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Dartford Living March 2016 - Issue 117

Dartford Avoids New River Crossing page 18 WHAT’S INSIDE... Dimples Nursery

Jonjo Heuerman

Easter Egg Hunt

Page 22

Page 36

Page 29

Plus - All your regular

features, puzzles, events, information and much, much more in your 48 page issue.


“A Hand Holding Service” Established 35 years

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

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Please mention Dartford Living when contacting ourour advertisers Please mention Dartford Living when contacting advertisers


Dear Readers,

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

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

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

6-13....................... .................... What’s on 14...................................... Useful numbers 18 ................................Gareth Johnson MP 19........................................ Meyer Homes 22.....................................Dimples Nursery 23.............................Dartford Living Meets 28...............................Life Under The Stairs 30......................................Easter Egg Hunt 31.............................................Pets Corner 36...................................... Jonjo Heuerman 37............................................Girl Guiding 38..............................................Auto News 39...............................................Gardening 40.....................................................Fitness 42..........................Dartford Half Marathon 43....................Dartford Business Directory 44................Orchard Theatre Competition 45.....................Feb March Theatre Update



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Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Conradi Morrison & Co .....................................................2 Buss Murton ..................................................................... 33 GF+Co......................................................20 Lynton & Co ........................................................................5 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, KITCHENS & WINDOWS 4k Building Services.........................................................47 A Baines & Son Roofing.....................................................26 Anglian Windows ...............................................................44 Claremont Decorative Services.. .................................46 EuroClad......................................................................29 John Hargreaves Building...................................................34 Michael Jones ...................................................................26 Prime Plastering ...............................................................15 Steve Cook - Double Glazing............................................27 CHILDCARE Dimples.. ...........................................................24 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Amazincare....................................................................... 28 Dia Wipes.. ............................................................17 Slimming World .................................................................25 The Well Counselling.................................................,,,,,,,,.35 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. .........................................................27 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians...............................................................4 MTRPS Electricians ...........................................................15 ESTATE AGENTS GPS Lettings....................................................................17 Wisdom Estates..............................................................20 FLORIST St Albans Flowers...........................................................15 FACEPAINTING Splash.........................................................13 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Shenley Road Garage..........................................................34 GARDENING SERVICES Hawley Garden Centre .......................................................39 HOTELS Campanile...................................................................4 HEATING AND PLUMBING JA Projects........................................................................35 HEALTHCARE Robert Evans Foot Care ......................................................41 JEWELLERY Bradleys............................................................................26 LOCKSMITHS/HOME SECURITY Dartford Locksmith.............................................................46

LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...........................................................47 INTEGRAL MOVING SERVICES.......................................35 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Dartford Bootcamps............................................................4 Monkey Music.. ..........................................................7 Vibe..................................................................................19 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.............................................................33 PETS Easipetcare...................................................................48 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.. ...........................................................34 SECURITY SYSTEMS Excel Security...................................................................43 SPORTS Dartford FC........................................................................42 STOVES AND FIREPLACES The Stove and Fireplace ....................................................46 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .........................................................46

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Where to go locally...

...local events, clubs & groups

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

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

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions

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


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

Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

a b c +=

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

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Dartford Living


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

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

Dartford Ostomy Group Support (DOGS) meet

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


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


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


Swanley History Group Meets 1st Tuesday of every month. Presentations on local social history. Venue Swanley Indoor Bowls Centre Garrolds Close Swanley BR8 7BF. Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 p.m. Members £1 Visitors £2. Everyone welcome. Email swanleyhistorygroup@ for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup.weebly. com or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter. NORTH KENT EMBROIDERERS’ GROUP Meets on the third Saturday of every month (except August) from 2pm - 4pm in the Community Room of Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1BE. The programme of activities is varied with workshops, talks and sit and stitch sessions. Visitors are very welcome. More information can be found on our website or phone 01474324734.

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

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

The Dartford Chess Club

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

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


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


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

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Dartford Living


Where to go locally... TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES

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

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

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

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


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


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

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



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

North West Kent Family History Society

The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am-12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see or ring Janet 01322384836

Dartford Art Group

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

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Mummy On The Mend

A support group for parents affected by pre and post natal depression Fridays 12:30 til 14:00 at St Marys Church Greenhithe Email for more details. The Rotary Club of the North Downs

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

The National Women’s Register

The National Women’s Register (NWR) is a national organisation that meets in the Dartford area. The NWR is a discussion group for ‘lively minded women’. Contact can be made via or call 08454 500 287 and ask about the Dartford group.


The Rendezvous Club (50+) Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm

Location: The Pop in Parlour, Graham Road, Bexleyheath DA6 7EG Description: We are a friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. As a social group we enjoy a number of activities including bingo, a Beatle drive, quizzes, to name but a few. We also take part in outside activities including going for a meal or a trip to the theatre. On occasions we welcome a guest speaker. Admission: £2.50 per week. Annual membership £6 (payable in January ) Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414


A group of retired ladies meet locally for lunch on the 4th Wednesday of each month,. They raise funds for charity and usually invite a speaker. Join them and enjoy meeting and making new friends. If you would like more information please contact Iris (Secretary) on 01474 703448

Dartford & Gravesham Branch Meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Masonic Hall, West Hill, Dartford from 10-12pm.Activities include guest speakers, outings, lunches, holidays and quizzes. For more information contact Marion on 01322 402967

MALE? AGED 18 - 44?

WANT TO HAVE FUN AND DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE WITH YOUR SPARE TIME? We’ve arrived in Dartford and we are a NEW Round Table Get involved, you WILL enjoy it!

