Page 1

By the community, for the community


October 2017 - Issue 136

Groups around Dartford. See page 2 for your local group information


St Mary Greenhithe Community Cafe - Page 8 Stanhill Farm Pumpkin Patch - Page 33 Jon Richardson Interview - Page 36-37

Plus - All your regular

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

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Slimming World MONDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 9:30am, 11:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Sue 07507 599691 British Legion Hall Devon Road South Darenth DA4 9AA 9:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm June 07957 902767 Fleetdown Community Centre Swaledale Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6JZ 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 5:30pm and 7:30pm Gillian 07957 135737 WEDNESDAYS VCD Sports Club, Old Road Crayford, DA1 4DN 10:00am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Liz 07900 213548

Glentworth Ex Service Club 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1JB 9:30am and 12:00pm Gillian 07957 135737

The Howard Venue (formerly South East Church Centre, Dance Studios) 112 Swanscombe Street, 39 Egerton Avenue, Swanscombe, Kent Hextable, BR8 7LG DA10 0JZ 5:30pm and 7:30pm 7:30pm Caroline 07776 181413 Lisa 07986 030199 Temple Hill Community TUESDAYS Centre Greenhithe & Temple Hill Square, Swanscombe British Dartford, DA1 5HY Legion Club 3.30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm London Road, Jo 07800 797030 Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 10:00 am Paula 07891 424401

0344 897 8000


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THURSDAYS The Howard Venue (formerly South East Dance Studios) 39 Egerton Avenue, Hextable, BR8 7LG 9:30am Caroline 07776 181413 St Anselm’s Parish Centre 89 West Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2HJ 5:00pm and 7:00pm Gillian 07957 135737 Greenhithe & Swanscombe British Legion Club London Road, Greenhithe, DA9 9EJ 5:30pm and 7:30pm Paula 07891 424401

SATURDAYS Amar Hall East Hill, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RX 9:00am Sarah 07739 027161 Christ Church Centre Kingswood Avenue, Swanley, BR8 8AN 8:00am and 10:00am Kelli 07931 085668




14 9


8 Contents

8.....................St Mary Greenhithe Community Cafe 9.....................Halloween Magic at the Castle 10...................DL Meets ...Kobe Emelonye 12-13..............Book Review 16...................Life Under the Stairs 18-19..............Travel Spotlight 25...................CAP Money Matters 29...................Riverford Organic Farm 32...................Stanhill Farm Recipe

34.......................Sports News 35.......................News from Princes Park 36-37..................John Richardson Interview 44.......................Local Entertainment 45.......................Fitness 46.......................Auto News 47.......................Gardening News 48-55..................Where to go locally 57.......................Advertising Index 58.......................Useful Numbers

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

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

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Dear Readers,

I hope you enjoy September’s magazine. As usual it’s jam packed with lots of local information and local businesses. Please support as many as you can - “use them or lose them!” Don’t forget that we run Dartford Living alongside volunteer members of the local community FOR the local community. Dartford Living is YOUR magazine, the only independently run magazine serving the local area with information, fun, good news and positive local stories! Feel free to get in touch if you would like to write an article for the magazine. If writing is not for you then perhaps you could volunteer to deliver 100 or so magazines to your local roads - you will guarantee your copy of the magazine and get a little exercise as well! We deliver to thousands of homes and businesses in the local area, however if you don’t always receive a copy directly through your door, you can pick up a copy from various drop off points. These include Dartford Football Club, numerous local libraries, Fairfield Leisure Centre, The Priory Shopping Centre, Stephen Oliver Art Gallery, numerous health centres and local Barclays branches. The ‘Previous Editions’ section of the Dartford Living website also includes electronic versions of Dartford Living magazine. Additionally, if you email we will add you to our newsletter email mailing list and contact you just once a month with an electronic copy of Dartford Living! Over 5,000 local people already do this!

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

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Apex Law are excited to announce the opening of their new offices in Dartford. Our Dartford office is in a very convenient position with free visitor parking and close to the station. It is run by Pam Downes a well known local Lawyer with an experienced team. Pam deals with all aspects of Residential Conveyancing plus Private Client issues such as Lasting Powers of Attorney’s, Court of Protection Applications, Wills, Probate, Compromise Agreements and she is a specialist in Equity Release matters. Apex Law has case handlers located throughout the South of England and further afield who are all highly experienced in their fields of law including commercial property, Wills, Family Law, Residential Conveyancing and Private Client. In this highly technological world, expensive office premises can only drive up costs and at Apex Law LLP we are passionate about offering the highest level of service but at a price you can afford, because many of our Lawyers are self-employed they are frequently able to offer more flexible hours to suit you. We have Lawyers fluent in French, Chinese and Malay. We also have strategic alliances with Spanish Lawyers. At our offices we offer a friendly comfortable environment in which you can relax whilst dealing with your legal issues. We provide a cost effective local, national and international service in most areas of law and if we have no specialist in regard to any matters in which you require advice, we have arrangements with other firms of solicitors to whom we can refer you with confidence. Our offices are located at: 3 The Pantiles

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St Mary Greenhithe Community Café St Mary Greenhithe Community Cafe was launched three years ago, as a place for local people to meet friends old and new, and also to support people in a variety of ways. The café is run by a team of dedicated volunteers who provide lovely homemade cake and scones, homemade gluten free bread and cheesecake every week. We also provide a variety of coffees and teas, soft drinks and hot bacon rolls which are very popular – all are paid for by voluntary donation, allowing café visitors to pay what they can afford.

closely with the local branch of the National Autistic Society - more details soon! In school holidays we will soon be offering opportunities for families to meet for a hot meal together. We are always open to new ideas to enable us to support the needs of our local community so please get in touch if you have any thoughts. St Mary Greenhithe community café - much more than just a cup of coffee!

The café works alongside many different local agencies and organisations. Alternate weeks we are supported by the SAFE advice service who provide advice relating to Housing, Debt, Benefits and Employment. Early Years support are regular visitors, as are Porchlight. The café has very strong links with ASDA who very kindly provide support in many ways, particularly for the ‘Open Christmas’ lunch on Christmas Day that is a free 4 course Christmas lunch for anyone in the community who wishes to join us. Local Community wardens are regularly in the café to answer local queries, as are the local police and the Bluewater Learning shop as well as other local employment organisations. For those more adventurous, Dartford Health Walks run from the café every week at 10.30am. For the less adventurous we have games, including chess. The café organises regular social events for the community, including an annual trip to the seaside and a trip to the pantomime in Dartford – these and other events are subsidised by the café and other generous local organisations to ensure that no-one is excluded by the cost. Alongside the café the church has a ’parish pantry’ that can provide food and toiletries to anyone who is struggling, and we also provide other practical support where needed, including voluntary work placements. We are delighted to be extending the café to work


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LULLINGSTONE CASTLE Halloween Magic at the Castle Join us at Lullingstone Castle for Halloween magic on the last day of the season, 29th October. 12 noon - 8pm; pumpkin carving, spooky house and garden tours – perfect for all the family. Tom will give garden tours at 1pm and dusk tour at 5pm, learn about the origins of pumpkins, colours and varieties and children can spot the Halloween tricks in eerie torchlight! Spooky house tours are 2pm and 6pm including the tales of our resident ghost! Pumpkin carving will take place throughout the day next to the Gatehouse, children can enjoy carving their own Halloween pumpkin creation, many homegrown in The World Garden. Fancy dress is welcome – let’s celebrate the end of our season in style! Halloween Magic - 29th October. 12 noon - 8 pm Adult - £10 each. Children under 15 – FREE (Pumpkin Carving £1 donation) 01322 862114

