Life In Bromley May 2022

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FR ISSUE 3 | MAY 2022


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2 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

The Team

Welcome to


e don't know about you, but we're looking forward to a bit of R&R on the Bank Holiday May Day (2nd). It's the perfect excuse to take some time out with the family or do something you enjoy. Let's just hope the weather holds up for those of us who prefer to be outdoors! Talking of the great outdoors, we're delighted to have teamed up with Priory Live as its VIP Media Sponsor. What does this mean for you? Well, you've got the chance to win a pair of tickets to the amazing 10-hour summer event, which will be headlining Scouting For Girls this August, as well as showcasing a range of music and street food. Plus, there’ll be a market for creative makers and a kids’ zone amongst other things. All you have to do is sign up to receive the digital issue of this magazine at For details on Priory Live see - and look out in next month's issue for another fab giveaway! As the weather continues to warm up, we'd also encourage you to pay particular attention to the What's On pages. More events are now being held and we're starting to feel more confident about getting out and meeting others - have a great month and we hope you manage to make the most of the extra day off!

Get to know us: How will you be spending this month’s Bank Holiday? Editorial / Sales: Lauretta

Preparing for my son’s 17th celebrations – how will he be driving soon?!

Design: Nicky

Meeting friends for a pub lunch

Accounts: James

A drive out to the country for a picnic with my girlfriend (weather-dependent!)

Assistant Editor: Steve

Meet up with friends hopefully

Office Assistant: Isabelle Lauretta Wright, Editor PS We’d love to know what you think of the latest issue – send in your comments, letters, photos and poems!

Probably working but if not I’ll be spending time with family

Work Experience: Olivia

Going for a walk (day out) to the beach

contents - MAY 2022 Community


5. 6. 8. 12. 12. 15. 16. 20. 23. 24. 47.

18. 27.

Write It, Say It, Message It History Noticeboard Mayor's Voice Lines From Linda Ask The Experts What's On 5 Minutes With... Local Heroes... The Month In Pics A Final Thought

28. 30. 31. 35. 36. 39. 40. 43. 45.

Puzzle Page In-depth Report: Foodbanks Did You Know? Travel Technology Business Eco News Health & Fitness Shopping Life Hacks Short Story

FSC® certified: Life In…

Bromley is printed using vegetable-based inks and we print on FSC® certified paper meaning that it has been Recyclable sourced from sustainably FSC® Paper managed forests and its site of origin is proven and traceable under certification from the Forest Stewardship Council. In addition, every tree felled for paper is replaced by significant growth of new trees in Forestry Commission managed forests. 100%

If this is the first time you’ve received or picked up this magazine, you’ll find a list of stockists at the back to pick up next month’s issue. Or you can receive a postal copy through your letterbox for £24 a year (email or receive a digital issue at

Life In...Orpington is published by Luna Creative Media (Ltd)

NEXT BOOKING DEADLINE: 6TH MAY To advertise call 020 3488 9959 or email

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May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 3

4 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Write It, Say It, Message It!

Got something to shout about? Maybe you want to respond to an article or want to spread the word about something locally?

Email us at or text us on 07403 550068. You can also tag us in on social media @lifeinmags

Star response


community the star response ( ) wins a £15 ApP Store & iTunes voucher courtesy of The Bed Post ( Email UP TO HALF PRICE



Thank you for publishing news about the Safe Haven Animal Rescue in Charity Spotlight. I’m in the process of moving and got in touch with them as I had items I thought might be of help. A lovely man by the name of Rory was able to make use of an assortment of things from my late husband's workshop, thus enabling the volunteers of Safe Haven Animal Rescue to improve the centre for the animals. I know my late husband (as I am) would be delighted to know that the goods have been put to some use instead of ending up in a skip. I wish SHAR all the best and hope to be able to 'pop in' and support any events that might occur in the future. Sandra H This is music to our ears Sandra – it’s great to be able to repurpose items, especially if they are put to great use for others. I’m sure your husband would be delighted and I know that SHAR are appreciative also.

I am so happy to be reading so much about people and communities in Bromley in your magazine. I received the free edition of the magazine and your team is doing a great job because I have been glued to it for an hour! Tejaswi Benjamin Great to hear Tejaswi – and we’d always encourage ideas on feature suggestions too!

In response to the poem 'Covid' by Judy Douglas, published in April, I thought I'd have a go myself with a nod to William Wordsworth: I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills When all at once I saw a crowd And thought to myself, Damn! There goes the social distancing. Jim Brown Well done Jim! I think many of us can relate to this.






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Thank you to the teams at Christ Church Charterhouse Rd & St Nicholas Leamington Ave who run the community larder several times a week. They all work tirelessly to collect excess food from major outlets, eg Waitrose, Greggs, Lidl & many others thereby reducing food wastage & redistributing the food to many who need it. It's a brilliant community initiative and I really appreciate the work of all concerned.

Sarah Spencer-Adams

Thank you to all of the lovely people on Sevenoaks Way who offered to help me with my shopping, packing and wheeling my trolley when my baby was very upset. She is three months old and decided that Lidl’s was not the right place to have a nap. Although I said ‘no’ to offers of help, I was deeply touched that you all even asked. Kindness really does go a long way. Helayna Jenkins

Thank you for creating something fun (find the Easter eggs) in your last issue. I had to take my daughter for a hospital appointment and she was very nervous. I saw the magazine in the hospital and we read it together. It was fun for her to find the Easter eggs and made her nerves go completely. So, thank you for the distraction you really helped an anxious mum and a nervous daughter. Ellie W Thank you Ellie – magazines in waiting rooms can often be a great distraction. We’re so pleased it helped you and your daughter.

Want to thank someone? Give them a BIG shout out! Email your message to us at or text 07403 550068

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 5

Photo: ©Crown copyright ‘Air duel over crowded evacuation beach’ by Dunkirk artist, Bryan de Grineau. Catalogue ref: INF 3/1578



Pam Preedy

Dunkirk: The RAF support the evacuation by PAM PREEDY, historian & author

By 26th May, 1940 Britain faced “a colossal military disaster . . . the whole root and core and brain of the British Army” (Churchill) had been stranded at Dunkirk and seemed about to perish or be captured. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) went to help defend France. For eight months while economic sanctions were imposed on Germany, little actual warfare occurred (the Phoney War). Then, on 10th May, 1940 Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Three panzer corps attacked through the Ardennes and drove the BEF towards the English Channel, trapping them at Dunkirk. Thousands of men with nowhere else to run arrived on the beaches. The remains of the Belgian forces, and three French field armies were likewise trapped along the northern coast of France. The film Dunkirk tells the story of the evacuation so effectively. Churchill and his advisers expected that only 20,000 to 30,000 men would be rescued. Ultimately over 338,000 British and French troops were brought home, turning a disaster into a miracle. We all know the story of Operation ‘Dynamo’; the small boats joining the Navy (mostly captained by naval personnel) in a desperate bid to bring home as many men as possible . The small boats could come close to the shore to rescue desperate, terrified and exhausted men. Perhaps less well-known is the part played by the Royal Air Force. To the men on the beaches the RAF was almost invisible. What they did see were the terrifying German dive-bombers; Stukas and Heinkels as they dropped bomb after bomb on Royal Navy ships and the soldiers swarming across the beaches. Unknown to them, pilots from the RAF were deep behind Dunkirk trying to keep the Luftwaffe away. From 27th May to 5th June, 1940, Biggin Hill (and its Sector airfields), pilots in Hurricanes and Spitfires provided aerial cover. The pilots of these planes were constantly patrolling the skies and keeping the Luftwaffe at bay. The slower Hurricanes (60% of the RAF fighter strength at the time) usually attacked the German bombers, while the faster Spitfires went after the faster Messerschmitt 109s, their bomber escorts. From the beginning of the operation, RAF squadrons had been ordered to provide air supremacy for the Royal Navy. Over the course of the operation, the RAF flew 2,739 fighter sorties, 651 bombing raids and 171 reconnaissance flights. Fighter Command claimed 262 enemy aircraft, losing 106 of

