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The essential magazine for parents of children aged 0–12

Issue 6: March/April 2012


✶ ee! r F

London–Kent Borders

Spring is here! • Easter fun! • Are you ready for

the Olympics? • Why learn a musical 10 instrument?


• A Playhouse from Win Green • Easter Tennis Lessons


Top Easter Egg Trails!

★Plus: Competitions & much more inside!

For families living in the Bromley & Bexley boroughs, Dartford & the surrounding areas

Easter Fun! 2 – 5 and 10 – 13 April 10:00am – 4:30pm

Easter EGGstravaganza! Follow the treasure trail to find the chicks and egg hidden in the Museum then create and decorate your own Easter basket to take home. There is a chocolate egg for every child and prizes to be won. The South East’s largest domestic Cleaning & Ironing agency has now expanded into the Bromley area.

Admission free


10am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Closed weekends and public holidays. Entrance in Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH. Tel: 020 7601 5545

Contact 020 8677 4924 —



Sunday Carvery

Homeclean-Bromley.indd 2

30/10/2011 19:47

Served 12pm-6pm on Sundays

Book Online, By Phone or Just Walk In 0208 298 0284 The Boathouse, Danson Park, Danson Road, Bexleyheath

In this issue

4 News 5 Mothers mean business 6 Education 7 Why learn a musical instrument? 8–9 Get ready for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games! 10 What’s on at the theatre 11 Spring cleaning inside and out! 12 Events 13 Top 10 Easter egg hunts 14 Easter holiday activities 15 Out & about


We hope you enjoy reading this issue which has a real spring flavour to it, from where to go to see newborn lambs to great ideas for things to do during the Easter holidays. Plus we have some fantastic prizes to win including a playhouse from newly relaunched Win Green (worth £200) and tennis lessons at Raw Tennis’s Easter Holiday Camp in Bromley! To enter visit: Good luck and happy reading!

Sewing, Knitting & Crochet Workshops From beginners to advanced Business MuMs Wanted


Successful local business is seeking five partners to work part-time from home without compromising family commitments. If you have a Managerial, Sales, Marketing, Recruitment or Self-Employed background and you want to develop a more balanced lifestyle around your family’s needs, call Katie

01737 766403 / 07909 681884 Juliette Dixon, Editor 020 8466 6977, Follow us on Facebook at Families London–Kent Borders Magazine and on Twitter @familieslkb Š Families London–Kent Borders. We take every care preparing this magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences. Any original materials submitted for publication are sent at owner’s own risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families London–Kent Borders nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage. Families London–Kent Borders is part of the FamiliesŽ group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license. Printed by Williams Press Ltd,




020 8466 6977


MICROSPORT -real sport for under 5 s CELEBRATING 20 YEARS! A fun & educational introduction to ball sports: soccer, tennis, hockey, cricket and much more. We have a long proven record of success & our small sports come back again & again. Trained adult coaches & lots of classes. AGES 2,3 & 4

For classes in Bromley, Beckenham & Tatsfield: 01689 600992 For classes in Sevenoaks, Pembury, Orpington, Dunton Green, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells: 07863 330200

Since 1993 thousands of children across the UK have grown up with Monkey Music. Our unique teaching curriculum was written by classically trained musicians, and introduces music to very young children in a way they can easily understand and enjoy. 5RFNœQ¡UROOIURPPRQWKV +HLJKKR²IURPPRQWKV -LJJHW\MLJ² \HDUROGV 'LQJGRQJ² \HDUROGV :LQQHURIWKH%HVW1DWLRQDO3UH6FKRRO$FWLYLW\$ZDUG

Babble from the borders

News & Views

The Faces of Britain Face Britain, a project created by The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts, is inviting children aged 4 to 16 to submit a self-portrait to their online gallery. The artworks will become part of a world record attempt and hopefully be the biggest online gallery of selfportraits in the world. To take part, submit your entry by 31 March. For more information visit www.

Chislehurst-based husband and wife Jeffrey and Suzanne Sands are relaunching Win Green this Spring. The popular brand, which is synonymous with beautifully made playhouses, tents and accessories (above), was established in 2001. When the company ran into difficulties the Sands family stepped in and are currently replenishing and expanding the stock. To see their latest collection visit Win Green is offering Families readers a chance to win one of its beautiful playhouses. To enter visit

Local mum sets up Kinesiology clinic When local mother of two Melanie Bird was struck down with food poisoning eight years ago a friend suggested she saw a Kinesiologist. She found the improvement to her health was so considerable that it inspired her to re-train and start a new career in Kinesiology. The Bexley mum has been qualified and treating clients for six years and has recently set up her own clinic which she runs from home. Kinesiology is a well established holistic therapy for people of all ages which can help with many conditions, including allergies, dyslexia, hyperactivity in children, frequent infections and stress. Benefits of treatment can include dietary improvement, increased energy levels and general well-being. For more information visit and to book an appointment call Melanie on 07876 782017.

Yoo too can enjoy the taste...

Frozen yogurt brand Yoomoo is launching a delicious take home range. The fat free yogurts which are currently available from kiosks in Bromley and Bluewater will be available in supermarkets, including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, nationwide from March. The range includes fruity, chocolate and natural flavours and will come in 150ml and 750ml tubs.

Viva la move Bromley-based Viva La Foto in The Glades shopping centre has moved its kiosk up to their photo studio on car park level 1, just above Zara. The kiosk sells personalised gifts, including mugs, T-shirts, iphone covers and canvases, which are ready for collection in an hour. For more information and to view their current offers visit

Mothers Mean Business

Lucy Griffiths, owner and principal of The Lucy Griffiths Dance & Theatre Academy and mother of two Tell us a little bit about your business. I bought the Academy as a very small dancing school of about 50 pupils; it has now grown to a large dancing school of approximately 350 pupils and is still growing with roughly 100 classes running each week!