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DARTFORD LIVING MEETS......KOBE EMELONYE I have lived in the Dartford Borough since the age of 7 when I moved from South East London with my family. At the age of 9, my dad passed away and things were tough for us as we adjusted from a nuclear family to a lone parent family. Nevertheless, my mum worked hard day in day out as a nurse to ensure we had a great life. I found myself struggling with my outlook on life. As I started gaining weight when I was always so slim it had a detrimental impact on my self esteem. First came depression then anxiety. It wasn’t until my friend Harold passed away that I realised I can’t keep living my life unhappy as it’s not fair that those who have enjoyed their life around me has passed, yet I’m alive but unhappy. I decided I had to do something about my state of mind and that’s when I got involved in my church, Christ Embassy. Being around positive people gave me a fresh and positive mindset and I wanted to share that with others that may be going through a hard time but have no one to go to. I started working with young people who have come from a challenging past or have dealt with things that have changed their outlook on life. I loved being able to comfort and help people as I felt I understood where they were coming from as I had been in that state of mind previously too. I am still working with young people from difficult backgrounds and I’m currently working with care leavers alongside social services.


whatever it is that want to do no matter how big or small. I like to be the person who helps them free their mind and work towards a brighter happier and positive future. Through developing myself and building my confidence I decided to apply for the Miss Great Britain Pageant. I am now the current Miss Kent and will be competing in the Miss Great Britain pageant in september. I hope to be the first black British person to win this competition and be able to greatly inspire young people to believe in themselves. Rather than focusing on celebrities that have fake bodies and don’t set a good example, I encourage people to focus on those individuals in society that are doing things to empower people like Serena Williams, Usain Bolt or even Jessica Ennis. I am proud to say I have changed the life of many and would love to continue to be an inspiration to others as well as my child and children to come.

I decided to do something to change an aspect of myself I was unhappy with and that was my weight. I was a size 20 and weighed 19 stone 5. After the birth of my daughter in 2015 I started feeling low about myself again. I was happy being a mother as it was the greatest thing to happen to me, but I felt older than my age and was tired of looking out the window at people living their life but I was too afraid to live mine outside the 4 walls of my home. I decided enough was enough and started going to the gym just to get myself out of my comfort zone and socialise with people as I didn’t have much of a social life before that. Before long I began loving the gym and people told me how much weight I had lost. I went to the gym 5 days a week and ate healthily, a year later I had lost 7 stone and completed my training as a personal trainer. I enjoy breaking barriers and educating the mindset of young people letting them know that they can truly accomplish


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Herbs: Delicious Recipes and Growing Tips to Transform Your Food

Herb oils and vinegars are an attractive way of preserving the flavour of herbs and then using them in salad dressings, marinades, for drizzling over food and for stirfry dishes. I store bottles in my larder for my own use and they also make popular presents. I collect beautiful bottles to make oils and vinegars in, then label and decorate with a ribbon tied around a bunch of the fresh herb.

to strain the oil to remove the herbs after two weeks. Then store the bottle of oil in a cool, dark place. Some people even keep their herb oils in the refrigerator to reduce the risk, while others believe that adding a little lemon juice helps. But I have to say that I have been making herb oils for decades, leaving in the herbs and keeping them dark but not refrigerator-cool. There has never been a problem.


BASIL OIL This is an excellent way of capturing the unique and useful flavour of basil. You will need 5 tablespoons of basil leaves for 500ml/17fl oz/generous 2 cups of olive oil. Remove the leaves of the basil and pound them in a mortar. Add some oil and pound again to bruise the leaves so they release their own oil. Mix with the rest of the oil, pour into a jar and put it in a sunny spot, shaking regularly for two weeks. Then strain the oil into an attractive bottle, add a few fresh leaves to help identify the oil and store in a dark, cool place.

I like using the hard herbs – bay, thyme, rosemary and savory – with a few dried chillies, the number depending on the size of the bottle of oil. This oil is known as my Hot Herb Oil and it is very popular with friends. They tend to say: “Please come to dinner – and would you mind bringing some more of your wonderful herb and chilli oil? Oh and bring your husband, too.” Fill a jar with extra virgin olive oil and then put in four sprigs of washed and dried herb. You can make it with a mixture of herbs, but making an oil with only one type really captures its taste. Hard herbs are easy to use and for bay use 8–10 leaves. But you can also make herb oils with the softer herbs like basil, dill, fennel and mint. And you can use dried peppercorns in a spicy oil or make flavoured oils using coriander, fennel or dill seeds. Herb oils will keep for up to year if stored in a cool, dark place. There is said to be a very slight risk of botulism from storing herb oils for a long time, because the spores of the bacterium which causes botulism can be present on anything that grows in soil, including herbs. One way to reduce any risk is to avoid using garlic, and


CHIVE OIL Chive oil can be made in the same way as basil oil, using 7 tablespoons of snipped chives in place of the basil. I have just used some drops of chive oil, given to me by the food expert Lyn Hall, on a clear tomato soup, which I then served sprinkled with chopped young chives. HERB VINEGARS Herb vinegars look so beautiful and are simple to make. Put your chosen herb into an attractive bottle, fill with good-quality white wine vinegar or cider vinegar and leave in a sunny place for two weeks. Then strain and put the vinegar back into the bottle with a fresh sprig of the herb. Store for your own use or give to a lucky friend.

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Most herb experts make vinegars as I do, but a few believe in crushing the herbs in a pestle and mortar, boiling a little of the vinegar and pounding the herbs again in this hot vinegar. It is then cooled and mixed with the rest of the vinegar and stored for two weeks. After straining the herb vinegar, the clear liquid can be stored in a clean jar for at least two years. Tarragon vinegar is the classic choice, but in the winter when my tarragon is still underground I make a chervil vinegar which provides the same aniseed flavour and has subtle, feathery leaves which look good in the bottle. Another good-looker is chive vinegar made when the herb is coming into flower. A few stalks with flower buds can be tied together in the wine vinegar. Also try rose petal, dill, fennel, lovage, mint, oregano, sage, savory, rosemary, thyme or nasturtium vinegars. SALAD BURNET VINEGAR I make salad burnet vinegar in the winter, when this attractive, cucumber-tasting herb is thriving in the herb garden. This has been popular since Victorian days and I often make it for my herb cookery school because its leaves are exceptionally pretty and it has a mild cucumber taste that is perfect for making a dressing for cucumber salad. Pack the leaves into a litre bottle of good-quality

white wine vinegar. Leave for 2 weeks, strain and put into a fresh jar with two sprigs of burnet. ROSE PETAL VINEGAR Make a special vinegar by adding the petals of 6 roses, 1 dried chilli and the zest of 1 lemon to 500ml/17fl oz/ generous 2 cups of white wine vinegar. It is ready to use after leaving by a window for 5 days. ROSE GERANIUM VINEGAR I make a delightful vinegar with rose-scented geranium leaves mixed with raspberries and wine vinegar. Roughly crush 6 rose-scented geranium leaves and 400g/14oz/3 cups raspberries in a food processor. Pour over 250ml/9fl oz/generous 1 cup white wine vinegar and leave in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, for 5 days. Then put the mixture in a jelly bag and drip into a bowl overnight. Put the strained liquid in a saucepan, add 175g/6oz/heaped 3/4 cup sugar and heat slowly until it has dissolved. Bring to the boil for 10 minutes. Cool, removing all the scum. Put the cold vinegar into bottles and use within a year. From Herbs: Delicious Recipes and Growing Tips to Transform Your Food by Judith Hann Š Nourish Books 2017, commissioned photography by Tamin Jones. £20.

