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By the community, for the community


March 2017 - Issue 129

Tom Hart Dyke:

How the World Garden came about and how I got through my 9 month kidnap ordeal - Pages 8-9 WHAT’S INSIDE...

Lullingstone Castle 2017 events - Page 10 Ovarian cancer awareness month - Page 24 Dartford Junior parkrun - Pages 32-33

Plus - All your regular

features, events, information and much more in your 56 page issue. - -

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24 32 34 8-9 Contents 8-9......................Tom Hart Dyke Interview 10.......................Lullingstone Castle 12.......................Dartford Living Meets 13.......................Dartford Property Report 16.......................Life Under the Stairs 19.......................Quartz Financial Services 24.......................Ovarian Cancer Awareness 25.......................Money Advice 26.......................The Art of Autism 30.......................Sports News 31.......................News from Princes Park

32-33..................Dartford Junior Parkrun 34.......................Fire Risk Assessment - KRFS 35.......................Community Choir 40.......................Local Entertainment 41.......................Fitness 42.......................Auto News 43.......................Gardening News 44-51..................Where to go locally 52.......................Orchard Theatre Competition 53.......................Advertising Index 54.......................Useful Numbers

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Dear Readers,

I hope you enjoy March’s magazine. As usual it’s jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - “use them or lose them!” Don’t forget that we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. Dartford Living is YOUR magazine, the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Feel free to get in touch if you would like to write an article for the magazine. If writing is not for you then perhaps you could volunteer to deliver 100 or so magazines to your local roads - you will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! We deliver to thousands of homes and businesses in the local area, however if you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points. These include Dartford Football Club, numerous local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Priory Shopping Centre, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, numerous health centres and local Barclays branches. The ‘Previous Editions’ section of the Dartford Living website also includes electronic versions of Dartford Living magazine. Additionally, if you email we will add you to our newsletter email mailing list and contact you just once a month with an electronic copy of Dartford Living! Nearly 5000 local people already do this!

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



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FEATURE ARTICLE: TOM HART DYKE - PLANT HUNTER Dartford Living caught up with The World Garden founder Tom Hart Dyke to talk about his experience being kidnapped while plant hunting and how the World Garden came about.

Lullingstone castle is your family home. Do you and your family still live here or is the house preserved as a visitor attraction? We are all still living here. This has been my family home since I was born. I am the 20th generation of the Hart Dyke’s or a relation to have lived at Lullingstone Castle. We have an actual family tree hanging in the Manor House. The Hart Dykes started living at Lullingstone in 1361. King Henry the VII and VIII used to use Lullingstone as a stop off point on the way to Penshurst and Hever Castle. There used to be jousting outside the gate house for the King’s family and friends. What was it like being brought up in a castle? Cold! There is always something to do and fix in the castle. It has been a pleasure growing up here. Kent is brilliant to grow up in. So close to London but yet so far. It feels like you are in a different place. When you were growing up did you always want to be a horticulturalist? Ha that is a very grand term. I’m happy to be called a gardener. Even though I did just receive a honorary doctorate from Canterbury Cathedral for services to botany, I don’t actually have any botanical qualifications. It has always been a passion of mine. From the age of 3 my Granny got me started with a packet of carrot seeds


and a trowel. Granny was brilliant. She was hard as nails whatever the weather she would be outside doing what was needed. She started it. It is her fault!! You are described as a ‘plant hunter’ what does this mean? I’m not trying to be anything like the Victorian era where they went away for months even years at a time to discover new lands and discover new plants that they brought back. Kew gardens was founded by plant hunters. In 2017, with all the restrictions on what you can or cannot bring back to the country, it is very different. I now go abroad to collect seeds, with permission, from places like the Canary Islands or Bolivia (which I did 9 years ago) There is still the opportunity to collect plants and bring things back that are still so interesting horticulturally to look at and also medicinally. I am Plant Hunting for ornamental reasons, the plant has to have a nice flower or leaf structure, just to prove modern day plant hunter survives to this day but it is very different to what it used to be. It has been a couple of years since I last got away. I must do it again soon. Is it mainly seed you can bring back? Yes, it is seed. You can bring back some cuttings of certain plants with permission but it is more likely a dried herbarium specimen that you can bring back. Any cuttings, in soil or pots cannot be brought back. Even Kew cannot do this. Kew have their systems of gathering examples. I am just an amateur having a bit of fun. That is all it is really but is becoming a lot more difficult to do. While you were on one of your expeditions you were kidnapped. Thankfully you were released without being harmed 9 months later. How did you get through the 9 months? It was really scary. It is nearly 17 years ago now but if feels like yesterday. It was nearly 10 months in total. I was travelling with Paul, who I had met whilst backpacking. We were in an area we shouldn’t have been; The Darien Gap. It is the only break in the Pan American Highway for 18000 miles from Alaska to Chile. There is an area of Rainforest that you must walk. There is no other option. We did that and almost crossed it. We were 45 minutes from Colombia when we were kidnapped by this armed group, to this day we do not know who they were, or what they really wanted. There were 100’s of them throughout the 9 months. Most of them were of school

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age, 15-16. We did not know what was going to happen each day. One day they were going to let us go the next they were going to kill us. It was so scary, we were moved from camp to camp in the nomadic lifestyle that we lived but after nearly 10 months they just turned around to us and said “Happy Christmas get lost if you come back we will kill you!” They gave everything back to us that they had taken from us. At the time it wasn’t funny but with hindsight some parts of our kidnapping were hilarious. You planned the World Garden while being held captive. What made you do this? One day they turned around to us and said that we had 5 hours to live and then we’ll blow your heads off. So I just thought - ok I will plan a garden. What else was there to do?! Have you got the garden exactly how you wanted it to look? Things change, evolve, it started off as rectangular beds then when I returned home I stretched the beds to the continents and it evolved into a miniature map. It has evolved, as gardens do. I still look back, as people always ask me would you still have done the garden if you hadn’t had been kidnapped? I definitely would have done something with the area but it wouldn’t have been that. It is because of the experience I went through that the garden is here. It is fate. Due to the climate in England how are you able to get all these plants to grow? It is amazing how adaptable plants are. We have nearly 7000 plants here. Some plants we do dig up each year and put in the poly tunnel but overall it is with very minimalistic protection. It is about getting the right plant for the right place. It is ridiculous the micro climates we have around here. Plants that thrive in peoples front gardens in Dartford cannot be grown 5 minutes down the road. It is so much colder out in the countryside. It is making sure you get the variety of the plant that can survive in the colder areas. The exception was the very cold winter of 2010. We lost 600 plants in one night as our usual winter measures were not ready. This year we have got lots of spares of plants just in case this ever happens again. Could you go to Kew and ask if they had a plant you could have if you didn’t have one in stock?

