER ARRANGERS St Michael & All Angels Church Hall, DA2 7EG Our Club presents a programme of workshops and Wednesdays 1pm - 2pm. Fun, social class demonstrations in a very informal and friendly atmosphere. learning routines from differing genres to popular music We meet on the last Thursday of each month except providing exercise for body and brain. No dance experience December. Shorne Village Hall, The Street, Shorne. DA12 or partners necessary. Contact Kay 01322 276528 3EA. Visitors are always made very welcome, entry £3. We have 30 members and look forward to welcoming anyone BEXLEY PHILATELIC SOCIETY who loves flowers. The Club provides an opportunity for Meetings first and third Friday of the month at Freemantle people to be creative, make friends. Hall, Bexley village, 7:30 for 7:45 start. Covering stamps For further information please phone 01474 353405 or and postal history, meetings offer displays, auctions, email landaclatworthy@btinternet.com competitions, and convivial atmosphere. More information on www.bexleyps.org.uk 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 50

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DARTFORD BRIDGE CLUB meets every Tuesday evening at 7.00 pm at Wilmington Christian Fellowship Church Hall, Broad Lane, Wilmington DA2 7AQ. We are seeking new members at all levels to play Duplicate Bridge -cost £2 per session. Enquiries: contact John Davies on 01474 832221 or e-mail carolandjohnd@tiscali.co.uk 20S 30S DARTFORD BEXLEYHEATH SURROUNDING AREAS SOCIAL GROUP more information visit: www.meetup.com/20s-30s-Dartford-Bexleyheathsurrounding-areas-social-group/ DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE) meets on the first Tuesday of every month (except August) at St Anselm’s Church Hall, West Hill, Dartford at 2pm, For information about meetings and interest groups call 01474-709068 or visit our website. THE DARTFORD STROKE GROUP This group meets Monday afternoons at the YMCA Roundhouse, Overy Street, Dartford for a chat in a relaxing atmosphere, chair-based excise sessions, stroke leaflets and magazines, informal workshops, special art or games sessions and outings. It is aimed at Stroke Survivors, their carers, family and friends. Please contact Theo Hodges on Theo.Hodges@gmail. com or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68296 for more details and current dates of our events and meetings DARTFORD FLORAL CLUB The club meet on the 3rd Friday of the month at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Rd.(opp Papermakers Arms) at 7.30 Come along for an evening of beautiful flowers, fun and friendship. Entrance £6.00, refreshments and a raffle with the chance to take home a beautiful floral arrangement. Contact Chris 01322 836026 DARTFORD QUILTERS meet on the 2nd Saturday of each month at the Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherds Lane, Dartford. We run a varied programme of activities suitable for the beginner through to the more experienced quilter. More details can be obtained from the club secretary on 01474 834872 DARTFORD BOOKS AND CULTURE CLUB meets once a month on Saturday mornings at Dartford Library. For more information, find us at www.meetup. com/West-Kent-Book-Club/ THE DARTFORD CHESS CLUB The club meets every Thursday evening from 7.30pm at

St Anselms Parish Hall, West Hill and was founded 100 years ago in 1914. All queries to Mike Wiltshire at 01322 272152 or visit www.dartfordchessclub.co.uk 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 guitarsinshadows@hotmail.com COLUMBINE CHINA PAINTERS CLUB 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. WEST HILL MORRIS 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 alisondukes@btinternet.com THE WELLBEING LINK The Wellbeing Link meets on Friday mornings from 10-1pm in the St. Anselm’s Parish Centre, 89 West Hill, Dartford A friendly and informative group - call Julie On 07775875585 STIMUL8 ACTIVITY SERVICE

I provide all the equipment, materials and refreshments with just a small all inclusive, pay as you go, fee of £10.00 per person per session. Those who come have the opportunity to learn painting with watercolours, acrylics, inks and how to draw with pencils, soft pastels, oil pastels, charcoals, watercolour pencils, fabric pens, plus basics of sculpting and have the opportunity to sign up to additional floral workshops I offer too. www.stimul8-activityservice.co.uk

