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FREE May 2018 - Issue 143


The year that was - Dartford Mayor’s year in office p5 Local pub landlord trucking the HARD. way p15 Dartford - A special Town p 24 What’s on Locally Guide p48-56


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dartford Social Club, Lowfield Street, DA1 1HP Monday 7.30pm Kate 07590995948

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

TUESDAYS Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 10:00 am Paula 07891 424401 Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Gillian 07957 135737


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

Temple Hill Community Centre Temple Hill Square, Dartford, DA1 5HY 09:30am Jo 07800 797030 St Anselm’s Parish Centre 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Gillian 07957 135737 Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401 Baldwyns Baptist Church Dartford Road, Bexley DA5 2AY 5.30pm and 7.30pm Del 07975 541082 FRIDAYS Lesley Close Bourne Road , Bexley DA5 1LX 9am Del 07975 541082 SATURDAYS Amar Hall East Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RX 9:00am Sarah 07739 027161 Christ Church Centre Kingswood Avenue, Swanley, BR8 8AN 8:00am and 10:00am Kelli 07931 085668

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BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY Dear Readers, Welcome to the May magazine. As usual it’s jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - use them or lose them! In case you weren’t aware, we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. It’s the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Please get in touch if you would like to write an article for the magazine. If writing is not for you then perhaps you could volunteer to deliver 100 or so magazines to your local roads - you will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! If you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points including Dartford FC, local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Orchard Theatre, The Priory and Orchard Shopping Centres, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, health centres and local Nationwide and Barclays branches. Additionally, if you email we will add you to our e-newsletter and you will join 6,000 others who receive a copy of the magazine by email once a month. Until next time, Vijay - Editor, Dartford Living (and the rest of the fantastic Dartford Living volunteer team)

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5........................The Year that was 6........................Votes for Women Exhibition 8........................Award winning Estate Agents 11......................Bip Bop Blog 13......................Dream Doors opening 14......................Life Under the Stairs 15......................Pub landlord trucking HARD. 18-19................Travel Spotlight 21......................Restaurant Review 24......................Dartford Poem 27......................Money Advice 32......................Sports News 33......................Recipe 36......................Dartford Schools FA 37......................Dartford FC Community Day 38......................Local Sports groups 41......................Fitness 43......................Local race team secures best results 44......................Theatre Roundup 46......................Car News 47......................Competition 48-56................Where to go locally 57......................Useful Numbers 58......................Advertising Index

Dartford Living does not certify, endorse or verify the contents of any communication within the magazine/our online presence or make warranty of any kind, express or implied, with regard to the information contained therein. Dartford Living and its owners cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or claims made by advertisers or endorse companies, products or services that appear in any Dartford Living publication or media outlet. Dartford Living is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. - - 3

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It seems like only yesterday that I was being sworn in as the Mayor of Dartford in the Civic Centre on the 10th of May 2017. The time seems to have flown by in a whirl of official engagements and organising and attending charity fund raising events. My escort, Corinna Bailey, and I have attended in excess of 300 official events and I have also chaired a number of General Assemblies of the Council and Charity Committee meetings. The official events have included everything from touring a nuclear power station to judging cardboard boxes belonging to hardy types sleeping out in Central Park to raise funds for charity. I particularly enjoyed meeting children in the Council Chamber and telling them about the duties of the mayor. They have such enquiring minds and often asked questions which I did not know the answers to. I also enjoyed attending the summer concerts held every Sunday afternoon in the park and meeting residents and the surprising number of non-residents who travel in to the borough for these very popular events. In my mayoral year I chose to support charities that benefit totally or very substantially the people of Dartford. My chosen charities are: • MIND. For 70 years, MIND has been committed to making sure that everyone experiencing a mental health problem can access the support they need and is treated with the respect they deserve. • Home Start. Home Start volunteers help families with young children deal with the challenges they face. They support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children. Families struggling with post-natal depression, isolation, physical health problems, bereavement and many other issues receive the support of a Home Start volunteer.

• The Arrow Riding Centre. The Centre was founded in 1982 and uses horses to provide a unique form of physiotherapy for disabled adults and children. As well as improving physical fitness, the horse riding improves motivation, reduces dependency on others and gives the rider a great sense of achievement. The Arrow Riding Centre teaches horse-riding to International and Paralympic standards. My charity committee has worked tirelessly all year to organise 18 fund raising events in aid of the good causes. The snow got the better of one, which unfortunately could not be re-scheduled. I should also note that a number of individuals and organisations have made donations to my charity appeal and I thank them very much for their generosity. The final total of money raised will not be known for a little while but the indications are that over £15,000 will be achieved. But there is more good news, for at the beginning of my mayoral year the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Kent launched their CALM Appeal (Charity Appeal for Local Mayors). They very generously pledged to donate £10,000 to each of the six mayors in their area. I am sure the charities will be able to put these funds to very good use. I have had an absolutely fabulous year and one which I shall remember forever. Councillor David Mote is Dartford’s mayor for 2018/19 and I wish him and his wife Ellen every success. I am sure they will enjoy it as much as I have. CALM APPEAL FOR LOCAL MAYORS In May 2017 West Kent Freemasons launched an appeal to their members to raise £60,000 to support the Charities that the Mayors of Dartford, Bexley, Bromley, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells were supporting in their year of Office. The Mayors have all received £10,000 for their respective appeals. The Worshipful The Mayor of Dartford Councillor Rosanna Currans chose three local Charities in Dartford. These were Home Start, Mind and Arrow Riding Centre for the Disabled. The Mayor presented each charity with £3,336. - -



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Fox Estate Agents have just won The British Property Awards for Dartford. Their team performed outstandingly throughout the extensive judging period, which focused on customer service levels.


Fox Estate Agents have now been shortlisted for a number of national awards which will be announced later in the year. The British Property Awards provide agents throughout the UK with an invaluable opportunity to compare the service that they provide against the service provided by their, local, regional and national competition. Agents who go that extra mile and provide outstanding levels of customer service are rewarded with our accolade, which acts as a beacon to highlight these attributes to their local marketplace.


Fox Estate Agents 94 Brent Lane, Dartford, DA1 1QX 01322 479660

THE BRITISH PROPERTY AWARDS are one of the most inclusive estate agency awards providers as they do not charge to enter. This has enabled their award to be structured in a manner that ensures maximum participation, on average judging over 90% of agents that meet their minimum criteria on a local level. The team personally mystery shops every estate agent against a set of 25 criteria to obtain a balanced overview of their customer service levels. The judging criteria is



periods to ensure that agents have been rigorously and fairly judged.


Robert McLean from The British Property Awards said “Our awards has been entry, such as cost, to ensure that we have the most inclusive awards. Our award has also been designed to remove any opportunity for bias or manipulation. If an agent has been attributed with one of our awards, it is simply down to the fantastic customer service levels that they have demonstrated across a prolonged period of time. Winning agents should be proud that their customer service levels provide a benchmark for their local, regional and national competition�.


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Fox Estate Agents is a multi award winning company, who are committed to the highest level of customer service. Contact us, or come into the office to meet the team who are happy to give you some good, free, friendly advice.

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Are you not enough? Many of us spend our life time seeking for more and better. ‘If I only get that job, this relationship, that number in my bank account, this recognition…, I will be happy.’ ‘When I retire, then I will relax and enjoy my life.’ ‘If only my health was better…’ ‘If I was slimmer, stronger, more beautiful / handsome…, my life would be way better.’ These are but a few examples of common thinking. Our thoughts around lack, insufficiency, incompleteness lead to negativity, emotional turmoil, ill health and a struggle to enjoy life. At some point, we may realise that will power is limited and that we are constraining, destructing, or sabotaging ourselves. And it’s usually at that point, when we start looking for ways to change. Rapid Transformation Therapy (RTT) provides a way to change by finding and rooting out the cause of the issue so that we can override the limitations in our mind. We can find a totally different approach to ourselves, life and the world around. RTT is a brief therapy using a particular hypnotherapy model. It provides immediate and lasting results, so you never want to go back. It also works well as part of psychotherapy.

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BIP BOP BLOG by Charlotte Wise

Making the video

Hello DL Readers! Just wanted to start off by saying thank you to everyone who has got in touch with your kind words of support. My website is now officially LIVE and kicking! It’s so exciting! It’s really brought home the fact that I am actually a little Dartford mum in business and I couldn’t be prouder! If you’re reading this for the first time and thinking - ‘what the heck is this girl going on about?!’ I have a start-up business selling children’s gifts and wooden toys and last month my brand new website was launched. On top of that, I’ve teamed up with Dartford based digital marketing agency The Creation Lab to make a video ALL about it! I’ll admit this was not originally part of my business plan, but I really wanted to show people that even though you

can choose to buy from any business, when you ‘shop small’ and buy from me, you’re supporting a little family. At the point of me writing this blog, we’ve shot one day of filming so far and on the day I was SO nervous! I had probably re-applied my makeup and adjusted my hair 50 times! We filmed at a local baby class and so many people were happy to be involved, But just as we had everything set up and everyone was ready and in position, the sound stopped working! This was literally a heart in mouth moment for me. If we didn’t have sound, we couldn’t film and it was our one chance to do so. Luckily, Matt and Ella from the Creation Lab were true professionals and had brought backups of EVERYTHING and managed to replace the sound recorder that had over heated. Once it was fixed, we were ready to go again and once the cameras started rolling, ironically I started to relax a bit more. It was such a good day and so many mums got involved which was so lovely to see. We still have another day of filming to go and once it’s finished, I can’t wait for you to see it! Do follow me on social media @bipbopmum to be one of the first to see it go live! And if you haven’t already done so, visit my brand new website - you will receive a free goody bag with every order too! Until next time Charlotte x BipBopShop Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @bipbopmum Visit the website