They would swap. They have been very supportive. Some of the staff are coming over from the Princess of Wales Conservatory. They have been over before asking a number of questions about the plants. It is really exciting and it means a lot. They have been so supportive. They are big organisations and there is just us, little Lullingstone. Do you have a favourite plant? There are so many. It is probably best to say, at this time of year, my favourite is the Eucalyptus tree. We have a national collection of Eucalyptus tree here. One of only two collections in the UK and Ireland. They have lovely foliage at this time of the year. Almost all of the 60 varieties we have here I have collected myself on my various trips. Overall though it has to be the one of the largest family of flowering plants - The Orchids. Is the attraction popular? It has been really good. We did some BBC 2 TV programmes in 2006 and 2007 that generated popularity. We get, on average, around 15,000 visitors a year. It does not sound a lotRSPCA but as weKENT, are onlyNORTH open on Fridays and weekend’s during the growing season WEST BRANC H - it is very good. We had an upsurge lastMICRO year, which was helped with the weather FREE CHIPP ING as it is such an outdoor attraction. RSPCA Kent, North West Branch, offers free micro s for all domestic animals Is there achipping plant you would really like to getattoitsgrow in theclinic garden? at 37 Gordon Road, Dartford, Kent, I would able grow theinBlack DA1love 2LXtoonbethe 1sttoSaturday eachOrchid month,here but to be honest we are pretty full up. We don’t have a lot 10am to 12.30pm. The service is more space. It is not like I can knockfree thebut walls down as donations are appreciated. For more information they are from the Tudor ages! please visit www.rsp ca-kentn Photos of Lullingstone, on this page and frontorthwest cover courtesy of Alan Graham

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LULLINGSTONE CASTLE Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden reveal 2017 events! 2017 sees a host of special heritage and horticulture events throughout the season for all the family to enjoy, with the castle and garden re-opening on Saturday 1st April. Set within 120 acres of beautiful Kent countryside, Lullingstone Castle is one of England’s oldest family estates, dating back to the time of Domesday. An historic family mansion frequented by Henry VIII and Queen Anne. It is also home to the UK’s first ever ‘World Garden of Plants’, containing some 8,000 plant species, cultivars and hybrids planted in their respective countries of origin, the vision of modern-day plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke. Key dates for the calendar - 15, 16 & 17 April - Easter Egg Quiz & Trail (closed Good Friday only) - 28 & 29 May - Medieval Weekend* - 18 June - National Gardens Scheme - 8 & 9 July - Fire Engine Rally* - 26, 27 & 28 August - Plant Hunters Weekend* - NEW EVENT - 16th & 17th September - Mexican Celebration Weekend - 29 October - Halloween & Pumpkin Carving* 2017 Admission Prices *2017 Special Events – events with asterisk - admission charge £10 per adult and children (under 15) FREE entry with an accompanying adult. Please note - 2 for 1 entry and family tickets are not valid on special event days. Standard Admission Charges Adult - £8; Senior Citizens - £6.50; Child - £4 (5-15 years old) and Children under 5 – FREE Family £18 (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) World Garden Passport – 1 year - £20 See website for guided group details. English Heritage Members – 2 for 1 entry

Website: Telephone:01322 862114 Plant Hunters Weekend - 26, 27, 28 August - 11am - 5pm Celebrating the lives of some of Britain’s most intrepid plant hunters, Tom and friends in Victorian dress lead FREE guided tour of the World Garden at 1.30 – 3.30pm - join at any time! 2017 we will be joined again by Second Chance Animal Rescue (SCAR) They have very special animals and reptile guests joining us during our garden tour. SCAR expert handlers during the tour will showcase different animals to see amongst the continents to truly bring the tour alive, see a Shetland pony in Europe, an Emu in Oz and even a Bengal cat as you walk through Asia plus many more! Visitors are offered a unique glimpse into the past to experience an authentic plant hunter’s expedition camp, complete with plant presses, roaring fire, porters and canvas tents. Mexican Celebration Weekend – NEW for 2016 Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 September – 11am – 5pm 2017 sees a new event arrive at The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle, a Mexican celebration weekend, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in a Mexican plant tour with Tom, enjoy the music and indulge with a taste of Mexico! Tom will lead FREE guided tour of the World Garden at 1.30 – 3.30pm - join at any time! Our castle marquee will have a Mexican themed menu for the weekend, so pop along for a great family day out! Contact Details: Lullingstone Castle & World Garden - Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0JA Telephone: 01322 862114 Facebook – ‘The World Garden’ Twitter - @Lullingstone

Fire Engine Rally Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 July – 11am – 5pm An action packed ‘special event’ for all the family! A spectacular showcase of fire-fighting history with over 20 fire engines and carts from the Victorian hose carts and the Edwardian period right up to present day, courtesy of the Kent Firefighting Museum and the Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Experience epic live fire displays run by the Fire Service Preservation Group South East Branch enthusiasts, demonstrating how to put out various kinds of fires! Younger visitors can get a slice of the action and learn how they operate, with the opportunity to even squirt the hoses!


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DARTFORD LIVING MEETS....... THE SILVER BIRCH FUND BY KELLY GOLDSWORTHY Dartford Living Meets Angela Brown and Matthew Reilly from The Silver Birch Fund    The Silver Birch Fund is a charity set up eighteen months ago to provide gifts and support to older people admitted to Darent Valley Hospital.     Angela Brown: I set the fund up because historically the needs of older people in society can be under recognised and this can lead to loneliness, isolation and lack of access to simple things that can make life so much more pleasant. It made me feel sad at visiting times to see some patients with no flowers or get well cards at their bedside, dressed in hospital issued nightwear with no visitors to bring a smile and distract from being unwell. There are a growing number of excellent charitable and voluntary community schemes to provide emotional and practical support and the Silver Birch Fund extends this work into the hospital setting.   Alongside the charitable fund, we have also set up the Caring companion scheme which is a group of volunteers who give their time to support patients who attend the emergency department unaccompanied. As you can imagine it is a stressful and worrying time for anyone to be so unwell as to need an ambulance or emergency trip to hospital and having someone to talk to and provide comfort can make all the difference to the person.    What are you plans for the future with the fund?  The fund is in its infancy and we would really like it to become widely recognised so that we can provide on-going support to our older patients in the hospital. Currently we have a target of £10,000 to pay for a system called interactive me. The system which is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society is a secure web-based tool packed full of features like personal photographs, music, videos, games and stories. These triggers are used to promote conversation and engagement whilst reducing distress, boredom and social isolation.  The thought that we can make a positive difference to the lives of our patients, making their stay more pleasant, feel valued and get better quicker. Having an enjoyable active day helps maintain a sense of self-worth, encourages people to keep the skills they need for daily life and more able to return to their own homes – making that difference to just one person is reward enough in itself and the motivation to keep going. 