Fairfield (Dartford) WI 2nd Tuesday of every month, Dartford Girls’ Grammar School, 7.30pm. Contact Judith on 01322 278703 or Evelyn on 07891 061609. Crayford Women’s Institute 1st Thursday of every month at 1.45pm. Baker Trust Hall. Maxim Road, Crayford (near Sainsburys). Contact Secretary, Jean Monk 01322 557142

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

Crayford and District Probus Club

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

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Where to go locally... WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING

Wheelchair epee fencing in Dartford and Gravesham, we are delighted to announce that New Ash Green Epee club, can now introduce wheelchair fencing. If interested in taking up this para sport please contact us on 01474 871484 or alternatively look at our website

Erith Youth Rugby

Sunday 10:45-12:00, Sussex Road Erith. Ages 4-16 welcome 07903 590515

Kent Exiles American Football Club Coach Martin - 07944 730634. All ages from 7 years to adult welcome

Hartley Swimclub at White Oak Pool, Swanley

We are a friendly group of adults who meet for a social swim every Thursday at 9pm. We’re looking for new members. Why not give us a try? Contact Diane on 01689 871846 or join us one Thursday.


Come and join one of North Kent’s fastest and most successful Martial Arts clubs. For more information, call Saj on 07903 513104 or just come along to one of our sessions and join in the fun! With the most reasonable fees around, you’ll find that training can be affordable too! For all details please visit our website

LITTLE TIGERS - KARATE FOR 3, 4 & 5 YEAR OLDS Sundays 10:15-10:45 at Swanscombe Leisure Centre. Call Saj on 07903 513104

Dartford Gymnastics

is the only British Gymnastics Club in Dartford to hold the”GymMark” Award for 6 years. Based in Heath Lane, we are a friendly club with super equipment, great coaches and high standards. We do lots of competitions and we do not close through the holidays! Visit our website http://www. for full details or contact Linda on 01322 409312 or email

Learn Karate

Dartford & Crayford Sea Cadets based at Brooklands Lake Dartford, next to Homebase on Princes Road. We parade every Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7pm- 9.15pm and is open to new recruits, junior cadets aged 10-12 and Sea Cadets aged 12-18. email for more details.

Dartford Orienteering Club

For more details see

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


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


like minded people.

Based in Greenhithe, FREE FIT is a community fitness club designed for people of all ages looking to gain basic levels of fitness, drop a few pounds and enjoy meeting and training with

So if Gyms are not your thing and you are looking to take your first steps in fitness and weight loss, come and train with free fit.

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

For Pregnancy and Birth

Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford, will be available to meet with constituents on the Gareth Johnson, Member following of Parliament for Dartford, will be available to meet withdates: constituents on the Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm to 7.00 pm - Appointment required) following dates: Friday 4 September Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 – 7.00 pm - Appointment Fridaypm 2 October required) Friday 6 November Friday 4 December Friday 4th March Friday 8th April Open Surgery (No appointment necessary) 6thFestival, MayCentral Park, Dartford all day, Dartford Saturday 18 July –Friday Friday 10th June If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment based surgeries in the future, please Friday 22nd July contact him at or telephone 020 7219 7047. Dartford Festival (No appointment necessary) Saturday 16th July If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment based surgeries in the future, please contact him at or telephone 020 7219 7047. th




Prenatal yoga Baby massage Mum and baby yoga Breathe, bond relax 07530 281704

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Dartford Living


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


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

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

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Quality plastering services at competitive prices across Kent Contact Daniel for a free consultation on: T: 07736 255822 E:

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

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a month

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Dartford Living


Local Feature

Dartford Avoids New River Crossing by Gareth Johnson MP

Dart Charge and the free flow system would ease the congestion problems. Yet despite journey times from Essex into Kent over the bridge improving, journeys north through the tunnels remain problematic. In January, during a House of Commons debate, Roads Minister Andrew Jones said that in July and August last year there were 20,000 more crossings at Dartford than the bridges and tunnels were designed for. This highlights the sheer volume of traffic the current crossing is trying to deal with. It is not designed to cope with the number of vehicles that want to use it. In January, Highways England announced a consultation on the location of a new Lower Thames Crossing with its preferred option east of Gravesend, rather than at Dartford. This is great news for Dartford and something I have been fighting for since I was elected in 2010. I have always said that Option C, located east of Gravesend, is the only place to build another crossing. The approach to the Dartford Crossing is Britain’s worst stretch of road, a pinch point, which is only going to get busier as time goes on and there are growing concerns about the pollution it causes. Motorists need an alternative route and so any new Thames river crossing needs to be well away from the existing one in Dartford. Funnelling all the traffic in the area through Dartford and across roads that can’t cope now would be wrong. Nobody in their right mind would suggest moving all the bridges in Central London to one point and so why should we have that at Dartford. We could have a hundred crossings here but they would all rely on local roads that are already heavily congested. Like every motorist who uses the crossing, I hoped 18 1816

The consultation report by Highways England says that Option A, the route identified at Dartford, would not provide an alternative to motorists as well as provide poor value for money in comparison to Option C. Option C in Gravesend has been proposed because the report states it would unlock significant wider economic growth in the area, offer higher transport performance in terms of safety, capacity and resilience as well as an alternative route for motorists. This proposal is good news for anyone who needs to cross the Thames and will help provide valuable improvements to the flow of traffic in and around Dartford. The recommendation is for a tunnel, rather than a bridge, which can be susceptible to closure during windy conditions. We cannot accommodate another river crossing here and I have worked hard to show Highways England that Dartford is not a viable option, but ultimately the Department for Transport will make the final decision. I am confident Dartford will not get another river crossing but I hope that you will take time to look at the consultation and give your views. We need to show the Department for Transport that we do not want another crossing here in Dartford. I look forward to a final decision and the new crossing east of Gravesend becoming a reality. To take part in the consultation which runs until March 14, 2016, visit lower-thames-crossing-consultation

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Meyer Homes, Dartford and Lowfield Street As you may have heard, Meyer Homes bought a portfolio of sites from Tesco in October 2015. One of these was the site on Lowfield Street in Dartford. We are aware of the series of applications that have been approved on the site over the last few years with nothing yet delivered. We are determined to be different. We will take a very different approach to the site, to engaging with the community, both our immediate neighbours and the wider town, and most importantly to delivery; we will make sure that the scheme we now design and submit for planning approval will be delivered as the site has been a blight on the town for too long.