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Life Under The Stairs by Jane Stevenson WHITE VAN...PERSON? We all have hair-raising stories about the behaviour and driving skills of a white van man. We’ve all been shocked, dismayed or angered over their road use. Well, let me throw a spanner in the works; I have recently begun to feel a smidgen of sympathy for these people. Let me tell you why. Last Friday, I was a White Van Person. Youngest Offspring moved lock stock and barrel to Bristol, with only two days notice. We hired a large beast – long wheel base, 4 panel for the technical among you – and Eldest Offspring and I shared driving duties. Due to age restrictions Youngest was deemed ineligible. Bristol, according to the handy phone app is 156 miles away, a fairly straight forward route round the M25 and then pick up the M4 and the A4032. So far so good. Eldest elected to do the drive down and I’d do the return journey. Traffic was moving, and the directions were easy to follow. As the passenger on the down trip I spent much of the time looking out the window. I don’t think I’m particularly paranoid, but there is no mistaking the animosity of other drivers when confronted with a large white van. Tutting seemed to be a common reaction, as if we shouldn’t be allowed to share the roads. We were within speed limits, careful (not our van) and road savvy. Eldest drives vans like this for work on occasion, and I’ve done my fair share of driving beat up old transits with dodgy gearboxes, and very large 4x4s. I also noticed the behaviour of other drivers; lane changing without any warning, undertaking and cutting across our path were some of the commonplace actions we had to deal with on our journey. We stopped for lunch, being careful to park such a large van as carefully as possible – white vans are clearly not loved by motorway services. The spaces are miniscule and the lanes as narrow as possible. All praise to the Eldest who manoeuvred the van with style and skill. Our work in Bristol was completed quickly, and waving white hankies while shedding a tear, we said goodbye to Youngest and I took over driving duties. Coming back through Bristol at rush hour was difficult, given that I don’t know the area at all. Eldest read the map and shouted directions. I indicated and slowly moved the Beast across lanes and through junctions. I played it safe and stayed in the first lane. We stopped for something to eat, but on our return to the Beast suffered some verbal abuse from another motorist – not sure what over, as when we asked him what was wrong he turned his back on us, muttering and shaking his head. Had we


inadvertently nicked his park space? Did he not think women should drive large vans? We never did find out. All in all, it was an exhilarating experience. The sheer size of the van and the fact the seating allows you to look down on most other vehicles made me feel safer. What I found hard to take was the attitude of other drivers. They saw a large van and made judgements. I’ll think twice before criticising a van driver – who knows their circumstances and reasons for being on the road? At least I had the option of giving the Beast back and driving home in my little city car. It was a bit of an anti climax if I’m honest! BEST PLACE FOR WOMEN So, Women’s Hour has decided the East Dunbartonshire is the best place to be a woman. It cites a number of factors in its research, including happiness, access to green spaces, education, quality of the local environment and life satisfaction. It top scored on general living and wellbeing. Dartford wasn’t even mentioned, although Gravesham came 246 on a list of 380. I find this quite worrying: supposedly we have some of the best schools in the country, parks, heath land and other green areas, and I think we do well in providing amenities for all ages... and there my list of Dartford’s attributes stopped. We lack good, affordable housing for those on lower incomes who want to own their own home. We have a poor transport system for the outskirts of the town centre. Our town centre is a disgrace. We lack enough doctors and dentists for our expanding population, and the hospital is too small for the area. These are the important issues for people wanting to live here, and until we get this right, Dartford is going to exist merely as yet another satellite town for London, devoid of its own identity and peopled by residents who work and play away from the area. No-one can judge overall how others see their personal wellbeing and general living standards. I’m quite happy, but then I live outside the DA1 postcode. Thousands of others I’m sure, are also quite content with their lot. Perhaps Dartford would have scored quite well in this survey if anyone had taken part in it. Did you? BEST WISHES TO ALL Seeing as this is the October issue of Dartford Living, I’d like to wish all a funfilled Halloween or a Blessed Samhain. See you next month.

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There was a time when an adventure holiday meant backpacking across Africa on the back of a lorry or getting the adrenaline pumping with some extreme sports in New Zealand. But adventure holidays no longer require bungee jumping or white-water rafting. There is a big movement in the travel industry towards tours that experience local culture and get involved in the places being visited rather than just view them through a coach window. This portion of the market has grown so much that the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS) has been established to help represent the companies that provide these amazing experiences. Traditionally the touring and adventure market was geared towards young people and students on their gap years. There are still plenty of suppliers covering these holidays, but there are increasingly adventurous tours for families, solo travellers and mature travellers. For those within the 18-35 bracket, suppliers such as Contiki, G Adventures and Intrepid offer a great range of classic adventure touring. They cover everywhere you might want to visit, from Thai island hopping to New Year


in Sydney, trek the Inca trail to Machu Picchu through to sailing the Croatian coast. There are a variety of tour standards available, catering to those who want their travel to be frantic and intense, to those who want their pace to be more leisurely, and everything in between. Adventures and Intrepid both now have a range of family orientated tours as part of their schedule. These itineraries have their timetables based around ensuring the children have plenty to entertain them as well as flexible free time, ensuring the pace works for all the families on the tour. They are exclusively for families, ensuring that there are other like-minded travellers for both you and the kids. Just because your life has settled down, it doesn’t mean your holidays have to. These family tours travel to inspirational destinations like Morocco, Thailand, the Galåpagos, Vietnam, and more. With around 3.5 million UK adults taking a solo trip last year, there are more and more operators offering tours for solo travellers, such as Just You and Solos. Other operators such as Leger, Saga and Shearings also offer solo specific tours. However, solo travellers often prefer travelling in

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mixed groups and suppliers such as Saga, Trafalgar, and Cosmos offer a number of no-single-supplement spaces on their classic tours. Group touring has long been a popular form of holiday for mature travellers, but the itineraries are now visiting more interesting and adventurous destinations. A great example of this new breed of tour is from Saga with their ‘Where Steppe and Mountain Meet’ tour of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. An exciting tour that offers the prospect of seeing something truly out of the ordinary. So as you can see, touring and adventure holidays are no longer about adrenaline sports, there are tours for anyone who wants a little adventure in their life. Tim Harden is the Manager of Harden Holidays, Dartford’s local travel agent.

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Dartford Living 23

MONEY ADVICE How to be a super savvy student saver Did you know that before starting university, 7% of students have never opened a bank account and 69% have never paid a bill? It’s no wonder 39% don’t budget when it comes to managing their money. But when you’re out there on your own for the first time and trying to get your head around what’s a priority (e.g. proper meals, washing your clothes, getting to lectures on time) and what’s not (e.g. Jägerbomb Fridays) it’s arguably the most important time of all to be keeping track of your spending. Budgeting may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but if it means you can go out with your friends without worrying whether you’re going to be eating beans on toast for the next fortnight, it’s surely worth it! Here are our top tips to help students save their cash. Put together a budget Christians Against Poverty (CAP) runs a short money management course specifically for students. It’s the perfect place to learn how to budget and spend wisely, as well as meet new friends. Find a group near you at There are also tons of tools online to help you, including the Money Advice Service’s handy budget planner. ( budget-planner). Double-check student funding There are various bursaries, scholarships and grants available depending on your circumstances. You’ve nothing to lose in doing some research and it might just pay off. Travel cheap Make the most of available discounts. Find out if your local bus service offers discounted multi-trip passes, and invest in a 16-25 Railcard to save 1/3 on train travel ( Where possible, ditch buses and taxis altogether and get walking. Work it Get yourself a part time job and earn a little pocket money. The first £11,500 you earn in a short-term job is tax-free!


Website: Telephone: 0800 328 0006

Shop savvy If there are a few different supermarkets in your area, use to compare prices and make sure you’re getting the best deal on your grocery shop. Learn to cook Takeaways, ready meals and eating out are certainly convenient, but they’re also a surefire way to quickly run out of money. Check out guide/how-survive-student-basic-recipes to master some staple dishes like pasta bake and fajitas. Easy freezing If you’d rather not spend lots of time cooking every day, make a big batch of Bolognese sauce, curry or soup, divide into containers and freeze for up to a month. Cheapest ready meal around! Find cheap or free books Need a shedload of books for your studies? Root around the library and second hand bookshops, or ask older students if they’ve got any they no longer need. Do without a TV license Nowadays, monthly subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and Now TV are half the price of a TV license and have hours and hours of content for you to binge on. Remember, if you want to watch BBC iPlayer it’s now a legal requirement to have a TV license to do so. Stay fit without the gym Staying fit is super important, but you don’t need a gym to exercise! Memberships can be expensive, especially if you end up hardly going. If you really do want to use the gym, why not find one where you can pay as you go? Otherwise, pull up some workout videos on YouTube or just go for a good old-fashioned run! Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a charity determined to reduce hardship in the UK, with the help of local churches. It does this through various ways including debt counselling centres and money education programmes. CAP’s services are available to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background. Find out more at or call 0800 328 0006.