6 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

their own. In total six Biggin Hill sector Squadrons joined the fight, three squadrons of Spitfires and three of Hurricanes. A total of 19 pilots from these Squadrons were killed during the action. These are all listed and remembered in the Biggin Hill Memorial Chapel. Pilots from other flying sectors were also in the skies over Dunkirk, with a total loss of some 80 RAF flyers. Here as some of the Biggin Hill stories: Sergeant William Medway from 610 Spitfire Squadron was shot down and died on 27th May, while providing air cover to Allied troops evacuating out of Dunkirk. His body is buried in Belgium. Pilot Officer Gordon Stewart of the 242 ‘Canadian’ Squadron flying Hurricanes was shot down by a Messerschmitt 109 on 31st May. A fellow pilot from 242 Squadron was killed later in this action. Four Hurricane pilots from 229 Squadron briefly based at Merville, Lille in France, were lost in action, three on the same day 29th May (Flight Lt. Falcon Clouston; Sergeant Pilot James Harrison and Flight Lt. Patrick Browne). This was a bad day for the Squadron. Flight Lieutenant Falcon N. Clouston was leading his Hurricane squadron over the battle area when they encountered a swarm of Messerschmitts. They lost five Hurricanes (and three pilots) during that encounter. Some bodies such as that of Flying Officer Gerald Kerr were never recovered, but are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey. Far from being absent at Dunkirk, the RAF were constantly on patrol working to keep the Germans at bay. Ultimately over 338,000 (a third of them French soldiers) were evacuated from those terrifying beaches and 90,000 were left behind to be taken prisoners of war, most held for the duration of the war – five years. Around 16,000 French soldiers and 1,000 British soldiers died during the evacuation. 87 airmen were lost during 'Dynamo'. Operation 'Dynamo', was widely celebrated as a miracle and created the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ which helped boost civilian morale, and helped Britain to fight on in the summer of 1940. For more information visit the Biggin Hill Chapel where the names of the airmen who gave their lives are recorded on the reredos and also in the Book of Remembrance. The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum and Chapel are open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 - 5pm (last entry 4pm). See


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community -

Save with SELCE


Heard of Community House? Community House is a vibrant reso urce and voluntary centre for the resi dents of Bromley. Established more than 20 years ago, and situated in the old Magistrates Cou rt in South Street, it is home to a rang e of charities including Age UK, Citiz ens Advice, Kent Association for the Blind and Community Links. The high standards of professionalism benefit visitors and service providers alike. Why not pay them a visit and stop for a cuppa at Sou th Street Café?

Call 020 8315 2501or see www.communityhousebromley. for more information.

u can h high energy bills yo If you’re struggling wit ergy En ity ndon Commun contact South East Lo ice@ dv y.a erg en 5764 or on (SELCE) on 0204 566 on or k -homes-for-less We can ing bills 1. Advise you on reduc ies for you an mp co y erg en 2. Speak to ancial help fin for ns 3. Help with applicatio t methods en ym pa ge 4. Help you to chan if appropriate

Art Days for children of school Art On Parade offers art classes Arts Centre in Bromley. age, which takes place at Ripley t available dates call To find out more about the nex info il ema Nicky on 07736 400763 or

Neuter your Cat for £5

Do you live in our Bromley area (BR1 - 4 or SE20, SE23 & SE26) and would like some help to get your cat neutered? We are offering you the chance to have your cat neutered for just £5. For more information please contact Bromley Cats Protection on :

07776667852 w w w. c a t s . o r g . u k / b r o m l e y / contact-us Email:

neutering@bromley. Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) SC037711 (Scotland) NEU_2343

8 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Meditative barefoot walking Wild and Pure is hosting a free meditative barefoot walking and gentle yoga session every Tuesday. The group meets at 10.30am on Oakley Road in Bromley, opposite the cricket ground entrance for a 30-minute walk followed by some gentle stretching. For details call 07772451863 or see walking-barefoot

community W IN


It’s never too late!


ing This month we’re giv you the chance to win a pair of tickets to this summer’s Priory Live. ails To enter, read the det on ion uct od intr in the page 3!

Considered Ripley?

For details call 020 8464 5816 or email

The Bromley & Croyd on Women's Aid is runnin g ‘Drop in Coffee Mornings’ for female victims and survivors of domestic abuse who are over 50 and living in the bo rough of Bromley. They take place on Thursdays between 10.30am -12.30pm in Penge. Fo r details call 020 8313 9303.

A warm welcome

Did you know…? Ripley Arts Centre in Bromley (BR1 2PX) offers event spaces of all sizes – ideal for weddings, receptions or private functions – and there’s no corkage fees.


Rotary in the Borough of Bromle y welcomes Life In…Bromley magazine

We are happy to help others, are you? You can help change the world and, in the process, you can enjoy the benefits of business networking, personal development, meeting new friends, hearing inspiring speakers, having a grea t deal of fun and experiencing that special sense of fulfilment that com es from achieving something really worthwhile. If you're intereste d in joining Rotary in Bromley to use your time, talents, professio nal skills and energy to improve the lives of people in your local com munity, nationally and internationally, Rotary would like to hear from you!

Email rotarynorthbynorthwest@g or call 07703 257462.


Coffee morning

al m Preedy, historian, loc Congratulations to Pa s, ine gaz Ma In… r to Life author and contributo ough new book, Living Thr who has launched her y mle Bro of le op Pe the Great War; How The h wit ed tur Pic s of War. Faced The Challenge mley, Cllr Bro of yor Ma and Pam is The Mayoress on can find Pam’s book Russell L. Mellor. You Kindle. via and k bac d har th Amazon – bo

A coffee morning is to be held on Saturday 21st May in aid of the Ukraine Crisis Appe al. To raise money for this worthy cause come along and enjoy refreshments between 10.30 and 12 noon at St Mary of Nazareth, The Avenue, West Wick ham, BR4 0DX. There is unrestricted street parki ng along The Avenue and surrounding roads, or the church can be reached on foot from the 352 or 194 West Wickham station bus stops.

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Community Noticeboard!

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May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 9


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Career & Performance programmes that provide clarity of the role and responsibilities, understanding of expectations and how to deliver results. Some of the many area’s covered are: • Individuals and organisations’ values and culture to ensure these are aligned. • Risks or challenges, creating coping mechanisms to navigate these. •TYPEFACES Confidence, self-belief and mindset Headers

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3 cheers for Diana!

Call 01689 854747 for details.

14 floors and counting!

Meet Jason. He’s the face behind Jade Window Cleaning Specialists, who offer commercial and residential window cleaning services to the Bromley borough and beyond. Life In… Magazines went along to see the window cleaners in action at Perigon Heights in Bromley South.

Fast facts: Building: Located in Bromley South, Perigon Heights is 14

floors and is managed by the Acorn Group. It features a mix of office space and residential apartments. How? The window cleaners use a counter weight system to tackle the project using rope access and Perigon Heights is given a thorough clean every six months. It takes the best part of a day for five window cleaners to tackle the large-scale job. Tricky? Yes – the cleaners have to navigate the architecture of the building and also liaise with some of the homeowners in advance to be able to gain access to their balconies. Anything else? Jade Window Cleaning Specialists has commercial contracts with a number of buildings including Trinity Village and Berkeley Court. The company also offers cladding cleaning, gutter clearing and pressure washing.

For details call 01689 885004, email or see

Meet Diana Elvin! She’s 90 years old and writes many of the short stories that you read in the magazines, including ‘The Homecoming’ in this month’s issue. Diana – you’re amazing and we appreciate your continued contributions! If you’d like to submit a short story or Final Thought, email us at for details

Sue Catterall (right) picks up her ‘hero bouquet’ from Heather at Time For Flowers in Orpington. The florist sponsors the ‘Local Hero’ page for Life In… Magazines.

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I was pleased to support the launch of Greener, Cleaner Bromley Borough and Beyond’s New Community Centre/ Hub that recently opened in the Glades Shopping Centre and had the privilege of cutting the ribbon.

MAYOR’S VOICE It has been a busy month as I have continued to support Bromley’s businesses in their aims of re-starting their enterprises after the damaging effects of lockdown. I’ve had the pleasure of launching some new restaurants, amongst them being a new fish and chip shop in Bromley Road - an original interior complemented by excellent food. I hosted a meeting with children of St David’s School and Wickham Court; it was highly entertaining and encouraging with the scope of interest and questions the children asked relative to the functions of the council. A ‘Celebration of Achievement’ for our Looked after Children was recently held at The Warren Sports ground in Hayes. I visited the children during the beginning of my Mayoral year and was delighted to have the opportunity to meet them again. The progress they have made has been outstanding; 24 children had achieved places at university - a brilliant result for all those involved.

Lines from Linda I think I’ve it said before but the colour pink really lifts my spirits. I hope you will agree though, that when the cherry trees blossom around this time, their little pink petals having brightened not only their branches and the trees that produce them, but the pavements too, where they have fallen and scattered and blown around our feet, then we really know spring has arrived and those long summer days are only moments away.

I was also delighted to host a small reception at the Civic Centre to pay tribute to nominated volunteers across the borough for their contributions. The Civic Reception for Voluntary workers is an annual event, which, due to Covid-19, unfortunately has been unable to go ahead for the past two years. However, as the restrictions have now eased, I was pleased to be able to host the reception on a smaller scale and present the volunteers with a special gift. Last but not least, I attended a special service at Southwark Cathedral to mark St Olave’s and St Saviour’s Schools Foundations 460th Anniversary - a very memorable evening. During my time as Mayor, I have been privileged and delighted to meet so many residents of our wonderful borough, particularly the next generation of children, with their wide-ranging abilities and positivity.