I have lived in the Dartford area since I was eighteen years old when I moved into the area to do my nurse training. I have worked with older people since 2007 and joined Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust as a Dementia Specialist Nurse in 2013. Matthew Reilly our Dementia Buddy Co-ordinator has been invaluable in promoting the Silver Birch Fund, from producing literature, recruiting and supporting Caring Companion volunteers and organising fund raising events. I am lucky to work with a wonderful team who are equally passionate about the project and the needs of older people.   Matthew Reilly: I have lived in the Dartford Borough all my life and I have worked in healthcare since 2009, when I worked in a private care home as a senior health care assistant and staff trainer.  In 2013 I joined Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust as a Dementia buddy coordinator, which is a role that has enabled me to help patients with cognitive impairment during an inpatient stay or a one day visit to the hospital.   The Silver Birch Fund has given me the opportunity to go beyond my normal role, and allowed me to enhance the are delivered and contribute to the lives of the patients admitted to DVH.  I really enjoy fund raising and seeing the real benefits for the patients.    The Silver Birch Fund appreciate any donations whether they be financial to purchase items, or gifts such as toiletries, nightclothes, Christmas gifts and flowers.  To make a donation search Silver Birch Fund on Facebook. 

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Numbers Dartford Property Report Useful - March 2017 £26m a year black hole in the Dartford Property Market - Is Buy to Let Immoral? (Part 2) An Englishman’s Home is His Castle as Maggie Thatcher lauded - everyone should own their own home. In 1971, around 50% of people owned their own home and, as the baby-boomers got better jobs and pay, that proportion of homeowners rose to 69% by 2001. Homeownership was here to stay as many baby boomers assumed it’s very much a cultural thing here in Britain to own your own home. But on the back of TV programmes like Homes Under the Hammer, these same baby boomers started to jump on the band wagon of Dartford buy to let properties as an investment. Dartford first time buyers were in competition with Dartford landlords to buy these smaller starter homes … pushing house prices up in the 2000’s (as mentioned in Part One) beyond the reach of first time buyers. Alas, it is not as simple as that. Many factors come into play, such as economics, the banks and government policy. But are Dartford landlords fanning the flames of the Dartford housing crisis bonfire? I believe that the landlords of the 3,253 DA1 rental properties are not exploitive and are in fact, making many positive contributions to Dartford and the people of Dartford. Like I have said before, Dartford (and the rest of the UK) isn’t building enough properties to keep up the demand; with high birth rate, job mobility, growing population and longer life expectancy. According to the Barker Review, for the UK to standstill and meet current demand, the country needs to be building 8.7 new households each and every year for every 1,000 households already built. Nationally, we are currently running at 5.07 per thousand and in the early part of this decade were running at 4.1 to 4.3 per thousand. It doesn’t sound a lot of difference, so let us look at what this means for Dartford … For Dartford to meet its obligation on the building of new homes, Dartford would need to build 189 households each year. Yet, we are missing that figure by around 79 households a year. For the Government to buy the land and build those additional

79 households, it would need to spend £26,733,115 a year in Dartford alone. Add up all the additional households required over the whole of the UK and the Government would need to spend £23.31bn each year … the Country hasn’t got that sort of money!

With these problems, it is the property developers who are buying the old run-down houses and office blocks which are deemed uninhabitable by the local authority, and turning them into new attractive homes to either be rented privately to Dartford families or Dartford people who need council housing because the local authority hasn’t got enough properties to go around. The bottom line is that, as the population grows, there aren’t enough properties being built for everyone to have a roof over their head. Rogue landlords need to be put out of business, whilst tenants should expect a more regulated rental market, with greater security for tenants, where they can rely on good landlords providing them high standards from their safe and modernised home. As in Europe, where most people rent rather than buy, it doesn’t matter who owns the house – all people want is a clean, decent roof over their head at a reasonable rent. So only you, the reader, can decide if buy to let is immoral, but first let me ask this question - if the private buy to let landlords had not taken up the slack and provided a roof over these people’s heads over the last decade .. where would these tenants be living now? ….. because the alternative doesn’t even bear thinking about!

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Life Under The Stairs by Jane Stevenson AGED MUM SEEKS VOLUNTEER WORK. Having spent the best part of the day reading the Directory of Grant Making Trusts, for a volunteer role I choose to do, and poking my eyes out with its miniscule font size, (about size 4) I groaned inwardly at this comment from one of the Offspring to a nameless person during a phone conversation. ‘Mum doesn’t work, she’s sort of retired’ Mum, slightly shell shocked from this dismissal of her skills and importance as an Adult in her own home, suddenly realised that, yes indeed, she was ‘sort of retired’. How on earth did that happen? I’d noticed that once someone hits 50 they are perceived by many employers as over the hill, useless, needing to be upgraded by a younger, cheaper model. However I never saw myself as past it or unable to learn new skills, It never crossed my mind I was too old for my role, but as more and more new employees appeared in my workplace, lithe, young things fresh out of university, I developed a sense of unease. When the inevitable happened I was angry, upset and hurt. Of course, no one talks about ageism – it is a taboo subject after all, and older workers are supposedly protected by a raft of legislation. However, some employers are sneaky about how they interpret the rules and that familiar, nasty phrase ‘constructive dismissal’ often creeps into the situation. My circumstances are not up for discussion. Safe to say I left work, not through my own choice, aged 57 and proceeded to search for other employment. It didn’t happen, so I went to university, which knocked about thirty years off my age in terms of mental capacity and aged my body another forty in trying to keep up with the heaving mass of Bright Young Things found on campus, learning to learn again and burning the candle at both ends to finish an assignment. After graduating I didn’t want to work full time, but I didn’t want to grow into my armchair either. Part time work seems to have been redefined since my days in that anything under 37 hours a week seems to be ‘part time’. I was thinking of a couple of days a week! I’d been volunteering in some capacity for a number of years. I was aware of the pitfalls – no income – but really enjoyed the camaraderie and sense of purpose it brings. Which brings me to the point of all this: volunteering is a free choice that people make when they want to help


and support a particular cause. The advantages are tremendous. To the charity they get committed staff, interested in their aims; aware of, and willing to work for, no monetary gain. The volunteers know they are appreciated; they work with colleagues who share the vision and ethic of the charity. In some cases, volunteering offers so much more to the individual, in terms of friendship, a chance to remain active and social, the opportunity to meet people and learn new skills. Often the public interpret what they see of the staff in the charity shops, or those taking part in street collections as the only opportunity available to volunteer. It is so much more than that. Dependent upon the type of charity, there are roles requiring a range of different skills including financial, marketing, social, media and digital skills. Practical help is always needed. For example, a gardener, carpenter, driver or builder can always find a charity who would welcome them with open arms. A good organiser and communicator is vital to help with events, collections and talks to community groups. Office and admin skills help a charity to run smoothly. While at university, I had been volunteering in a small way for a charity which helps abused, abandoned and sick horses. I’d done some fundraising for them, baked cakes, helped at a couple of events. Now I have the time and desire to do more, they have very kindly given me the opportunity to write grant applications for funding for them. I love the work, it allows me to sit quietly at home, researching and investigating streams of possible income to help our horses. I visit the farm to see firsthand the benefits the charity brings to the animals, and I have the support I need to do the job, I get to help arrange and take part in events, and work with a group of people who are phenomenally dedicated. The best bit is when an organisation or individual offers to help us financially or otherwise. The feeling when they say ‘Yes’ is worth the effort, the time spent in front of the desktop, and the eye watering Font 4 of the grant book. Give it a go – you may surprise yourselves. If you are interested, check out - the charity I chose to volunteer for. See you next month.