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Dartford Living 25


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Dartford Property Report - October 2017 The Unfairness of the Dartford Baby Boomer’s £5,976,360,000 Windfall? Recently I was having a chat with one of my cousins at a family get-together. The last time I had seen them their children were in their early teens. Now their children are all grown up, have partners, dogs and children. Wow – how time flies! So, I got talking over a glass of lemonade with my cousins and a couple of their children, about the times of 15% interest rates and how the more mature members of our family had to endure the 3 day week, 20% inflation and the threat of nuclear annihilation in 4 minutes .. so, foolishly, I said what with all the opportunities youngsters had today, they had never had it so good! Trust one of my cousin’s children to have gained some financial/economics qualifications before going to Law School, as they debated with me the genuine economic predicament of Millennials and how a combination of student debt, unemployment, global proliferation, EU migration and rising house values is reducing the salaries and outlook of masses of the UK’s younger generation, causing an unparalleled disparity of wealth between the generations. So of course I asked why that was? They said Millennials were paying the price for the UK’s most spectacular bookkeeping catastrophe to date (bigger than the Bank bailout after the Credit Crunch). Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, nobody predicted us Brit’s would live as long as we do today, and in such abundant numbers. The OAP pensions that were promised in the past (be that Government State Pension or Company Final Salary Schemes) which appeared to be nothing fancy at the time, are now burdensomely over-lavish, and that is hurting the Millennials of today and will do so for years to come. Bringing it back to property, the young cousin ‘soon to be’ lawyer, stated that baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 have been big recipients of the vast rising house prices over the 1970’s/80’s/90’s and 2000’s. Add to that their decent pensions, meaning cumulatively, their wealth has grown exponentially through no skill of their own.

This disparity of wealth between the older and younger generations could have unparalleled consequences for the living standards of younger Millennials…. So Houston Dartford – do we have a problem?? Well Dartford Property Report readers, you know I like a challenge. I can’t disagree with some of what the younger family member said, but there are always two sides to every story, so I thought I would do some homework on the matter .. Since 1990, the average value of a property in Dartford has risen from £81,000 to its current level of £333,700. As there are a total of 23,650 homeowners aged over 50 in Dartford; that means there has been a £5.98bn windfall for those Dartford homeowners fortunate enough to own their own homes during the property boom of the 1990s and early 2000’s. I must admit that the growth in property values in the 1990’s and 2000’s certainly helped many of Dartford’s baby boomers. The figures do appear to put into reverse gear the perceived wisdom that each generation gets wealthier than the previous one … and so with all this wealth, the figures do back up the youngsters argument that Millennials are being priced out of home ownership. Or do they? Are they? Next month, I will carry on this discussion where I will give the Baby Boomer’s defence to the prosecution’s case!

Professional Training from Elite Industry Staff Outstanding full-time training at Reynolds Performing Arts College in Dartford Fully funded* 3 year Performing Arts Course in Dance and Musical Theatre from Sept 2017

What else is happening at Reynolds Training Academy? Fully funded* courses in Beauty Therapy and Fitness Instruction at Level 2 & 3 & Sports Massage at Level 3 *Subject to Eligibility

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Eat with the seasons with Riverford this British Food Fortnight Organic farmers and veg box pioneers, Riverford, know a thing or two about growing and cooking with the seasons, but their 100% UK veg box epitomises seasonal eating and showcases British veg right at its peak. So this British Food Fortnight 23 September – 8 October if you want a helping hand to get your creative veg juices flowing, a Riverford UK veg box could be the place to start. From freshly picked beans and greens in summer, to the sweetcorn and squash of autumn through to earthy roots and brassicas in winter, the box is packed with a changing selection of 8 homegrown veg, which is then delivered to customers’ doors for free. Farmer Guy Watson founded Riverford in 1987 and explained: “We like to think of the box as the next best thing to growing your own. It’s like having an allotment, without the digging.” Although Riverford’s complete range of veg boxes are packed with organic, seasonal vegetables grown on their four UK farms, the boxes are often topped up with items like peppers and tomatoes from their French farm and their Spanish growers. For Riverford to grow peppers and tomatoes out of season they would have to use heated greenhouses, which have more than 6 times the carbon footprint and go against Riverford’s environmentally friendly ethos.

consumers to lose touch with seasonality, due to the year-round supply in supermarkets. Our customers really enjoy experiencing seasonal eating and cooking with veg when it’s at its best. The boxes give them a connection with the food they eat; they know where it’s from, who grew it and that they are supporting British farmers at the same time.”

The decision for a UK only box came after popular demand by customers and hardcore seasonal eaters.

Riverford also deliver a range of fruit, salad, meat and recipe boxes, alongside dairy, bread and more. They never air freight anything, and when they can’t grow it, they work with small scale family farmers overseas they know and trust who can.

Paul Davey who delivers in Dartford said: “Nowadays it’s easy for

To browse Riverford’s range visit:

YOU ARE ENOUGH When we are not enough, we try to fill the void inside by: • feeding emotions – not body • drinking and smoking • pursuing obsessions • seeking extremes Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) helps you to find the reason of the issue or unwanted behaviour. RTT is a short-term therapy - a particular hypnotherapy model targeting the source of the problem and giving you a new perspective. RTT provides immediate and lasting results, so you never want to go back.

Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy treatment for - Addictions - Anger - Anxiety - Confidence - Depression - Eating issues - Obsessions - Sleep issues - Stress and pains - Trauma effects

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Initial consultation (1hr) is free. Addictions are treatable in one hypnotherapy session (2hrs), followed by your daily listening to a personalised recording for 21 days.

Practice locations: Crown House, Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1DZ 45 Central Street, London EC1V 8AB 184 Westcombe Hill, London SE3 7DH

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Spooky Pumpkin & Cinnamon Pie Ingredients (Serves 8-10): 450g sweet short crust pastry

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

750g pumpkin, deseeded, skinned and chopped into cubes

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

150g caster sugar

175ml milk

30g butter, melted

pumpkin seeds, for decoration

2 large eggs, beaten

plain flour, for dusting

½ tsp. salt

icing sugar, for decoration

Method: 1.

Prepare the pumpkin. Fill a large saucepan with water, place over a high heat and bring to the boil, add the pumpkin and once the water has come back to the boil put a lid on the pan, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Once tender, drain and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C/160⁰C fan/gas 4. 2. Grease and line a 9-10 inch tart tin. Flour a flat surface and roll out the pastry roughly 2-3 inches larger than the tin and approx. 1 cm thick. Place the rolling pin horizontally on top of the pastry and lift one half of the pastry over the rolling pin. Lift the rolling pin with the pastry on over the tin, as you lower the pastry into the tin; rotate the pin to move the pastry off the pin and into the tin. Raise the pastry and lower it into position in the tin and use your fingers to push the pastry into the grooves. Prick the base with a fork then chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. 3. Once chilled the pastry needs to be lined with baking parchment and filled with baking beads then baked for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes has passed, remove the parchment and beads and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little. 4. Increase the oven temperature to 200⁰C/180⁰C fan/gas 7. Transfer the pumpkin into a large mixing bowl; mash the pumpkin as fine as possible using a potato masher. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, nutmeg and half of the cinnamon. Then, add the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk and make sure they’re all combined thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the mashed pumpkin and mix together. Pour the mixture into the tart case and arrange the seeds into a spooky face. Place the pie in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180⁰C/160⁰C fan/gas 4 and cook for a further 35-40 minutes or until the filling is cooked and set. Dust with icing sugar and the rest of the cinnamon for decoration. Toms Top Tips: Pumpkins usually weigh at an average of 2/3.5 KG which will mean for this recipe you will have some left over, don’t through it away though. Pumpkin is a type of squash and therefore can be used for soups and vegetable tray bakes, to name but a few recipes. It is well worth experimenting with, it is a little scary and intimidating but well worth squashing your fears of pumpkin recipes and creating something delicious.