Whilst this all takes time, Meyer Homes has already started attending the working group set up by the Council to consider the site’s future and we will continue to discuss our thoughts and emerging designs with the Council and the working group before starting a wider consultation and engagement exercise when the team is ready. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Nick Jones at GL Hearn on 0344 225 0003.

As part of the new approach, we have decided to appoint a new team, to have a fresh look at the site and to be able to work with the Council and the community without the baggage of the last 10 years. Once the team is appointed, particularly the architects, they then need to spend time to really understand the site and its relationship with the surrounding area, including the park. Interested in Tel: advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Interested in advertising? 01322 507817 Dartford Living

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Dartford Living


Featured Local Business

Looking to the future - Dimples Nursery

Striving to become an ‘outstanding nursery’ doesn’t end once the inspector walks out of the door. Outstanding practice requires constant efforts to improve, to move forward and to reflect on what you do and how you can make it better. Dimples is set in 8 acres of land and the children have access to this area on a daily basis. The main nursery was converted from an old barn 14 years ago and we have seriously outgrown these facilities. We always want what is best for our children and team of amazing practitioners so we set out to build bigger and better facilities. Our fantastic new barn is due to open after Easter. This amazing new space will house three rooms from the existing nursery and it has a huge hall facility and large meeting room. In the main nursery our youngest babies in Bluebell room will move to a new room within the main nursery with direct access to the garden. This fits with our Forest School ethos and means that our babies can move between the garden and the room with more ease. Our office space increases as a result of the babies moving, we will have a bigger, more welcoming new lobby and we are creating some additional child care places. Many of these changes sound like they are merely cosmetic ones but having more space for the children and staff will make so much difference to what we do. Our Forest School ethos of getting outside ‘whatever the weather’ never stops us from getting the children outdoors and our two large Mongolian yurts and our numerous covered canopies enable us to do this regularly throughout the day. However, the large nursery hall will now mean that we can hold more activities for the children even when the weather is appalling and events with parents and training events will be so much easier to facilitate. Staff training is extremely important to us and our new


meeting room and hall will accommodate our large team of super staff easily. We currently have a waiting list for childcare places but the new barn is creating some new places so please come and look around now if you are interested in joining Dimples. More rooms also mean that we need more staff so if you are an experienced, dedicated and motivated nursery nurse we would love to hear from you. We have full and part time vacancies, lunchtime assistant posts, holiday play worker and if you want to start a career in childcare we are offering level 2 and 3 apprenticeships.

DARTFORD LIVING MEETS....... BY KELLY GOLDSWORTHY Kelly met with Rachel who has launched a new support group for parents dealing with pre and post natal depression. Rachel, a former nursery nurse and child minder, lives in Greenhithe with her children Teddy and Evie. Having had an uneventful first pregnancy she was delighted to be pregnant for a second time. However, things took an unexpected turn after her husband was involved in an accident. Rachel explained: ‘We thought he was going to die and a traumatic time followed that led to me developing pre natal depression. Then when Evie was born I did not feel that instant rush of love I had felt the first time I gave birth. Evie had a heart problem and was taken to special care and I couldn’t see her which was awful and of course, I felt guilty. We took her home when she was four days old and I thought life would get back to normal but instead I felt my worse as the days went on. I felt lonely, scared and lost and was too anxious to go shopping because I’d feel as if people were watching me thinking I was a bad mum. I was laying in bed and thinking ‘I want to run away.’ It wasn’t that I was suicidal, I just felt everyone would be better without me there. Finally when Evie was 12 weeks old I called the Health Visitor and she was brilliant and she got me an appointment to see the Doctor the same day, and I was given medication. I had some CBT sessions and started to feel better.’

Asked how she is now Rachel said ‘I’m a lot better now. My children have their mummy back now. A mummy with a real smile. So hopefully I can do the same for others.’ Mummy On The Mend ­ a support group for parents affected by pre and post natal depression Fridays 12:30 till 14:00 at St Marys Church Greenhithe Email for more details or see facebook twitter @mummyonthemend

‘I started going to a baby group and started talking about my experience. The response I had was amazing and some people suggested I set up a support group. I felt quite anxious about it but then I thought about how lonely and isolated PND makes you feel. Mummies On The Mend started at the end of January. It’s for families affected by pre and post natal depression. I’m planning to do local meet ups, Buggy runs, pamper nights and bonding sessions in the group and have people like yoga teachers and professional listeners come in. I’m hoping to bring the community together. It’s difficult being a mum and you need support from someone you can trust. Support made such a difference to me.’ in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Interested inInterested advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 Dartford Living

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Looking to the future Nursery Nurse level 2 or 3 Lunchtime assistant End of Day assistant Play worker for holiday club Apprenticeship vacancy Full details on our website www. Due to our new building opening we are recruiting enthusiastic, knowledgeable practitioners to join our fantastic team. Candidates must have excellent knowledge of the EYFS, child development and be personable, caring and motivated. Successful applicants will love outdoor play and have a real passion for working with children aged 3 months to 5 years. Competitive salary and excellent working conditions. Full and part time positions available. Email CV and covering letter to or call 01322 285885 Dimples Day Nursery, Green Street Green Road, Darenth, Kent, DA2 7HT