WWF’s Earth Hour

Whether you’ve taken part in WWF’s Earth Hour before or not, don’t miss it on Saturday 31 March at 8.30pm. A chance to get involved in a global phenomenon, join hundreds of millions of people turning off their lights for one hour on the same night, all across the planet. But it’s not just to save an hour’s electricity. Earth Hour is about people coming together to celebrate the planet and focus on how we need to protect it, not just for an hour but every day. Sign up at

Run for your money

Join Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Royal Bank of Canada in the RBC Race for the Kids on 24 June in London’s Battersea Park. The 5km race, which is open to everyone, promises to be an enjoyable day out while raising money for a good cause. After the run there will be activities including stage acts, arts and crafts, face painting and bouncy castles. To register visit www.raceforthe

Wear a hat for brain tumour research

Take part in ‘Wear a Hat Day’ on 30 March to help raise awareness and funds for Brain Tumour Research. With more people under 40 dying of a brain tumour than any other cancer they hope to get as many people as possible to wear a hat in return for a donation. To find out how to get involved visit www.braintumourresearch. org/wear-a-hat-day

020 8466 6977

How long has the business been going? The Lucy Griffiths Dance & Theatre Academy is in its 17th year of trading. We run classes in Orpington, Green Street Green & Chislehurst, and teach classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Street Dance, Drama, Singing and Theatre and we also run adult classes in Tap, Ballet and Jazz.

Where do you go from here? We have recently launched the Melody Bear specialist pre-school classes for ages 18 months and upwards. We also run Theatre & Drama Groups ‘Shinin Starz’ which I will continue to develop along with our Agency ‘Lucky Stars Kids Agency’ which sees many of our pupils performing in various shows and performances.

How does it fit in with family life? The Academy fits in well with family life as it is a very child friendly business. I have two daughters, Jemma (8) and Jessica (4), who both love to dance and join in with classes, shows & other events the Academy runs. My husband Darren must feel he is also married to the Academy – he is always helpful and supportive even when parents of pupils turn up on our doorstep at weird and wonderful hours! I am also very lucky my Mum, Nita, is very active within the Academy and often is like a second Mum to the pupils! What do you like most about working for yourself? Being able to build a business up to be something I’m really proud of! Although I still teach along with running the business, it is essential to be able to delegate some of the teaching and admin to my experienced staff. This enables me still to be a ‘normal’ mum and to be able to do the school run and be there for them as much as I can. What are the worse bits about working for yourself? It is quite difficult to separate work and family life and often the two do merge together but fortunately because my business is so child friendly this is not normally a problem.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up in business? You have to be very motivated, have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and be ready to work very hard. Also, you must always be ready to move the business on when needed. The Lucy Griffiths Dance & Theatre Academy runs classes in Orpington, Green Street Green and Chislehurst. Classes include Ballet, Tap, Modern, Street Dance, Drama, Singing, and Theatre and adult classes in Tap, Ballet and Jazz. For information call 01689 827669, email or visit


Malcolm Tysoe Violin Specialist Violins from £60 to £10,000 Bows, cases & accessories Printed music 8-10 Church Road, Farnborough, Kent, BR6 7DB

01689 859 212

Yoga Wizards Yoga for Children (2-11 yrs)


News & Views

Phonic support for Year 1s

As six year olds prepare for the first national phonics reading check at school this summer, Biff, Chip and Kipper will be there to lend a helping hand. The popular characters from the Oxford Reading Tree are the stars of ‘ My Phonics Kit’ (RRP £9.99), which includes three phonics workbooks, a CDROM with eBooks and phonics support, a reward chart, sticker sheet and tips. For information visit:

Autism redefined 07799462284 •


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Concerns are growing within the autism community as proposed changes to the criteria used to diagnose autism threaten services, benefits and future research. The definition of autism is due to be tightened to exclude many of those who are presently diagnosed with what are considered to be milder forms of the condition and the new criteria could have far-reaching implications for families. ‘The exclusion of people who don’t meet criteria in the new definition is being seen within the autism community as a way for governments to curtail the sky-rocketing rate of reported cases of autism worldwide, and with it the need for services and benefits.,’ says Gillian Loughran, editor of Autism Eye. Currently, autism cases are reported to be running at around one in 100 children. Visit:

Roger Black visits Babington House Former Olympic runner and silver medallist Roger Black MBE was guest of honour at the opening of the magnificent Leek-Bailey Building at Babington House School in Chislehurst. The building boasts new drama, music and IT facilities and is a result of years of planning.

New head appointed Bromley High Junior School is celebrating the appointment of its new Head Teacher Penny Jones who started in January. Mrs Jones, former head of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, is keen to continue ‘to instil in the girls a blend of traditional values and innovation’ and to channel their enthusiasm ‘in directions that extend and enrich their learning, knowledge and skills.’

Sing Along with Jo Jingles! Fun Music, Singing and Movement Classes for children aged 3 months to 5 years Check with your local class for ‘seasonal offers’!

Classes in Bromley & Beckenham Call Susan on 0208 290 0909 Classes in Dartford, Bexley Heath, Bexley & Meopham Call Gill on 07525 865030


Play on...

Learning a musical instrument is great fun, but turning your child into a mini maestro may be harder than you think. By Juliette Dixon

How much?

As a child I always remember changing cars was a big problem. No decision was ever made until we had all traipsed up to the car show room, complete with my Dad’s double bass and then sat in the car to make sure we could all (instrument included) fit in the car! I have to say that I felt a little smug when my daughter said she wanted to learn the flute – after all the only real problem with that was that she might loose it. However, my smugness was short lived when my second daughter announced that she wanted to learn the harp! There was no way that was going to fit in our car and a horse box seemed a little extreme, but luckily I soon discovered that they do make small harps for children! You see, there are many things to take into consideration when choosing an instrument for your child. More often than not they have their heart set on a specific instrument and as long as it’s a practical choice then you may as well go along with it – after all they are going to have to spend quite a lot of time with it one way or another so they ought to play something they like! If your child is less specific then you can then guide them into something you would like to hear and that won’t be too taxing on the ears!