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Website: Telephone: 07932 616400/01474 887948

Mortgages – for every stage of life

Buying a property can be the biggest decision made in our lives. It is for this very reason that impartial advice is critical from competent and qualified advisers. Whether you are a first time buyer looking to remortgage, purchase a second home or release equity to provide income in retirement, our specialist advisors can find the best solution for you. We guide first time buyers through the minefield of mortgages, aware that it can be a daunting and anxious time. We have access to a wide range of mortgages and will advise our clients on the most suitable. For our clients who remortgage, we look at what both their current lender can do for them, and what the whole market is offering. Most people want to make their mortgage payments cheaper when they remortgage and we have achieved this for many clients. Others may wish to increase their mortgage to take care of some home improvements, or look at how they can shorten their mortgage term, if possible. Some may also want to consolidate debts, which we will give considered advice on whether this is the right course of action for them. We also help customers looking for buy to let mortgages and have been guiding investors through the recent Tax, Stamp Duty and lender changes which have altered this part of the market. Buy to let mortgages take into account your rental income, often have higher interest rates and


require a larger deposit than residential mortgages, typically 20-25% of the property’s value. We will find the best mortgage for you, ensuring it works both now and in the future for you, by taking into consideration your current circumstances and future plans. We’re waiting to help you make your next move – get in touch and let us find the best mortgage for you. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT MEET REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE 07932 616400 - 01474 887948 Quartz Financial Services Limited is an appointed representative of New Leaf Distribution Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Melinda Bush - founder, Quartz FS

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

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Dartford Living 23


Every March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and this year research charity Ovarian Cancer Action has chosen the theme Listen In! Ovarian cancer isn’t as well-known as some other female cancers, yet it is the sixth most common - with more than 7,000 diagnoses in the UK each year. The UK has one of the lowest survival rates in Western Europe, with a woman dying from ovarian cancer every two hours, resulting in 4,300 deaths annually. Ovarian Cancer Action says one of the reasons for the UK’s poor survival rate is that the disease is often spotted too late. The charity’s Chief Executive, Katherine Taylor, says: “Ovarian cancer is particularly difficult to diagnose yet early diagnosis is crucial. When women are diagnosed in the early stages of ovarian cancer they have a 90% chance of surviving for more than five years but this reduces to 22% when diagnosed in the later stages.” One obstacle to making the all-important early diagnosis is a lack of symptoms awareness. Ovarian cancer is often referred to as the silent killer due to a belief that it’s symptomless. This, however, is not true. The four main signs of ovarian cancer are persistent stomach pain, persistent bloating or increased stomach size, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and needing to pee more frequently. Detecting ovarian cancer can be difficult since these symptoms are vague and easily confused with other ailments. Stomach pain and bloating, for example, can affect us all. However, the key is persistence. If the symptoms are unusual for you, they don’t go away, and have started in the last 12 months, speak to your doctor. It is particularly important to know these symptoms as there is no routine test for the disease. Ovarian cancer will not be detected by a cervical smear. Women should feel confident about trusting their bodies and take action if they feel something is wrong. So, if you



are experiencing symptoms and are worried it could be ovarian cancer, listen to your body and speak up. Book an appointment with your GP and ask for a CA125 test to rule it out. Ovarian Cancer Action recognises that speaking up about your health can be difficult. The charity has developed a symptoms diary to help women record their symptoms, which they can then take to their GP. Search for ‘Ovarian Cancer Action’ in your phone’s app store, or download a paper version at

How to get involved in Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month #WalkInHerName Ovarian Cancer Action wants supporters to get involved by organising a local #WalkInHerName. The money raised will fund medical research and awareness work. For more information, or to get involved, visit or email

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HAVE A HAPPY, HEATHY PET ON A BUDGET There really is nothing quite like the companionship you get from having a pet around and it can be so tempting to add a little friend to your household, especially when the kids get the idea in their heads! But here’s the thing – it’s not cheap. After all, it’s another mouth to feed and another life to make comfortable, so it’s important to consider the financial implications first. If you’re worried you can’t afford it, it’s always better to wait until you’re sure. If you do decide to go for it, here are some tips for keeping a happy, healthy pet without breaking the bank. Make insurance a priority. Pet insurance varies depending on the type of pet, its age, health and the area you live in, but if you spread the cost monthly it’s generally not that expensive – especially when you consider the fees you could be paying if your pet is hit with an illness and needs ongoing veterinary attention. Don’t fancy adding another monthly expense? Consider going for lower maintenance pets such as a hamster or a couple of goldfish that won’t necessarily require insurance cover. Consider set up costs. Your new pet is going to need a clean, comfortable and appropriate place to call home, so carefully consider its needs. Guinea pigs and rabbits will need a well-maintained hutch, for example. Reptiles will need a secure tank and most will need specific heating to regulate their climate. Even an aquarium for the goldfish will require considerable cleaning attention. Again, a pet with smaller set up costs may be the way forward for you. Keep an eye out for deals. Most supermarkets run regular offers on pet food and supplies, which can add up to a hefty saving over time. Consider buying in bulk while the offer is on. is a great website for bulk discounts and caters for all sorts of animals. DIY toys and treats. Toys can be pricey, especially if your pet nudges them a bit and then never looks at them again. Why not make your own toys? For cats, cardboard boxes and tubes can prove invaluable, and dogs are usually happy with a tennis ball or an old slipper to chew. If you

Website: Telephone: 0800 328 0006

find your pet tires of the same toys after a while, don’t feel you need to go out and buy new ones – have a few that you bring out in rotation to keep them happy. Adopt. There are many, many animals out there that need a home and a family, but sadly there are breeders bringing more into the world for their own financial gain. Why not go and have a look around some rescue centres and shelters? You’ll soon fall in love! Adopting does usually come with a fee, although it’s more likely to fund a good cause than Kevin-down-the-road’s new car. A good place to start is Get your pet neutered/spayed. Whatever animal you go for, one thing’s for sure – it’s eventually going to go looking for fun. Unless you want a whole bunch more mouths to feed, speak to your vet about the procedure. This is a really, really important one to consider. Beware of ‘free to a good home’ adverts. It’s free – that’s a good thing, right? Wrong. Too often people will use the ‘free’ incentive to get rid of pets that aren’t in the best health, and could end up costing you a lot more. It’s definitely worth doing your research and paying slightly more to a reputable source. Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a charity determined to combat debt and its causes across the UK, with the help of local churches. It does this through various ways including debt counselling centres and money education programmes. Want to know more? Pop in to the CAP Drop In at Dartford Community Church Bungalow, 171 Dartford Road, DA1 3EW on the last Wednesday of the month between 12 noon and 2pm to have an informal chat over a cuppa with Karen, our Debt Centre manager (no appointment necessary) or contact Kelvin on 07861 101496 regarding a local CAP money course. Alternatively visit or call 0800 328 0006. All CAP’s services are available to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background and are free.