Slimming World

Join a warm and friendly group near you today…




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

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

South East Dance Studios, On the site of Oasis Academy,39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, Swanley,Kent, BR8 7LG 9:30am Your Consultant’s name is Caroline 07776 181413

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


up to


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

Visit the website to read Zoes story… 0844 897 8000

Glentworth Ex Service Club, 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Angela 07956 896679 Wednesday Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 9:30am and 12:00pm Your Consultant’s name is Angela 07956 896679 VCD Sports Club, Old Road, Crayford, Kent, DA1 4DN 10am Your Consultant’s name is Liz 07900213548 VCD Sports Club, Old Road, Crayford, Kent, DA1 4DN 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Liz 07900213548 South East Dance Studios, On the site of Oasis Academy,39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, Swanley,Kent, BR8 7LG 5:00pm and 7:00pm Your Consultant’s name is Caroline 07776 181413

St Anselm’s Parish Centre, 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Your Consultant’s name is Gillian 07957 135737 Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion, London Road, Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9EJ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Your Consultant’s name is Paula 07891 424401 Saturday Amar Hall, East Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RX 9:00am Your Consultant’s name is Sarah 07739 027161 Christ Church Centre, Kingswood Avenue, Swanley, Kent, BR8 8AN Saturdays 9:00am Your Consultant’s name is Kelli 07535 443981

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Local News

Life Under The Stairs

by Jane Stevenson

THE PRICE OF LOVE I am not a fan of weddings. I find the razzamatazz, the expense and the expectation that I must have a good time very stressful – and that is just as a guest. According to one of the many wedding magazines, an AVERAGE wedding comes in at £30,000. This seems hugely expensive for a one day event. I sometimes wonder if there is pressure to copy the interminable boring celebrity nuptials which figure in the glossy magazines, or just trying to keep up with the Jones’s. When the wedding market is such big business, with hotels and clubs offering a full wedding package, it’s not surprising that each event, however special to the couple, ends up as an imitation of the one before. Therefore, it was with some trepidation that I clicked on the ‘Going’ button when I received an online invite from a good friend to attend her wedding vow renewal. Almost as soon as I’d done it I was regretting my decision. However, I’m so pleased I went. I got some inkling that I might enjoy this particular day when I asked for guidance and if it was a formal dress ‘do’. ‘Wear what you’re comfortable in’, was the reply. ‘I’m wearing wings!’ Over the months requests to supply a food item (tick for veggie, vegan or normal) for the afterservice get together began to arrive; links to a company providing fairy head dresses ‘just in case’; my favourite song for the DJ. It was clear this wasn’t going to be a typical wedding. Another guest and I drove to Northants on the day. I was (hopefully) suitably attired in a black skirt with net panels and ribbons, boots and gold top, again with ribbons. No wings I’m afraid. We met up with other guests at the hotel, the undercurrent of expectation fairly crackling in the air. We made our way across to the chapel and were shown to our seats by a young girl in a rainbow wig – one of the ushers – the others wore jeans... and wings. The congregation turned up in fancy dress, jeans, smart stuff, all out done by the bride’s dad in an amazing black and red zoot suit with his partner on his arm wearing a red and white polka dotted tea dress. Wings, wands, glitter and feathers worn with aplomb and style by guests were dutifully recorded in a film of the service and in the hundreds of photos taken. The bridal couple were preceded by a penguin costumed usher, followed by the most adorable little bridesmaid in pink, in turn accompanied by two older girls in striking black dresses, long black gloves... and wings. The best man and his other half danced down the centre of the chapel, twirling and smiling. Finally my friend and her other half walked slowly towards the altar. She looked fabulous. The dress was gold crushed velvet set off with a royal purple cloak. No flowers, but a little purple bag and the ubiquitous wings. The groom was equally impressive in black and white. It was a day to remember and I’m so pleased I got my cynical old self together and went. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. The cost for this definitely different and warm hearted ceremony was a mere £2,000. Less then I paid for my own wedding in the last century!


By the way – there was so much food provided, the leftovers were taken to a mission for homeless people. I really hope they enjoyed the tofu quiche! HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGIE ... Sitting having a coffee with some friends recently, one mentioned she was thinking of getting a ‘chorkie’ a crossbred Chihuahua and Yorkshire terrier. For this she was willing to pay upwards of £600. That is for an unrecognised breed, what we called a mongrel, many years ago. I am at a loss to understand why there is this fashion for mixed breeds. Rarely do they come from a recognised breeder who has high standards and is concerned about the health and welfare of the animals they produce. I’m pretty sure many people have no idea about puppy farms, where bitches are kept purely to produce litter after litter until their health gives out. The conditions many of these animals live in, is at odds with our idea of being a nation of animal lovers. Such breeding is not confined to dogs either. Over the years, the humble Seal-point Siamese cat has been interbred until one can buy an animal with blue, lilac or tortoiseshell points. Today’s Siamese cat bears little resemblance to those introduced to the UK in 1898. I admit to having a special interest in this subject, as one of the offspring works at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and sees firsthand the pain and suffering many of these ‘designer dogs’ endure.So, my request to you, dear readers, is that if you want a dog or cat, please consider getting an animal from a rescue centre. My menagerie is mostly rescued. When I chose them (or vice versa) I got a pet that was neutered, vaccinated and healthy. My home was checked for suitability – something I had no concerns about at all, and I was advised on the type of animal for my lifestyle. I do have two purebred cats. However I researched the breeder and chose a person who was breeding back to the traditional Siamese cat. They have a pedigree and are registered with the relevant society. They are worthless from a financial point of view as both are neutered as they are pets – not breeding machines. They live alongside two moggies of dubious parentage, and all four get on well. Although I love my ‘meezers’, I’ve never regretted my decision to take an animal that was just ‘ordinary’. I’ve got more back from them than I could ever have imagined.