Local Music Services: • BromleyYouth MusicTrust (BYMT) BYMT is an independent music service catering for young people in Bromley and the surrounding areas. Services include: instrumental and vocal tuition, holiday courses and masterclasses, a wide range of orchestras catering for children of all ages and abilities, whole class instrumental tuition in Year 3 to all children in every primary school in the borough, ‘early years’ classes, performance opportunities and termly concerts. Look out for their popular ‘Try a Musical Instrument’ morning each September.

020 8466 6977

Practise makes perfect!

It doesn’t matter how much your child wants to learn a particular instrument, if it’s not going to work it will be counter-productive and will end in tears! Lots of children start on the recorder as it’s inexpensive, easy to learn, pleasant to the ear and will give a real sense of achievement. While this is a good introduction, be prepared – most children will quickly develop the taste for something larger and more expensive! Thankfully, most music centres operate a hire scheme so if your child wants to flit from one instrument to another you are not left with a small orchestra in your house and a large hole in your bank balance. Once they are more committed it’s a good idea to think about purchasing an instrument for them as it will save you money in the long run.

‘Music is the silence between the notes.’-

Claude Debussy

OK, so you’ve relented – they have a nice new instrument and an enthusiastic teacher so it’s time to start on the basics. Although at first your child will be full of enthusiasm and will probably be driving you mad with their eagerness to go over and over the same thing (which they do have to do), the realisation that practise is a way of life will soon hit them. You will then have a child that wants to clean the car, help unload the dishwasher, in fact help with anything rather than doing their practise. But practise really does make perfect, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. Teachers soon get fed up with excuse after excuse, however varied they may be, and if your child doesn’t practise they will soon start to dread their lessons. As with all things, us parents save the day; after all, we are always there to help. So arm yourself with lots of encouragement and don’t forget to keep smiling, it can only get better! Very soon those first squeaks and stumbles will seem like a distant memory as you sit and watch your child playing in their first concert beaming with pride and searching for the tissues!

National Plan for Music Education On 25 November 2011 the Government launched its first ever National Plan for Music Education entitled ‘ The Importance of Music’. The Government wants to enable children from all backgrounds throughout England to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and experience the musical opportunities available in its aim to enrich their cultural experiences alongside their academic and vocational studies. The Government hopes that children will learn for at least a term and up to a year. For more information visit:

• Bird College The Music Services Department provides free instrumental and vocal tuition to the Bexley borough’s primary and junior schools for children in Years 3 to 6. They also run music groups and holiday courses at their centre in Sidcup. • Kent Music Kent Music organises instrumental and vocal tuition to children in the county and each area runs different local groups – for example in Dartford there is both a weekly boys’ choir and a girls’ choir; they also run county youth orchestras, wind bands and choirs and summer courses.

Useful websites : • The Mayor of London’s Funding for Young Musicians (MFYM) raises money to help talented children throughout the London boroughs who cannot afford private music lessons. • Local violin specialist Malcolm Tysoe’s website is a great source of sheet music for all instruments. www.bachtrack. com/for-kids Great for finding family-friendly classical music events.

• Useful exam information, advice and forums. • The Cavatina Chamber Music Trust offers free tickets to students between 8 and 22 at a range of chamber concerts.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

It’s the taking part... This summer, The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be an amazing festival of sport and culture: a breathtaking event that the whole nation can get excited about. Rebecca Carr discovers how you too can get involved and be a part of the greatest sporting event in the world Be a Local Leader The Local Leader programme is an opportunity for people in communities across the UK to be involved in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Millions of people will be celebrating and at the heart of every celebration will be the one person who makes a difference; an organiser or someone who makes things happen. So if this sounds like you, why not become a London 2012 Local Leader and plan an activity that can include the whole family? All you need is an idea of how you will celebrate the Games. You can create your own events or use the ideas communities across the UK suggested to London 2012. From gardening for the games to planning a sports quiz or an opening night in or a super Saturday family BBQ, get your friends, family and neighbours ready to celebrate the greatest sporting event in the world.

Ideas to get you started:

n Let’s get gardening Dig out your trowel and get planting! Use your window pots, garden or community allotment to celebrate through all things floral. You can use Olympic colours or Union Jack themes.

involve older members of the family too. The Youth and Family Gold Challenge offers three challenge options to choose from. This is your challenge and you can choose how you do it: 1 Complete your challenge indoors or outdoors 2 Choose new sports, or push yourself further in your favourite sport 3 Complete it as an individual or as a family

n The 2012km

Challenge n School’s out Every week during the school holidays keep the family busy with the tool kit from London 2012 which is packed with ideas and learning opportunities.

n Design a flag
 Why not design an Olympic flag to wave when the Olympic Torch passes through your town or village?

Youth and Family Gold Challenge The Youth and Family Gold Challenge is the

charity challenge where you take on Olympic and Paralympic Sports to raise money for charity. Everyone aged five and over can take part either as an individual, as part of a team, or with your family, and fundraise for one of Gold Challenge’s 125 charities.

The Family Activity Challenge This challenge is all about doing sports together and is perfect for families. Learn one new sport and/ or try a family run, walk, cycle or swim. It’s accessible for younger children or those who want to

Celebrating the Olympic year, choose your target distance at 2,012km, 201.2km or 20.12km and then complete this in your preferred sports. You need to be aged seven or over to register. Cover your chosen distance* via one or more of the following: • Running • Walking • Cycling • Swimming • Canoeing/Kayaking • Horse-riding • Rowing • Sailing * for families or groups this is an aggregated total.


‘The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part.’ (Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games) n Olympic Sport

Renting your home for the games

This challenge is for those of you who want to try out new sports. Pick five Olympic or Paralympic sports to learn or improve on, then coach or take part in a competitive event to complete your challenge. You need to be aged seven or over to register.