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Groups and Clubs

TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES The group meet every week at Towncentric in Gravesend and this year we are looking at Everyday Life in Medieval London. We meet every Thursday from 10.30-12.30 at £6.00 per week customers can phone me on 01474 355676 for more information or look at my website www.tonimount.co.uk DSTC ALUMNI 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!! www.facebook.com/groups/DSTCAlumni 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 c_sawyers@hotmail.com. CRAYFORD TOWN ARCHIVE incorporating Barnehurst and Slade Green. Meet every Monday (except the third Monday) of the month at Crayford Library hall - 2pm-4pm. Call in for a chat about old Crayford and to view the large collection of local images, or bring your own for us to copy. TALK TIME TUESDAY 2.00 - 3.00PM (TERM TIME ONLY) Fleetdown Library Everybody welcome, join us for a friendly chat and light refreshments. HAVEN (LGBT) SOCIAL GROUP. London / Kent area. Every Friday - a safe Place to Meet. For more information please contact 01322 287356 or 07503 306467 or email - havenx35@gmail.com SCRAPPY DAYS! A SCRAPBOOKING GROUP is being held at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Road, 52

Dartford, DA2 7RB on the 2nd Sunday of the month between 2pm and 6:30pm. It costs £6 which includes refreshments, nibbles and the use of a cricut (cutting machine for those that don’t know). Beginners are very welcome. Contact Michelle on 07910 488428 or email scrappydays@hotmail.co.uk PAVILION PLAYERS Is an amateur dramatics group based at the Joydens Wood Community Centre, Wilmington, Kent. We meet every Tuesday from 8-10pm. For more information please visit www.facebook.com/pavilionplayers or call us on 07505 006539. Alternatively just pop down on a Tuesday night! Everyone welcome! DARTFORD BELLRINGERS Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Wednesdays 8.009.30p.m. Free tuition with a very friendly, sociable group. The ideal way to make new friends. Phone Ester 01322 220458 or email: esther.correia1@btinternet.com North West Kent Family History Society The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am-12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see www.nwkfhs.org.uk or ring Janet 01322384836 WILMINGTON WOMEN’S INSTITUTE is a friendly group who meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, High Road, Wilmington. For more information on our activities please call Ann Hambridge on 01322 228082 Erith Model Railway Society has been in existence for over 50 years and has well over 50 active members. As the club continues to grow new members are always welcome. The club meets on Wednesday evenings from around 7.00pm until around 9.30pm at our new clubrooms in Invicta House (aka Belvedere Workingmen’s Club), 66 Gilbert Road, Belvedere DA17 5DA. DARTFORD ACTIVE RETIREMENT GROUP,[ DARTARA,] We are a group that meets on second Thursday once a month 2 - 4pm at Fleetdown community

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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 www.nwr.org.uk or call 01603406767 and ask about the Dartford group. HEALTHCARE RETIREMENT GROUP 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 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.co.uk (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 Crayford.Probus@gmail.com. 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, Linda Lewis 01322 557229 DARTFORD LADIES PROBUS CLUB 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 MALE? AGED 18 - 44? Round Table is for the guys with Ladies Circle for the Ladies (ladiescircle.co.uk) Dartford RT meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday. Often called the original young man’s social club, Round Table has over 400 clubs in the UK and is in 50+ countries worldwide. We have an emphasis on having a lot of FUN. We guarantee that involvement with Round Table will enhance your social life, your personal abilities, your network and best of all it is not expensive. For your chance to become involved in something very special, you need to experience it because no other organisation offers you the opportunities that Round Table does. Check out the locally famous club www. dartfordroundtable.co.uk Facebook search: * Dartford Round Table * Round Table * Dartford Egg Hunt You will receive a very warm welcome. THE ROTARY CLUB OF DARTFORD We meet at lunchtime at The Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesdays. Time 12.45 for 1 pm For further details phone: 07706 103706 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

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Sport

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 www.nagfencing.eu ERITH YOUTH RUGBY Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Erith. Ages 4-16 welcome 07903 590515 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 www.dartfordgymnastics.co.uk for full details or contact Linda on 01322 409312 or email dartfordgymclub@yahoo.co.uk LEARN KARATE Learn karate with Yamato Damashii – for adults & children Every Wednesday evening at the Leigh Academy & every Saturday morning at Becket Sport Centre, first lesson free. For more info, visit www.ydma.club or find us on Facebook, search for Yamato Damashii Martial Arts. YOGA WITH EMMA 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: emma@samadhi-yoga.co.uk TEL: 07932 621415 www.samadhi-yoga.co.uk 54