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Dream Doors, the UK’s leading kitchen makeover company, is bringing their award-winning service to Dartford and the surrounding areas. The brand-new showroom located in Crayford is owned by brothers in law Sam and Abdul who will hold the opening ceremony on Thursday 3rd May. With almost 80 showrooms across the nation, Dream Doors has become a brand to trust. The new showroom brings affordable dream kitchens to people living in Dartford, Crayford, Bexleyheath, Gravesend, Meopham and surrounding villages. Father of two Sam teamed up with brother in law Abdul and decided to set up a kitchen business after renovating their own kitchen. He says: “Renovating our kitchen made a huge difference to our quality of life. Our new kitchen became the focal point of our home Sam and Abdul joined Dream Doors, because their approach dovetailed perfectly with what they wanted to offer: a unique local service, replacing anything from kitchen doors and worktops to a full new kitchen to create a brand-new look for the kitchen. Abdul says: “With Dream Doors, our customers have the best of both worlds – the backing of a proven national service, delivered by local people. The local aspect of this business is very important to us. Our customers have access to a small team of local experts and time-served tradesmen who pay personal attention to delivering the best service possible.” Dream Doors offers a very popular service; removing the hassle and saving both time and money compared to a full refit.


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by Local Resident, Jane Stevenson BLINDED BY THE LIGHT Earth Hour 2018 was on March 24, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Did anyone notice? Did anyone take part? The constant illumination of Dartford and the surrounding area 24 hours of the day simply isn’t necessary. From where I live, I have the constant glow of Bluewater in the distance. It never goes away, casting a shimmer across the area from early on in the evenings. I appreciate that many are employed in jobs that require night working, and my concern is not addressed towards them. However, can anyone justify the lighting being left on in shopping centres, window displays and advertising signs, especially in the middle of the night when the majority are asleep. There is a growing body of academic evidence that suggests constant light is extremely bad for our health. The findings are scary to say the least. Our bodies run on a circadian control, which as the name suggests, is a 24 hour pattern. Disruption of the pattern, caused by the constant use of electric lighting, left on for all hours, makes it harder for us to synchronise our biological clocks. Electric light can be responsible for mood swings, behavioural disorders, metabolic dysfunctions, certain illnesses and the ability of our bodies to heal themselves on a cellular level. Wildlife is affected too, with animals near brightly lit urban areas suffering from interrupted foraging patterns, reproductions and immune functions. I appreciate street lighting, especially in semi rural and rural areas is probably of more importance for those communities; but surely town centres don’t need to be lit up like a Christmas tree all year. Recently I drove through Dartford just before midnight. The number of supermarkets still ablaze with lights, the two shopping centres and all manner of smaller outlets pumping out harsh, artificial light surprised and saddened me. I appreciate we live in a 24 hour society but at what costs to ourselves? As people we are too precious to ignore our health. Days off work for depression, insomnia and other related disorders are at an all time high. We are told repeatedly how the NHS is close to collapse, how 14

long it takes to get a GP appointment nowadays. We are reminded constantly of anti social behaviours by some. Yet the simple act of reducing light, resting our minds and bodies in a more natural rhythm could have the healing effect so many of us miss. Going back to the ‘good old days’ isn’t an option. However taking responsibility for our towns, our resources and ourselves is. It would be interesting to learn whether the powers- that-be who manage these places would consider dimming overnight lighting, or even doing away with the unnecessary illuminations all together. The effect of a switch off would be well worth it in my opinion. The velvety dark of night is often comforting and an important part in maintaining our wellbeing. In the mean time I continue to struggle with the security light placed on the top of the telegraph pole outside my bedroom window, lighting a quiet road with no through traffic. Incidentally, I did look out the window on March 24th. In all honestly I couldn’t see any difference in the light quality for Earth Hour. Did it really slip past us all? TV OR NOT TV – THAT IS THE QUESTION...PART TWO OF THE SAGA The Towers is still without TV. It’s five weeks since the aerial ended its existence by keeling over and lying across our roof. The scaffold is now up to repair it, but thanks to the constant wet and cold weather, the builder is playing catch up and as a result we are still without the box. In the meantime I have completed three 1000 piece jigsaws, read a play and a couple of novels, begun writing again, walked around in the daylight and had a few early nights. Result is I have more energy, a spring in my step and am more aware of my surroundings than before. I’m not advocating we all chuck our tellies away, but the delay in repair has certainly changed leisure habits in this house, and for the better. Have a good month all

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Years ago there used to be three classes now there are just two classes but these are getting tighter and tighter. Our truck is an old mechanical engine and older vehicle but we are only two seconds a lap off the pace of the Division One Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) £300,000 worth of machinery built in Europe! Are there specific types of trucks that can take part in the truck racing? A lot of the trucks use the same chasis rails and MAN axles and a Cummins engine. Our truck is a Mercedes Cab. We are trying to stay with Mercedes as there isn’t currently a Mercedes truck in the championship. This is helping with sponsorship as we have had interest from Mercedes dealers.

Local resident and pub landlord, Simon Cole, is going HARD at it in his pursuit of the British Truck Racing Association (BTRA) Division 2 title. Having previously run his own team, Cole Trucksport, he has now decided to partner with successful local motorsport team, Team HARD, to compete in the 2018 BTRA Division 2 championship with plans to expand the team in 2019. Simon is Dartford born and bred and still lives on West Hill. He used to be the landlord of the Oddfellows pub and has now taken over the Royal Oak, which he has refurbished and reopened on the 26th April.

Your next race is over in Pembrey in Wales. How are you feeling about that? I like Pembrey. It is a technical track but I am a multiple race winner there so I’m very hopeful! You have recently taken over the Royal Oak in Dartford. What are you plans for it? We have just refurbished everything. New kitchen, toilets, furniture and beer lines. We are going to be offering traditional pub food and a Sunday Roast. We will also be introducing live bands at weekends. What people want really.

Dartford Living caught up with Simon to discuss his racing and also this thoughts on Dartford.

Are you originally from Dartford? I was actually born in the hospital on West Hill and I am still living on West Hill today.

You started the Truck racing season a few weeks ago. How did it go? They have changed the setup this year. The British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) have taken the coordination of the series over. We have had a bit of trouble as they are trying to cut out the smoke (from the trucks). We have cut it down by half but there have been very harsh penalties which has hurt us. I was pulled out of two races, one that I was leading, and given time penalties but we are still third in the championship so all in all it was a good weekend especially as it is a new truck that we have just rebuilt.

They Royal Oak is now fully open and can be found on Spital Street Dartford.

What do you feel is good about Dartford and what would you like to see improve? Parts of Dartford have been in a bit of a decline recently but I am sure they are on there way back up again as there is new regeneration of the centre that will bring more people to Dartford. The likes of Bluewater and Lakeside close by do not help but I am sure the people will come back.

You are now racing under the Team HARD banner. How is it being in the Team HARD stable? It is great. Tony and Ben’s support and all at Team HARD is unbelieveable. It has just got bigger and bigger. It is a good platform for us to start from. It looks like we will go full time with it next year. Possibly running a few trucks and just increase the profile of Cole Trucksport/Team HARD in the Truck racing world. For people not familiar with truck racing how is the championship run? Are there different classes? - -



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Travel spotlight – American Roadtrips The open road is as much a part of American culture as hot dogs and baseball. Thanks to the words of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, or the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, or the imagery of movies like Thelma & Louise, the highways of America are full of romance and adventure. With such iconic literature and pop culture associated with these roads, it is inevitable that they feature on many a bucket list. The best route is a matter of personal taste, and of personal ambition. Most of us have a region of the States that we identify more closely with, whether you are drawn to National Parks or big cities, prefer East coast, West coast or the Heartland. Personally, I’ve always loved the West coast, notably the Pacific coastline of California and inland to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. The route covers my preferences for wide-open spaces and big city excitement. But whatever your interests, there’s a route for you to take. Have a read of five classic itineraries, maybe one of them is on your list.

California State Route 1 The route along the Pacific coast between Dana Point, north of San Diego, and Leggett, in the heart of northern California’s redwood country, is an easy but exciting introduction to American road culture. Do the drive in the summer and you’ll be sun-blessed all the way; in winter, do it north to south and chase the light and heat. 18

Though the road skirts Greater Los Angeles and its legendary gridlocks, it does pass through Long Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, Santa Barbara’s wine country, Santa Cruz, Big Sur, San Francisco and the Point Reyes National Seashore. Route 101, with which Route 1 occasionally merges on its 745-mile coast-hugging journey, finally takes over completely near Leggett. If you enjoyed Sideways and like to be beside the seaside, this is the one to do.