For those lucky enough to live near the Olympic park, there’s one big question you might be thinking: can I rent my house to visitors for the games? Some London letting agents have reported a serious interest from those looking to rent their homes near to the action this summer. Reports suggest some home owners are asking between £3,000 and £5,000 per week to rent their home. If you are thinking of renting your home, there are two options available: pay an agent who specialises in short-term lets or do it yourself! Agents will typically charge commission of between 10–15%, the advantage being they provide a contract and, crucially, collect the money for the rent.


n The Family Activity


This is a two part challenge which can be done anywhere, perfect for families as it’s all about doing sports together, regardless of age or ability. Firstly, choose one new sport to learn together and then do two of the following as a family: • Swim 500 metres • Run 1,500 metres • Walk 5,000 metres • Cycle 10,000 metres

n Useful websites www.london2012. com/localleaders

020 8466 6977

Considerations for letting your family home: • All your cupboards, wardrobes and draws will need to be empty and all personal possessions removed from your property.

• You will need to have a spotlessly clean house. • There will be a cost associated with finding somewhere for your family to stay while your home is rented. • You will pay tax on the income you generate from the rent. • Your home insurance will not cover you for commercial lets so you will need additional cover.

n Useful websites If you wish to avoid paying commission, then there are a variety of websites where you can list your property for a small fee: www.accommodatelondon. com/olympics

Fitter, Faster, Funnier Olympics: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Olympics… but were afraid to ask Michael Cox, A & C Black, £4.99 Peek behind the scenes of the Olympics in this amusing guide which is packed with hilarious facts, top tips and fun activities. It’s a great book to dip into and your kids will love being able to impress everyone with their wealth of Olympic knowledge. We highly recommend it – a must for all budding Olympians!

Win! We have 10 copies of Fitter, Faster Funnier Olympics to give away. For your chance of winning, simply visit by 30 April 2012.

What’s On

Out & about

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 = Easter holiday fun


Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which focuses on local events at the time of the Accession and Coronation, together with more recent royal visits to the Borough.

CHURCHILL THEATRE High Street, Bromley, 08448 717 620, 14 & 15 Mar Science Museum Live Experience spectacular science, dangerous demonstrations and extraordinary experiments as the Science Museum takes to the stage.

Diggerland Roman Way, Medway Valley Leisure Park, Strood, Kent ME2 2NU, This adventure park is great fun for all ages. Where else can you ride, drive and operate full size construction machinery to your heart’s content?


Park Lane, Croydon, 020 8688 9291, 24 Mar, 11am Arthur Davison Family Concert: The Adventures of Sinbad  30 Mar & 1 Apr Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt Help Peppa Pig as she and her friends go on a treasure hunt in this new story which is full of sing-along songs.

Garrick Theatre

2 Charing Cross Road, London WC2 0HH, 0844412 4662, From 14 Feb Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain Discover blood, battles, murder and mayhem in these stories from Roman, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and WW1 times. 6yrs+


Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1ED, 01322 220000, 23–24 Mar Swan Lake English Youth Ballet’s professional principal dancers lead the pageantry of a large cast of up to 100 young talented regional dancers in this World Premiere of its new production of Swan Lake.  1 Apr Oliver Presented by Youngstars Musical Theatre Company. 18–21 Apr Crazy for You Performed by Dartford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, this hit musical is perfect for some good old fashioned family fun.

Peacock Theatre

Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HT, 0844 412 4322  3–13 Apr My First Sleeping Beauty Families will love Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous waltz-filled score and the sumptuous Nicholas Georgiadis costumes will transport children to an enchanted world of castles and curses, forests and fairies. 19–22 Apr London Children’s Ballet: A Little Princess This mesmerising adaptation is a perfect way to introduce the whole family to the joys of ballet.

Peter Mares


London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1ZZ, 01732 450175,,  8 Apr The Sooty Show Join the legendary Sooty, Sweep and Sue who have come straight from CITV along with their friend Richard Cadell.


Dickens World

Chatham Maritime ME4 4LL, 01634 890 421, Step back in time and experience life in the days of Charles Dickens. Attractions include the Great Expectations Boat Ride, Fagin’s Den, Peggotty’s Boathouse and the Haunted House. Oliver Speers and Emma Lister rehearsing for the EnglishYouth Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake at the OrchardTheatre in Dartford


BEDGEBURY NATIONAL PINETUM & FOREST Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst, nr Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2SJ, 01580 879 820, ONGOING EVENTS Seasonal trails, family cycle trails (bikes for hire: 01580 879 694) & Go Ape (  3–5 Apr, 10.30am–3pm Drop in Easter Egg Hunt Follow a self-guiding Easter Egg trail leading back to the classroom, where you can make an Easter card to take home. £3 per child.

The Bluebell Railway Sheffield Park Station, East Sussex, 01825 720800 Various dates in March Kids for a Quid 16–20 & 23–17 Apr Spring Specials

bromley museum

The Priory, Church Hill, Orpington BR6 0HH, 01689 873826, Free family club first Saturday of the month.

Groombridge Place Gardens & Enchanted Forest Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 9QG, 01892 861 444,  8 & 9 Apr Easter Fun

The Hop FarM Family Park Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6PY, 01622 872068,  31 Mar–15 Apr Fun packed activities include a daily Easter Egg Hunt, regular encounters with new spring animals, Sing-alongs, live Puppet Shows and Farmyard Party Dances. .


100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ 020 8699 1872, Busy Bees Lively sessions for under 5s with creative play, enchanting stories from around the world, simple art and craft, songs and lots of fun. Hands on Family workshops Touch real museum objects from all over the world. 10, 17, 24 Mar, 2.45pm Art Makers Have fun with art skills and exciting techniques to create something fabulous to take home.

Kent & East Sussex Railway

Chislehurst Caves Caveside Close, Old Hill, Chislehurst BR7 5NL, 020 8467 3264, See website for opening times and special events. Entrance to the caves is by guided tour only.

Dartford Borough Museum Market Street, Dartford ,Kent DA1 1EU, 01322 224739, www.dartford. Discover more about Dartford and its history with the help of children’s activity sheets. Until 23 Jun Visit the exhibition celebrating Her

01580 765155, Booking essential. 31 Mar Rock with the Tots Take a special train ride to see Fifi Forget-me-Not and Bumble in their high energy, sing-along stage show! 14 & 15 Apr Grandparents’ Weekend

KENT LIFE Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone ME14 3AU, 01622 763936,  31 Mar–15 Apr, 10am–6pm Spring into Easter Meet the baby animals, have a go at bottle feeding the lambs and see if you can spot the wooden pigs to win a yummy treat.  6–9 Apr Lambing weekend 14 & 15 Apr Peppa Pig and George


What’s On


Lambing days…

cost you more in the long run. • If you are not a professional, however long you think a job will take, double it.