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Dartford Living 25

The Art of Autism Autism Awareness Exhibition 1−30 April 2017

Together with Cllr Mandy Garford, local artist Stephen Oliver will be hosting an art exhibition in his Gallery in Dartford with the subject of AUTISM as the theme! We welcome expressions of autism from any of the local children ages 3-18 on the autism spectrum! This could be artwork on paper, canvas, as a sculpture or something more extravagant. Just one piece per ASD child, or as a group please. Any entries will be considered for display in the gallery over the weeks set aside to raise autism awareness in Dartford. For more information please email: Cllr Mandy Garford - or Stephen Oliver -


Dimples Day Nursery, Green Street Green Road, Darenth, Kent, DA2 7HT |01322 285885 Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

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Wills LPAs Probate Trusts Home visits available for Will Instructions Fully insured - 2 million pounds PI Insurance Reasonable fees Member of IPW and regulated by Trading Standards Institute Website: www.smnwillwriting Email: susan.norris@ Tel: 01322 291379



Artistic impression

This year, the Council will breathe new life into Acacia Hall, the former Dartford home and grounds of entrepreneur Sir Henry Wellcome. The plan is to integrate the Acacia estate with our popular Central Park, as well as the town centre, and restore some old-fashioned Edwardian elegance to the site. A big thanks to everyone who gave their input during the public consultations in January, we’re working to ensure that heritage and history are at the heart of the new proposal.

Supported by

Local Sports News Bav’s Sporting Comment

England have appointed Joe Root as the successor to Alastair Cook as the new Test captain. Like Cook before him, Root has been promoted from vice-captain. Root has long been tipped for the top job. As a 13-yearold playing club cricket for Sheffield Collegiate he was nicknamed ‘FEC’, for ‘future England captain’, a title once bestowed on Michael Atherton with similar accuracy. Since he made his debut at the age of 21 in December 2012, no batsman on the planet has made more than Root’s 4,594 Test runs and only India’s Virat Kohli has a better tally in all international cricket. He is perhaps the most complete three-format player that England have ever produced. So surely that means we look forward to an era of being on top again…?

Upcoming events in February include:

3-5: Athletics - European Indoor Championships, Belgrade, Serbia 4: Boxing - David Haye v Tony Bellew, heavyweight fight, London 7-8 & 14-15: Football - Champions League last 16, second legs 11: Rugby union - Six Nations: Italy v France, England v Scotland 11-12: Football - FA Cup quarter-finals 14-17: Horse racing - Cheltenham Festival 18: Rugby union - Six Nations (final day): Scotland v Italy, France v Wales, Ireland v England 22: Football - Germany v England, international friendly 26: Football - 2018 World Cup qualifiers: Northern Ireland v Norway (Group C); Scotland v Slovenia, England v Lithuania (Group F) 26: Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne

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News From Princes Park Since the last magazine Dartford have continued their good form with wins over Eastbourne (2-3), Wealdstone (0-4), Whitehawk (3-1) and Gosport (0-4).

Unfortunately they lost 0-1 to Chelmsford to halt the unbeaten run but they are still in with a chance of getting to the playoffs or even the title.



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Dartford Living



Name- Angie, the Event Director When did I first come to parkrun? 2 years ago at Dartford parkrun Who am I? I am the Event Director for Dartford junior parkrun. My duties include looking after the core team and promoting the run. I am the face of the run, that people can talk to. Why do I do this? I do this because I love parkrun. I was never a runner, never ran around the park with my children, mainly because I couldn’t keep up. At the age of 41 I went down to our new Dartford 5k parkrun and found a group of very supportive people who never made me feel like I was a pain (even when they had to wait for an hour for me). From this I found out about juniors. As I have children and regretted never being active with them, I thought it was a great idea and I wanted to get involved straight away. It’s great seeing how proud the children are of finishing their runs, and even more so when they have earned one of their wrist bands (half marathon, marathon and ultra marathon for 11, 21 and 50 runs). What about the future? I am looking forward to watching Dartford juniors grow in numbers and to cheering all our children over the finish line from the very first to the final finisher. How can we get involved? We are totally run by volunteers, without people’s help we cannot do the run every week. We have a website that you can email if you want to help out or you can see me or Esther and Adam who are the volunteer coordinators. Names - Adam and Esther, the Volunteer Coordinators When did you get involved in Parkrun? Adam - I came down to Dartford parkrun in late 2014 looking to run, make friends and feel more involved in my local community. It ticked all three! I am part of the core


Website: Facebook: Dartford-junior-parkrun

volunteer team and regularly take on the Run Director role as well as all the other volunteering opportunities. I have so far run 79 parkruns across the country, from Dartford to Conwy, and look forward to many more! Esther - I started volunteering at Dartford parkrun about 18 months ago, I decided to start running after seeing all the support offered by the amazing team of volunteers there and am now up to 34 runs and got my Volunteer 25 t-shirt last summer (for volunteering on 25 separate occasions)! I love volunteering at the event but also found a love of running, parkrun is great because you feel part of a community as well as getting out and doing some exercise every weekend! Tell us what you do? We are the Volunteer Coordinators for Dartford junior parkrun. This means we put together the roster each week and make sure we have enough volunteers to keep the event safe! At junior parkrun we need plenty of marshals to ensure the runners are in sight at all times so we rely a lot on our volunteers. We also send out the reminder email message to those signed up to help each week and meet with the volunteers in the park on Sunday morning. You’re most likely to see us walking the marshals round to their positions and getting back in time to join in with the warm-up! Why do you do it? What do you enjoy about it? The thing we enjoy most about junior parkrun is seeing all our young runners finishing the course with big smiles on their faces! Spending the morning giving high-fives as they run past and once it’s all done knowing that we’ve put on another successful free event making the most of our fantastic local park! What future plans and aspirations do you have for junior park run? We are looking forward to seeing more and more young runners coming along to join in each week! We are hoping to build on our number of regular volunteers and start planning more themed events! We had great fun at Halloween and on New Years Day where participants and volunteers came in costume so we’re hoping to plan some more runs with a twist throughout the year! How can others get involved? Visit our website

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juniors/ or our Facebook page. Remember to register via the parkrun website and bring your printed barcode to join in! Adam Dunger - one of the core volunteers for juniors When did you get involved in Parkrun? I did my first parkrun at Bexley (Danson Park) a few years ago. Shortly after my local parkrun (Dartford) started up in which I regularly participate. I started volunteering at Dartford junior parkrun on its 2nd event (29th May 2016). Tell us what you do? I volunteer every Sunday morning (even in the freezing cold and rain)!!! There are lots of different posts that need filling from marshalling, time keeping, scanning, handing out finish tokens and tail running. Why do you do it? What do you enjoy about it? I’ve never got involved before in doing anything for my local community but I really enjoy feeling part of a team with the other volunteers. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and it’s great seeing the kids taking part in an activity and keeping fit. What future plans and aspirations do you have for junior parkrun? It would be great to see more children each Sunday taking part. Hopefully if all junior parkruns expand and get a bit more publicity there can be more venues for more kids! How can others get involved? We’re always in need of more volunteers, so siblings, parents, grandparents, anyone who can spare an hour on a Sunday morning come and join us! Name - Olivia, 10 - a regular volunteer How did you get involved in junior parkrun? My mum volunteered and said I should give it a try What do you enjoy about it? The other volunteers are always really nice, which helps you feel involved. Volunteering is open to pretty much anyone, so is the run. I think barcode scanning is really enjoyable. What would you say to others thinking of taking part? If you are not interested in running, you’re always welcome to give volunteering a try. So, I say give it a go. Remember, it’s more of a fun run than a race. Even if you only do it once or twice, volunteers will be cheering you on all the way.