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Every month Judy Walker (CEO of easipetcare) will be sharing her hints and tips for caring for your pet Welcoming a puppy into your home is one of the most amazing moments… That little bundle of fur and joy who couldn’t be happier to be a part of your family. There is so much to learn in the early days but I want to introduce you to a process that can prove invaluable in those precious early months. Puppy socialisation. Like human cubs, puppies are not born with the social skills that they are going to require as they go through their lives. Skills such as understanding the different social interaction with adults, children and other animals), learning about different sights and sounds and becoming aware of what dangerous situations look like (e.g. traffic). So this is where puppy socialisation comes in!

Pet Corner

check out the full details at Whatever you do, just take the time to give them the love and attention they deserve. Good luck! With best wishes, Judy x

The Kennel Club describes puppy socialisation as being “the learning process that a puppy must undergo in order to learn key life skills to ensure that it is happy and confident in its environment, and can communication effectively within its social group.” Quite simply socialising is the process by which puppies learn to relate to other animals and people. Petplan warn of the potential issues associated with skipping this important development activity being a puppy that can be painfully shy, or even aggressive as it does not come to understand regular interaction. When should I get started? As soon as possible! Petplan explain how “puppies under the age of 12 weeks have not yet learned how to approach people, situations or objects and the older they get, the more cautious they become when faced with new situations.” Breeders especially have to be conscious to expose their litters to as many day to day objects and situations as possible in order to ensure the ideal temperament of their adorable pups. How do I get started?


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There are simple things you can do in and around your home so the process does not need fancy or expensive equipment! Petplan have put together an excellent guide showing in detail how to socialise your pup with humans, dogs and other animals but it mainly involves slowly introducing them to as many different types of people and other animals as possible at an early age. You can

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Dartford Living


MY GARDEN IS FULL OF BEES How often have I heard a panic stricken voice on the telephone from April through to June, making such a plea? Sadly it is a year or two since I was able to hear on the telephone, I now use e-mails, but the question remains the same “What can I do - I can’t leave the house? “ Before such a question can be answered or action taken, further details are necessary “Are the bees hanging on a tree or in a bush? Are they spread over the lawn or gathering together in a ball? Are they in a bird box, under a shed, in a single hole in the ground, a disused rabbit hutch or a bird box? ” The answers to these questions enable me to proceed and to provide some advice. Bees all over a lawn or grassy bank, leaving and entering individual holes are solitary bees; they assist in pollination but are short lived. Reassuringly, I have to advise that nothing can be done nor should attempts be made to remove them. They will be gone within a month or so. The last group of questions are all related to the habitat of bumblebees. If it becomes evident to me that this is the case, further questions are needed to ascertain exactly where they are located, for example:In one case they nested in a large plant pot standing by the front door. It was agreed the pot could be taken away and returned some three months later, after the bumblebees had died off for the winter. This was done late in the evening and the pot taken away to the branch Apiary at Dartford. Another had built their nest in a disused rabbit hutch near the back door. The nest was tipped into a cardboard box and again a place for it was found in the same Apiary. In many cases their nests are situated well away from areas that are in constant use by people, but there is always a concern that inquisitive children may go near and be stung. I always assure the caller that most bumblebees do not sting and those that have stings are very reluctant to use them. Many nests are inaccessible and the only action that can be taken is to cordon off the area until the bees have died out. A queen seeking a nest the following year will not use an old nest, so the cordon can be usually be removed in a few months. My daughter had a nest in her garage, which we could not locate, whenever she opened the side door the bees flew out, this being a more direct exit. She just walked in ignoring the bumblebees, they had no interest in her but


were intent on flying to food sources in the garden. Whilst we endeavour to remove nests where it is essential, many could be left undisturbed if the attitude and patience of my daughter was adopted. When honeybees swarm they cluster together and can hang from a branch of a tree, or gather together in a bush or sometimes just a ball on the ground. When they first arrive the noise is quite alarming, but they are not in a mood for stinging because they have no home to protect and once they have settled they will not be a problem as long as they are not disturbed. In such cases, providing they are not situated beyond reach and I am supplied with an address, I can assure the caller that someone will come to gather the honeybee swarm and take it away to our Apiary at Dartford so they can continue with the natural process of developing a new colony. Honeybees are the only species of bees that collect and store nectar, which they then convert into sufficient honey to provide a supply for the beekeeper and also for their own needs. The removal of bumblebee nests is not at all profitable for us, except in the satisfaction saving the colony from extinction. What use then are solitary and bumblebees - you may ask? Both species are very useful pollinators and have different and very interesting life styles, but that is the subject of my next article. William S. Mundy Chairman, Dartford Beekeepers,

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

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Charity Focus

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

In December 13 year old Jonjo Heuerman was awarded a British Empire Medal after raising over £235,000 for Cancer Research UK’s Bobby Moore Fund. Dartford Living caught up with him..... JonJo, congratulations on being the youngest recipient of a New Years Honour. How did you find out and what was your reaction? I received a letter from the cabinet office in November and I was really shocked and really proud. It was really hard keeping it a secret for a month and not being able to tell my family and friends. How did your fundraising begin? My Nan died from bowel cancer in 2009 she was only 60 years old. I decided I wanted to help find a cure in her memory and to save other families from going through what my Nan and my family went through. What have been your favourite fundraising activities? My annual walks and cycle rides. I enjoy these because lots of people get involved and I raise a lot of money and awareness for The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. These are normally really hard challenges involving hundreds of miles and when people get involved it helps me to keep going when I am really tired. What have you planned next? In April I will receive a replica Jules Rimet at Borussia Dortmund in Germany. I will be walking and cycling back to Wembley Stadium to place the trophy at the Bobby Moore Statue for the 50th anniversary of England’s 1966 World Cup win