Our pick of the best lambing events: • Hadlow College, Hadlow: 10 & 11 March • South of England Rare Breeds Centre, Ashford: from 6 April for three weeks • Kent Life, Maidstone: 6–9 April • Woodlands FarmTrust, Welling: 15 April, 11am–4.30pm

John from James & Lamont

Get gardening…

020 8462 4646, 07802 535 695 • Clear the room or allow good space to work in. • Think of the best way of doing the work so you don’t make more work for yourself. • Get the right tools for the job and don’t buy cheap paint – you might need to apply more coats to cover up existing colour. • Don’t start work when you’re tired – you’ll start hurrying to get it finished and make mistakes. • When choosing paint bear in mind that paint always comes up darker. • Don’t paint the sample pot paint on the walls. Instead, paint on plain white paper with two coats and blu tack in various areas in daylight or home lighting. • Make sure you go to the loo before you start and there’s a good supply of tea and cake. • If all else fails call in the professionals – it might not cost as much as you think!

If you want to get the children gardening this spring, then don’t forget to pick up a copy of ‘RHS Grow Your Own for Kids!’ by Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins and Lia Leendertz (Mitchell Beazley, £12.99). It’s full of lots of fun ideas and will turn even the stickiest fingers green in no time!

As now is the perfect time to spring clean we thought we would ask three local businesses for their top tips…

Emma from Homeclean* 020 8677 4924,, www.homeclean. • Concentrate on one room at a time. That way each room will be covered thoroughly, rather than bits being missed as you move from one room to the next. • Get those windows squeaky clean! The days are getting longer and lighter but that highlights areas of our homes that might have been neglected during the darker months – a sunny morning can suddenly make a window seem very grimy! The best way to tackle this is to buy a cheap spray bottle – most hardware and homeware stores stock a range of sizes. Mix one part white vinegar with four parts warm water (and a small amount of washing-up liquid for the more stubborn marks) and spray this sparingly onto your window. Use a clean, soft rag to wipe clean (or be

extra green and scrunch up your old newspapers to wipe the windows down – it works fantastically well for a smear-free finish). • If you find the range of products available bewildering, nothing beats soda crystals for value for money and efficiency. A quick and effective way to freshen up your home is to give paintwork a gentle wipe-down with diluted crystals (see packets for instructions).

Shaun the Handyman 020 8249 3264, 07913 656 502, www.shaunthehandyman. • Don’t have a flat screen TV mounted too high on the wall. It will feel like you are in the front row of the cinema, craning your neck to look up at the screen. • If your curtains aren’t sliding properly on the pole or track, spray some furniture polish onto a cloth and wipe the pole/track with it. • Don’t but cheap tools. They will

Step outside… Explore London for free this spring with the help of the new Step Outside Guides (RRP £5). These handbag size books (available from www.stepoutsideguides. com) are packed with fun activities and are a perfect companion to any London adventure. WIN one of five guides by visiting uk/competitions

• Homeclean is offering Families readers a 15% discount off the annual agency fee – just quote ‘Families’ when you book.

Win a playhouse! Win Green ( is giving away one of its gorgeous playhouses* (RRP £200) to one lucky winner!

The playhouses are beautifully made, easily assembled and come with their own storage bag ready to provide hours of fun for one lucky winner.

To win one of these fabulous playhouses visit

* Choice of Gingerbread House or Fire Station

020 8466 6977

All entries must be received by 30 April 2012.


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What’s On

Events Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Mother of Invention Conference Centre, British Library, 19 Mar, 6.15pm–9.30pm In celebration of International Women’s Month, this event provides a rare opportunity to hear from a group of inspirational and pioneering female entrepreneurs, and learn the secrets of their success. Speakers include Not on the High Street founder Sophie Cornish and retail branding expert Christina Richardson. £10. Star Wars™ Weekend at Legoland® Windsor 24 & 25 Mar, 10am–5pm Stormtroopers manning the turnstiles, Droid workshops and Jedi training camps all await guests at the official opening of the new LEGO® Star Wars™ miniland experience. Following a chronological path, LEGO Star Wars painstakingly recreates seven of the most famous scenes using around 1.5 million LEGO bricks. During this launch weekend, visitors will be able to climb aboard a life size

Landspeeder for a photo, hone their lightsabre skills at Jedi training camp, and enjoy the spectacle of a battalion of Stormtroopers marching through the park as they search for Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca, who will be roaming the resort. Live 2012 Business Design Centre, Islington 27 Mar This event is free (and child friendly) and allows you to meet with family-friendly employers, seek out flexible jobs, get CV tips and attend informative seminars on everything from returning to work to starting a business or franchise. Register for your free ticket at

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0RR  31 Mar & 1 Apr, 1pm–4pm Flower Power Painting Botanical art for children. 4yrs +.  4–9 Apr, 10.30am–4pm Easter Bunny Hunt 11–15 Apr, 11am–4pm Stick Mania Stick inspired projects. Age 3–10. 21 & 22 Apr Get Growing! Interactive children’s workshops. 3yrs+ & 7yrs+. 29 Apr, 11.30am–12pm Storytelling & Magic Age 3–10yrs.

spa valley Railway

Matilda Temperley

West Station, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5QY, 01892 537 715,  8 & 9 Apr Easter Specials

Days out – Historical Houses & Gardens Chiddingstone Castle

Hill Hoath Road, near Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD, 01892 870347,


LULLINGSTONE ROMAN VILLA Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0JA, 01322 863467. Wonder at the display of artefacts and dress up in traditional Roman costumes.


HALL PLACE AND GARDENS Bourne Road, Bexley DA5 1PQ, 01322 621238,  2–4 Apr, 10am–11am & 2pm–3pm The Ugly Duckling Create your own ugly duckling puppet and watch it magically turn into a beautiful swan.