Cllr Russell L. Mellor Mayor 2021-22 delightful ditty, on village greens around the country and keep the celebration going. We also now have the Maypoles, decorated in flowers and pretty coloured bows and the dancing goes on all day around these, and children love to join in.

I am rather relieved that the tradition of The month of May also presents us with other gifts – two men skipping one way, and the ladies skipping the other, bank holidays to extend our weekends. I looked up why then meeting a gentleman and allowing a cheeky kiss is they were called ‘bank’ holidays. Apparently, it now no longer part of the ritual. Nothing to do with me originated as the banks needed to close their being a spoilsport or a party pooper, it is simply doors to count their money. I can only hope that hubby and I often go the village green and join We are they have more customers than just me, as it in the fun (while the bank counts my money). We always up for certainly wouldn’t take two May bank holidays are always up for a bit of a traditional maypole a bit of a to count mine. skip. However, as my Hubby has played many


traditional female roles in his long and wonderful acting Much more delightful is the celebration of the maypole career, from Pantomime dames to Arthur Lucan first Monday in the month known as Mayday skip (Old Mother Riley), every time we go to a ball and with Maypole dancing. It was arguably started then join the dance floor for a romantic waltz, Hubby 2,000 years ago by the Romans, although other always takes the female steps – consequently it’s a case of papers suggest it started earlier still in Italy. On and off 1-2-3 and then we both step backwards, and I find myself during the past centuries it has been banned apparently, dancing alone with Hubby the other side of the room. as some had males and females skipping from opposite directions and each time a male passed a female mid-skip, So, can you imagine the confusion around a Maypole? he gave her a little kiss. In those days they danced around Twisted ribbons and red-faced gentlemen as Hubby a tree which represented fertility. Apparently, Charles II happily kisses each of them, before merrily and innocently brought the tradition back after it had been banned and it skipping off again. has since grown in popularity. Now we have professional For more about me and my crime novels see teams of Morris dancers, who with their coloured ribbons, and uniformed breeches with feathered caps, dance their

12 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022


May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 13


Welcome to Brightwater Memorial Park



At Brightwater Memorial Park we appreciate the comfort that people take from remembering their loved ones in the right setting. We have therefore created the very first indoor, above ground burial facility of its type in the UK. Brightwater is a modern, uplifting alternative to traditional cemeteries and crematoria. Combined with an exemplary level of service and a serene natural setting extending to over 14 acres of private gardens and natural woodland, Brightwater Memorial Park is the ideal location to create your legacy.

You can now reserve your final resting place at Brightwater Memorial Park. For more information please visit our website at or email: | 01689 850880

14 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Ask The Experts


Q: What are the benefits of receiving hypnotherapy for weight loss - and does it work? A: For weight loss calls, I'll ask how much they weigh and will explore

the triggers for overeating. I will assess the client's early years and their relationship towards food. When a client is in a trance state, I will communicate with their subconscious. Imagery, education, and positive affirmations are used, to highlight the benefits of being fit, and healthy. The work comes from the client. What hypnotherapy does, is to change negative behaviour linked around food and exercise. Over time the results can be very positive, and can boost confidence. Yes, it can work if the commitment is there. The number of sessions will depend on the client's weight and circumstances. Usually, it may take six sessions to complete a treatment plan.

Valerie Davis, VM Hypnotherapy (

Q: Is Rotary a male-only organisation and do you have to own a business to join? A: There are a few myths surrounding Rotary, but let me dispel these.

We’re an open organisation of both men and women who believe in helping others. Although it started out as a men-only organisation, the constitution changed in 1989 to allow women to join. You also don’t need to be a business owner (or old) to join. Members of all ages include people like teachers, nurses, builders, estate agents, prison officers and many more. For more information email

Christine Atkinson, Rotary in Bromley Borough

Q: Why does my skin type change from oily to dry? A: A number of factors can be responsible for the change in your skin

type. If your skin is suddenly dry, you could be dehydrated. Alternatively, weather conditions (especially now it’s winter!), hormonal changes, lifestyle factors and your dietary choices can also have a huge role to play.

Maria, Trendy Beauty (

Q: I’m a mum looking for a part-time flexible role, do these jobs exist? A: Yes, there are lots of part-time

flexible roles, promise! If we can take one positive from the pandemic, it is that more employers have discovered that flexible working is possible and there has been a shift from the 9 to 5 to a hybrid way of working. There are a number of part-time and flexible agencies and family friendly employers that embrace women returners and will have flexible working high on the agenda. Ensure your CV is up to date and includes the transferable skills you have as a parent – no gaps allowed! Think about your values and target organizations that represent those values and finally find a coach, a mentor or an organization to help you on your journey back to work.

Jane Knight, Successful Mums (

Q: I have family ashes which I don’t know what to do with. Can Brightwater help me? A: Yes, of course. It’s really important that Brightwater is available to everyone,

including those who prefer cremation. We have beautiful Niches overlooking our gardens, where families are already laying their loved ones to rest. One lady had her husband’s cremated remains at home for 18 years before she found us and felt we were perfect for him. The real beauty is that the visiting experience is the same, whether for those put to final rest above ground in our mausoleum, or those in the cremated remains Niches. Come and have a look around!

Jackie Heasman, Brightwater Memorial Park (

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 15

what's on - MAY 2022 community & charity

Your essential what's on guide for events, activities, clubs and much more in and around Bromley.

There's something for everyone! We’re looking to hear about your news, notices and local events! Email us at

Bereavement Café

Message the Facebook page for a call back Meets the last Thursday of every month

Orpington Village Hall, 311 High St, Orpington BR6 0NN Cost: Free Contact: If you're struggling with the loss of a loved one, contact The Bereavement Cafe to talk with qualified bereavement counsellors. All are welcome.

Knitting Club

Knitting blankets, mittens & bonding hearts for Special Care Baby Units at PRUH and Kings College hospitals.

2pm-4pm on Wednesdays during term time

Helpline open Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm

Email support: Call for advice and a friendly voice. Please phone our helpline should you require any support or need advice.

Crofton Baptist Church, Orpington Contact: Lin Harewood 01689 877010 on Wednesdays Or email Anyone is welcome - you don’t have to be an experienced knitter. No need 2-aPly just come and make friends! We are knitters who natter so come and spin a yarn while you knit a yarn for a worthy cause. We won’t let reality get in the way of a good yarn!

Bromley Well

Quiz Night

Bromley Mencap Services

Contact: 020 8466 0790

Monday - Saturday, 9am-5pm

Contact: 0808 278 7898 Email: Bromley Well provides help for you to stay emotionally and physically well and to remain independent.

Drop-in Cuppa & Chat for Seniors (over 60s) See the website for 2022 dates 10am-1pm, Thursdays term time only

Venue in St Paul's Cray, Orpington. Cost: Free Contact: 07891 403161 Email: We have a choice of table activities for you to enjoy while you chat such as adult colouring, board games, playing cards, dominoes, crochet, knitting, seasonal crafts. Making friends and staying socially active is quite easy if you’re willing to venture out and try new things. Contact us for more information.

Forget-Me-Not Survivors Of Suicide Loss Meets the first Thursday of every month 7.45pm - 9.45pm

Cost: Free Contact: Sandra - 07519 105354 Email: Twitter: @ForgetMeNotSoSl Forget-Me-Not offers support for all those affected by suicide loss. The group is self-led and informal, where you can connect with other survivors.

U3A General Meeting - Talk on ‘The Ancient Garden’ by Russell Bowes 17th May

United Reform Church, 20 Widmore Rd, Bromley BR1 1RY at 10.30am-12pm. Contact: 020 8464 5920, email membershipsecretary@ or see

16 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Friday 6th May, 7.30pm-10pm (doors open from 7pm)

Cost: £6 St Mary of Nazareth Church Hall, The Avenue, West Wickham, BR4 0DX For further information call 07958 548504 or email Join us for a quiz night to help raise money for Cancer Research UK. Tables of 6-8 people, but fewer tables can be joined with others to make a team. There will also be a raffle and prizes for winners. Bring your own nibbles & drinks.