Come along and select the pumpkin of your choice from our Pumpkin Patch or Farm Shop 85p per kilo

Monday-Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm Sundays & Bank Holidays: 10:00am-3:30pm

Available * from mid Octo ber.

Please ch eck our website for furthe r details

Stanhill Farm Birchwood Road, Wilmington, Dartford, Kent DA2 7HD Tel: 01322 669711 *While stocks last

With Halloween just around the corner, Stanhill Farm in Wilmington is pleased to offer an abundance of pumpkins grown on the farm. They will be available to buy from mid-October from our Pumpkin Patch or Farm Shop priced at 85p per kilo, and will be available through until Halloween - while stocks last. The Pumpkin Patch has proved very popular since we first opened it four years ago, and it is lovely to see people of all ages enjoying Halloween and selecting their own pumpkins to take home and carve. Grab a wheelbarrow and head down to the patch where you will find a huge array of pumpkins in various different sizes. It is also a great chance for a photo opportunity, surrounded by a sea of autumnal, orange colour! We have seen some fabulous pumpkin carvings over the years and welcome any photos of customers’ creations to be posted on our Facebook page. You can also make use of the pumpkin flesh and create delicious soups, pies and even muffins! While you are visiting, pop in and see our well-stocked onsite Farm Shop which was a finalist in the Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food and Drink Awards 2013 and 2014. In addition, we offer an online ordering delivery service. For further details please visit or telephone 01322 669 711.

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BAV’S SPORTING COMMENT Gennady Golovkin’s world middleweight Boxing title fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez ended in a controversial draw last month. It means that Golovkin, retains his WBA, WBC and IBF titles and remains unbeaten in 38 fights. Alvarez started and finished an absorbing fight the stronger, and also produced some of the more eye-catching shots. Golovkin, though, landed more punches and had the better of the middle rounds. In the build-up to the fight, Golovkin had described it as the “biggest of this era” - and both men later said they were open to a rematch. Most pundits, and even some Mexican fans - believe Golovkin won. He was the aggressor throughout. Alvarez did have some moments but he didn’t seem to do enough. I think the fact he was boxing in front of a pro-Mexican crowd on Mexico’s Independence Day weekend, and he was booed and heckled when he spoke in the ring afterwards speaks volumes. It was a good contest. The fighters did their bit. It’s a shame boxing gave itself a bit of a black eye and the scoring left a bitter taste.

Upcoming events in October include: 1: Formula 1 - Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang 1: American football - NFL in London, Wembley Stadium 5: Football - 2018 World Cup qualifiers: England v Slovenia 7: Rugby league - Super League Grand Final, Old Trafford 8: Football - 2018 World Cup qualifiers: Lithuania v England 8: Formula 1 - Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka 21: Horse racing - British Champions Day, Ascot (including Champion Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) 22: American football - NFL in London, Twickenham 22: Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix, Austin 29: American football - NFL in London, Twickenham 29: Formula 1 - Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City

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


• • • • •

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

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


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Dartford FC Ladies are seeking new players with footballing experience to strengthen the first team. Currently the Ladies train Monday 6pm – 8pm and play their games on Sundays in the South East Counties Division 1 (East) League. The ladies train and play here at Princes Park, on the Community Pitch, offering great facilities with UEFA level coaching and experience. All costs are covered by our dedicated Ladies sponsor Diligence, where the only cost that you will need to cover is travel to and from games.



If you are attending with children 12 years or younger please feel free to visit our kids zone established in the viewing area just above reception. Open to all children there are books , colouring activities and games to keep the children occupied leading up to kick off. Please note this area is unsupervised.

If you are interested in having a trial or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: Head of Girls & Ladies Football: Ellisha DuffieldGoodyear Email: Phone: 07415 653 594


The Eastbourne Borough game on the 12th September marked 400 starting appearances for club stalwart Ryan Hayes.


Ryan now sits in 7th place in the club’s history - 3rd for total appearances on 545.





Photo - Carol White-Griffiths | 01322 299990 Princes Park, Grassbanks, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RT,

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ww w. da r


rd f

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ADMISSION PRICES: Adult – £14.00 Concession (65+) – £7.00 Youth (13-17) – £5.00 Junior (5-12) – £2.00 Under 5s – FREE

Dartford Living



just how far they have come. Yamato Damashii love to see their students’ progress, watching what were once, quiet shy students blossom into confident people who go on to teach their skills to other students is very satisfying for the instructors and they believe in encouraging people to better themselves in every way. Yamato Damashii is affiliated with NAKMAS, an independent martial arts governing body. The instructors are licensed, insured and DBS checked. All the instructors were once white belts and have progressed through many years of training and now happily pass their experience and knowledge onto others. Why train in karate with Yamato Damashii? Yamato Damashii is a family-run Dartford-based karate club and they teach traditional wado-ryu karate, they run very engaging classes and are also very good at helping new members to integrate into the club and feel welcome. Some children are very shy in the beginning, but the instructors work with them and help them to grow in confidence and become part of the group, I’d say that this is more than just a karate club, it’s more like a big friendly family.

Classes are held every Wednesday evening at the Leigh Academy and at Becket Sport Centre every Saturday morning and your first lesson is free. For further information, see their website or Facebook page yamatodamashiimartialarts or email them at

Karate can benefit everyone, young, old, men and women and it’s a fun way to get fit and learn a valuable new skill, you or your children will learn respect, become more disciplined, focused, self-confident, improve concentration and make new friends, all these things can help throughout life. Both kids and adults can learn in a fun environment and each individual can develop their body and mind, gradually and naturally and they may not even realise their own great progress until they look back and see


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

% *

Selling Fees Why pay more to sell your property?

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M Wisdom Estates 76 Spital Street, Dartford, Kent DA1 2DT t: 01322 272 144 | e:

Wisdom Estates-100mm x 140mm News Shopper-Feb16.indd 1

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*Subject to VAT, minimum fees and Terms & Conditions

25/02/2016 15:23

Dartford Living


Jon Richardson Interview Old Man Tour

“Gigs have become very cathartic for me, as things are so hectic at home. Gigs are now the equivalent of going to the pub or the cinema! “Our baby is only two months old, so it’s obviously the perfect time for me to be leaving home for several weeks! It has to be said, I’m not terribly popular at home. But I’m assuming that by the time I get back home, my daughter will be toilet-trained, capable of dressing herself and able to drive!” The new show is packed with such terrific reflections on the trials and tribulations of new fatherhood. Jon discloses some of the more bizarre incidents that have occurred since he has become a father. For instance, he recalls that, “At one point, we were driving along the motorway when my wife needed to breastfeed. “So we got off the motorway and drove down to the end of what we thought was a deserted lane. But as we reached the end, I began to think that there were more cars than there should be at 9 o’clock on a Tuesday evening. It turned out it was a local dogging site. We got a fair bit of attention…”

The stand-up Jon Richardson is chatting to me from a rather unusual location. He reveals that, “I’m currently in the Aldi car park in Clevedon.” Who said that the life of a comedian isn’t non-stop glamour? Still, Jon admits that being on a nationwide tour in places such as Clevedon with his brilliant new show, “Old Man”, is a blessed relief from his full-on domestic life. He is a very proud new father – but things have been understandably frantic at home. Jon, one of the finest stand-ups in the land, laughs that,


In the show, Jon will also be explaining that the arrival of his baby daughter has affected him in many unexpected ways. “Suddenly, global events take on more significance. “When you’re single, you’re not beholden to anyone and you can shut down more easily. In the past, I had the idea that I’d live in a caravan with a dog near a pub with no responsibilities. But now when bad things happen in the world, I feel responsible for them because they’re going to impact on my daughter. The caravan, the dog and the pub have gone now!” One of Jon’s main worries is that his daughter will grow up resembling him. “What I’m dreading is raising her to be like me. If I hear her saying, ‘I can’t eat that chip because it’s touched those baked beans’, I’ll know she got too much of me in her!” Despite such tremendous anecdotes, though, Jon