Name - Phoebe, 9 - a regular runner How did you get involved in junior parkrun? I wanted to keep fit and my Nan found out about the junior parkrun What do you enjoy about it? I enjoy trying to beat my PB and getting up on a Sunday morning to do something fun. What would you say to others thinking of taking part? Coma along because it is fun, the people are lovely and you make new friends. Note - Phoebe has run at nearly all of the Dartford junior events and has her marathon wrist band. Name - Alex, 6 - a regular runner How did you get involved in junior parkrun? When I was 4 my mum took me along because I liked running and we thought it would be fun. What do you enjoy about it? I enjoy the running because it gets your legs working. I like scanning at the 5k parkrun on Saturdays (all of the runners say “thank you” or “well done” when I scan their barcodes. They are really friendly). I have just got my volunteer t-shirt. I am about to do a special run. It will be my 50th junior parkrun so I will get my ultra wrist band. What would you say to others thinking of taking part? Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. It’s good exercise. The adults will be around the course cheering you on. In Dartford we are lucky and have both a 5K (Saturdays at 0900) and 2K junior event (Sunday at 0900) in Dartford Central Park. Both are free and run entirely by great teams of volunteers. Some people run at one and volunteer at the other. The junior event can be run by anyone between 4 and 14 years old, the 5K event by anyone over 4 years old. Go to to find out more about parkrun and register to join us. Hope to see you soon.

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Whether you are starting a new business or developing an existing one, something that should always be considered is your fire risk assessment. This doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. So what is a fire risk assessment? A fire risk ssessment is a structured look at your premises, the processes that you carry out and the likelihood of a fire ccurring; and the harm that could be caused to people in and around the premises should a fire occur. The aims of a fire risk assessment are: • To identify the fire hazards and the people at risk • Reduce the risk as much as possible • Help you to decide what you need to do to keep the people in your premises safe in the event of a fire. Everyone must carry out a fire risk assessment however; there are three reasons that you need to record your fire risk assessment: 1. If you employ five or more people (these can be volunteers and it can be over multiple premises too) 2. If you have any licence enactment (such as a late food licence, an alcohol licence etc.) 3. If you have an alterations notice on the premises The next step is to carry one out. There are five steps that should be considered with this.


If you have a very complex premises or people that are especially at risk, then it would be worth contacting an approved fire risk assessor. We do provide guidance for this on our website: your-safety/business-safety/fire-safety-regulation/firerisk-assessment/choosing-a-fire-risk-assessor/ If you would like to know more then we can help you. We provide free seminars for all to attend. During these seminars we will go through the five steps of a fire risk assessment in detail and also talk about business continuity. To find your local seminar head to our website: http:// Or, if you would like more bespoke advice, we can visit your premises. Please email–

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The Business Engagement Team can help you to protect your business from fire, flood and other business continuity risks. • Talk to us – our service is completely free to business owners, managers and ‘responsible persons’ in Kent and Medway • Get face-to-face guidance – in plain English – from our friendly advisors • Visit us on social media to see upcoming events, workshops and seminars • Email with your questions or go to for detailed information

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We have been providing expert and trusted legal advice to individuals and businesses for generations.

T: 01322 220 235



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Historical Military Themed Tours for Clubs, Groups and Societies Legacy offers a range of military themed tours from a day trip to the scene of the Battle of Hastings, to bespoke tours to the WWI and WWII battlegrounds of Belgium and France from as little as £39 per person. • Luxury Coach Travel • Local Collection Points

Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford, will be available to meet with constituents on the following dates: Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm – 7.00 pm - Appointment required) Friday 3rd March Friday 21st April Friday 19th May Friday 9th June Friday 28th July Friday 8th September

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

For further details please contact Steve Hookins

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

Legacy Historical Services Ltd Room 9, 145 Nathan Way, Thamesmead SE28 0AB Telephone: 0208 311 5309 Mobile: 07783 021508 Email:

Open Surgery – (no appointment necessary) Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford – Saturday 15th July If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment based surgeries in the future, please contact him at or telephone 020 7219 7047.

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Alzheimer’s & Dementia S U P P O RT S E R V I C E S Registered Charity No. 1024385

FREE MEMORY CAFÉS Hartley Wellfield Community Hall DA3 7EG 1st Thursday of The Month 10am - 12pm

West Kingsdown Kingswood Court TN15 6LN 1st Tuesday of The Month 10am - 12pm

Swanley White Oak Court BR8 7WF 2nd Friday of the month 2pm - 4pm

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

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

Gravesend The Woodville Halls DA12 1AU 4th Wednesday of The Month 11am - 1pm

Living well with dementia, Practical information, Refreshments Chance to relax in a safe environment

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


• • • • •

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

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

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Dartford Living


Local Entertainment

February/ March Theatre Roundup by Liz Dyer February might be a short month but the Orchard have still managed to cram plenty of entertainment into the last four weeks, with something for everyone. First we had Joseph, good old-fashioned biblical family fun starring X Factor winner Joe McElderry - followed by the not-quiteso-child-friendly The Full Monty, with Gary Lucy leading a considerably better-looking cast than we got in the movie (not that I heard anyone complaining about that). In between the two came Smile! - a very special concert raising money for 7-year-old Nathan Box, who suffers from a rare brain tumour. The money raised by the concert, featuring a host of West End stars who all gave their time for free, will fund Nathan’s treatment in the USA. Later in the month we enjoyed Early Adventures, a look back at the early work of Matthew Bourne... and Roald Dahl’s much-loved Fantastic Mr Fox takes us into March. It looks like we’re in for another cracking month too, kicking off with Bill Kenwright’s 10th anniversary tour of Dreamboats and Petticoats (6th-11th), the 60s musical featuring some of the greatest rock n roll hits from the likes of Roy Orbison and The Shadows. The following week sees a distinct change of mood with Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (14th-18th) - a dark tale of witch-hunts and paranoia, starring Corrie’s Charlie


Condou alongside Victoria Yeates from Call the Midwife. But then things perk up again with the arrival of The Wedding Singer (21st-25th). Based on the movie starring Adam Sandler, this laugh-out-loud show about a wedding singer who hates romance after his fiancée dumps him is definitely one to look forward to. And at the end of the month, don’t miss two dates from another X Factor winner, Sam Bailey, on 31st March and 1st April. Having heard her perform a couple of tracks at the Orchard’s recent season brochure launch, I’d recommend booking while you can. Auditions will be held on 12th March for the Summer Youth Project, which this year presents Little Shop of Horrors. Younger Dartfordians may also fancy joining the Orchard Youth Theatre, which is open to everyone aged between 7 and 18 - and as for the rest of us, why not consider joining the community choir, which meets every Monday at Holy Trinity Church. By the way, if you were unlucky enough to miss Dirty Dancing last year in Dartford, there’s another opportunity this month at the Churchill in Bromley (7th-11th). And if you get a chance and don’t mind a bit of a drive, Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre is home to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime from 6th-11th. Both are great shows and well worth seeing if you can get there.