school because I am studying and with my friends but I think they are proud. My school was really proud when they heard about my New Years Honour What spurs you on to keep fundraising after you have already raised so much? A cure. People send me names of people they have lost to cancer. I do my challenges in memory of every name sent to me. I want to one day say that I helped find a cure so they did’nt die in vain. What do you love about Dartford? I live on the outskirts so I like the heath and I also like playing football so there is lots of space for a kick about. What advice would you give anyone who would like to start fundraising? It’s good to do good and help people. Any fundraising is good and can make a difference. Start small and get your family and friends to help support you. It’s not always easy to fund raise but it is really fun. How can people help your cause? People can help me by making donations to www. or by coming along to one of my fundraising events. There are quite a few events on my website and they can share my story on social media, I am on Twitter and Facebook and sharing my story raises awareness and awareness saves lives too.

Have you always lived in the Dartford Borough? No. I was born in Sidcup and lived in Belvedere until I was 8. I have lived in Dartford Borough since then. How do your school friends and teachers react to your fundraising and your honour? I don’t really talk very much about my fundraising at

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GIRLGUIDING OPENS THE DOOR TO FUN, FRIENDSHIP AND ADVENTURE Louise Barkes, Girlguiding Development Worker for Kent West I love my job. It’s all about creating amazing opportunities for girls and young women across Kent West – giving them a space to develop their confidence, try new and exciting things and reach their full potential. I work for Girlguiding, the UK’s leading charity for girls and young women. We have over half a million members across the UK – and we’re actively reaching out to new areas to ensure even more girls can experience the brilliant fun of guiding.

These exciting new groups have all been made possible thanks to a special fund given to Girlguiding as part of the Youth United network, on behalf of the Cabinet Office. It was awarded to Girlguiding as a charity which works to engage young people in their local community and regularly involves girls in social action.

There really is something for every girl in guiding from science and body confidence badges to adventure sports and the chance to attend girl only pop concerts and festivals.

Girlguiding really does open up a world of adventure for girls with a fun and varied programme of weekly activities.

With this in mind, I’m really pleased to report that new Girlguiding groups are opening their doors across the County. As a Development worker for Girlguiding in Kent West, my job is to help set up new groups in areas guiding hasn’t been before or hasn’t been for a long time. One of these new groups is the 1st Swanscombe Rainbows. The group, for local girls aged five to seven, is Swanscombe’s first ever Rainbow group and so a very exciting addition to the town. The leaders, who are all volunteers, have already lined up an action packed programme of activities for the 18 girls in the group including lots of games and a disco with the other local Brownie and Guide groups. The 1st Gravesend Guides, who meet on Perry Street on Monday evenings, are another fantastic new group. Open to girls between 10 and 14, the group provides a great opportunity to become involved in the local community, make a difference through social action work and meet new friends. The group has lots of fun-filled activities in the pipeline including a badge all about chocolate! Yet another brand new group - the 4th Milton Guides will be opening their doors in March. The group is due to meet on Tuesday evenings at a venue on Singlewell Road and will be kicking off their meetings with fun activities including trips out and stargazing.

There is something for everyone and all girls are welcome so please do get in touch if you are a parent/guardian or girl interested in joining at louise.barkes@girlguiding. or on Twitter on @Louise_KW_DW

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Dhiren’s Automotive News

In this edition we’ll look at new models to launch this summer & shown at the March Geneva Motor Show and learn some insider trader tricks.

Jaguar F-Type SVR revealed A lot of features have been already confirmed for the The F-Type SVR is car, however. LED headlights will feature on the outside an upgraded version alongside a feature that illuminates the area below the of Jaguar’s F-Type front doors at night when the doors are unlocked. There sports car. Jaguar are plenty of smartphone-friendly features on the Ateca Land Rover’s Special including a wireless charging function, and Apple CarPlay Vehicle Operations and Android Auto compatibility. Seat has indicated it Division (SVO), which will be priced to compete head-on with the likes of the has already created Qashqai, so a price starting at around £18,500 is likely, bespoke versions of the Range Rover Sport, has given the but not confirmed. F-Type more power, a higher top speed and numerous styling upgrades. The F-Type SVR is available in both coupe Understanding car dealers: tricks of the trade and convertible forms. Jaguar’s F-Type SVR uses the same Knowing the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine as the car it is based on, insider processes reaching a maximum speed of 200 mph. The car is likely to and systems will be lighter than the standard F-Type and includes carbonhelp you keep a ceramic brakes as standard, as well as a titanium exhaust clear head and an system and aluminium alloy wheels. The car will be shown open mind when at the Geneva motor show in March and availabe from shopping for your Please mention Living when contacting our this30 summer with prices expected to start Dartford from £100,000. next car. Here are a few: Seat Ateca SUV revealed •Limited time deals - The phrase ‘for a limited time only’ The Ateca is Seat’s has entered popular usage – and for good reason: it’s an first-ever SUV. It effective sales tactic. ‘Fear of missing out’ can affect us will go on sale in deeply and the car industry is well aware of this.These September after can occur on a regular basis but each for a limited time. making a debut at •Not so special editions - When a model is nearing the the Geneva motor end of this cycle, manufacturers and dealers often roll show in March. The out ‘special editions’ in order to tempt buyers and clear Ateca is one of up remaining stock before the new version arrives. When to three SUVs Seat plans to launch over the next few years. you’re looking to buy a new car, do a bit of research to find It has a footprint similar to the Leon, and dimensions out whether the model you’re after is due for replacement broadly in line with the Nissan Qashqai. It will compete soon. This can be a tool for haggling, as the dealer is likely head-on with the likes of the Qashqai, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai to want rid of their old models to make way for new stock. Tucson and Kia Sportage. •Cash is not king - You may think you’ll be in a strong The design inside and out is very similar to the Leon on position to negotiate if you walk into a dealership with which the Ateca is based. The entry-level petrol is a 1.0 the necessary funds to buy a car outright. The opposite TSI three-cylinder engine with 113bhp. The other petrol is can in fact be the case. Car dealers are often incentivised a 148bhp 1.4 TSI that has the ability to shut down two of to sell cars on finance and cash buyers don’t allow them the four cylinders under light loads to improve economy. to achieve these rewards. The diesel engines include a 113bhp 1.6 TDI and a 2.0 TDI with either 148bhp or 187bhp.