CircusFest 2012 Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH, 28 Mar–29 Apr Watch awe-inspired as the best international contemporary circus artists perform a combination of World and UK premieres, from the weird and whimsical to high energy displays which defy logic and gravity. Highlights include: Foté Foré (28 Mar–7 Apr) from the trailblazing Guinean circus troupe Cirque Mandinque; Underman (10–14 Apr) from the Swedish company Cirkus Cirkor and the world premiere of Professor Vanessa’s Wondershow (23–29 Apr).


Hever, near Edenbridge, TN8 7NG, 01732 865224,  6–15 Apr Annual Easter Egg Trail


near Maidstone, ME17 1PL, 01622 765400,  6–9 Apr Easter Family Fun A fun packed weekend including an Easter egg trail, animal fun, crafts, Easter egg archery and face painting.


15 Apr Egyptian Day A fun day for the whole family to visit the Castle and learn of the mysteries of Ancient Egypt.

crofton roman villa Crofton Road, Orpington BR6 8AF, 020 8460 1442,  4 & 11 Apr The Ancient Olympic Games Explore the history of the ancient Olympic Games. Make your own Olympic board game and victory wreath, and win your Olympic purple ribbon.

ENGLISH HERITAGE Properties Members free. For prices & opening times visit DOVER CASTLE East of Dover town centre, Dover, Kent CT16 1HU  6–9 Apr, 10am–5pm Children’s Festival

ELTHAM PALACE & GARDENS Court Yard, Eltham SE9 5QE, 0870 333 1183 Check website for events.

HOME OF CHARLES DARWIN (DOWN HOUSE) Luxted Road, Downe, Kent BR6 7JT, 01689 859119. Check website for events.

Members free. For prices & opening times visit Bodiam Castle near Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5UA, 01580 830196  31 Mar–1 Apr, 11am–3pm The Bodiam Household Walk around the castle and meet the characters from the Lord of the manor to the lowly peasant woman.  2–5 Apr, 11am–3pm Dress to impress The castle’s authentic collection of replica armour and costumes help to bring the past to life as children can transform into a knight, a medieval princess, a powerful lord or a court jester.  6–9 Apr, 11am–4.30pm Dragon’s Lair Easter Weekend Look out for the magnificent red and gold dragon and the ‘baby dragons’ as they weave through the castle ruins and grounds during the Dragon Procession..  6–9 Apr, 11am–4pm Dragon Quest Trail Follow the secret trail through the ruins to claim a delicious prize. No booking required, £2.  10–15 Apr, Easter Bunny Trail 14–15 Apr Children’s Adventure in Archaeology Have fun excavating toy treasures from the sand pits in the Castle. 21–22 Apr, 11am–4pm Hobby Horse Jousting CHARTWELL Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent TN16 1PS, 01732 868381 18 Mar, 12pm Mothering Sunday Lunch Adult £25, child £19. Booking essential.  3 Apr, 11am–12.30pm Down at the Bottom of the Garden – Wormology Head to the kitchen garden and help build Roly mole the wormary as you learn more about these marvellous minibeasts.  6–9 Apr, 11am–4pm Easter Trail Emmetts Garden Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 6BA, 01732 751509  6–9 Apr, 11am–4.15pm Easter Trail Ightham Mote Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks TN15 0NT, 01732 810378 18 Mar, 11am Make Mum’s Day Enjoy a relaxing day out; children can make a gift for Mum.

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Top 10 Easter Trails 1

Annual Easter Egg Trail at Hever Castle (6–9 April) Hunt for clues hidden in the garden with the help of Henrietta the Hen, learn about hens and then listen to the brass band.

see cute spring animals are just some of the activities planned.



Easter EGGstravaganza at the Bank of England (2–5 & 10–13 Apr, 10am– 4pm). Follow the treasure trail to find the chicks and egg hidden in the Museum and then make an Easter basket to take home.


Easter Egg Trails with the National Trust and Cadbury (6–9 Apr). Follow the clues, answer the questions and complete the challenges to find your way to a special Cadbury prize. Each trail is unique to its host property and offers fun and games for all the family. To find your nearest event, visit

Easter Eggstravaganza at London Wetland Centre, (31 Mar–15 Apr) Find out more about the fluffy ducklings and join in with some special duckling games during the two daily interactive shows. Watch the newlyhatched ducklings taking their first swim in their own pool. Other activities include pond dipping sessions and an Easter trail (£1).


Easter Eggstravaganza at Hall Place and Gardens, Bexley (9 Apr, 11am–3pm). Come and meet the Easter Bunny, follow the trail in the grounds and receive a chocolate prize, enjoy craft activities and take part in the annual eggolympiks. £5 per child (tickets available on the day).





Easter Family Fun at Leeds Castle (6–9 Apr). Children can follow a trail through the grounds to collect a chocolate Easter egg from the Bunny Burrow – plus animal fun, crafts, Easter egg archery and face painting. Easter Eggstravaganza at the Hop Farm Family Park (31 Mar–15 Apr). Daily Easter Egg Hunts and the chance to

Easter Bunny Hunt at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens (4–9 Apr, 10.30am–4.30pm) Search for the hidden bunnies among the Rhododendrons and receive a chocolate mini egg reward! Easter Egg Hunt at Kew (24 Apr, 9.30am–1pm). Collect tokens from the friendly Climbers & Creepers

characters (Busy Bee, Slipper and Venus) who are hiding in the Gardens. Then hand in your three tokens to Kew’s Easter Bunnies at Museum No.1 to receive an Easter egg.