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doesn’t want his observations about the impact his new baby daughter has had on his life to put people off. The comic, who has put out two live successful stand-up DVDs, Funny Magnet in 2012 and Nidiot in 2014, both of which are released through Universal Pictures (UK), says that, “I’m determined not to talk about my baby in a way that’s alienating”. “But it’s been such a big change in my life that I can’t not talk about it. It’s also nice to have something new to stress about. I can really get my teeth into this stress!” The comedian, who has starred on such TV shows as 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4) and Have I Got News For You (BBC One), Live At The Apollo (BBC One), Channel 4’s Comedy Gala Live At The 02 and more recently Taskmaster (Dave), has been attracting shed loads of critical plaudits. The Mirror, for instance, declares that, “For 10 years he has been among the funniest men in Britain”. The Times, meanwhile, calls him, “One of our most individual and interesting stand-ups”. For its part, Time Out goes for a more succinct summary of Jon’s talent, describing him as, “Sublimely brilliant, stunning.” Jon, who is as warm and witty in person as he is on stage, is still appealingly humble about his role as a stand-up. “I can’t believe I get to do this job! As I get older, I’ve got more and more to talk about and I have more and more confidence. “I love the privilege of looking back on my life every three years, turning it into a comedy show and sharing it with an audience. It’s incredibly cathartic. It’s a way of converting the difficult elements of life into comedy. None of us know what’s going on at the moment, so to be able to laugh at it in unity for two hours is absolutely great.” Since last touring the country, Jon has watched on as the UK voted to leave the EU and witnessed the inexorable rise of Donald Trump to the US Presidency. All of this prompts one key question: Why does it seem that no one else alive can correctly load a dishwasher? As well as this pressing matter, Jon will be ranging over an array of other hilarious comic topics, including stress, a constant theme in his dazzling act. “I got shingles on

the day of the EU referendum. It’s good to see that my stress has got worse as I’ve got older and that now there is a physical element to it!” Another very amusing element of “Old Man” is that Jon uses Twitter to interact with his audience. The comic, whose bestselling book It’s Not Me, It’s You, was published by HarperCollins in 2012, recollects that, “Recently, I talked to a man in the audience, and he was shocked because I knew where he had been that morning, what football team he supported, and what his wife’s name was. It’s a good about-turn. That’s the joy of Twitter.” Jon, who is a British Comedy Award nominee and runnerup in Heat Magazine’s ‘Weird Crush’ poll (not once, not twice, but three times!), adds, “That man had messaged me earlier, but people don’t always realise that when you Tweet, you’re building a public record of yourself. It’s nice to have all that free material. It means I can spend more time with my daughter and just take the mickey out of someone in the audience!” The stand-up, who has also starred in Live At The Apollo (BBC ONE), Channel 4’s Comedy Gala Live At The 02 and most recently Taskmaster (DAVE), proceeds to reflect on how much he adores the experience of live comedy. “It’s such a buzz. The instant reaction you get from the audience is such a privilege. “Each show is a very honest portrayal of how I’m feeling that night. It can go off in any direction. The show is different every night, and that makes it much more exciting. Every evening is unique.” But, much as he loves touring, Jon reveals, “I’ll have a break over the summer. People would rather be out in the sun than inside listening to a whingeing moron!” And when “Old Man” tour finally comes to an end, Jon discloses what he will do next. “I’ll be back at home, concentrating once again on being a dad and a pernickety husband!” Tickets for Jon Richardson’s new show, “Old Man”, are available at Jon will be at The Orchard Theatre on Friday 20th October.

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T: 01322 220 235

Dartford Office: 2 Banks Place, Market Place, Darford, DA1 1EX








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Historical Military Themed Tours for Clubs, Groups and Societies Legacy offers a range of military themed tours from a day trip to the scene of the Battle of Hastings, to bespoke tours to the CHOICES – an independent specialist domestic abuse service WWI and WWII battlegrounds of Providing: Support, Prevention, Education, Signposting, Advice & Training Belgium and France from as little Head Office in Dartford but working across North & West Kent as £39 per person. • Luxury Coach Travel • Local Collection Points


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

• The Services of an Expert Confidential Battlefield TourHelpline: Guide

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Your local independent specialist domestic abuse service For further details please contact • Channel Tunnel Crossings Providing: Support, Prevention, Education, Signposting, Steve Hookins Advice & (where applicable) Training

•Head Accommodation (B&Bbut working across Office in Dartford North & WestServices Kent Legacy Historical Ltd basis) (where applicable) Room 9, 145 Nathan Way, Thamesmead SE28 0AB


Telephone: 0208 311 5309 Mobile: Community outreach services and support groups07783 021508 Specialist support for LGBT community, male victims & young people Email: Preventative programmes in schools Supported hostel for single homeless young people

Open Surgery – (no appointment necessary) Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford – Saturday 15th July


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

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Dartford Living


Local Entertainment Theatre Roundup by Liz Dyer

Now that the evenings are starting to draw in, what better way to escape the gloom than to take in a great show? As ever our fantastic local theatre has plenty on offer, with something to suit all ages and tastes - starting with the welcome return of the Dartford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society. After bringing the house down with their production of Made in Dagenham a few months ago, they’re back in October with Singin’ in the Rain (4th7th), based on the legendary Gene Kelly movie. DAODS never disappoint, so don’t miss out and get your tickets now for what promises to be another great showcase of local talent. If, like me, you’re far more excited about the new series of Strictly Come Dancing than you probably should be, you might be interested to know the reason last year’s winner Joanne Clifton quit the show is so she can focus on her musical theatre career. She showed us what she can do in Thoroughly Modern Millie earlier this year, and this month she returns to Dartford in 80s classic Flashdance (9th-14th), alongside Ben Adams from A1 (remember them?!). It seems like this month is all about movie adaptations, actually, because we finish up the month with a new musical version of The Addams Family, which - in a not particularly spooky coincidence - opens on Halloween (until 4th November). The show stars Eastenders’ Samantha


Womack as Morticia, TV favourite Les Dennis as Uncle Fester and the annoyingly multi-talented vlogger, author and musical theatre star Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday, and has been getting great reviews since the tour kicked off in April. Not a fan of musicals? No problem. This month the Orchard also hosts comedy from Jon Richardson (20th), Paul Chowdhry (21st) and Joel Dommett (25th), with music from Elaine Paige (8th), The Solid Gold Rock and Roll Show (15th), Lulu (24th) and Midge Ure, The Christians and Altered Image (27th). And there’s half term entertainment for the little ones with Peppa Pig’s Adventure (20th-22nd) and Mister Maker (29th). There’s plenty more to look forward to over the coming months, and the theatre has just launched its new season brochure, so why not pop in and pick up a copy - or check it out on the Orchard’s website to see what’s coming up. And finally, with less than 100 days until Christmas, don’t forget to book your panto tickets for December - whether we like it or not, it’ll be here before we know it… Read local and London theatre reviews at

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The misconception of health Do you eat lots of fruit, opt for low fat versions of food, or buy slimming club branded/approved meals? Have you been duped into buying these things off the back of hearsay and false advertising? The world of health has changed a lot over the last 50 years or so - what was once bad for you is now good for you and vice versa. Many of us were brought up being told that fat is bad for us, that it is the cause of heart disease, obesity and more. This belief is still held by the majority and low/no-fat versions of all varieties of foods bring in millions, if not billions in revenue. Alongside that, carbohydrates are now seen by many as the demon food to be avoided, again causing obesity, diabetes etc. etc., although weight loss seems to be the main focus for carb restricted diets. Very popular among celebrities and those who follow them. All this leaves from the macronutrient trio is protein, and that somehow still seems to be deficient in many peoples’ diets despite their low-fat, no carb approach to weight loss?! Obviously, I can’t forget calories. Again, seen as the enemy to those trying to lose weight, calories have been blamed for everything and are usually what most slimming clubs base their programs on, without the recognition that not all calories are equal. This also accounts for part of the argument against fats, since they contain more calories per gram than proteins or carbohydrates, so they must be the culprits for overweight people, right? The problem is, there is no single nutrient or calorie that is to blame for people being overweight, so cutting any of them out is not only unnecessary, but potentially dangerous! Fats are essential for your health. Every cell in your body requires fats, your body needs fats for energy, many hormones are derived from fats and cholesterol, so a strict no- or low-fat diet can disrupt your body so much it will stop functioning properly. Not only that, but fat-reduced products still need to taste good for people to buy them (and that is their sole aim), and since fat tastes good, if it’s removed it needs to be replaced with something – usually either sugar or some other additives to put flavour back in. Processed junk! “Lighter” butter, and “low fat” cheese are even available?!!! Low-fat FAT?! What the hell?! Carbohydrates are also necessary for optimal health. The problem is that most people, because they don’t eat enough protein, and they avoid fat, tend to eat too many carbs. This is when they become a problem. The problem with taking any macronutrient out of your diet is that it needs to be replaced with the other two. People tend to just swap one type of carb for another. Healthier sources are always beneficial, but you still need to include the protein and fat for all to be well. While a reduction in these may be helpful for some overweight people, it needs to be done properly for the desired effects to come about and stay.