Route 66 One highway that ends in California is the most famous of all – Route 66, created in 1926 as one of the first numbered highways. Before then, American roads were recognised by coloured bands on telegraph poles and were often maintained by private individuals. Originally stretching 2,451 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, Route 66 has lost sections to state roads, local roads, private drives and grass, and dwindled to a series of discontinuous “historic” byways. Some stretches remain open, most notably the 320-mile south-western Arizona section from the Petrified Forest to Kingman, via Winslow and Flagstaff – stay en route at the atmospheric La Posada hotel, where the 66 meets the equally celebrated Santa Fe railroad. To see what’s open and viable, see and check 66in2weeks. com to work out distances. Monument Valley Use Route 17 out of Phoenix, visit Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon and then head up the 160 to the cowboy film-scape of buttes and tabletops on the Arizona/Utah border. Then come down the 191 and across Interstate 40 to enter Winslow on Route 66. Combine with a Jeep drive along Diamond Creek Road, which goes along the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

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Crossing Route 20, this runs from Oregon to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and incorporates large sections of the Lincoln Highway – a sort of national “Main Street” that passes (or runs close to) the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, Lincoln’s cabin in Illinois, and the Big Mac Museum and giant Coffee Pot in Pennsylvania. The southernmost route – a good winter option – is Interstate 10, from Santa Monica to Jacksonville, Florida. Florida Keys The 150-mile US 1 from Miami to Key West skirts the Everglades and takes the “Ocean Highway” linking a series of keys (from Spanish cayo for “islet”), with the Gulf of Mexico on the right and the Atlantic on the left; the most spectacular section is the Seven Mile Bridge. 5. Coast to coast For those who want to live out an On the Road fantasy and travel coast to coast, there are several options. US Route 20, the longest road in the country, runs for 3,365 miles between Newport in Oregon and Boston, but is broken at Yellowstone National Park. Running parallel to the north is the 3,101-mile Interstate 90. To the south is Route 6, at 3,205 miles the longest continuous route. All these are fast, easy to drive and useful for those aiming to cross the US in two or three weeks without overdoing the driving.

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Whilst regular visitors to Bluewater might be familiar with PizzaExpress overlooking the water near to House of Fraser many may not have noticed a brand new PizzaExpress popping up near to the cinema. At the top of the long escalators lies a stylish and colourful restaurant which feels cosy despite its open front. Although the restaurant initially looked smaller than some of the other restaurants in Bluewater it does not feel cramped. It is modern with geometric prints and an industrial feel, but with artwork reflective of local naval links like the large piece on the left of the kitchen. One thing I love about PizzaExpress is their open kitchens as you can see the chefs working and making the pizzas. This was great for our children but also I like the fact you can see that it is clean!

We were lucky enough to sit in a booth which was not only comfortable but kept our children contained and although we had a view into the shopping centre it felt intimate. As we took our children along we were able to utilise the Piccolo children’s menu. For a reasonably priced £6.95 our oldest child (4 year old) was able to indulge in a three course meal which he took great pride in selecting himself. He was very pleased when his food arrived and I was equally pleased that the baked dough balls came with cucumber and tomato and the pudding with some fruit.

I was equally as impressed with the food on the main menu. I have eaten in PizzaExpress before but I was very impressed how much more diverse their menu is since I last visited. Whilst not vegan I picked a vegan pizza which the waiter was more than happy to swap the cheese on if I preferred non vegan. I also chose a Romana base which although looked huge was rolled much thinner and crispier than normal so I was able to finish it all without it feeling too heavy. My partner picked a broad bean pasta which was beautiful and reminded me of spring- our youngest son loved this too and ate a fair amount.

My favourite part of any meal is the dessert and these really did not disappoint. A decadent chocolate fondant for my husband. I tried this and was very pleased it wasn’t too stodgy as some often are. A delightful sticky toffee bundt for me, which was essentially very similar to a sticky toffee pudding and was delicious. I would definitely want to go back for the dessert especially if it has the salted caramel ice cream on it. One of the things that really made our visit superb were the staff. Our waiter was extremely engaging and seemed to take a genuine interest in the children who quickly felt very comfortable with him and felt able to ask for what they wanted. When we wanted to change some toppings on our pizza we were encouraged and assisted. The staff seemed to go out of their way to accommodate tastes and dietary requirements and ensured at various points throughout our meal that we were having a good time.

I would definitely revisit this restaurant its prominent position in the heart of a busy section of the shopping centre makes it ideal if you are going to the trampoline park or cinema and its intimate and bold design, its great food and attentive staff means it is one I will be recommending in the future. Food: 9/10 Service: 9/10 Atmosphere: 8/10 Child Suitability: 9/10 - -


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

Excel Security Systems your local security systems installation specialists. We can provide you with tailor made security systems for your home or business requirements.. SSAIB-certificated (Insurance Approved) Intruder Alarms CCTV Door Entry Access Control Service and Repairs Takeovers and Upgrades All our systems are designed to suit your needs and your budget.

Website: www.smnwillwriting Email: susan.norris@ Tel: 01322 291379


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

OVER 30 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE Most common problems that arise with double glazing can be solved quickly and cost effectively:

• Misted, cracked or broken glass • Drafts, leaks & condensation • Sticking, loose or broken handles • Window/doors not opening, closing • Patio doors not running smoothly • Cat flap & letterbox fitting/replacement • Lock and key replacement - -



The River Thames, at Dartford, is crossed by The QE2 bridge But the tunnel came first and it really was, a quite incredible dig! Which makes our town quite famous, as does a grey and brown bird The Dartford Warbler sings very sweetly - it’s song you’ve probably heard! Mick Jagger was born in the borough, in nineteen forty three And so was guitarist Keith Richards- there’s a plaque at the Station to see! A boxer - The Dartford Destroyer, was very well-known in his day And Len Goodman - the celebrity dancer, is extremely famous I’d say! But there’s really much more to Dartford - history around us abounds Henry VIII built a large manor house here, on the site of the Priory grounds Anne of Cleves, his Queen, also lived there – with nobility as her guests Pilgrims travelled by day to Dartford town, and overnight stopped to rest. Oliver Cromwell used Holy Trinity Church, to store his ammunition (Dartford has always been strategic, due to it’s prime position)! Nuns lived their lives in their Priory, carrying out their holy tasks We had the first commercial paper mill - in the whole of England’s past! Today the town, on the surface, may seem somewhat ordinary to some But so many have helped to make it, the great community it has become Naming all would be almost impossible (and this poem cannot be that long) But everyone who lives and works here, plays a part in how we all get along. So our thanks to the people of Dartford, for making our days so rewarding For all the help and encouragement, from the day we first put up our boarding We couldn’t have done it without you, and we’ll always continue to strive To serve and support this community with integrity, hard work and pride!

Diane Wisdom (Wisdom Estates) Rock Painting in Dartford.

Photos by Janice Blake

Local people from Dartford Painted Rocks on Facebook have been busy this month painting and hiding them around town. The rocks can also be exchanged at Stephen Oliver: Studio and Gallery located in the Orchard Shopping Centre.

DARTFORD PAINTED ROCKS are some great photos of their painted rocks. By Here Maria Kingsford

Local people from Dartford painted rocks on Facebook have been busy this month painting and hiding them around the town. The rocks can be exchanged at Stephen Oliver: Studio and Gallery located at the Orchard Shopping Centre. Here are some of the photos of their painted rocks. 24

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Sunday 8th July 2018 By taking part you will be helping men, women and children fighting cancer. Sponsored Walks from 10am Funday from 12 noon Dog Show (Registration 12.30pm) Held in the grounds of Darent Valley Hospital FREE ADMISSION and FREE PARKING

Celebrate and remember the life of someone you have lost. Celebrate the recovery of someone and give thanks for a saved life. Celebrate a new life. For more info: 01322 428392 1 0 50 y No: Charit tered Regis

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Has Your Double Glazing Steamed Up? Established for over a decade Cloudy2Clear windows have become a leading company for glass replacement. Issues with double glazing can often be gradual and may only be noticed during a clear sunny day or during the winter. A failed glass unit may no longer provide you with the protection you need or be energy efficient. Why not spend a few minutes checking your home to see if

you have any failed double glazing? If you act now you can avoid these problems. Now, you may think you need to replace the whole window including the frames and all the hardware, however Cloudy2Clear have come up with a simple and cost saving solution… Just replace the glass!! If you see condensation in your windows just visit our website or give us a call on 0800 61 21 118.

We will send out our highly experienced engineers for a free no obligation quote. A Cloudy2Clear quote takes on average no longer than 20 minutes. Once the quote is completed, we will sit down with you and explain the problem and tell you how we can fix it. With years of experience Cloudy2Clear have a wealth of knowledge and are recognised as a Which Trusted Trader, plus our

Cloudy2Clear GUARANTEE All Customers That An Average Quote Will Take No Longer Than 20 MINS!!!

work is backed by an industry leading 25 year guarantee. Cloudy2Clear also replace faulty locks handles and hinges on all windows and doors. Your friendly local Cloudy2Clear specialist is Luke Roberts and he services Dartford and surrounding areas So, if your windows are steamed up, broken or damaged give Luke a call for a free quotation on 0800 61 21 118.