15:30-18:30 Monday to Wednesday and 9:00-12:00 Saturdays

Ripley Arts Centre, 24 Sundridge Avenue, Bromley, BR1 2PX Contact:, tel: 07803 817 178 Kids learn to code while building their own video games. They gain problem solving, critical thinking, and STEM skills in a fun, safe, and inspiring environment. Book a Free Game Building Session with us at https://

HISTORY Open day: Keston Roman Tombs Sunday 22nd May, 11am - 4 pm

Brambletye, Westerham Road, Keston This is a free event and no booking is needed. Pedestrian access only with parking at Keston Ponds/ Heathfield Road Contact: 01689 860939. Email:

HEALTH, FITNESS & MINDSET Flin's Online & Live Fitness Classes See website for class dates & times

Cost: PAYG £5 - £8 Contact Fran: 07976 412027 Online streaming plus live offerings - 40+ classes a week, early mornings, mid mornings and evenings, including weekend classes. Outdoor Boot Camp, Circuits, Strength, Cardio, Pilates, Zumba, Yoga, Total Body Lite, Box Fit and more: fitness for all! Mornings at Westcombe Park RFC, evenings at Tubbenden School.

Grace Rose Pilates

Monday: 7pm Tuesday: 9.45am Thursday: 5.30pm (Beginner) and 6.30pm

Christ Church Hall, Tudor Way, Petts Wood BR5 1LH Claim your FREE trial class at or contact 07913 912411 email Facebook: Grace Rose Pilates Classical & contemporary trained advanced Pilates teacher. Live classes. 1:1s available.

libraries Bromley Central Library

Contact: 020 3931 0900 Email: Open Monday - Friday 9.30am -7pm Saturday 9.30am -5pm Please check websites for the latest library updates and opening times.

theatre/ Performances Bromley Little Theatre


Shakespeare In Love 6th - 14th May, 7.45pm

Promising young playwright Will Shakespeare is tormented by writer’s block until he finds his muse in the form of passionate noblewoman, Viola de Lesseps. Their forbidden love draws many others, including Queen Elizabeth, into the drama and inspires Will to write ‘Romeo and Juliet’, the greatest love story of

shout about your event... A listing costs £15 or £60 for 6 months (£10 a month). Charities and non-profits are eligible for a 15% discount. Life In...Bromley cannot be held responsible for any changes or cancellations of an event. We recommend you double check times, places & dates if attending an event listed.

what's on - MAY 2022 all time. Based on Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s Oscar-winning screenplay and adapted by the awardwinning playwright Lee Hall (The Pitmen Painters, Billy Elliot).

Sing Together at The Churchill Theatre Every Friday, 10.30am - 12.30pm

Contact to find out more or see Come and join our friendly daytime choir at your local theatre. Sing songs from the shows and perform at the Churchill Theatre. No audition. No expensive termly fees. We welcome all ages and abilities over 18.

Churchill Theatre, Bromley Contact:

A Murder Is Announced

Tuesday 10th- Saturday 14th May

Various times Cost: From £18 Agatha Christie’s infamous Miss Marple is coming to Churchill Theatre in the classic whodunnit A Murder Is Announced. The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper that a murder will take place this coming Friday at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock. Watch as Miss Marple tries to unravel a complex series of relationships and events to solve the mystery of the killer.

Paul Merton’s Impro Chums Monday 2nd May, 8pm

Cost: £27 Paul Merton, Richard Vranch, Suki Webster, Mike McShane and accompanist Kirsty Newton are back. The collective improvisational experience embodied in the Chums is a joy to behold. They flex their improvisational muscles to delight and entertain audiences in this country and abroad.

Barry Humphries: The Man Behind The Mask Sunday 8th May, 7:30pm Cost: From £35

National treasure Barry Humphries will take you on a revelatory trip through his colourful life and theatrical career with his new show The Man Behind The Mask. An intimate, confessional evening seasoned with highly personal, sometimes startling, and occasionally outrageous stories.



To advertise call 020 3488 9959 email Spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

@lifeinmags May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 17

lifestyle - PUZZLE PAGE

WIN A PAIR OF CINEMA TICKETS Solve the puzzle for your chance to win a pair of Bromley Picturehouse cinema tickets!


Word Scramble

Unscramble the words below – which are all names of birds – and then, using the first letter from each answer, write it down to spell out the name of a type of bird. Send the answer to or text 07403-550068 with your name, number and address.



9. UEM 10. RNIOB

We’ve teamed up with Bromley Picturehouse to give one lucky winner a pair of cinema tickets to watch a film of their choice. For details see This is a monthly competition, open to residents in the Bromley borough only. Ts & Cs apply.

sponsored by

@BromleyPicturehouse @Bromley_PH

Last month’s answer - CHARLIE All competition winners are listed on our website. Competitions are open to Bromley Borough residents only. For competition terms and conditions see

18 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Text or email your answer, along with your full name, telephone number and postal address to 07403 550068


for your chance to win!

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Giving your loved ones the service that they deserve Community is important to me and I’m passionate about what I do.

ARE YOU A SMALL BUSINESS OR SOLE TRADER? Want to join a friendly network group which actually works for you and doesn’t cost a fortune? WANT TO KNOW MORE?

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My work as a life celebrant helps families who have lost a loved one to create a unique and fitting ceremony that’s personal to them. Other services I offer include: • Weddings & vow renewals

• A ‘Remember Me’ package • Bereavement Café counselling • Grief Care boxes


May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 19


5 Minutes With…

Anton Du Beke

Anton Du Beke, star of TV’s Strictly Come Dancing, brings his new show, An Audience with Anton Du Beke, to The Churchill Theatre on 22nd May. We managed to grab a few minutes with Anton to find out more about the show and his memories of Bromley… Anton, congratulations on the new show! Can you tell us a bit more about it? It’s an audience with me and we’re just going to have a lovely time with conversation, laughter, great songs and dance. I’ve got a great band with me and Lance Ellington’s going to join me to do a few songs – he’s just brilliant. I’ve got a couple of partners to do a couple of dances with me and we’ll have a bit of a chat with the audience.

Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to with the new show? I like to get interactive with the audience so I’m going to ask the audience to text me their questions to a mobile phone. Then, throughout the show I’ll get the phone out to answer some of them - I’m looking forward to that part!

Do you have any memories of the Churchill Theatre? I’ve never performed at the Churchill; I feel like it’s a place I should have done, so I’m looking forward to this. I’ve rehearsed there before, right at the beginning of Strictly. There’s also the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks, where I’m originally from, and I’ve never performed there either.

What about your memories of Bromley? I used to live in Sevenoaks, but I spent a lot of time in Bromley. We used to do our Christmas shopping there. When they opened The Glades it was quite the thing and I remember it fondly.

Who would you say has been a great inspiration on your career? I used to have lessons from a great teacher in Beckenham – John Del-Roy, who has sadly passed away now. He’s the reason that I am the sort of dancer I am because he had a life-changing influence on me.

One of our valued advertisers in the magazine is The Bed

20 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Post. A little dicky bird told us you used to work at the Petts Wood branch – tell us more! Yes, that’s true. I worked in the Bed Post in Petts Wood and I also worked in the shop on Station Approach in Hayes. When I was in Petts Wood I once lay on a bed with a customer. Rarely does anybody try a bed in the way they are going to use the bed. They prod it or sit on it, so when I was selling this bed to a lady, I suggested that she lie on the bed. She said she didn’t want to, but I said, “There’s no one here, just lie on the bed.” Anyway, she got on the bed and started to relax. Then she said, “Of course you know I don’t lie on the bed alone. My husband lies on it as well.” So I said, “Well which side do you lie on? Move over!” After trialling out the bed together she went and bought it!

Where do you live now? And would you say community spirit is an important part of what makes an area great? I think community is very important, it’s vital actually. I live in Buckinghamshire and we’re so fortunate as we’ve got the most wonderful neighbours and a wonderful community of parents who do the school run. It’s lovely to see children popping round to each other’s homes for tea and I think that support system of friends and family is vitally important, particularly for children.

When you’re not working Anton, what do you enjoy doing? When I was growing up I was out playing sport all the time. Now I play golf and I like to play tennis when I get the time.

Finally, have you had to explain to your children what ‘dad dancing’ means to other people? Ha ha, yes. They don’t understand dad dancing in the way other children understand dad dancing! They think dad dancing should be magnificent. I’m very comfortable with the concept of ‘dad dancing’ because I can win that competition!

An Audience with Anton Du Beke takes place at Churchill Theatre in Bromley on Sunday May 22nd at 3pm. Call 0343 310 0020 or see to book.






BOOK NOW AT BOX OFFICE 0343 310 0020

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 21

猀愀琀 愀甀最 㘀琀栀 瀀爀椀漀爀礀 最愀爀搀攀渀猀 漀爀瀀椀渀最琀漀渀 ㄀ 栀漀甀爀猀 漀昀 漀爀椀最椀渀愀氀 洀甀猀椀挀 ㈀ 猀琀愀最攀猀 挀漀洀攀搀礀 瀀漀攀琀爀礀 猀琀爀攀攀琀 昀漀漀搀 戀愀爀猀 欀椀搀稀 稀漀渀攀 眀漀爀欀猀栀漀瀀猀 挀爀攀愀琀椀瘀攀猀 洀愀爀欀攀琀 爀椀搀攀猀 昀椀爀攀眀漀爀欀猀 昀椀渀愀氀攀

吀椀挀欀攀琀猀 漀渀 猀愀氀攀 渀漀眀 瀀爀椀漀爀礀氀椀瘀攀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀

22 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Local Heroes...