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Gardening Hints and Tips March Plants of the month Check out our plant area for plants that are looking good now for instant colour and interest in your garden. Good choices include camellias, Clematis armandii, forsythia, flowering currants, the Kilmarnock willow and Daphne mezereum. We’ve got plenty of colourful azaleas and rhododendrons as well as new stocks of herbaceous perennials. Feeding plants All garden plants will benefit from being fed now as they start to come into growth. For best results, use a general granular fertilizer – such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone – or a controlled-release fertilizer for a once-a-year feed. Fruit To ensure bumper crops of fruit this year, give trees and bushes a good feed with a balanced granular fertilizer, then add a good thick mulch of compost, composted bark or well-rotted manure. This is a great time to plant all fruit bushes and trees.

Roses Give your roses the perfect start. Hybrid tea, floribunda and climbing roses benefit from pruning during early March. You’ll need a pair of good secateurs and loppers, and thorn-proof gloves. After pruning, spray with an insecticide and fungicide to protect against future problems. Then feed with a granular rose fertiliser to ensure a mass of perfect blooms this summer, and mulch with composted bark or well-rotted manure. Seed sowing If you have a heated greenhouse or similar warm, light place, then you can get a lot of your bedding plants and vegetables off to a flying start by sowing them now, and remember you’ll need a heated propagator, pots, trays, compost and labels.

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Plug plants & seedlings Buy your bedding and patio plug plants and seedlings now for growing on – and you’ll have your biggest and best bedding displays ever. We have a wide range of varieties, including all your favourites, for potting up and planting out after the frosts in beds, borders and into containers and baskets. Stem colour Plants grown for their colourful stems – such as dogwoods, rubus and some bush willows – will produce more intense colours if the stems are cut back hard now. And if you want to add a selection of these colourful shrubs to your garden. Herbs Herbs are not only good to grow for the kitchen -many also have colourful flowers and foliage, so plant some today. They can be planted in a herb bed, mixed in with other plants in beds and borders, or grown in pots on the patio where they’ll be handy to pick and provide excellent colour and scent. Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

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Fitness The Importance of Guidance If you’re reading this then the likelihood is that you’re either trying to lose weight (and searching for more ideas since the ones you’ve already tried haven’t worked), or you’re just into health and fitness and after more information.

since put all the weight back on again), or got sucked in by clever marketing to buy someone’s products, or are trusting the magazines who use clever headings to attract your attention and tell you what the latest “trend” in fitness is this month.

Either way, you are probably lacking in a few things that will be holding back your results. Many people question the value of Personal Training, and it’s easily done – it’s not particularly cheap (and if it is then you need to question it), and there are many, many bad trainers out there giving the rest of us a bad name. But if you can find a good trainer (look for qualifications and experience over cost – “nothing is more expensive than paying for something that doesn’t work”), then they can be worth their weight in gold.

You need someone to trust and listen to, who can tell you what plan is right for you (because NO plan is right for everyone).

If you’re buying “workouts” and paying them to count your reps – then get out! (You’ll be better off finding a good workout online and training with a friend). If you’re paying them for a personalised (hence “Personal” Training) workout plan and nutritional guidance based on your current circumstances (not a printout they hand to everyone) then you could be onto something good. Otherwise save your money and go to some classes! If you can’t afford the trainer you’d like to work with, maybe find out if they offer group training options and split the cost with a friend or two, or your partner… Guidance is what most people lack in their routines; both diet and exercise. The more is better approach just isn’t correct and quality over quantity is very much more accurate. Doing the right things, at the right times is far more effective and efficient than simply burning yourself out doing random workouts that look good. With a structured plan, specific to you and your goals, you will achieve more, faster. Not just in terms of fat loss or muscle gain, but also in health – an often overlooked factor in the quest for better body composition.

Diet is specific to YOU. What you’ve been eating up until now; what you’ve tried in the past; sleeping patterns; work; stress; time available for workouts; time available for cooking; medication; injuries or medical conditions; whether you were overweight or skinny as a child… all of these play a part in determining your diet and exercise plan. Someone recommending a diet or supplement to you because it worked for someone else is ridiculous. Find someone to listen to and do as they tell you. By all means question it! If they can’t tell you why they’re telling you what they are, then find someone else. But if they can justify their instructions, and it makes sense, follow their guidance. It won’t be as simple as letting your chosen mentor do all the work – you will have to follow instruction, monitor progress and feedback to them in order for them to make the necessary adjustments. But if you do this you’ll be constantly narrowing in on what works best for you at this current time (nutritional requirements will change as you do so it’s never static). So filter through all of the information you have and decide who speaks the most sense and resonates with you, and follow their guidance. If you need more help, I offer one-to-one and group training out of Crayford gym. Visit for more information on this, Nutrition Coaching, and Bootcamp . By Mark Broadbent, Master Personal Trainer & Instructor at Dartford Bootcamps. Visit www.DartfordBootcamps. com for information on Personal Training, Nutrition coaching or Bootcamp Fitness classes. - MarkOneFitness. blogspot.comAnd follow us on Facebook and Twitter (do it now……) for extra tips, advice and motivation.