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Reynolds Beauty Sixth Form New from September 2018

Open Days Tues 10th April 9.30am-11.30am Mon 14th May 4.00pm - 6.00pm • College course for 16 - 18 year olds • Full time fully funded course • Term Time Only • NVQ Level 2 Beauty Therapy with progression to Level 3 Email or call 01322 275807 to enrol 26

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WEBSITE: TELEPHONE: 0800 328 0006

by CAP

How to spot, avoid and report a loan shark

With the economic struggles facing our society today, illegal money lending is becoming a bigger problem than ever before, especially for vulnerable individuals such as those already dealing with debt. At Christians Against Poverty (CAP), we see many people approaching us for debt help after falling victim to illegal lending or ‘loan sharks’. It’s more important than ever to be aware of how loan sharks work, how to recognise and avoid them, and what to do if you suspect you’ve encountered one. What is a loan shark? A loan shark is a company or individual that lends money illegally, often charging very high interest rates. Because they aren’t legally regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (which provides rules and regulations around what money lenders can and can’t do), they might, for example, increase interest rates at will or refuse to close a loan even after it has been paid off. They may even become intimidating, threatening or violent. In any case, loan sharks have no legal right to make an individual pay the loan back because the ‘agreement’ isn’t legally binding.

all they appear to be. Before making any agreements, ask yourself the following questions: • Do they refuse to provide adequate paperwork or record of payment? • Are they uncertain about interest rates or the amount you’ll have to repay? • Have they asked you to provide valuable items such as passports, bank cards and driving licences? • Was the loan offered in cash with little evidence to trace it? • Does it feel wrong? Would you be worried about people finding out? • Are they listed on the Financial Services Register? (You can check this at Should I report it? Whether you suspect a loan shark early on, or if you’ve already made the deal, there is support available to help you. You should never feel ashamed or scared to report it, plus you can do it anonymously if you wish. Visit or for various ways to report a loan shark. What if I’m really struggling with money and need a loan? We’d always suggest exhausting all other options before borrowing money as this can lead to serious financial consequences. However, if you do decide to take out a loan, there are plenty of companies authorised by the FCA, as well as credit unions and governmental support you can claim. The main thing to remember is to be careful and shop around for the best deal. You should never feel that loans sharks are the only option. If you’re struggling with debt, CAP is here to help. We’ve been helping people to break free and take back control of their finances for over 20 years. Call free on 0800 328 0006 to book an appointment with a local debt coach or visit to find out more.

How do I know if a lender isn’t reputable? Loan sharks often start out appearing friendly and reputable, which can lead many people to falling victim. However, there are some tell-tell signs that they’re not - -


Work from Home Opportunity Part time / Anytime / when you have time could one of these opportunities be right for you ?

These opportunities are for those people who like to use whatever spare time they have, to make a difference. You want to help people and you often would like to earn extra income. These opportunities are all about helping other people; introducing others to products and services they need and will be of benefit. It is a perfect fit for people who care and with our experience we can help you along the way with much needed advice.

Find us online and /or talk details with Michael 0800 2983223 This is no Dragons Den fantasy or get rich quick scheme. But by the end of the year, you could be earning £300 -£500 a monthand that is our realistic estimate.

It is the opportunity to make some income and you have the satisfaction of helping people. You can find your own way to helping yourself. When a person is motivated, stuff happens. We will help you turn your spare time into real income around your busy carer schedule. And we will support you every step of the way, giving you tips and advice on working from home to work your way up to the extra income that you need.. At Extra Income for Carers, we understand how hard it is for people who set aside time to care - and how few opportunities come your way. Not many jobs allow you the flexibility to work when you can. Being your own boss, makes it possible, whatever your situation. We have researched and found real opportunities, which will mean you can turn your time into genuine income. We make your business our business – at no extra charge. Working with hand-picked reputable companies, we offer the chance for you to start your very own enterprise. No high-pressure selling or massive upfront fees are needed. These are opportunities that work and if you decide they are not for you, you can leave at any time.

Is your child the next Joe Root or Heather Knight? Dartford Cricket Club is an All Stars Cricket Centre for 2018 and aims to give children aged 5-8 a great first experience in playing cricket. The ECB programme costs £40, runs for eight weeks and delivers hour-long sessions which focus on being fun and active - parents are encouraged to take part too! All children receive a personalised pack including a cricket bat, ball, shirt, cap, backpack and water bottle. The sessions take place at Hesketh Park starting on Friday 11th May at 5:30pm. 28

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For more information and to sign-up visit

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 9th March Friday 20th April Friday 18th May Friday 8th June Friday 6th 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.

Complementary Therapy in Dartford Christine Ryan Dip ITEC member of CThA 07970 997 417 Are you in pain or feeling stressed? Did you know that 75% of illness is caused by stress? Complementary therapy can help by working on the sympathetic nervous system calming it down and providing relaxation. Massage helps alleviate pain, swelling, tenderness and tight muscles. I provide the following treatments in Dartford, or I can visit you at home if you live within a 10 mile radius: • • • • • • • • •

Holistic Massage – massage tailored to your needs which can be relaxing or energising. Deep Tissue Massage – firm massage for tight muscles and knots. Sports Massage – for tight muscles, injuries or to help you with your sport. Hot Stone Massage – heated stones are used to glide over your body which is very soothing. Pregnancy Massage – massage for pregnant women past their first trimester, helps with back ache, swollen legs, and provides relaxation. Reflexology – massage of the reflex points on the feet which correspond to organs of the body. Ear Candling – the natural alternative to ear syringing. A lighted ear candle is inserted in the ear which acts as a chimney drawing out any impurities and softening ear wax. Natural Facial – consists of cleanse, tone, mask and massage using all organic natural products. - Prices cost £12.00 for 20 minutes, £20.00 for 30 minutes, £35.00 for 60 minutes and £50.00 for 90 minutes. Pamper Parties – invite your friends over for a pamper party, each guest can choose any of the above mini treatments, prices start at £12.00.

With over 9 years experience in the complementary therapy business I can offer you a tailored treatment just for you. If you share my business facebook page with your friends you can claim a FREE mini treatment of your choice. Telephone me for details on 07970 997417. - -



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

“Looking good for summer.� Start your journey today No joining fee on memberships Offer ends 17th May 2018

Fairfield Leisure 01322 421166

Speak to a member of our team for more details 30

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Whatever place you're into

Terms and conditions apply Offer available 1st to 17th May 2018

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! E R O L A G S N I A BARG - -


SPORTS NEWS Bav’s Sporting Comment

Manchester City’s route to the Premier League title has been unaffected by serious opposition - a coronation in the making since they went top of the table in September. Manchester United’s shock home defeat by West Brom meant Pep Guardiola’s team reached their target with only two league defeats, against Liverpool and Manchester United, and have not looked back since that 6-0 win against Watford at Vicarage Road put them top of the pile. It has been an impressive feat of management by Guardiola to turn a 15-point deficit to deposed champions Chelsea last season into a runaway triumph. Guardiola has been helped, of course, by Manchester City’s spending power but it must not be ignored that rivals such as United, Chelsea and Liverpool have hardly had chequebooks that were gathering dust. City and Guardiola suffered the pain of Champions League defeat as they lost convincingly 5-1 over two legs to Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Europe’s elite competition is regarded as the Holy Grail by the club’s hierarchy - but in a Premier League context they have been the untouchables.

Dartford’s Health Walks Healthy Living Centre - Mondays 10.00am Darenth Country Park - Tuesdays 10.30am Greenhithe - Wednesdays 10.30am Central Park - Thursdays 11.30am Swanscombe - Fridays 10.00am Swanscombe - Sundays 9.00am


• • • • •

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

Upcoming events in May include:

5: Football - Women’s FA Cup final, Wembley 5: Boxing - Tony Bellew v David Haye, London 10-13: Golf - Players Championship, Sawgrass, Florida 13: Formula 1 - Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona 13: Football - final day of Premier League season 16: Football - Europa League final, Lyon 19: Football - FA Cup final, Wembley 24: Football - Women’s Champions League final, Kiev, Ukraine 24-27: Golf - PGA Championship, Wentworth 24-28: Cricket - England v Pakistan, first Test, Lord’s 25-27: Formula 1 - Monaco Grand Prix 26: Football - Champions League final, Kiev, Ukraine 26: Football - EFL Championship play-off final, Wembley 26: Rugby union - Premiership final, Twickenham; Pro14 final, Aviva Stadium 27 May-10 June: Tennis - French Open, Paris




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

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RECIPE - VICTORIA SPONGE by Debbie Dickinson

With two bank holidays and a royal wedding, May is the perfect time to invite friends and family round for a get together! Hopefully the weather will be kind and there’ll be a chance for a BBQ or two! And as everyone loves cake – what’s better than a homemade Victoria Sponge for dessert. This recipe will serve approx. 15 people. Before you start: Grease and line a 7” round cake tin and preheat the oven to 160ºC (140º Fan oven, Gas mark 3)

What to do: Cream the butter with the vanilla extract, then add the sugar and mix until pale and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently to ensure an even mix. Add each egg with a spoonful of flour until all eggs are mixed in. Then add the rest of the flour and mix until combined. (Don’t forget to keep scraping those sides down!) Pop the mixture into the tin and bake for approximately 1 hour. The cake is ready when a skewer, inserted into the cake, comes out dry/clean.

You will need:

Once the cake is cooled I prefer to split it into 3 layers, sandwiching 2 layers together with jam, and the others with buttercream.

For the cake: 225g margarine or softened butter 225g caster sugar 4 large eggs 225g self-raising flour 1tsp vanilla extract

To make the buttercream, cream together unsalted butter with vanilla extract, then add the icing sugar and cream until pale and fluffy. If you think it’s too thick add a splash of milk, too thin add a sprinkling more icing sugar!