Fran Flin

Emily Rogers nominated Fran Flin as a local hero. Emily said: “Prior to the pandemic, Fran played a huge part

in bringing our local community together through a vast range of exercise classes for all abilities. Also, allowing us to give back by running annual charity aerobathons, raising much needed funds for worthy causes. Whilst keeping us all physically fit, she’s helped keep our community’s mental health as positive as possible throughout challenging times. Fran genuinely cares for her community and will always find the time to help in any way she can. She really is the epitome of a local hero.”

Congratulations on being nominated as a local hero Fran! How does it feel?

kids later and I was probably the most exhausted I’ve ever been, teaching fitness!

I’m truly touched that Emily would think to nominate me! I’m amazed and surprised and a little nervous to fulfil the brief!

What does community mean to you?

Can you explain a little about your background and how (and why) you started Flin’s Fitness? I became a firefighter in 1996, and needed to work on my strength and fitness. I started my fitness journey in 1997 and began running community classes. All this as well as my firefighting job and a growing family!

What do you offer clients and how has this expanded or changed over the years? Back then, it was two classes a week – aerobics! I now run 35+ classes a week, with nine instructors on my team. Since Covid we have developed a strong online community too!

What does a typical working day for you look like? I am so happy to have some structure to my week after years of shift work! I start work at 6.30am Mon to Fri, with PT and classes filling every day, until 8pm on some days. I absolutely love what I do!

Do you ever have days when you feel like not exercising? How do you cope with that? There are days, yes. I have always ‘pushed through’ in my work life. Mentally I do what I have to do to get the job done – but physically? I believe you shouldn’t push through when the body is injured… keep moving but don’t overdo it.

Community is everything and a support system for so many people! You could be having a really awful day, but if someone asks how you are or chats with you, a bad day can be turned into a good one.

What’s new on the horizon? I’m midway through launching the Flin’s Fitness app at the moment. I also have an online health and fitness program to launch too.

What do you most enjoy about living in the Bromley borough? I love living in Bromley, where you can access anything you need very easily, but we also have these wonderful green spaces too where I can walk my gorgeous dog!

What message would you like to give people reading this? You can improve your fitness at any age, at any size and at any level of ability. If you think you hate exercise, then you just haven’t found your ‘thing’ yet! Keep trying different activities – your body, your physical AND your mental health will thank you for it!

You’ve been involved in helping to raise money for local causes. Can you explain more? We have an Aerobathon which I usually tie in with what’s happening in our community. We did Breast Cancer Care when more than one of our ladies went through breast cancer. One year, one of our people passed away from cancer which was devastating. Her family wanted to support St Christopher’s Hospice, so we supported them for a couple of years.

Have you been involved in anything else community-related locally? I did a “mindfulness” session with the little Year 1’s at Crofton Infant School a few years ago …six classes of 30

Fran with Sue at Time For Flowers

A special ‘Thank You’ to Time For Flowers for sponsoring the bouquets for our Local Heroes.

Nominate a local hero – it could be a friend, neighbour, local business or a member of your family! Email

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 23


The Month In Pics...

It has been a whirlwind of a month for Life In…Magazines, so rather than just write about it, we thought we’d show you in pictures what we’ve been up to…

The Entrepreneur Experience

We took part in a business panel entitled The Entrepreneur Experience in the UK, organised by Startup Bromley to discuss the experiences of entrepreneurs in the UK, with the MC being the wonderful Emily Maitlis.

When Lauretta met Loretta… Life In…Magazines’ Editor Lauretta (right) met Loretta Awuah, Strategic Business Support Manager at GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited).

The Business Pitch Competition In another event organised by Startup Bromley, we had the opportunity to present a business pitch to a panel of judges for the chance to win a cash prize for business investment. We were given pitch training by Exclusive Visions and went through a couple of rounds before the live finals. We were delighted to scoop second prize to receive £1,000, which will be invested in improving our online services.

TV news presenter, Sasha Qadri (right) presented the Business Pitch Competition and she is pictured with Lauretta from Life In… Magazines and Startup Bromley’s Nathaniel Sadler.

Spring Marketplace The final line-up – from the left are, judge Daniel Daly, Retail Liaison Manager from The Glades; second prize winner, Lauretta Wright, Life In…Magazines; first prize winner, Liam Carlton from Pit Pro; judge Auden Powell, Economic Development Team at Bromley Council; third prize winner, Buki Odunlami from Buki Lami; and head judge Diana Edmonds MBE, National Libraries Director, GLL.

Be Inspired, Be Empowered

We teamed up with iVerbalize to run a ‘Be Inspired, Be Empowered’ event for nearly 50 female-owned businesses throughout the borough on the back of International Women’s Day in early March. The free event was sponsored and hosted at Community House (communityhousebromley. in Bromley’s South Street. It was also supported by Buckingham Photography ( and Metro Bank Bromley. We had a great line-up of guest speakers and panelists and the feedback was for more events like this - watch this space!

24 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

We showcased our latest Bromley magazines at a Spring Marketplace, which was organised by Startup Bromley and hosted at Contingent Works.

Community House was the setting for the ‘Be Inspired, Be Empowered’ event. Business manager, Aastha Kamboj, is offering readers of Life In…Magazines a 10% discount for all bookings. Quote 'Empower' when booking. Email or see


Life In Bromley Launch

Life In…Magazines held a VIP event for friends, family and close business acquaintances to mark the launch of our second publication, Life In Bromley. Here’s a selection of pictures from the event, which was hosted at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre and sponsored by Lee Thomas of The Fairlight Group…

We were delighted that both the Mayor of Bromley, Cllr Russell L Mellor and the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Tony Owen, joined us in the celebrations and both addressed guests with some encouraging words to share about the new magazine.

Some of the volunteers who help in the day-to-day running of the magazines take to the stage to be acknowledged for all their hard work and dedication - we’re so grateful that they are part of the team!

Aysha (left) from Newton-Wood, Helen (middle) from Socially Sorted & BR6 Life and Jane Bennett, reporter for Life In… Magazines catch up over drinks.

Life In…Magazines’ designer, Nicky (centre) chats with Anthony Rockliffe from Southeast Legacies and Lorraine McQuillan from Bromley Council.

Lauretta from Life In…Magazines catches up with Your Bromley’s Stepanka, who was featured on the cover of the very first Bromley issue.

Cllr Hannah Gray catches up with Life In…Magazines’ Editor Lauretta.

Leslie (left) from Newton-Wood, Ewan from Contingent Works (middle) and Chandra from Elmcroft Business Services.

Grabbing that all-important family pic for the memory scrapbook!

Gary Valentine from Valentine & Turner catches up with Jane Bennett from Life In…Magazines.

Michelle Simpson from The Chartwell Cancer Trust does her best impersonation of Vicky Alcock, who wrote a speech for the event.

Lee Thomas from The Fairlight Group (and event sponsor) takes to the stage. Tony and Eniko from Compassion Homecare enjoying the speeches.

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 25


At Compassion Homecare we provide the very best in home care We would all like to continue to enjoy independent living within the comfort of our own home. Our qualified staff can help you with those day to day tasks that you are finding harder to cope with.

DAILY CARE, LIVE-IN CARE OR RESPITE CARE Our careers can help you with: • Help with getting up or going to bed • Washing, showering and bathing • Assistance with medication • Getting to social outings and meeting up with friends • Preparing and cooking meals • Overnight and respite care • Cleaning, housework and shopping • Laundry and Ironing • Or just popping in for a chat if you’d like some company

We know how big a step having home care is so we offer a free home care assessment to help you decide what is best for you. Please give us a call.