Low calorie diets are also a staple for the weight loss community. Logic says that if you burn more calories than you eat, you’ll lose weight. But millions who have tried this approach will attest that it just doesn’t work like that! Or the tiny portions and starvation would work every time; but in reality, they only work for a short, miserable time, then the weight all comes back again. A calorie deficit will need to be present for weight loss to occur, but as with the reduced carbs approach, it needs to be done in a way that is healthy and sustainable or it will all come undone when your diet “finishes”. My main aim in this short article is to get people to realise that “fat-free” or “low-fat” versions of foods are not generally good for you, and that fats are essential in your diet, so opt for whole milk, real butter, cook in healthy oils (such as coconut or avocado), use healthy oils cold (extra virgin olive oil), enjoy nuts and seeds, and eat the whole damn egg! Don’t avoid healthy fats at any cost, just be aware of how much you’re eating (because calories do come into play even with healthy food). Likewise, carbohydrates, while not actually essential for survival, are necessary for you to be healthy and happy. The foods you love are likely laden with carbohydrates and if you don’t enjoy your diet, then you won’t stick to it. For most people, a slight reduction in carbohydrate consumption and an increase in healthy fats and protein is all it will take to drastically change your body. Again, be wary of “low-carb” options and false “healthy” foods like juices and cereals. By all means keep them in your diet, but watch your intake. As complicated as nutrition and weight loss could get, it really doesn’t need to be. It’s a lot simpler and easier than you think, it just takes a bit longer than you’ve been led to believe! At the base level, before addressing carbs, fats, proteins, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), meal timings, nutrient partitioning, fasting, supplements or anything else, you need to establish your calorie baseline – how many calories it actually takes for you to gain/lose/maintain weight (not what some online calculator has told you you need!). From there, you need to get consistent. And then you can start looking at swapping less healthy foods for slightly healthier (but still tasty) versions. Avoid gimmicks and popular trends. Stick to the basics and get them right. Chances are – that’s all you’ll ever need to do! So beware of clever marketing and popular misconceptions. Just stick to your guns, learn what works for you, and eat well. If you’re interested in in-home Personal Training, nutrition and lifestyle changes go to for more information. See you there! Mark Broadbent Master Personal Trainer & Instructor at Dartford Bootcamps

Dhiren’s Auto News October 2018 Suzuki Swift Sport –

This new Suzuki Swift Sport has a far more aggressive look than its predecessor, with larger air intakes, a wide front grille and slanted headlights seperating it from the regular Swift. It is powered by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s already on offer in the Vitara small SUV. In the Swift Sport, that engine produces 138bhp. The Sport is no slouch, because it weighs just 970kg, which is 80kg less than the previous car. The new Swift Sport is due to reach UK showrooms in the new year, with prices starting from around £14,000. The regular Swift range starts from £10,999, with the most expensive model being the SZ5 version, which carries a price tag of £14,499.

In this month’s article we’ll bring you a new versions of sport small hatchbacks and a brand new small SUV model for 2018.

modest price increase when it goes on sale in December, with the first UK cars arriving early next year. At the heart of the Mégane RS is a new 1.8-litre turbocharged engine. It has a promising pedigree, as it is made from the same core components as those used for the engine in the new Renault Alpine sports car. The Mégane RS has numerous performance enhancements over the standard model, from completely reworked suspension through to a rear diffuser, spoiler and increased track width, to improve stability. On the inside, a lot of surfaces are lavished with an Alcantara finish while others are finished with a carbonfibre effect. Red stitching also adds to the quality feel of the cabin. While prices are still to be announced, insiders suggest it will cost slightly more than £30,000, making it competitive against rivals. 2018 Volvo XC40

2018 Renault Megane RS

The new Mégane RS has been revealed, with a more powerful engine and the promise of being even better to drive, despite what is expected to be no more than a


This is the new Volvo XC40, a new small SUV to rival to the Audi Q2, BMW X1 and Volkswagen Tiguan. A host of new and improved technologies will make the Volvo XC40 the safest and most relaxing car in cities in its class, according to its maker. The XC40 will use the latest development of City Safety, which detects potential accidents with other cars, cyclists and pedestrians and automatically slows the car. The system has well-proven benefits: insurance statistics from other Volvos fitted with earlier versions of the system have already shown that it has reduced the number of claims by 28%. Prices for the XC40 have yet to be revealed, but are expected to begin around £32,000 and expected to be released early 2018.

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Gardening Hints and Tips - October Care for Chrysanthemums Now’s the time to prepare outdoor florist Chrysanths for winter. Cut down the stems to 6 inches and then carefully lift the stools (roots) with a fork, labelling them so you know the variety and colour. Remove any loose soil and then box the stools in moist compost and place in a cool, airy, frost-free place. Good ventilation is essential and an electric fan heater is the perfect way to keep the plants both frost-free and to circulate the air. Check For Colour Gaps Check for gaps in your beds and borders and fill them with plants like Hardy Cyclamen, Hardy Chrysanths and winter flowering Pansies. Also, look out for scented winter flowering shrubs, such as Viburnum Farreri and Viburnum Bodnantense, Mahonia and Sarcococca. Just ask our friendly plant staff if you need any help choosing suitable plants for your garden. Conifers Conifers give structure, form and colour to gardens all year round, and they grow to a range of heights from ground cover to large trees. So plant some versatile conifers now. Just ask if you need help in choosing the best conifers for your garden. Cyclamen & Azaleas Bring your home to life with our superb ranges of indoor Cyclamen and Azaleas. They will need somewhere cool and in good indirect light. Make sure you keep the compost moist for best results and feed weekly with a flowering houseplant fertilizer for long lasting blooms. Azaleas will need lime-free water. Just ask our friendly staff if you need any help choosing suitable plants for your home. Garden Planning As gardens start to lose their summer colour it’s a good time to take stock and work out what new plants you’d like and which need to be moved, replaced or replanted. Autumn is the best time to replant your garden and there’s a wide range of plants available that will establish quickly from planting now. You can even plan new features, so ensure you get plenty of ideas from books and our well stocked planteria.

shading and sterilising it with Jeyes Fluid. Then put up bubble insulation to cut heating bills. Horticultural fleece can also be used to help provide a few extra degrees of frost protection. And, don’t forget to check that your greenhouse heaters are working and buy replacements if necessary. If you need any assistance just ask – we’re here to help. Hallowe’en Have a ghoulish Hallowe’en this year. We’ve got everything you need to ensure you have a devilishly good time on October the 31st. Lift Half Hardys Before the frost and cold weather takes its toll on your half hardy bedding and patio perennials, make sure you lift all your fuchsias, surfinia petunias, geraniums, osteospermums and all the others. Remove any dead, dying or diseased leaves and stems, cut them back by up to half to keep them compact, trim the roots and pot them up for over wintering in pots just big enough for the root sand some fresh compost. Don’t forget to pick up everything you’ll need for success, such as pots, compost, labels and fleece. Pest Watch Many pests will lay their eggs on plants for over wintering and these will attack early next year. Deciduous trees and shrubs that have dropped their leaves can be treated with Growing Success Winter Tree Wash. Slugs and snails will be very active during damp weather, so protect vulnerable plants with your favourite control method. Diseased leaves that are left on the ground should be carefully raked up and disposed of. Other debris provides over-winter places for pests, so get rid of this too. Tools With so many jobs to tackle this Autumn, you’re going to need a good range of quality tools to get them done quickly and easily. Take a look at our Tool Section for spades, forks, hoes, rakes and lawn rakes and everything else you need.