For the buttercream: 100g unsalted butter 100g icing sugar 1tsp vanilla extract 34

Seedless raspberry jam

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As we come to the end of of a very successful 2017/18 season in which all of our twenty six primary schools have participated we move into a new era of schools football. With event, festivals and competitions on offer for boys

for the Kent Schools FA Finals, Wentworth, Holy Trinity and Joydens Wood (twice) were successful in the Futsal and Dartford Bridge picked up the winners trophy in the year 3/4 Floodlit Football League. Thanks to all that have supported the Dartford District

and girls from year 1-6 we hope all schools continue their involvement from September 2018. The 2017/18 season will end with the winners of the boys and girls Dartford District Schools FA Knockout Cup being crowned at Princes Park on Wednesday 25th April. Eight schools still have the opportunity to win the trophies which will be presented by the Mayor of Dartford and Council Leader Jeremy Kite. As Kent’s smallest schools district for football we are delighted to be able to offer four representative teams, nine events and competitions, staff CPD, work experience, Sports Leaders UK qualifications. We have further developed links during this academic year with Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Millwall Football Clubs our close work with Dartford FC continues, we have excellent opportunities to use their facilities through out the year, it continues to be home for our teams and tournaments. The tournaments on offer this year have been attended by more schools than ever, Wentworth girls and Joydens Wood boys won the annual tournament qualifying them 36

Schools FA this year, looking forward 2018/19 already, each school will have the opportunity to host a new Sports Inclusion funding raising event, something new on the Schools FA Calendar. We also look forward to working closely with Children’s Author and Illustrator Joseph Hopkins who has helped produce a children’s activities book “Busy Bodies” which will be available to buy on Amazon.

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18 0 2 Y A D N U F pm)

Y (10am – 4 ent DA11RT T I N U e ord, K OMM d, Dartf th Jun


10 m, Darenth Roa , y a d diu Sun nity Sta mmu

Park Co Princes


Mini - DFC Boys & Girls Tournaments • First Aid Cover by Jen Ibrahim • Music and Live Bands - including Dartford Steel Band • 2nd Chance Animal Rescue & Pets • Chubby Chicken Kebab & Burger Ice Cream Van • Champions’ Bar Open • DFC Club Shop Open • Meet available Dartford Players • Kevin the Dart • Bouncy Castle / Dartboard Football • Golf / Foot golf / Bubble Football • Bat and Trap Trials • Princes Park Stadium viewing • Car Boot Sale • Fun Stalls - Tombola, Cakes, Cookies • Hand - made Cards • Fire Engine / Ambulance (subject to Duties) • Face - Painting Raffles and lots more....



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DARTFORD PARKRUN Dartford parkrun is a free to enter 5k run every Saturday morning starting by the Dartford harriers track in Central Park at 9am. All participants get a time a position emailed and texted after the event. To register go to Remember to bring your printed Barcode. Every Sunday Morning in the Park there is a Junior parkrun over 2k – registration is the same. Dartford parkrun on 12th May (Saturday) and Dartford Junior parkrun on 13th May (Sunday) are cancelled due to The Dartford Steam Festival. DARTFORD HEATH PARKRUN Coming Soon SEEDS CYCLING CLUB DARTFORD Seeds is a long-established cycling Club in Dartford and we share our headquarters at Hesketh with Dartford Cricket Club. We cater for most abilities and have a social ride most Saturday mornings. For info on joining us please visit our website DARTFORD AND WHITE OAK TRIATHLON CLUB We are the local British Triathlon Federation Club covering Bexley, Dartford and Swanley. We offer coached swimming sessions 3 times per week at White oak pool in Swanley and Fairfield pool in Dartford. Our members compete in many local Triathlons plus many members are training towards Iron Man distance. We also have our own Triathlon in June every year which has been running since 1989. If you are interested in joining us then please visit our website ENTRIES ARE NOW OPEN FOR THE DWOT CLUB ANNUAL TRIATHLON The White Oak Triathlon is one of the oldest Triathlon events in England. Now in its 29th year the event is a club organised event, for triathletes delivered by triathletes so you can be sure that the club focuses upon delivering a first-class race experience. This is open to anyone whatever their experience Entries and more info at the following link DARTFORD ROAD RUNNERS Dartford Road Runners are based at Princes Park Stadium and are one of the biggest road running clubs in Kent. We currently have about 200 members of all abilities including a beginners group. DRR teams compete in the Kent League, the Assembly League and the Kent Fitness League. To see what we offer and how to join us please visit our website – anyone is welcome to join us with all abilities. JOYDENS WOOD SUMMER SERIES – 3 races on the last Wednesday in May, June and July – First race will be Wednesday 38

30th May 2018 at 7.15pm and is open to anyone – save the date and entry forms will be available soon or you can enter on the day RUN DARTFORD SERIES 2018 AGAIN SPONSORED BY DOWNTON AND ALI ASSOCIATES – 5 races around Dartford over the Summer – Race 2: Central Park 4 mile – 19:00 Friday 18 May 2018 entries at or pay and enter on the night (discount for booking the whole series) DARTFORD 10K – The second edition of our 10k will take place on the August Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 2018 at 9.00am and you can enter via our website http://www. DARTFORD HARRIERS ATHLETICS CLUB Dartford Harriers is among the leading athletics clubs in Kent, with a history stretching back to the 1920′s, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country. If you are interested in seeing how we can help you advance your Athletics then please visit our website CENTRAL PARK ATHLETICS CLUB We are situated in Dartford’s outstanding Central Park and can provide access to a state of the art running track (re-laid in 2015) and the full range of track and field facilities for just £4.50 per session (we offer discounted annual memberships). Refreshments and changing facilities are also available. For no extra charge, we hold coached track sessions on Wednesday evenings for runners of all abilities. This is a tough but very popular way to increase your stamina and running technique, and you’ll be in the company of qualified coaches and some of the friendliest runners around. For more information please visit our website - EVERY SUNDAY 10-11AM – CHILD FRIENDLY COACHED SESSIONS – COME AND JOIN THE CPA SWIFTS – As a fledgling club we would like to give children of all ages and abilities the chance to experience training and coaching within a club environment – come and be part of the team Free first session with this advert SO LET’S GO RUNNING (SLGR) SLGR is a local running club with structured training sessions designed to improve runners speed and stamina. There are currently four runs available with more starting soon; see below for more details. The Run leaders for each group are as follows; Dartford Cricket Club, Dartford - Dawn & Brian Cyclopark, Gravesend - Dawn & Brian New runners are always welcome, and you can contact Brian if you would like more information; see contact details and e-mail link on Our Group page.

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Stephen P. Gay

Historical Military Themed Tours for Clubs, Groups and Societies

Funeral Service

65 Darenth Road, Dartford, DA1 1LU

01322 617499 – 24 Hour

25 Station Road, Longfield, DA3 7QD

01474 700194 – 24 Hour

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

We are the only independently owned and family run Funeral Directors in Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford, will be available to meet with constituents on the Dartford & Longfield. following dates: Professional Service an affordable price. required) Bluewater, DA9 9ST (4.00 pm –at7.00 pm - Appointment Friday 3rd March We can provide prepaid Funeral Plans, Floral Tributes, a fleet of Hearses and Friday 21st April Limousines to suit or even a direct Cremation Service. Friday 19th May th Friday 9 June We also create our own memorials to commemorate a loved one. Friday 28th July Direct Cremation from £1,450.00 FridayService 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:

For more information, please visit Open Surgery – (no appointment necessary)

Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford – Saturday 15th July

“Let our family, take care of your family.” If you would like to meet Gareth at one of his regular appointment based surgeries in the future, please

M e m o r i contact a l , Ehim x h atu a t i o n , R e p a t r i a t i oorn telephone & F u n020 e r7219 a l 7047. Service

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EXERCISE FOR FAT LOSS By Mark Broadbent I’ve often said that training for fat loss is simple. It is… but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. By simple I mean exactly that – it doesn’t need to be complicated! You’re not training to be an elite level athlete so your training doesn’t need to be mapped out in great detail with every set and rep pre-planned months in advance. There’s no need for periodisation, split routines, microand macro-cycles or anything so advanced. You can make use of these, but at this point it’s a lot of fuss and not really necessary. Like diet, you just need to get the basics covered and be consistent, there’s no need for intricately planned meals and hard to follow diet plans. For fat loss, you need to burn calories. That’s it. Yes, there are some methods that may be more efficient at doing this, but all you really need to do is put the work in. There are no shortcuts, no supplements, no magic exercise routines or exercises, no secret Diets to follow. Just eat well and do the work. You want to be using big exercises that use your whole body (they burn more calories than small, isolated exercises) and do as much as you can. Slog through it, sweat, cry if you need to, but if it’s easy, you’re not working hard enough (or it’ll take a very long time!). Exercises that work your muscles harder will also be beneficial. The harder the muscles work the more energy (calories) they’ll burn. So if the choice is between traditional “cardio” type exercise or moving some weights around – choose the weights. Beyond burning more calories, this will also be beneficial for building or maintaining strength. Find your level and push yourself past it. As you get fitter and stronger, this level will improve, and then you need to push a bit harder again. Just keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Exercises/classes you enjoy are essential to keep you motivated and keep you turning up, but you still need to

be working hard. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Get as much work done as you can in your allocated time available. If you have an hour to workout, don’t take 3 minute rests between 30-second sets! Flip it around and take shorter rests (if any) between longer, tougher sets. This is where timers come in handy, and using large exercises that, no matter how much you want to stop, you can keep going if you push yourself. Always train safely and don’t endanger yourself by not stopping when you should stop, but choose exercises that enable you to safely keep going, where fatigue won’t affect technique too much or you can just switch to another exercise that you can do with good form. Bodyweight exercises lend themselves nicely to this. Lunges, burpees, sprints and running, swimming etc. Push-ups and Pull-ups will also work, but be aware that your reps will be low so you’ll need to use a number of different exercises with non-competing muscle groups to enable you to keep moving (circuit training). The simple fact is that to lose weight, you need to do the work. Don’t look for the next gimmick, a magical piece of equipment or crazy exercise, just do the basics… a lot. Some training plans are better than others, but for the most part, for the initial stages of weight loss, you can kind of do anything you want within reason. Doing something is better than waiting until you’ve found the right thing. Just get started and keep going. You can always make adjustments on the way. Train safe! Mark Broadbent If you need help, get in touch for Personal Training or Nutrition Coaching via, - -






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and the lead in the Dunlop ‘Forever Forward’ award, which rewards drivers for the number of places that they have made up during the race weekend. Continuing his solid results, Michael Caine scored a 24th placed finish while Bobby Thompson finished 26th. Jake Hill was classified 29th, 3 laps down. Tony Gilham (Team HARD. Principle):

Team HARD scored their best placed finish in the BTCC with a 2nd placed finish by Jake Hill in the 2nd round of the Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend.