01689 825155

1st Floor, East Wing, Priory Buildings, Church Hill, Orpington, Kent BR6 0HH 26 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022


An in-depth



A lot has changed in the two years since March 2020: from working at home to watching our world alter from a television screen, it’s clear that everyone has been affected by these unpredictable events. However, some have felt the hit harder than others: with the introduction of a pandemic placing pressure on us all, families already struggling needed extra support to cope with the new restrictions and repercussions. This was and continues to be a real issue. This issue concerned many across the community, including our local schools and churches who worked together to provide support for children and their families affected by the situation through their co-creation of Hayes Community Foodbank (HCF), an organisation recently celebrating two years of operation. With help from community donations and volunteers sorting and delivering parcels, as well as the generosity of Hayes Free Church where HCF now operates, their efforts have resulted in over 30 families, each ranging from one to ten individuals, receiving essential items weekly. The foodbank works as well as it does thanks to its regular volunteers like Catherine Wilding, who lend a helping hand every week to create packages of what each recipient needs most, ready for delivery every Friday morning. When asked why she wanted to help, she says: “I was looking for ways in which to offer some practical support to those who needed it during an incredibly challenging time.” Packing for 30-plus families a week, the organisation relies on regular contributions due to sheer demand. Initially, while some items that are regularly needed such as long-life milk and nappies could be donated, there was a clear shortage of produce with a shorter shelf life. This issue was soon overcome through a partnership with Fareshare, which donates around 900kg of fresh produce each week

The weekly donations ready for delivery - sent by Foodbank Co-Founder Darren Street

Hayes Free Church on the day of the Foodbank’s two-year anniversary

to foodbanks across Bromley, and the generosity of local businesses such as Sponge Kitchens in Hayes, which donates bread and baked goods to HCF. All this means there have been over 3,000 deliveries to date. Despite the name, it isn’t just food that HCF is involved in distributing: cleaning products, toiletries and other essentials like toilet paper are gratefully accepted. In fact, volunteers often pack specific items where possible: ”People are welcome to request a particular item such as cooking oil or hot chocolate, and if we have it, we will add it to their delivery. Equally, they can say if they do not need or want a particular item, which helps to avoid food waste,” Catherine explains. Although around 140 individuals are helped by the deliveries, not everyone requests a delivery every week and no two parcels are the same. Recently, help has extended even further, with the foodbank team being able to signpost families to organisations through which emotional and financial support can be accessed. 1st Hayes Rangers, part of Girlguiding UK, has also become involved by sorting donations every week, sourcing contents for Christmas and Mother’s Day gift bags and holding donation drives in Hayes in all weathers - proving themselves an invaluable part of the team. It’s certainly not going unnoticed, either: the foodbank is part of the Transform Bromley Borough Food Partnership, which was presented a London Faith and Belief Award in December 2021 for its charitable actions. But they’re not done yet: the foodbank has expressed interest in becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation - also known as a CIO - that will allow it to have even more of an impact on local people. Growing from a selfless idea to a single classroom of school donations to a borough-wide organisation, Hayes Community Foodbank is proof that a little really can go a long way!

If you are interested in giving back to your community, donations are always happily accepted at certain local supermarkets across the Bromley borough, helping many organisations like Hayes Community Foodbank, which also welcomes donations from the public at Hayes Free Church on Thursdays, 4pm-5:30pm, and Fridays, 9am-10:30am. As well as physical contributions, donating your time can be just as helpful: you can find out more about volunteering for a foodbank near you by contacting your local foodbank directly; details can be found on the London Borough of Bromley website at

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 27



Bromley named best borough for childcare & living costs

A new study conducted by childcare and education experts Little Ones London, looked into childcare costs in all 32 boroughs of London, as well as the average rent for a two-bedroom property and compared the two to the average salary in the area, to reveal the best London boroughs to raise a baby. According to the data, Bromley offers the best combination of monthly childcare and rent costs compared to the average salary. The area’s average monthly childcare costs for 30 hours a week are £1,051.80, which combined with the average monthly cost of renting a two-bedroom property of £1,300, amounts

What your favourite font says about you

The days of deciphering someone’s handwriting to determine their personality becomes a little trickier given that most of us now use computers to communicate with each other. However, the clever people at Cartridgesave. spoke to expert psychologist, Lee Chambers, to reveal what your font choice reveals about you…

Image: Kate Da


to £2,351.80 - that translates into 90% of the average income of £2,612, the lowest costs to income ratio of any London borough. Havering comes in second with the cheapest monthly costs in London. Monthly costs amount to £2,133.50, which are the lowest of the list due to the low childcare costs at ”only” £982.50. The costs correspond to 91.24% of the average salary of £2,338.40. On the other end of the list, the borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the most expensive area to start a family. With monthly expenses that amount to £4,095.70, due to a combination of childcare costs of £1,349.70 and average rent of £2,746. Based on a gross monthly salary of £3,068, this means that parents will need to spend 133.50% of their average income.

Healthy mouth, healthy body: Benefits of chewing sugar-free gum: • Refreshing your breath • Boost the immune system • Balances the mouth’s oral microbiome • Clears bacteria, viruses, and toxins in the mouth

The top ten most popular fonts, as revealed by the public: 1.


Arial - 53%

Appreciate simplicity and are likely to be reliable even in a crisis

6. Century Gothic - 19% Happy and have a hint of personal expression in their choice

Calibri - 38%


Know their own mind and express themselves in an assured way

Value efficiency and are likely to be less bothered by what others think 3.

Times New Roman - 31%



Georgia - 25% Practical, mature and value elements of formality and elegance Bahnschrift - 21%

Appreciate clarity and are tidy and don’t enjoy clutter or chaos

28 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Comfortaa - 12% Not being ones to conform to the traditional

Conformist, polite and practical


Lato - 14%


Abril fatface - 7%

Bold, assertive, direct and ambitious

10. Paprika - 5% Courageous, flexible and creative

Brits are pet-obsessed! New research by photo printing specialist CEWE has revealed that the average owner takes 1,464 photos of their pet every year, compared to 1,259 photos of their family and 927 photos of their friends. The research also showed that Oxford is the most pet-obsessed city in the UK – with the average pet owner taking 3,340 photos every year of their beloved companions. The next highest cities are: Coventry – 2,941, Leeds – 2,672, London – 2,073, Sheffield – 1,664. Our favourite things to do with our pet photos are: • Keep them on our phones to look back on – 51% • Send to friends and family – 33% • Share them on social media – 31% Even in our magazine! We love people sending us their pic pics, so keep them coming! • Create a photo album – 20%

Make our home your home Exceptional facilities, dining, activities and care, Signature at Beckenham offers everything under one roof for an independent life well lived. Residential, nursing and dementia care is delivered in the most luxurious of surroundings by highly qualified staff who have a true passion for care. From little assistance with washing, dressing and taking medication to those residents who have greater needs, we pride ourselves on providing unrivalled care and support, with bespoke care plans tailored to the individual’s needs. As with all our homes, we offer industry-leading staff to resident ratios that allow us to give holistic, person-centred care that takes into account both physical and mental wellbeing.


To find out more about how Signature at Beckenham can provide total peace of mind for you and your loved ones, please contact our Client Liaison Manager Laura today.

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May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 29



Turkey is named one of the best value destinations

ANNUAL HOLIDAY MONEY REPORT REVEALS BEST VALUE DESTINATIONS The Post Office has published its 16th annual Holiday Money Report which includes the Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer of prices in 36 holiday destinations. Key findings reveal: •

• •

A battle between Turkey and Bulgaria for the best value rating in the Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer. The collapse of the Turkish lira helped Marmaris win out with prices there down 37%. However, the signs are that Bulgaria is winning out when it comes to holiday bookings because the latest currency sales intelligence shows that the Bulgarian lev is well outperforming the Turkish lira. Prices are down year-on-year in nine of the ten best value destinations and in half of the 36 destinations surveyed overall. Thailand is one of the destinations to show a big price fall of almost 12%. It has been tipped as a hotlist destination for 2022 now that Phuket is open to British visitors again. Orlando has made the top ten destinations for the first time in the 16-year history of the Holiday Money

Report. Prices are down by around 10% year-on-year and over 22% over two years. Brits are flocking to Mexico – sales of the peso are going through the roof in 2022. To date, 45% more pesos have been bought at the Post Office than in the same period in 2020. Sales of Caribbean currencies are also surging – particularly the Barbados dollar and the East Caribbean dollar, which covers Antigua, St Lucia and Grenada.

Nick Boden, Post Office Head of Travel Money, said: “It will pay dividends to invest time in holiday homework because many people won’t have travelled abroad in the past two years. They need to be aware that prices have risen sharply in some destinations and fallen significantly in others. We advise making a destination shortlist and comparing costs before booking a trip. “To get the most for your money, you should not only pick destinations where sterling is performing well, but also where the cost of meals, drinks and other tourist staples is low. There is plenty of choice: in Europe, Turkey and Bulgaria are best buys but further afield it is worth considering Thailand or Mauritius.”

HOW TO…BE MORE CONFIDENT WHEN TRAVELLING ALONE Wellness experts at Zeal CBD ( have pulled together some top tips for feeling more confident about travelling solo, helping you maximise the experience.

Get used to your own company: Before you head off on your solo venture, get in the habit of spending time alone so you can control your emotions better and familiarise yourself with your own company.

Do your research: The more you prepare, the more confident you will be when you arrive at your destination. Research the local currency and exchange rate, the public transport options and a rough idea of how the city is laid out.