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What’s your exercise type? If you’re like many people you grew up and at some point playing, running around and moving turned into “exercise” and some kind of chore. It stopped being fun and became something you feel you should do rather than something you want to do. When adults decide they’re going to “exercise” they tend do what they think they’re supposed to do – join the gym, start running, go to a class… follow the crowd. The truth is, like diets, everyone is individual. There will be certain types of exercise you enjoy, others you don’t. Some you’re good at, others you’re not. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise, perhaps you just haven’t found your exercise type yet. While there are exceptions to every rule, and you don’t have to bracket yourself into any category, generally lighter framed, lankier and leaner body types favour endurance activities such as running, cycling, swimming, climbing etc.

Do you like to compete against a team (rugby), one on one (boxing), yourself (climbing), no-one (yoga)? Do you like exercise to rev you up or calm you down? Do you like to be told what to do or be self-directed? Do you like to learn new skills (like technical lifts) or just have fun (like Frisbee)? Find what exercise makes you feel good, match activities to your strengths and preferences and go out and do it. Don’t beat yourself up for not wanting to go to the gym or running in the rain; and don’t be surprised if you lack results from doing something that your heart’s not in. Have a think about what you think looks like fun or what you think you’d enjoy (answer the questions above to narrow things down a bit) and go and try something new. Of course if you love the exercise you do and get results from it – keep up the good work :-)

Muscular, lean “athletic” type individuals tend to favour more explosive, speed activities like sprinting, gymnastics, martial arts, wrestling, tennis, hockey, football, rugby etc. – sports where they can use their speed, power and athleticism. Heavier set individuals tend to do well in slower paced activities where they can use their strength and size. Powerlifting, strongman/woman, hiking, throwing sports, rugby, heavier weight classes in martial arts/wrestling/boxing. You don’t have to stick to these categories, but if you haven’t tried them and don’t enjoy your exercise it may be worth trying some different things. If you’re carrying a few extra pounds of fat or are built like a brick house jogging’s probably not going to be your friend, but some heavy lifting might feel great! Don’t limit yourself to what “most” people do, do what YOU want to do. Do you like to workout alone, in a group, or with a partner/ gym buddy? Indoors or outdoors?

By Mark Broadbent, Master Personal Trainer & Instructor at Dartford Bootcamps.

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Dhiren’s Auto News March 2017 Kia Picanto

Kia has given its city car a ground-up rethink, so this third-generation Picanto has more space between its front and rear axles, meaning more space for your legs and luggage inside. The Picanto’s boot beats that of the i10, and with its rear seats folded flat you’ll fit a couple of suitcases inside without much fuss. Buyers can choose between 11 paint options, and four alloy wheel designs up to 16in in diameter with new LED lights featuring. The entry-level 1.0-litre option, which has enough power for driving around town. There’s a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol with 99bhp and 1.25-litre petrol 83bhp. All come with standard 5 speed manual gearbox ecept the later automatic option stated. Buyers will be able to control their phones using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the Picanto’s options list includes a rear parking camera, wireless phone charger and USB port. It goes on sale in May 2017, with prices expected to start from around £9000. 2017 Ford Fiesta

This is the all-new Ford Fiesta - the current one is the best-selling car in the UK, and while sales success isn’t always linked to excellence, it is in this case. While the new Fiesta isn’t much bigger on the outside than the


In this month’s article we’ll bring you new small hatchback cars to be launched in 2017.

model it replaces, the dashboard has been reshaped to free up more interior space. The dash also feels much classier than before with Ford replacing the button-heavy layout of the old car with a slick touchscreen. Fiesta will continue to be sold in both three-door and five-door forms. The engine range will consist of small units, including an upgraded version of our current favourite, the 1.0-litre Ecoboost, and a new 1.1-litre petrol, available with 69bhp or 84bhp. The 1.5-litre diesel will remain the cleanest engine in the range, with emissions of around 82g/km. The sportier version, the Fiesta ST, will arrive in 2018. The range will launch this summer with the Zetec trim that used to represent the mid-point in the line-up, meaning a likely starting price of around £15,000. Facelifted Skoda Citigo

The main addition to this Citigo is a new front bumper, which brings the car more in line with Skoda’s wider range, as well as a lightly revised front grille with new rectangular fog lights. The front headlights now come with LED daytime running lights, and the fog lights are available with an optional cornering function, too. Those extras have added 34mm to the length to the Citigo. The options list now includes a new green paint colour and a wider range of 15in alloy wheel designs. The Citigo’s engine options are unchanged with this facelift, which means the range continues to comprise of two 1.0-litre petrol options. Prices for the facelifted Citigo won’t be revealed until closer to the car’s launch and expected the car’s starting price not to stray too far beyond the £8495 of today. This facelifted version will go on sale towards the summer, following the updated model’s debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2017.

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Gardening Hints and Tips - March Plants of the month Check out our planteria 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 also got plenty of colourful azaleas and rhododendrons as well as new stocks of herbaceous perennials. Take a good look round for other gems that are in stock now or ask a member of staff for help. 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 fertiliser – such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone – or a controlled-release fertiliser 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 fertiliser, 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 – check out our planteria for a fabulous selection. 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. Remember to pick up everything you’ll need – including pots, seed trays, labels and compost. 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, take a look around our Planteria for those you can plant today. 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. 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. Take a good look through our seed display to see what can be sown now – and remember you’ll need a heated propagator, pots, trays, compost and labels. Greenhouse There’s plenty you can be getting on with in the greenhouse now. From sowing seeds of bedding and vegetable plants, to re-potting young plants and cuttings taken last year. Start canna, begonia and dahlia tubers into growth now for earlier blooms. Watch out for pests and fungal diseases and deal with them as early as possible. Remember to stock up with everything you’ll need for success this year – pots, trays, compost, labels, feeds and pest controls. Weed control Sadly, weeds will start appearing in earnest this month. Keep them in check so they don’t get out of control and become a problem. The best way to control annuals and small weeds is to hoe them regularly with a sharp hoe blade. Or you can apply a thick mulch (5-7.5cm/2-3in deep) of bark chips or similar mulching material to prevent annual weed growth in the first place. Perennial weeds with long taproots, such as dandelions, are best dug up by using a hand fork or sprayed with a weedkiller containing glyphosate, which will kill the roots as well as the top growth.