“It’s been a lot of hours, a lot of time, a lot of hard work,” explained Gilham. “So today has been emotional – they are essentially four brand new cars – there’s very little remaining from last year’s car. We rolled the dice a little bit with the chassis changes but we trust in our engineering team and it’s paid dividends out the box.

Going into the races the Team HARD drivers had managed to qualify their VW CC’s in 22nd (Mike Bushell) 25th (Jake Hill) 27th (Bobby Thompson) and 30th (Michael Caine) after a very close qualifying session where the top 30 drivers were covered by just 0.921 seconds. In the opening race Mike Bushell retired early after unfortunate contact with teammate Jake Hill. Bobby Thompson and Michael Caine had solid first races to start their campaign. Both managed to make up a number of positions and finished 19th and 21st respectively. The second race of the day was where all the action happened. The rain had just eased off and there was a decision to make whether to go on wets or risk slick tyres. Mike Bushell and Jake Hill took the gamble to go with slicks. Up until the 10th lap the track was still favouring the wet shod cars but a dry line started to appear and the slicks shod cars were able to scythe their way through the field. Hill and Bushell were on a charge. Hill’s cause was helped with a coming together between Moffat and Proctor that demoted Moffat down the order. As the laps came down Hill kept pushing for the win. In the end he had to settle for 2nd place which was greeted with immense emotion in the Team HARD garages. With Mike Bushell bringing his VW CC in 8th position it was a double celebration for the team. Michael Caine scored another solid 24th position while a mechanical fault brought Bobby Thompson’s race to a premature end 5 laps from the finish.

It was a decent start to the year at one of our weakest circuits. So it’s been a good weekend. We had a little bit of a lucky break, but it was also an educated risk to go for the slick tyre in race two so it’s nice to take that risk and for it to pay off.” Team HARD also run cars in the VW Cup, British GT, Britcar Endurance Championship and the Ginetta GT4 Supercup. All of these championships have started. You can follow the teams progress via their official website -

Images - Hill Speed Images

After the frantic finish of the second race, the team were brought down with a bump in race 3 with Moffat making contact with Jake Hill on the warm up lap causing damage to the rear toe link of Jake’s car that meant he was destined to finish 3 laps down after the team had made some repairs. After the heroics of Jake in the 2nd race it was time for Mike Bushell to step forward. ‘Bomber’ Bushell didn’t disappoint with a robust drive that saw him take a well earned 5th place - -



April was another great month’s entertainment at the Orchard. Alongside the usual fantastic programme of music and comedy, the highlights were three very different musicals: Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends welcomed back some familiar faces from the popular 00s TV series; local theatre company DAODS broke our hearts with their new production of West Side Story; and the hilarious Spamalot reminded us why Monty Python will always be a legendary part of British comedy history. Following in Fat Friends’ footsteps, there’s more TV nostalgia on the way in May with Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (8th12th), starring one of Dartford’s favourite entertainers, Joe Pasquale. Based on the popular 1970s sitcom, it’s the story of disaster-prone Frank Spencer - a role made famous on TV by Michael Crawford - as his long-suffering wife Betty attempts to let him know there’s a baby on the way. Described by Whats on Stage as a “sparkling frothy farce with a heart”, this laugh-out-loud comedy is a must-see, whether you remember the original show or you’re discovering it for the first time. And the nostalgia doesn’t stop there, as the following week Dartford will be home to The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas (14th-19th). Join Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin as they perform together at the Sands Hotel, with special guests Ella Fitzgerald and the Burelli Sisters, all accompanied by a sensational big band. You don’t need to have been around in the 1950s to know the


hits - That’s Amore, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Everybody Loves Somebody, and many more - so get your tickets now for what promises to be a night to remember. Back to the 21st century and there’s more family fun with the Olivier Award-nominated Gangsta Granny (23rd-26th), brought to us by the producers of Horrible Histories. The best-selling novel from David Walliams follows Ben as what he expects to be a boring Friday night eating cabbage at Granny’s turns into an exhilarating adventure when he learns she has a big secret. The show was a huge hit in the West End and is now delighting audiences on a national tour; don’t miss this fun-filled night out for the young - and the young at heart! Also this month, we have comedy from David Baddiel (2nd) and Sarah Millican (3rd-4th), music from Elkie Brooks (13th) and Jools Holland (31st) and tributes to Bob Marley (27th), Fleetwood Mac (7th) and the Everly Brothers (Walk Right Back - 29th), among many others. And don’t miss Strictly favourite Pasha, who’s joined by Anya Garnis in his new show The Magic of Hollywood (30th). Check out for full details and to book your tickets. For London and local theatre reviews, visit

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Three broken hearts, one Soho hang-out, and the only man who could ever help them… Son of a Preacher Man is the sparklingly funny and sweetly touching new musical by internationally-renowned writer Warner Brown featuring the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield. So you know just what to do with yourself – book your tickets now!

Starring recording artist Michelle Gayle (Wolfblood, EastEnders, Beauty and the Beast - West End) and Alice Barlow (Hollyoaks, Drifters). Directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood.

Tuesday 26 June – Saturday 30 June To book tickets visit | Ticket Office: 01322 220000 We have teamed up with The Orchard Theatre to offer 4 tickets for opening night (Tuesday 26 June at 7:30pm). To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize just answer the following question... Which soap did Michelle Gayle appear in? a) Hollyoaks b) Coronation Street c) Emmerdale d) Eastenders Closing date 15th May. Email your answer to Good luck! RUES: 1. The winner(s) will be the first correct entry/entries drawn. 2. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. Prizes are as stated and no cash in lieu or an alternative prize will be offered.. 4. Winners will be notified by telephone by the Orchard, within 5 working days of the competition being drawn. 5. Employees and the immediate families of participating companies are ineligible to enter. 6. Closing date for the competition is stated above. 6. Unless you advise otherwise we can use your email to send you promotional material from Dartford Living. - -


CAR NEWS - MAY 2018 By Dhiren Ganesh

In this month’s article we’ll bring you new model versions available in 2018 from different manufacturers around the world.

2018 Ford Focus – This is the new Ford Focus which is the third best selling model in the UK in 2017. The fourth-generation model has a curvier exterior than its predecessor, as well as being slightly lower and longer, with more space inside for occupants and luggage. You’ll only be able to buy the Focus in five-door form. The interior of the Focus is less button-heavy than before and features more soft-touch materials to help the car compete against its premium rivals. Engine options include Ford’s turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit with 84bhp, 99bhp or 123bhp. There’s also a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine with 148bhp or 180bhp. Diesel buyers can choose from a 94bhp 1.5-litre or 148bhp 2.0-litre engine. Driver assistance technologies on the new car include lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and adaptive headlights. Prices for this latest Focus start from £17,930, which is a saving of more than £2000 on the old car and will be om sale from July 2018.


2018 Audi A6 Avant – The new Audi A6 Avant will maintain its boot size despite a dramatically sportier look. The styling effect is emphasised by a roof-extending spoiler and a chrome line down the side of the car. The resulting boot space – 565 or 1680 litres, depending on whether the rear seats are up or down which rivals competitors. Because the car is longer and wider, Audi has also been able to stretch the interior space, improving elbow room in the front and rear. The interior layout is near-identical and includes a dramatic screen arrangement that dominates the space and utilises Audi’s MMI infotainment and voice control systems. Semi-autonomous functions that support the driver are also available, from automatic braking if the car detects a potential impact to lane-keep assistance. The car can also automatically accelerate and brake in slow-moving traffic. There will be a choice of V6 diesel or V6 petrol engine with a mild hybrid systems to improve fuel economy. An entry-level figure of around £40,000 is expected when it goe on sale in this summer.

2018 Lexus LS 500h – this is the fifth generation of Lexus’ flagship model. In the UK, there’s a choice of just one engine – a 3.5-litre V6 that’s augmented by a couple of electric motors fed by a battery pack in the rear. You do get some choice, though; both rear and four-wheel drive are available depending on the model you pick. Lexus also boasts Level 2 autonomy technology on the LS. Radar cruise control and lane keep assist do a good job of keeping the car in lane with little to no intervention. All models contain leather seats that get progressively posher as you go up the range and there’s the predictable choice of wood or metal inlays depending on model. Should you want to really stand out, top-spec Premier models have the option of cut-glass trim pieces and hand-pleated fabric on the doors. The model is priced from £72,595 and on sale now.