Without someone to guide you through your plan, you’ll be left to try all the fad diets that come and go, leaving a trail of disappointed, disheartened people in their wake. The yo-yo dieters, following plans that worked for a friend (who has 32 Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

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Local Sports News Behind the scenes by Steven Smith As I write this article entries for the Dartford Half Marathon have been very well supported, including last year’s deferred runners the race sits at around 625 entrants. This time by the end of January 2015 the event had around 300 entrants. This is tremendous news for our local event which could be heading for record numbers and creating a fantastic atmosphere. More and more runners are engaging on-line through the Run Britain site or linking directly through www. So much is now down to social media, before The Dartford Half Marathon really relied on magazine advertisement and at a high cost, in the last two years social media (especially Facebook) has really helped reach out to more and more new runners. There has also been very good local club runner support in Dartford and surrounding areas. But what really makes the difference is our supporting partners or sponsors. J Clubb a supplier of aggregates and concrete within Kent and surrounding areas have been a superb supporter of the event for many years. Kuehne & Nagel Logistics (Dartford Branch) are now in their second year of support. Visit their site if you require expert knowledge in moving freight worldwide! Mercedes-Benz, Dartford www.mercedes-benzdartford. First year in supporting the Dartford Half Marathon and supplying E-Class Mercedes cars to the male and female winners for a weekend! I wish I could run that fast to win that prize!

Demelza – who have really forged a great working bond between themselves and Dartford Harriers. Demelza will be assisting with race number collections prior to the event. The biggest investment made by Dartford Half Marathon has been in the medal itself! with a fantastic medal to commemorate the 40th consecutive running of the event. It really will look great on the runner and hopefully somewhere within their home! So as we near the final few weeks for the runner to book there place we wish you well in your training and also hope you achieve what you set out to on the day itself!

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March Fixtures


Saturday 12th March, 3pm

Bishop’s Stortford Saturday 26th March, 3pm

The above three companies have provided Dartford Half Marathon a real boost to improve the experience for the runner. This year we will have a marquee to cover our runners at the end of the half marathon and will house after race goodies!! Inside the marquee will be the charity


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SAT 16- SUN 17 APRIL 2016

English National Ballet and English National Ballet School present My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty, a reimagined version of the classic fairy-tale ballet created especially for children as young as three. Adapted to an hour in length and with a narrator to help young audiences follow the story, My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty is the perfect way to introduce children as young as three to the magic of ballet. My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Princess Aurora, who as a baby is cursed by the evil Carabosse: on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Fortunately, her godmother the Lilac Fairy alters the spell so Aurora will not die but will sleep for 100 years, only to be awoken by true love’s kiss. Dartford Living and The Orchard have teamed up to offer a pair of tickets on Saturday 16 April 11am performance. To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question... Which of the following is not a character from the fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty? A) Princess Aurora B) Prince Phillip C) Queen Victoria D) Queen Leah RULES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered. 4. Proof of posting will not be regarded as proof of delivery. 5. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 6. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 7. Closing date for the competition is stated above. Send the answer to Dartford Living, 7 St Ronans View, Dartford, DA1 1QD or email competition@dartfordliving. com This competition closes on 15th March. Good luck!” february’s competition winner : SARAH JONES


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Local Entertainment News

February/ March Theatre Roundup by Liz Dyer

So, what’s been going on at the theatre this month? The Orchard kicked off their new season with The 39 Steps, a fast and furious comedy based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 thriller, in which a cast of just four play over 130 characters in 100 minutes. (If, like me, you missed it and have been kicking yourself ever since, our next best option is Southend from 21st-26th March.) This was followed by Footloose, starring Gareth Gates as Willard and Maureen Nolan as Vi Moore. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Pop Idol runner-up, but have to admit he was brilliant - as was the whole show; it was a great nostalgia trip for those of us who remember the 80s! And the free line dancing class at the Orchard was great fun as well, even though it turns out it’s actually a lot harder than it looks… Meanwhile at the Churchill in Bromley, The Perfect Murder, starring Shane Richie, fresh from his appearing in the Dartford panto, and Jessie Wallace, got rave reviews and then we all cried our eyes out over Blood Brothers. (It wasn’t the first time, and probably won’t be the last.) March kicks off at the Orchard in excellent style with Chicago (29th Feb to 5th March), the smash hit musical about murder, corruption and jazz, starring Sam Bailey, John Partridge and Hayley Tamaddon. Hot on its heels

comes Into The Hoods: Remixed (8th-9th March), an updated version of the award-winning ‘hip hop fairy tale’ from ZooNation that’s fun for the whole family. For fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Hetty Feather’s in town from 23rd to 27th March; the Olivier Award-winning show includes live music and circus tricks. Jodie Prenger stars for one night only in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me on a Sunday (14th March), Strictly’s Brendan Cole will be taking to the dance floor on 30th March, and Ray Mears will be sharing some shocking tales of human endurance on 10th March. ut that’s not all; Gravesend’s Woodville Halls present The Great Gatsby on 9th March, and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake from the Vienna Festival Ballet on 24th March. And the Churchill have an exciting month ahead, with the Regent’s Park Theatre production of Lord of the Flies (15th-19th March), Jackie the Musical (22nd-26th March) and American Idiot, the Green Day musical, which I’ve seen in the West End and totally recommend (30th-31st March). To find out what else is coming up this month, visit, and churchilltheatre., and for more regional and London theatre reviews, op over to

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Dartford living March 2016  
Dartford living March 2016  

The March issue of Dartford Living Magazine. Featuring Gareth Johnson MP on the Lower Thames Crossing proposals, Dimples Day Nursery, Jonjo...