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Where to go locally...

...local events, clubs & groups

Parent & Toddler Groups (Term Time) Mondays

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


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


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


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


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

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions

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

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

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

Dartford Ostomy Group Support (DOGS) meet

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


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


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


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

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


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


St Michael & All Angels Church Hall, DA2 7EG Wednesdays 1pm - 2pm. Fun, social class learning routines from differing genres to popular music providing exercise for body and brain. No dance experience or partners necessary. Contact Kay 01322 276528

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Would you like to promote a local activity on the “Where to go locally...” page? If so, email your suggestions to DARTFORD BRIDGE CLUB

Dartford Books and

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

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


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

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

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

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

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

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


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

Dartford Floral Club

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

The Dartford Chess Club


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

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

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

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



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


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

CRAYFORD TOWN ARCHIVE incorporating Barnehurst and Slade Green. Meet every Monday (except the third Monday) of the month at Crayford Library hall - 2pm-4pm. Call in for a chat about old Crayford and to view the large collection of local images, or bring your own for us to copy.


Mummy On The Mend

A support group for parents affected by pre and post natal depression Mondays: Danson Youth Centre Bexleyheath 10-11.30 Thursdays: Belvedere Community Hall 10 -12pm Friday: St Mary’s Church Greenhithe *behind McDonald’s* 12-2pm Email for more details.

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

North West Kent Family History Society

The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am-12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see or ring Janet 01322384836 The Kaiser’s War – World War One from a German perspective (illustrated talk) Speaker: Christoph Bull On: Friday 17th March 2017 Starts 7.30pm for 8pm At: Mick Jagger centre, Shepherds Lane, Dartford Cost: £2 for non-members of Dartford Historical & Antiquarian Society. All welcome – refreshments available. Come and listen to a story from an angle that is seldom heard. No need to book, just turn up.

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

The Rotary Club of the North Downs

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

The National Women’s Register

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


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

Location: 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.

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

Dartford Gymnastics

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

Learn Karate

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


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



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

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

Dartford Orienteering Club

For more details see

JUNIOR TABLE TENNIS The Sutton at Hone Table Tennis club run a junior practice session on friday evenings during school terms at the village hall. The session runs from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. The session is run by an Table Tennis England qualified coach. Further details please telephone: John Jones 01322 272953

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Classes for under-fives teaching the basic elements of music through whole body movement, using the Dalcroze and Kodaly methods. With action songs and games, using percussion instruments and props like hoops, balls and soft toys, the children develop musical, physical and social awareness, concentration, co-ordination and confidence - and have lots of fun! Becket Sports Centre, Thursdays during term time: babies and toddlers: 9.15 till 9.55; 3 and 4 year-olds: 10.00 till 10.40 Contact Myrtle : 07763 378451 Email :

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

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

Based in Greenhithe, FREE FIT is a community fitness club designed for people of all ages looking to gain basic levels of fitness, drop a few pounds and enjoy meeting and training with like minded people. So if Gyms are not your thing and you are looking to take your first steps in fitness and weight loss, come and train with free fit. for more info

Interested advertising? Tel: 01322 507817 ininadvertising? 01322 507817 InterestedInterested in advertising? Tel: 01322 Tel: 507817 Dartford Living

11 15 51

COMPETITION A sparkling new production of The Wedding Singer, the hilarious musical based on the hit film, will tour the UK in 2017 and is coming to Dartford from the 21st-25th March. We have teamed up with The Orchard Theatre to offer 2 tickets to the opening night of the show (21st March 7.30pm) . To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question...

Who played the male lead in the film that the musical is based on? a) Adam Sandler b) Robin Williams c) Lee Evans d) Will Smith Please email your entries to by the 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.

TUESDAY 21 - SATURDAY 25 MARCH 01322 220000 •

TWS_Dartford_Advert_280x210mm_v2.indd 1


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


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Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton .............................................................. 36 Downton Ali Associates..............................................55 GF + Co........................................................................37 Lynton & Co ................................................................4 Quartz Financial Services.............................................19 Smith Kiew Partners......................................................16 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, BATHROOMS, KITCHENS & WINDOWS

A Baines & Son Roofing................................................32 Claremont Decorative Services..................................52 Humphrey Belle...........................................................22 Nightingale Bathrroms.................................................15 Steve Cook - Double Glazing.......................................23 CHILDCARE Anchor Fostercare........................................................14 Dimples Nursery...........................................................27 CONVENIENCE STORE S3 ................................................................................17 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ...........................................29 DATING Wishes Online Dating...................................................17 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. ...................................................14 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians.. ....................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings............................................................7 Fox Estates ..................................................................11 Virotti................................................................13 Wisdom Estates...........................................................31 FUNERAL SERVICES Stephen P Gay Funeral Services..............................51 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Dynes Auto Services...................................................17 Orchard Garage...........................................................56 Shenley Road Garage...................................................38 GARDENING SERVICES

Barge Group................................................................11 HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE The Barge Group.....................................................11 HOTELS Campanile...................................................................4 JEWELLERY Bradleys..................................................................23 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...................................................38 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Worried about your childs weight?.............................21 Dartford Bootcamps.....................................................30 Monkey Music............................................................45 Why Weight?...............................................................20 Vibe...............................................................18 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.. ...............................................36 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.............................................................38 SANDWICH BAR Sally Sues....................................................................22 SECURITY Advance Security Services....................................19 SPORTS Bexley Wing Tun...........................................................30 Fairfield Leisure Centre................................................16 TREE SURGERY The BARGE Group.................................................11 THEATRE Orchard Theatre ....................................................52 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .....................................................28 WEBSITE DESIGN/ DESIGNERS/ GRAPHICS DS Brochure Webdesign.........................................39

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

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Dartford Living


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

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


HELPLINES 24 Hour Kent Dementia Helpline: 0800 500 3014 Alcoholics Anonymous: 08457 697 555 Citizens Advice Bureau: 01322 472 979 Debt Councilling (CAP) 0800 328 0006 Information About Drugs - FRANK: 0800 776600 Kent Homophobic Incident Reporting Line: 0800 328 9162 Kent Racial Incident Reporting Line: 0800 138 1624 Local Breastfeeding Counsellors Judianne/Paula 01322 224072 National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hour) 0808 2000 247 NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 RSPCA Kent, North West Branch Helpline 01322 286720 Samaritans: 0208 301 1010 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 Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Hour Love Dartford

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Dartford Living



01322 271000    

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

Car MOT Test £30

Bike MOT Test £25

See our independent feedback at: and

Supporting the British Heart Foundation & Dartford Cricket Club

128 Park Road, Dartford, DA1 1SZ

Dartford Living March 17  

Tom Hart Dyke interview, Ovarian Cancer awareness month, Dartford Junior parkrun plus our usual features and articles

Dartford Living March 17  

Tom Hart Dyke interview, Ovarian Cancer awareness month, Dartford Junior parkrun plus our usual features and articles