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

MONDAYS 9:15am - 11:00am - A&J Toddlers - St Anselms Church Community Centre, Dartford. £2.00 per one adult and child and 50p for any extra children or adults each. Tea/coffee biscuits, small snack for children with juice. Toast 20p per slice Craft table and singing and dancing at end of session Contact Julie on 01322 291092. TUESDAYS Session 1: 9.15-10.45am, and Session 2: 11-12.30pm. Christchurch, Crossroad, Dartford. Contact Catherine on 01322 220036. 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 for further information. 9.30am-11.30am Sticky Fingers - £1.50 per adult includes tea ,biscuits and healthy snack time for the children For pre school children up to 4 years St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall London Road Greenhithe Contact 01322 382031 or see WEDNESDAYS 9.30am -11.30am. The Salvation Army, 66 Hythe Street, Dartford. Please call us on (01322) 288434 for further information. 10am -12pm - Little Angels Net Church, (Formerly Gala Bingo Hall) Dartford, £2.50 per family including all snacks and drinks. Charlotte 01322 272649. 11.15am - SLADE GREEN AND HOWBURY COMMUNITY LIBRARY BABY AND TODDLER ACTION RHYME TIME GROUP 12:45pm -2.45pm - Fleetdown Open House - Fleetdown Community Centre, Swaledale Road, Dartford, DA2 6JZ £2.50 per Adult THURSDAYS 9:30am - 11:30am. St Paulinus Church Hall, Manor Road, Crayford. 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - 1pm-2.30pm Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers - FRIDAYS 9.30am-11am Baby and me for expectant mothers and mothers / carers of chidren up to 2. £1 per adult St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 or see 9.30am-11am Toerags Toddler Group - Adult education centre, Dartford £3 per Child - £1 Non Walkers 9.30am-11.30am Carer & Toddler Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Stone Place Rd, Greenhithe. Jeanne 01322 380322 jeannehoadley@ 1-3pm Gigglekidz, Tree Estate Community Centre on Cedar Road - £2 Per Child SATURDAYS 9.30am-11.30am Daddy and Me - A group for dads and male carers of children up to 5years. £1.50 includes healthy snack time for the children. St Mary Greenhithe Church Hall, London Road Greenhithe. Contact 01322 382031 or see www.stmarygreenhithe. com 2-3pm - Lego Club- ages 5 and over - Chrome Road Slade Green DA8 2EL Tel: 01322 333602

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

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

The World Garden and Lullingstone Castle

8 EVENTS 201 AM - 5PM TH MAY - 11 27TH & 28 kend Medieval Wee - 5PM* – 12 NOONme 17TH JUlNE rden Sche Nationa Ga 11AM - 5PM & 1ST JULY 30TH JUNEe Rally Fire Engin - 5PM GUST - 11AM TH & 27THkeAU nd 25TH, 26nt ee W s er Plant Hu - 5PM BER – 11AM TH SEPTEM 15TH & 16Ce n Weekend tio ra leb Mexican M NOON - 7PEv TOBER - 12 rving ent 28TH OCen Pumpkin Ca & we llo Ha

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

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WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Groups and Clubs

THE NORTH WEST KENT BRANCH OF THE MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE ASSOCIATION meets at 8pm on the 4th Wednesday evening of each month in the PopIn Parlour, Mill Road, Northumberland Heath, Erith. The meetings last about 2 hours and the group often have a speaker on a variety of subjects, followed by tea and biscuits and general chat. For more information contact Eileen on 01322 228169.

NORTH KENT EMBROIDERERS’ GROUP Meets on the third Saturday of every month (except August) from 2pm - 4pm in the Community Room of Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1BE. The programme of activities is varied with workshops, talks and sit and stitch sessions. Visitors are very welcome. More information can be found on our website www. or phone 01474324734.

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.

THE GARDENING CLUB SUTTON AT HONE Monthly meetings, Visits to Gardens, Annual Garden Show and much more. For more information or to become a member please ring 01322 863556.

ALL DIRECTIONS is a community learning organisation for adults and young people aged 16+ with physical, learning and mental health difficulties. For more information, attend a taster session or visit our community lunch club, contact Caroline on 01322 440482 or 07570 347612

AGE UK, CRAYFORD LIBRARY POP IN PARLOUR COFFEE MORNING every Friday morning 10.30 - 12.30 Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and a chat - Just £1

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.

BEXLEY AND DARTFORD BRANCH PARKINSONS UK 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

JUST FOR GROWN UPS GROUP We are a small friendly group who meet at the Meeting Place in the Orchards Shopping Centre on the first Tuesday of the month. Join us any time between 11am and 1pm for a social chat, coffee and biscuits or a fun quiz. For more information contact

MODERN LINEDANCING CLASSES 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

SHORNE FLOWER ARRANGERS 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

BEXLEY PHILATELIC SOCIETY Meetings first and third Friday of the month at Freemantle Hall, Bexley village, 7:30 for 7:45 start. Covering stamps and postal history, meetings offer displays, auctions, competitions, and convivial atmosphere. More information on

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 for more details or visit our website https://swanleyhistorygroup.weebly. com or Facebook page. Annual membership £5 includes a monthly newsletter. 50

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DARTFORD BRIDGE CLUB meets every Tuesday evening at 7.00 pm at Wilmington Christian Fellowship Church Hall, Broad Lane, Wilmington DA2 7AQ. We are seeking new members at all levels to play Duplicate Bridge -cost £2 per session. Enquiries: contact John Davies on 01474 832221 or e-mail 20S 30S DARTFORD BEXLEYHEATH SURROUNDING AREAS SOCIAL GROUP more information visit: DARTFORD U3A (UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE) meets on the first Tuesday of every month (except August) at St Anselm’s Church Hall, West Hill, Dartford at 2pm, For information about meetings and interest groups call 01474-709068 or visit our website. THE DARTFORD STROKE GROUP This group meets Monday afternoons at the YMCA Roundhouse, Overy Street, Dartford for a chat in a relaxing atmosphere, chair-based excise sessions, stroke leaflets and magazines, informal workshops, special art or games sessions and outings. It is aimed at Stroke Survivors, their carers, family and friends. Please contact Theo Hodges on Theo.Hodges@gmail. com or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68296 for more details and current dates of our events and meetings DARTFORD FLORAL CLUB The club meet on the 3rd Friday of the month at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Rd.(opp Papermakers Arms) at 7.30 Come along for an evening of beautiful flowers, fun and friendship. Entrance £6.00, refreshments and a raffle with the chance to take home a beautiful floral arrangement. Contact Chris 01322 836026 DARTFORD QUILTERS meet on the 2nd Saturday of each month at the Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherds Lane, Dartford. We run a varied programme of activities suitable for the beginner through to the more experienced quilter. More details can be obtained from the club secretary on 01474 834872 DARTFORD BOOKS AND CULTURE CLUB meets once a month on Saturday mornings at Dartford Library. For more information, find us at www.meetup. com/West-Kent-Book-Club/ THE DARTFORD CHESS CLUB The club meets every Thursday evening from 7.30pm at St Anselms Parish Hall, West Hill and was founded 100 years ago in 1914. All queries to Mike Wiltshire at 01322 272152 or visit

at Sutton at Hone Village Hall. 1.30pm until 4.30pm. £3.00 per afternoon (to include a raffle ticket and tea/ coffee) £10.00 yearly fee. We are a small, friendly club, not expensive. Tuition given. All supplies can be bought in situe. Come and see if you like it, You will be very welcome. Contact - Maureen Beckham 01322 287214. Marie Blake 01474 704581. Doreen Goddard 01474 707357. WEST HILL MORRIS Come and join your local Morris side, dancing and performing in Dartford, Gravesend and Bexley areas and throughout Kent in the Summer. We are a mixed and very sociable side, and can always find room for new dancers and musicians. It’s a great way of keeping fit and you’ll be helping to conserve a great English tradition. We practice alternate Tuesday evenings at Bexley, from September to April, then dancing out at pubs, clubs and fetes, throughout Kent, from May to August. Private Bookings taken. Contact Alison on 01322 862298, e-mail THE WELLBEING LINK The Wellbeing Link meets on Friday mornings from 10-1pm in the St. Anselm’s Parish Centre, 89 West Hill, Dartford A friendly and informative group - call Julie On 07775875585 STIMUL8 ACTIVITY SERVICE I provide all the equipment, materials and refreshments with just a small all inclusive, pay as you go, fee of £10.00 per person per session. Those who come have the opportunity to learn painting with watercolours, acrylics, inks and how to draw with pencils, soft pastels, oil pastels, charcoals, watercolour pencils, fabric pens, plus basics of sculpting and have the opportunity to sign up to additional floral workshops I offer too. THE ASSOCIATION OF BEXLEY CHARITIES ’78 is holding a Grand Spring Fair at the United Reformed Church Geddes Place, Bexleyheath DA6 7DJ (near the Broadway Shopping Centre) on Saturday 14th April 2018 from 9.45 am - 1.00 pm Local charities will be selling CDs; DVDs; Jewellery; Cards; Books; Jams, Cakes, Pickles; Toys; Model Railways; Collectables; Children’s Games Admission 50p, accompanied children free Refreshments Charities represented: Alzheimers Society, Bexley Branch; Bexley Downs Syndrome Group; Bexley Smile; Breast Cancer Now; Cats Protection Bexley and Dartford; The Children’s Society; Demelza Hospice Care For Children; LEPRA Health in Action; Lupus UK; Motor Neurone Disease Association

COLUMBINE CHINA PAINTERS CLUB meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month - -