Greenhouse care Get the greenhouse ready for winter by removing Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


Where to go locally... Mondays

...local events, clubs & groups

Parent & Toddler Groups (Term Time)

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


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


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


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


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

Toddler Music & Rhyme Sessions at Dartford Libraries Monday Friday Thursday Story Time Fleetdown - Tuesday Greenhithe - Thursday Longfield - Thursday 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

Come along and join in the fun! Term time only For more information please call 03000 41 31 31

a b c +=

Little Bright Sparks Fun phonics, literacy and numeracy classes for 2-4 year olds. Held in West Kingsdown on Tuesdays at 1.15 and Wednesdays at 12.12 £6.95 per class one to one tuition also available for 2-7 year olds. 07768 447657 for more info

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

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

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

Dartford Ostomy Group Support (DOGS) meet

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


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

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

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.

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.

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

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


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



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


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

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

Dartford Books and

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

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

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 or phone/text Theo on 078 755 68296 for more details and current dates of our events and meetings

Dartford Quilters meet on the 2nd Saturday of each

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

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

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


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

Dartford Floral Club

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

The Dartford Chess Club


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

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Dartford Living


Where to go locally... Mummy On The Mend


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

North West Kent Family History Society

The Dartford Branch meet the 1st Saturday of each month from 10am-12:30pm at the Dartford Science and Technology College, Heath Lane, For more information see or ring Janet 01322384836 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. We have our own entrance off the car park. Unlike many other clubs, we are in the fortunate position of not having to share our facilities with anybody else. Some of the members meet on a Tuesday and Thursday to work on the various club layouts that are currently under construction (or being updated).

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

The Rotary Club of the North Downs

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

The National Women’s Register

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


The Rendezvous Club (50+)

Every Monday Time: 8pm - 10pm Location: Close to Bexleyheath Town Centre Description: We are a (non-profit making) friendly social group open to anyone over fifty. We enjoy socialising, making new friends and activities including Quizzes, Meals Out, Trips to the Theatre, Cinema, Coach Trips, Gentle Walks and Short Breaks Away. Admission: Subs £2.50 per week. Annual membership £6 If you would like to join us or require further information please telephone: Tel: 01322 287356 or 020 8304 6414


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

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

MALE? AGED 18 - 44?

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

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

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

Crayford and District Probus Club

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

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Dartford Living


Where to go locally... WHEELCHAIR EPEE FENCING

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

Erith Youth Rugby

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

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

Hartley Swimclub at White Oak Pool, Swanley

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

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

Dartford Gymnastics

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

Learn Karate

Learn karate with Yamato Damashii – 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.


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


Tuesday Morning Yoga Class at Sutton Court, Sutton-AtHone 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.

The Highly Strung Badminton Club, a friendly, all ages (must be over 18years old) & all abilities(sorry no beginners) Thursdays at 745-945pm,at the Dartford Girls Grammar School sports hall Shepherds Lane,Dartford,Kent,DA1 2NT For further information email

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

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

11 15 55

COMPETITION So now we’re all back to school and back to work, are you suffering the Holiday Blues?


y e l r i sh ntine vale

Well Shirley Valentine won’t let daily life get her down! Join her as she secretly escapes to Greece in Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy at The Orchard Theatre from Monday 6 - Saturday 11 November.

MON 6 – SAT 11 NOV

Find out more here: | Ticket Office: 01322 220000 Where is Shirley Valentine from? A)Liverpool B) London C) Manchester D) Leeds email your answer to This competition closes on 15th October 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.

Advertisers Index

Directory of Local Businesses advertising in Dartford Living

ACCOUNTANTS, FINANCE & LEGAL Buss Murton .............................................................. 40 Downton Ali Associates..............................................59 GF + Co........................................................................41 BUILDERS, DECORATORS ROOFING, BATHROOMS, KITCHENS & WINDOWS

Affix Windows..............................................................30 Claremont Decorative Services..................................39 Dream Doors................................................................11 Nightingale Bathrooms................................................17 Steve Cook - Double Glazing.......................................23 CAKE MAKING Rock and Rise.......................................................43 CONVENIENCE STORE S3 ................................................................................22 COSMETIC, BEAUTY & HEALTH Dia Wipes................................................................7 COUNCIL Dartford Borough Council ...........................................31 EDUCATION Kip McGrath.. ...................................................11 ELECTRICIANS AES Electricians.. ....................................................4 ESTATE/ LETTING AGENTS GPS Lettings............................................................7 Fox Estates ..................................................................15 Virotti................................................................27 Wisdom Estates...........................................................39 FARM SHOP Riverford .....................................................................29 Stanhill Farm...............................................................33 FUNERAL SERVICES Stephen P Gay Funeral Services..............................22 GARAGES & VEHICLE SERVICES Orchard Garage...........................................................60 Shenley Road Garage...................................................42 HOTELS Campanile...................................................................4 JEWELLERY Bradleys..................................................................23 LAW Apex Law.......................................................................6

LOGISTICS/ REMOVALS FD TRANSPORT ...................................................42 NURSERY The Brent Playgroup.............................................5 MEDICAL Ifield Therepy......................................................29 MUSIC/DANCE & FITNESS Worried about your childs weight?.............................21 Dartford Bootcamps.....................................................30 Fairfield Leisure Centre...............................................36 Monkey Music............................................................49 Reynolds.....................................................38 Why Weight?...............................................................20 Vibe...............................................................28 OPTICIANS Linklater Opticians.. ...............................................40 PICTURE FRAMING Craft Frames.............................................................42 SECURITY Excel Security......................... ..............................43 SPORTS Fairfield Leisure Centre................................................37 WILL WRITING SMN Will Writing .....................................................22

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

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


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

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


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

Dartford Ju Jitsu Club Mondays, Dartford Girls Grammar School, Shepherds Lane. 6.30-8.00 Juniors, 8.00-10.00 Seniors www.

LOCAL MP Gareth Johnson 020 7219 7047


LOCAL SPORTS CLUBS Bexley Rugby Club 01322 550142 or bexleyrfc/

Dartford Living Dartford Today and Tomorrow Dartford Remembered Dartford Gossip Dartford Living Community Group

Dartford Sharks Basketball Club Tim Dickson - 07855 692527. Dartford Volleyball Club Graham - 01322 275290 or 07984 106134. Stone Lodge Indoor Bowling Club 01322 274111. VCD Table Tennis Club Eric Jenkins - 0208 3038312. ‘Play & pay’, 9 hole, par 3 golf course on Dartford Football Club’s Princes Park- PRINCES PARK GOLF CLUB. Contact: 01322 299990 The Ashes Badminton Club Mondays, Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane. 7.30-9.30. Jacqui 07764 182854. Dartford Valley RFC darenthvalleyrfc/

Dartford Ladies Hockey Club Dawn Hall (Secretary) 07793 777250

Please mention Dartford Living when contacting our advertisers

Interested in advertising? Tel: 01322 507817

Dartford Living


01322 271000

Motorbike MOT Just ÂŁ25!

Class IV MOT Just ÂŁ30! See our independent feedback at: and

128 Park Road, Dartford, DA1 1SZ

Dartford Living October 2017  

Dartford Living October 17 Issue. Featuring St Mary Greenhithe Community Cafe, Stanhill Farm Pumpkin Patch plus our usual features and Much...

Dartford Living October 2017  

Dartford Living October 17 Issue. Featuring St Mary Greenhithe Community Cafe, Stanhill Farm Pumpkin Patch plus our usual features and Much...