Decide where to stay: If you’re hoping to meet like-minded people from all over the world, a hostel is a great place to stay. If you prefer your own space, research the different hotel or apartment options and make sure they are centrally located.

Be patient with yourself: This trip is a time to let your hair down and enjoy yourself so remove any pressure you have put on yourself and just go with the flow! On the first day, it is a good idea to find your bearings. Also, avoid making a super strict itinerary as you may find something else that catches your eye or meet new people who you will spend the day with.

30 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022


A study by ParkSleepFly analysed Tripadvisor reviews for famous landmarks, to see how many people reviewed them using the words ‘beautiful’, ‘pretty’, ‘picturesque’, and ‘stunning’, to reveal which landmarks people consider the most beautiful across the world. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Golden Gate Bridge, USA The Eiffel Tower, France Trevi Fountain, Italy Edinburgh Castle, UK The Colosseum, Italy London Eye, UK Biltmore Estate, USA The Louvre, France Tower of London, UK The Empire State Building, USA



New cyber laws to protect people’s personal tech from hackers

Consumers will be better protected from attacks by hackers on their phones, tablets, smart TVs, fitness trackers and other internet-connectable devices thanks to a new world-leading law introduced by the government. The new law will require manufacturers, importers and distributors of digital tech which connects to the internet or other products to make sure they meet tough new cyber security standards - with heavy fines for those who fail to comply. The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill (PSTI) allows the government to ban universal default passwords, force firms to be transparent to customers about what they are doing to fix security flaws in connectable products and create a better public reporting system for vulnerabilities found in those products. The Bill will also speed up the roll-out of faster and more reliable broadband and mobile networks by making it easier for operators to upgrade and share infrastructure. The reforms will encourage quicker and more collaborative negotiations with landowners hosting the equipment, to reduce instances of lengthy court action which are holding up improvements in digital connectivity.

Research into

ageing blasts off Scientists at the University of Liverpool, funded by the UK Space Agency, are using space to understand what happens to human muscles as we age, and why. When astronauts spend time in space, without the effects of gravity, their muscles get weaker, just as they do in older age, before recovering when they return to Earth. By studying what happens to muscle tissue in space, the team can compare the findings to what happens on Earth. It is hoped that this will help the solve the puzzle of why muscles get weaker as we age and look at ways to prevent it.

Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure Julia Lopez said: “Every day hackers attempt to break into people’s smart devices. Most of us assume if a product is for sale, it’s safe and secure. Yet many are not, putting too many of us at risk of fraud and theft. Our Bill will put a firewall around everyday tech from phones and thermostats to dishwashers, baby monitors and doorbells, and see huge fines for those who fall foul of tough new security standards.” Currently the makers of digital tech products must comply with rules to stop them causing people physical harm from issues such as overheating, sharp components or electric shock. But until now, there has been no regulation to protect consumers from harm caused by cyber breaches, which can include fraud and theft of personal data. The Bill applies to ‘connectable’ products, which includes all devices that can access the internet - such as smartphones, smart TVs, games consoles, security cameras and alarm systems, smart toys and baby monitors, smart home hubs and voice-activated assistants and smart home appliances such as washing machines and fridges. It also applies to products that can connect to multiple other devices but not directly to the internet. Examples include smart light bulbs, smart thermostats and wearable fitness trackers.

Zuma offers immersive experience in the home A unique hardware and software product that has reinvented the way sound and light can be experienced in the home has been launched by a British company with international investment. Zuma has created a compact, highperformance loudspeaker with a low energy LED light, all housed in a ceiling light fixture. It offers a virtually invisible, wireless and clutter free audio experience that combines circadian rhythm and mood lighting for users. Built into the Zuma app are a series of wellbeing features that enable users to play atmospheric soundscapes and combine them with sympathetic lighting tones. Users can select both music and the lighting to suit moods – either using voice (Alexa at launch) or via the app. The Lumisonic (speaker light) costs £375, while the Luminare (light only) is available for £125 (both excluding VAT) from

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 31


Health Check


An interview with senior audiologist, Ana Rodrigues, Hearbase Bromley, 4 East Street, BR1 1QX

Why should I have my hearing tested?

Not being able to hear seriously impacts your quality of life, not to mention talking with friends, family and others. I recommend if you show any of these early signs, you should get it checked. If you are concerned about someone close to you who struggles to hear, speak to them about getting a free hearing test and why not join them to offer support if they need a little bit of encouragement?

What is an audiologist?

An audiologist is a clinical health care professional responsible for helping those who have problems with their hearing and balance disorders. It’s a highly qualified role, and each day an audiologist could be assessing and fitting hearing aids, providing ear protection, tinnitus support and advising on balance and wax removal.

How long have you been at Hearbase?

I have been at Hearbase for nearly 4 years now and I enjoy my work, especially meeting and helping so many people in the local community, old and young, from all walks of life. I am based at the Hearbase Bromley branch, 4 East Street, BR1 1QX (opposite the old Post Office).

What are the first signs of a hearing problem?

Some of the early signs are when you struggle to keep up with conversation in noisy places, when your family tell you the TV is too loud, or when you have difficulty hearing people clearly. If you experience ringing or buzzing in your ears, or head, or a feeling of blockage, these can also be early signs of hearing loss. Also, if you find you can hear better when you look at people’s faces that can be a red flag and you should get your hearing tested.

32 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

advertorial Why should I go to Hearbase Bromley?

Well, to start, our hearing tests are completely free. This isn’t unique to us, you can get your hearing tested elsewhere, but as we are expert audiologists, if we find anything of concern after your free hearing test, we will point you in the direction of specialist services quickly. We are a really friendly bunch of people and our focus is to listen and help you to manage your hearing.

How should I look after my hearing?

If you notice any change to your hearing, large or small, then always get it checked. Having a hearing test should be done regularly like you do with your teeth and eyes. This is important however old or young you are. If you work in a noisy place or have a history of hearing loss in your family, have a hearing test, it only takes 30-60 minutes. Call us on 0208 460 8954 or email and book your free hearing test at Hearbase Bromley today!

Call us on 0208 460 8954 or email - book your free hearing test today!

Don’t forget to mention ‘Life In Bromley’ when you book!

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 33


LET US DO ALL THE HARD WORK! Based in Bromley and with over 30-years of experience, Easy Gardens are experts at undertaking garden clearances and ongoing maintenance. From small suburban gardens to country mansions, no job is too big or too small.

FREE QUOTATIONS We always love to visit a customer's garden in the first instance to walk around and understand your exact requirements, after which we will provide a detailed written quotation of the work that has been agreed. Very often, we can arrange to complete the work within 2-3 days of your instruction. We pride ourselves on delivering a very professional and competitive service and look forward to your call!

Call us on: 07878 938 265 • 34 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022




4 questions you should be asking when networking 1. What brought you here today? This will help you work out how you can add value to the people you meet – are they there seeking a new job opportunity, looking to meet someone in particular or perhaps representing or supporting a company or charity? 2. Who are you looking to meet? The real meaning behind networking is all about building connections, looking for synergies with people and helping them where possible – and asking for the same in return. By confirming who people want to meet, you’re looking for opportunities to introduce them to someone in your network of contacts.

Online networking

Put Tuesday 10th May in your diary – 12.30pm-2pm for an online networking event from the Beckenham Business Association. All local businesses from across the Bromley borough are welcome. For details and bookings see www.beckenham

Great news for SMEs

Britain's economy saw its fastest annual growth rate on record in 2021 - rising by 7.5% throughout the year. This comes after businesses throughout the UK showed great resolve by adapting to restrictions caused by the Covid pandemic. According to Luke Davis, CEO of IWCapital, one of the most impressive sectors in the UK business scene is the small business sector. He said: “The UK small business sector is in an exciting time. SMEs have worked so hard throughout the last year, not just to survive but to prosper and with restrictions ending the small business sector looks set to revel in the opportunity to grow their businesses significantly throughout 2022. "SMEs are set to drive employment and investing throughout 2022 - with nearly half of UK SMEs looking to hire new employees after a promising start to 2022 and UK investors ready to back start-ups and newly formed businesses, SMEs are ready to make 2022 an impressive year and grow as much as possible throughout the year.”

Chas Jordan Image: Bresser Photos

3. Does anyone know a…? Be specific on who you want to meet when networking. You might be looking to meet ‘anyone in the hospitality industry’, but this doesn’t give the people in the room clues on your objectives. Better still would be ‘I want to meet anyone who runs a hotel in the borough to see if I can save them money on….’ 4. The networking ‘golden nugget’ is to listen more than you talk. As the well-known quote by H. Jackson Brown Jr. goes…“Learn to listen, opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.” Chas Jordan, Bromley Business Network

Cut to the chase!