WHERE TO GO LOCALLY Groups and Clubs

TONI MOUNT HISTORY CLASSES The group meet every week at Towncentric in Gravesend and this year we are looking at Everyday Life in Medieval London. We meet every Thursday from 10.30-12.30 at £6.00 per week customers can phone me on 01474 355676 for more information or look at my website DSTC ALUMNI Hi all, if you went to DSTC, DTC, Dartford West Girls or any other name that the school has been known as we would love to hear from you! The school is looking to make links with former students to help raise the profile of the school but also as a way of getting back in touch with people. There will be an event later on in the academic year and we are planning some exciting things for the group so get joining and let’s get reminiscing!! 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 CRAYFORD TOWN ARCHIVE incorporating Barnehurst and Slade Green. Meet every Monday (except the third Monday) of the month at Crayford Library hall - 2pm-4pm. Call in for a chat about old Crayford and to view the large collection of local images, or bring your own for us to copy. TALK TIME TUESDAY 2.00 - 3.00PM (TERM TIME ONLY) Fleetdown Library Everybody welcome, join us for a friendly chat and light refreshments. HAVEN (LGBT) SOCIAL GROUP. London / Kent area. Every Friday - a safe Place to Meet. For more information please contact 01322 287356 or 07503 306467 or email - SCRAPPY DAYS! A SCRAPBOOKING GROUP is being held at Hawley Pavilion, Hawley Road, 52

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

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centre. At the meeting we have a guest entertainer or speaker, we also organise holidays and day trips out as well as activities including theatre trips, curling, short mat bowls, indoor games, coffee and cake afternoons and an art group. Just turn up on the day or phone Maureen Dixon-Jones 01322 383337 or Glenys Theobald 01322 273108 for more information THE ROTARY CLUB OF THE NORTH DOWNS They meet at the Holiday Inn, Black Prince, Thursday evenings 7:30pm for 7:45pm for Dinner and fellowship. For details phone 07759 863836. THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S REGISTER The National Women’s Register (NWR) is a national organisation that meets in the Dartford area. The NWR is a discussion group for ‘lively minded women’. Contact can be made via or call 01603406767 and ask about the Dartford group. HEALTHCARE RETIREMENT GROUP Dartford & Gravesham Branch. Meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Masonic Hall, West Hill, Dartford from 10-12pm.Activities include guest speakers, outings, lunches, holidays and quizzes. For more information contact Marion on 01322 402967 OVER 55’S CLUB - We meet every Wednesday 2pm to 4.30pm at Tree Community Centre, Cedar Road. We play bingo, tea and biscuits, and socialise. We also run regular coach trips to the coast throughout the year. Our club is open to anyone over 55 wherever you live and costs just 60p to come along and join in. So why not come and join our friendly welcoming social club? For further information please call either John Letchford on 01322 270732 or Pam Carr on 01322 222195. JOYDENS WOOD WOMEN’S INSTITUTE meet on the third Tuesday of every month, with meetings beginning at 7.45pm. We meet at the Community Centre, Birchwood Drive, Wilmington, DA2 7NE. More information can be found at (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 FAIRFIELD (DARTFORD) WI 2nd Tuesday of every month, Dartford Girls’ Grammar School, 7.30pm. Contact Judith on 01322 278703

CRAYFORD WOMEN’S INSTITUTE 1st Thursday of every month at 1.45pm. Baker Trust Hall. Maxim Road, Crayford (near Sainsburys). Contact Secretary, Linda Lewis 01322 557229 DARTFORD LADIES PROBUS CLUB A group of retired ladies meet locally for lunch on the 4th Wednesday of each month,. They raise funds for charity and usually invite a speaker. Join them and enjoy meeting and making new friends. If you would like more information please contact Iris (Secretary) on 01474 703448 MALE? AGED 18 - 45? Round Table is for the guys with Ladies Circle for the Ladies ( Dartford RT meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday. Often called the original young man’s social club, Round Table has over 400 clubs in the UK and is in 50+ countries worldwide. We have an emphasis on having a lot of FUN. We guarantee that involvement with Round Table will enhance your social life, your personal abilities, your network and best of all it is not expensive. For your chance to become involved in something very special, you need to experience it because no other organisation offers you the opportunities that Round Table does. Check out the locally famous club www. Facebook search: * Dartford Round Table * Round Table * Dartford Egg Hunt You will receive a very warm welcome. THE ROTARY CLUB OF DARTFORD We meet at lunchtime at The Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesdays. Time 12.45 for 1 pm For further details phone: 07706 103706 THE RENDEZVOUS CLUB (50+) Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm Location: Close to Bexleyheath Town Centre Description: We are a (non-profit making) friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. We enjoy socialising, making new friends and activities including Quizzes, Meals Out, Trips to the Theatre, Cinema, Coach Trips, Gentle Walks and Short Breaks Away. Admission: Subs £2.50 per week. Annual membership £6 If you would like to join us or require further information please telephone: Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414 - -



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 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 for full details or contact Linda on 01322 409312 or email LEARN KARATE Learn karate with Yamato Damashii – for adults & children Every Wednesday evening at the Leigh Academy & every Saturday morning at Becket Sport Centre, first lesson free. For more info, visit or find us on Facebook, search for Yamato Damashii Martial Arts. YOGA WITH EMMA Wednesdays & Fridays 9:30am-10:30am At Europa Gymnastics Centre Mondays 7.30pm to 8.30pm and Fridays 7.00pm – 8.00pm at Becket Sports Centre For more information please contact Emma: TEL: 07932 621415 54

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. Tuesday Morning Yoga Class at Sutton Court, SuttonAt-Hone The class is from 9.30am to 11am and is a mixed ability class - beginners are always welcome. More information is available at or please contact Lesley at or 07531 140646 DARTFORD JU JITSU CLUB Mondays 7-8pm for 7-16s at the Dartford Girls Grammar, Shepherds Lane Dartford DA1 2NT in the Dance Studio. We have an adult class 8-10pm too. We’ve been running for 20 years, building confidence, teaching self-defence, hardening the target, developing skills and always welcome new members. DARTFORD ORIENTEERING CLUB For more details see HOP LIKE IT’S HOT A fun (different) circuit based workout with space hoppers that challenges core stabilty, balance and strength. It is suitable for all levels and abilities. Classes are held every Wednesday evening at the stone pavilion starting at 8:15 until 9:00 costing £5 per person.

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

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

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

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


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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USEFUL NUMBERS Local and National

KEY NUMBERS Police 01622 690690 NON EMERGENCY ONLY Fire Safety Advice & FREE Home Fire Safety Check 0800 169 1125 Dartford Borough Council 01322 343434 Gas Leaks (24 hour) 0800 111 999 EDF Energy Networks Emergencies/Powercuts Helpline 105 Flooding 03459881180 Highways Kent 03000 41 41 41 Social Services 03000 41 41 41 Water Burst 0800 820 999 (Southern) 0800 714614 (Thames) HEALTH Darent Valley Hospital 01322 428100 Dartford East Health Centre 01322 421480 Dartford West Health Centre 01322 222998 Boots Chemist Bluewater 01322 624780 (Late Night) ASDA Greenhithe Chemist 01322 374100 (Late Night) The National Pandemic Flu Service 0800 1513 100 West Kent NHS helpline 0800 0 850850 TRAVEL Heathrow Airport Enquires 08700 000123 Gatwick Airport Enquires 08700 002468 National Rail Enquires 08456 484950 Highways England Info Line 0300 123 5000 HELPLINES 24 Hour Kent Dementia Helpline:

0800 500 3014 Alcoholics Anonymous: 08457 697 555 Citizens Advice Bureau: 01322 472 979 Debt Councilling (CAP) 0800 328 0006 Information About Drugs FRANK: 0800 776600 Kent Homophobic Incident Reporting Line: 0800 328 9162 Kent Racial Incident Reporting Line: 0800 138 1624 Local Breastfeeding Counsellors Judianne/Paula 01322 224072 National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hour) 0808 2000 247 NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 RSPCA Kent, North West Branch Helpline 01322 286720 Samaritans: 116 123 LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047 LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or bexleyrfc/ Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250 Dartford Ju Jitsu Club Mondays, Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds

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

Lane. 6.30-8.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www.

Dartford Sharks Basketball Club Tim Dickson - 07855 692527. Dartford Volleyball Club Graham - 01322 275290 or 07984 106134. Stone Lodge Indoor Bowling Club 01322 274111. VCD Table Tennis Club Eric Jenkins - 0208 3038312. ‘Play & pay’, 9 hole, par 3 golf course on Dartford Football Club’s Princes Park- Contact: 01322 299990 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 Living Community Group - -



Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton ...................................................................... 40 Downton Ali Associates.....................................................59 GF + Co...............................................................................41 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, BATHROOMS, KITCHENS & WINDOWS Dream Doors......................................................................10 Nightingale Bathrooms......................................................22 Steve Cook - Double Glazing..............................................23 The Double Glazing Repair Man........................................35 CARE HOME Emerson Grange...............................................................17 CHILDREN Bip Bop Shop.................................................................43 Hartbeeps......................................................................49 Monkey Music................................................................55 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes...............................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ................................................31 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians....................................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings.........................................................................7 Fox Estates ........................................................................15 Wisdom Estates..................................................................39 FUNERAL DIRECTORS Stephen P. Gay....................................................................39 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Orchard Garage..................................................................60 Shenley Road Garage..........................................................45 JEWELLERY Bradleys...............................................................................23 LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...........................................................42 NURSERY The Brent Playgroup......................................................56 58

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

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