KENT EXILES AMERICAN FOOTBALL CLUB www.kentexiles.co.uk. 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. Tuesday Morning Yoga Class at Sutton Court, SuttonAt-Hone The class is from 9.30am to 11am and is a mixed ability class - beginners are always welcome. More information is available at www.yoga-vitality.com or please contact Lesley at lesley@yoga-vitality.com or 07531 140646 DARTFORD JU JITSU CLUB Mondays 7-8pm for 7-16s at the Dartford Girls Grammar, Shepherds Lane Dartford DA1 2NT in the Dance Studio. We have an adult class 8-10pm too.  We’ve been running for 20 years, building confidence, teaching self-defence, hardening the target, developing skills and always welcome new members. DARTFORD ORIENTEERING CLUB For more details see www.dfok.co.uk 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.

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THE HIGHLY STRUNG BADMINTON CLUB, Friendly club seeking new members. Abilities mixed. Would suit players with some prior experience. Thursdays at 7.45-9.45pm, Dartford Girls’ Grammar School, DA1 2NT For further information please email: stephanie.thredgle@btinternet.com

This group was set up after the founder suffered with PND herself and on trying to find support groups noticed there wasn’t any in KENT, We now support mums from all over the world online, in person or at groups. We pride ourselves on being there so no one feels alone or scared when dealing with PND. Groups held every Friday 12-2pm at St Mary’s church hall Greenhithe Kent.

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DARTFORD LIVING

Groups are set up in a playgroup style with activities for children of all ages and adults. Free to attend and refreshments/snacks supplied by Mummy on the Mend. Staff are available to talk with should you feel you need extra support. We are also able to help refer parents onto other services if needed. Staff are DBS checked, Frist aid trained and have training in mental health problems. This is a friendly relaxed group for families to meet others in the same situation as them. Our focus is on mental health however anyone is able to attend.

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

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USEFUL NUMBERS Local and National

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: 116 123 LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047 LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or www.pitchero.com/clubs/ bexleyrfc/ Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250 Dartford Ju Jitsu Club Mondays, Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds

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

Lane. 6.30-8.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www. dartfordjujitsu.co.uk

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- Contact: 01322 299990 www.dartfordfc.com The Ashes Badminton Club Mondays, Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane. 7.30-9.30. Jacqui 07764 182854. Dartford Valley RFC www.pitchero.com/clubs/ darenthvalleyrfc/ USEFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Living Community Group

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ADVERTISERS INDEX

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton ...................................................................... 40 Downton Ali Associates.....................................................59 GF + Co...............................................................................41 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, BATHROOMS, KITCHENS & WINDOWS Dream Doors......................................................................10 Nightingale Bathrooms......................................................22 Steve Cook - Double Glazing..............................................23 CHARITY Beams.................................................................................27 CHILDREN Bip Bop Shop.................................................................43 Hartbeeps......................................................................49 Monkey Music................................................................55 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes...............................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ................................................31 EDUCATION Leigh UTC...........................................................................17 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians....................................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings.........................................................................7 Fox Estates ........................................................................15 Wisdom Estates..................................................................39 FUNERAL DIRECTORS Stephen P. Gay....................................................................39 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Orchard Garage..................................................................60 Shenley Road Garage..........................................................45 HOTELS Campanile.............................................................................4 Bull and Victoria..................................................................22 JEWELLERY Bradleys...............................................................................23 LAW Apex Law...............................................................................6 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...........................................................42 58

NURSERY The Brent Playgroup......................................................56 MEDICAL AND HEALTH Ifield Therepy.................................................................29 MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT Gareth Johnson.................................................................39 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Blondie’s Fitness...................................................................4 Dartford Bootcamps...........................................................32 Fairfield Leisure Centre......................................................30 Why Weight?.......................................................................20 Worried about your childs weight?....................................21 Vibe.....................................................................................17 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.............................................................40 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames........................................................................42 PRINTING My Printing Room...............................................................12 SECURITY Excel Security Systems......................................................13 SPORTS Fairfield Leisure Centre......................................................37 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing ...........................................................22

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Dartford Living March 2018  

March issue of Dartford Living featuring; Bumps, Bubba's and Beyond, Ex-Dart running the Marathon, Community supports ellenor and much more....

Dartford Living March 2018  

March issue of Dartford Living featuring; Bumps, Bubba's and Beyond, Ex-Dart running the Marathon, Community supports ellenor and much more....

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