Easter Bunny Hunt at Broadditch Farm Shop (2 Apr– 2 May, 10.30am–4.30pm). Follow the worksheet (£3.50) and step into the woodland to help find the bunnies. Other activities include meet the Easter Bunny, Roller Racers, meet the farm animals (18 & 19 Apr) and barrel buggy rides.

ex International Swimmer

Swimming Lessons Gravesend - Northfeet - Dartford Cobham - Otford - Sevenoaks FREE Swimming Lesson Max 6 People per Class From 4 Months to Any Age Group or Private Lessons Triathlon Training for Adults & Children

0799 0570 423

020 8466 6977


What’s On  5 Apr, 11am Easter Bunny Trail

Easter Holiday Workshops Baby Sensory presents: Baby’s First Easter Eggstravaganza! New Generation Church, Sidcup, 2 April Baby’s Sensory’s award winning programme is putting on an Easter special with baby bunnies, chicks, ducklings and spring scents. A real delight for the entire family over the Easter weekend! Spaces are limited and early booking is advised. Age birth–13 months. Aquakids Easter Crash course Bromley High School, Bromley 2–5 April, 30 minute lessons available from 9am–11am,, These intensive courses are a fantastic way of seeing immediate progress with a lesson every day of the week. The format beings the same as the weekly lessons; maximum of eight children in a class to at least two teachers who are in the water with the swimmers. For the more advanced swimmers there is a focus on diving skills. See the website for the booking form and more information. Age 3+. RAW Tennis Easter Holiday Tennis Camp Old Wilsonians’ Lawn Tennis Club, Hayes Hill, Hayes, Bromley 07563 603822, bookings@, 2–5 Apr & 10–13 Apr, 9.30am–10.30am (Age 4–7, £7 per session) 9.15am–3pm (Age 8–14 and strong 7 year olds, £17.50 per session) Camps led by Jake Johnson, CRB Checked & LTA Qualified Assistants. Outside activity mainly consists of tennis and wet weather programme includes racquet ball, tennis, table tennis and squash. Places are limited. Please bring lunch and drinks if your child is in the second session. Booking forms can be downloaded from the


website. Discount available for members and for full week bookings. Don’t forget to enter the competition to win free tennis lessons this Easter with Raw Tennis – visit: www.familieslondonkent. Chucklebox Easter Holiday Club Hawes Down Centre, Hawes Lane, West Wickham, 020 8777 0218, 2–5 April & 10–13 April, from 8am–6pm, full and half days available This Easter Holiday Club offers a varied and exciting timetable in brand new, purpose built premises. Activities include gym, sports, dance, games, arts and crafts, warhammer, face painting, visits from special guests and exciting local trips. Age 4–11. Kitchen Stars Cookery Workshops West Wickham, 07904 238 748, Easter Extravagansa 3 April, 10.30am–12.30pm Make some scrummy Chocolate Hot Cross Buns and some lovely Iced Shortbread Biscuits using Super Foods. £19.50 (members), £21.50 (non-members). Age 5–16. Super Spring 4 April, 10.30am–12.30pm Learn how to make some crusty Seven Seeded Rolls, a luscious Creamy Pate and some fab Spiced Mini Carrott Cakes – all the recipes will contain Super Foods. £19.50 (members), £21.50 (non-members). Age 5–16. Studio 74 Easter Holiday Workshops St Augustines Ave, Bickley,, Studio 74 will be running lots of ‘Egg’citing workshops over the Easter Holidays. Workshops include: Baby Ballet Bop and Hop Easter Bunny Ball (age 3–5), Popstar For a Day Workshops (age 7–17), Jungle

Book three day workshop (age 5–17), Michael Jackson Thriller Workshops, Bop and Hop Funky Freestyle Workshop (age 3–5) and much more! Dance Fusion Easter Activities, Games & Dance Workshops 07973 559 158, Join Dance Fusion this Easter break for their egg-citing dance workshops, fun activities and games. All welcome. Discounts for advance and multiple bookings. Age 3–14. Toddler Sense Easter Party VCD Sports Club, Crayford, 9 April Join the party for an Easter egg hunt and lots more fun activities and great equipment. Age 1–4. Easter Wind Band at BYMT Bromley Youth Music Trust (BYMT), Southborough Lane, Bromley, 020 8467 1566, 10–13 April Join BYMT for this holiday course jam packed with music making and fun. Over the sessions you will prepare music from TV, Films, Cartoons and Shows. Whether you play in a band regularly or if this is your first time there’s sure to be something for you. All this and more will be performed to family and friends on the final day. The course is open to all Woodwind, Brass and Percussion players from beginner to approximately Grade 5 standard. £75.

12 Apr, 11am Wild Child: Pond Dipping 14 Apr, 12pm Wild Child: Den Building Knole Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0RP, 01732 450608 / 01732 462100. 5 Apr Paper Making Workshop  6 & 7 Apr Easter House Trail 12 Apr Dressing up in the Great Hall Quebec House Quebec Square, Westerham, Kent TN16 1TD, 01732 868381  8 & 9 Apr, 1pm Easter Trail red house Red House Lane, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8JF, 020 8304 9878.  6–9 Apr, 11am–4.15pm Easter Egg Trail £2. SCOTNEY CASTLE Lamberhurst TN3 8JD, 01892 893 820 18 Mar Mother’s Day – Mums go Free  6–9 Apr, 11am–4pm Easter Egg Trails


Sissinghurst, nr Cranbrook, 01580 710700. 30 Mar & 27 Apr Farmers’ Market Local and home-grown produce for sale.  2–15 Apr, 10.30am–5pm Easter Holiday Trail Trail available from visitor reception. £2. 28 Apr–1 May, 2pm–4pm Bluebell and wildflower walk Smallhythe Place Smallhythe, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 7NG, 01580 766111  2–13 Apr Easter Egg Trail £1.50 per trail.

Penshurst Place & Gardens Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8DG, 01892 870307, 24 & 25 Mar Armada Public Weekend Experience Tudor England as the militia prepares to ward off the invasion of the Spanish Armada.  31 Mar–15 Apr Easter Holiday Fun Easter inspired craft activities and a trail around the gardens.  8 & 9 Apr Easter Bank Holiday Tales Join the old man of the woods and hear tales of Easter.


Cudham Road, Downe Village, Kent BR6 7LF, 01689 861603, 10am–4pm, 9am–5.30pm (school holidays, weekends & Bank Holidays). Check website for holiday activities.

EAGLE HEIGHTs Wildlife Park Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0JB Flying displays 12pm & 3pm, reptiles and mammal encounter 1.45 pm & daily demonstrations. Check website for holiday activities.

Farming World Nash Court,
Boughton, Faversham, Kent
ME13 9HY, 01227 751144, 18 Mar Mums go Free

ngs isti at L don ble ies Lonavailafamil w. nt.c wwonke d lon 25 Mar Sports Relief 2012 Run 1, 3 or 6 miles across the countryside.

All activities must be pre-booked. Storytelling for the under 5s £4.50 (lunch included): 29 Mar, 10am, 11am 12pm & 1.30pm Guess How Much I Love You



Jail Lane, Biggin Hill, Kent TN16 3AX, 01959 572 386, 1.30pm–4.30pm (except Tues). Check website for holiday activities.

South of England Rare Breeds Centre Woodchurch, Ashford, Kent TN26 3RJ, 01233 861 493,  6 & 9 Apr Easter Weekend Easter fun with a bunny hunt and Easter baby animals.


Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ,  2–5 Apr Easter Animal Craft Workshop 5 Apr Frog Moon Night Tour  6–9 Apr Easter Hares Trail

THE WOODLANDS FARM TRUST 331 Shooters Hill, Welling DA16 3RP, 020 8319 8900 Closed Mondays. 15 Apr, 11am–4.30pm Lambing Day Meet the latest arrivals at the farm; treasure hunt, craft activities and local produce also available.



Castle Road, Eynsford, DA4 0JF, 08458 247 600, 25 Mar Sports Relief Mile  31 Mar–15 Apr, 10am–3pm Easter Holiday Activity Trail

RUXLEY MANOR GARDEN CENTRE Maidstone Road, Sidcup DA14 5BQ, 020 8300 0084, 17 & 18 Mar, 10am–4pm Mother’s Day Weekend Potting Workshop £4.99.  2–4 Apr, 10am–4pm Easter Bonnets! 10–12 Apr, 10am–4pm Plant a Vegetable Windowbox £4.99.

Win tennis lessons this Easter with Raw Tennis Raw Tennis is giving away 3 full day’s lessons & 3 single-session lessons at its Easter Holiday Tennis Camp at Old Wilsonians Sports Club, Hayes Hill, Bromley The day sessions (9.15am–3pm) are suitable for 8 to 14 year olds & the single-session lessons (9.30am–10.30am) are suitable for 4 to 7 year olds.

For your chance to win one of six prizes visit • Closing date: 23 March 2012.

TN14 7LJ, 01959 534386

Look out for the May/June issue

SHORNE WOODS COUNTRY PARK Brewers Road, Shorne, Gravesend, DA12 3HX, 08458 247 600,  31 Mar–15 Apr, 10am–3pm Easter Holiday Activity Trail

TROSLEY COUNTRY PARK Waterlow Rd, Vigo, Meopham, Kent, DA13 0SG, 08458 247 600,  7 Apr, 11am–3pm Easter Bunny Hunt

WILDERNESS WOOD Hadlow Down, East Sussex TN22 4HJ, 01825 830509,, Lots of fun weekend activities ranging from woodskills, storytelling in the woods and craft activities. All activities must be pre-booked.


CHILDREN’s NEARLY NEW 26 Mar & 30 Apr, 10am–12pm Hurst Community Centre, Hurst Road, Bexley DA5 3LH 16 Apr, 10am–12pm St Augustines Children’s Centre, St Augustines Road, Belvedere DA17 5HP NCT NEARLY NEW SALE – check website for sales in your area.

We have taken every care in preparing the listings in this magazine but sometimes events are cancelled or times changed, so please double check details before setting out.

Handyman For all your household repairs and odd jobs. I offer a professional and courteous serivice. 020 8249 3264 or 07913 656 502

Special party issue, great days out, half-term fun & much more.

Classifieds If you have enjoyed reading Families London– Kent Borders magazine and would like some complimentary copies for your school, nursery, shop or family-friendly business, etc, please call 020 8466 6977 or email editor@ and we will arrange for some to be delivered.

Cooking Classes and Parties for Children Ages 2-16. Holiday and Adult Workshops 07904 238 748


Interior / Exterior Experienced, Reliable, Clean Fully Guaranteed / Insured FREE ADVICE AND QUOTE John:- James & Lamont 020 8462 4646-07802 535695

To advertise call 020 8466 6977 or email 020 8466 6977



Come to Chucklebox

Est 1990

For a Fun Packed Holiday Club Open All Year For 4-11 yrs Fantastic Play Areas 2-5 April & 10-13 April From 8am to 6pm Full & Half Days Available Oodles of fun activites including: Gym ✶ Sports ✶ Games ✶ Arts ✶ Crafts ✶ Exciting Local Trips ✶ Dance ✶ Warhammer ✶ Special Guests ✶ Face Painting ✶ Inflatables & Lots More… Venue: Hawes Down Centre, Hawes Lane, West Wickham, Bromley BR4 9AE For further details call Joy on 020 8777 0218

Stagecoach Theatre Arts The original and largest network of part-time performing arts schools in the world. Dance, drama and singing classes for 4 - 18 yrs

thethe Summer Term! Now enrolling enrollingforfor Spring Term! Dartford 01732 750 783 Orpington 01732 750 783 Sidcup 01732 354 007

Theatre Arts Schools



Popstar parties ★ disco’s ★ traditional Fun & Games ★ Enchanted Forest ★ Bopping Bunnies ★ Pirates & Princesses ★ Make Overs & Photo shoots ★ Cheerleading ★ Street dance ★ Baby Ballerina ★ Jungle themed and so much more!

you’re wish is our command!

the Recording Studio is also available for adults to record songs, hen parties, Birthday Parties etc

★ ★

Studio 74 ltd

• 020 8295 4255 •

studio 74, the hall, st augustine’s avenue, bromley, kent br2 8ag

Families London-Kent Borders March/Aprill 2012, Issue 6  

Families London-Kent Borders Magazine for March and April 2012

Families London-Kent Borders March/Aprill 2012, Issue 6  

Families London-Kent Borders Magazine for March and April 2012