PIB (People In Business) is hosting a charity speed networking event at the Bromley Court Hotel to help raise money for the Chartwell Cancer Trust and the MumMum Foundation. It takes place on Thursday 5th May from 5pm-7pm and costs just under £6 to attend. Booking in advance is essential, as spaces are limited. To reserve a space visit If you are a business who is able to donate a prize for the event please email

Coming up in May from 1230 The Women’s Company • Thursday 5th May 12:30pm - 2pm, Scala Bar & Grill, Orpington • Wednesday 18th May 12.30pm-2pm, Kekik Kitchen, Bromley To book onto these or any of the other events, see

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 35


Eco News

Parisa Wright


The Hub, hosting a Library of Things, has arrived in The Glades. Founded by Greener and Cleaner, a local volunteer-run charity, the communitypowered hub is an exciting and engaging space for people to learn more about how they can help protect our environment. It also helps Bromley residents save and reduce waste by affordably renting out useful items like carpet cleaners, sound systems and sewing machines for a few pounds per day. Residents can reserve items online ready to collect from a self-service kiosk and the space is also being used to host events, workshops, talks and local meet-ups. Greener and Cleaner was founded by Parisa Wright to facilitate community engagement and local action in response to the climate crisis. Becoming a charity in 2021, this is their first Green Hub to launch, and the organisation hopes it will become a blueprint for other shopping centres and high streets. Parisa said: “We strongly believe that everyone doing one small thing, however imperfectly, is better than no one doing anything, and we want to create a space where everyone feels encouraged and supported to take a small step towards a greener lifestyle.”

Library of Things was founded by Emma Shaw, Rebecca Trevalyan and Sophia Wyatt in 2016. Inspired by similar projects emerging in cities like Berlin and Toronto, this women-led social enterprise launched its first self-service kiosk in Crystal Palace in 2018. Emma Shaw said: “We’ve had lots of interest in Library of Things from Bromley residents and organisations. This is an important step for Library of Things, as we expand our work to create a community-led circular economy in neighbourhoods across London.” Keen to support residents in leading more sustainable lifestyles, facilitating area-wide emissions reductions and addressing climate change, Bromley Council is funding the initial setup costs for the Library of Things, within the Hub. Life In…Magazines’ reporter, Jane Bennett, went along to the launch event and spoke with Greener and Cleaner’s chief strategy officer, Claire Searle, who said: “Our workshops will help people learn skills that our grandparents had, but that have been lost – the previous generation didn’t throw things away, so why do we think it’s OK? One of the things that people don’t realise is how much money they can save.”

How to…be more sustainable and cut costs Mark Sait, CEO and Founder of SaveMoneyCutCarbon (SMCC) says that simple and habitual swaps will help us claw back thousands of pounds in energy every year. Here’s a few ideas to help save you money and help the environment… • LED Home Lighting

According to Which, a traditional bulb costs roughly £8.42 a year to run, whereas an LED only costs £1.71 a year and could save homeowners and tenants more than £180 in energy over its lifetime. Overall, switching to LED could save households up to 85% not only on their carbon footprint, but also their bills.

36 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

• The Eco Shower Head

Over 4% of the UK’s energy consumption, and the associated carbon footprint, is a result of the water industry processing and pumping the water we often take for granted when taking our daily showers. SMCC has leveraged EcoSMart technology to both use and heat 60% less water than the standard shower head, in turn reducing water expenses.

• Ecoegg Dryer Eggs

Running a tumble dryer is one of the most costly appliances in your home, accumulating roughly £40 a year if used just once a week. By selecting a cooler temperature and using an Ecoegg Dryer Egg, tumbledrying time can be reduced by up to 28%.


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May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 37

In a survey carried out by the Direct Marketing Association

Let us help with your Marketing Campaign. Please contact us on 020 8865 1954 or email us on:




questions said they found free samples delivered through their letterboxes of consumers either visited useful: 66% said the same a shop, sent for information, for supermarket offers, of recipients keep, pass or bought a product, having 62% for money-off coupons and 47% for new on, or glance at leaflet received a leaflet through distribution items. product leaflets. their letterbox.

38 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

79% 38%

of consumers responded to leaflets, compared to 47% for direct marketing, 47% for television and 60% for press advertising.

of leaflets are kept for at least a few days, and 13% are kept for a week or more.

Health & Fitness



If you’re one of the unlucky estimated six million who suffer with hay fever, tree pollen is usually a significant trigger for your symptoms. The main ones to watch out for are alder, hazel, elm, willow, birch, ash, plane and oak. The pollen from these trees can cause unpleasant itching, redness, inflammation and other unpleasant hay fever symptoms. However, there are some practical things you can do to help ease all of this. Trusted airborne allergens expert, Max Wiseberg, offers 11 handy hints to help. 1. Wash your face as soon as you get indoors on high pollen count days. This will wash away allergens so that they can’t cause a reaction, and a cool compress will soothe sore eyes (this also works well for dust and pet allergies). 2. Use a balm like HayMax. The organic, drug-free allergen barrier balm can be applied to the nostrils and around the bones of the eyes in the morning, throughout the day and at night to trap more than a third of pollen before it enters the body. Less allergen = less reaction. 3. Wash bedding regularly to remove allergens. Antiallergy bedding made from ‘intelligent fibres’ can be very helpful for those people who suffer from dust mite allergies. They limit the growth of dust mite allergens and also keep them away from the skin.

How to... do a squat (correctly)

Fran Flin of Flin’s Fitness says "The squat comes in a myriad of variations, however if you are doing workouts at home with a set of dumbbells, then you need to implement only the basics for a safe, effective squat” - Foot placement slightly wider than hip width - Bend knees and sit back into a ‘chair that's not there’, driving the heels down & keeping the knees tracking in line with thigh and angle of foot - Keep your back straight and chest lifted, eye gaze straight ahead - Check your technique in a mirror - Don't be scared to bend your knees and take your squat low - work towards a low squat as your confidence in this move grows!

4. Vacuum the house regularly, especially beds and fabrics to remove pollen particles. 5. Tie your hair up and wear a hat when outside to prevent pollen particles being caught in your hair. 6. Shower at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles, dust and pet allergens from your hair and body. 7. Dry clothes indoors rather than on a clothes line to prevent pollen particles being blown onto the clothes by the outside wind. 8. Stay hydrated and eat lots of fruit and vegetables to stay healthy and support your immune system. 9. If you own a pet then ensure that it is well groomed and shampooed as much as possible to remove pollen particles. 10. Get plenty of exercise. If you are doing an outdoor activity, be sure to avoid the morning or evening when the pollen count is at its highest. 11. Close windows and use an air conditioner preferably with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) filter to capture the pollen and dust particles, cool and circulate the air.


People that benefit from home physiotherapy assessment and treatment may include: • Those recovering from surgery, illness or a hospital stay • Those who have noticed a decline in their walking or ability to manage with everyday activities, like going up the stairs. • Those who would like to be a little more active or access physiotherapy to improve their health. JLinks Physiotherapy specialises in multiconditions rehabilitation including neurological physiotherapy, orthopaedic rehabilitation, balance and mobility disorders and post hospital or illness rehabilitation. For details call 07951-025208 or see

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 39



Make light work of the big tidy-up

As the weather continues to improve as we head into the thick of summer, BIGDUG has the answer to keeping clutter at bay with its range of shelving units.

The company’s MD4B offers a set of three interlocking (or freestanding) shelves, ideal for organising your garage or shed before the garden barbecues ensue – or perhaps even for your utility room or loft to get everything organised. Simple and easy to put together, the units are robust, easy to assemble and hold up to 200kg per shelf. You can even upgrade your deal to include 15 plastic storage boxes that fit perfectly on the shelving. Prices lead in at £114.99 for three, excluding VAT, and are available from

Same-day deliveries pick up pace With the pandemic forcing many people to shop regularly online for the first time, new research from ParcelHero reveals that 56% of online shoppers believe that same day delivery options are important, compared with just 33% prior to the pandemic. ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T, says: “The UK was a pioneer in next-day deliveries and most orders throughout our relatively small country can be fulfilled within one working day. Smaller supermarkets have options such as piggybacking onto the networks of Ocado or the food delivery specialist Deliveroo. For remaining retailers, their best option is to partner with courier and haulage firms that can offer same-day delivery via vans and motorbikes.”

TIME FOR A HOME RUN FATSO, a new dark chocolate brand has been launched to challenge the status quo. It’s all about more - more chunk, more flavour, more ethics and more care. It’s available in three 150g chunky bars - Morn’n Glory, a 60% cacao breakfast-inspired combination of cornflake, toast and orange marmalade; Home Run, a 60% cacao bar takes inspiration from the US baseball game with its bumper chunks of salted pretzel, whole almonds and honeycomb; and Nan's Stash, a 70% cacao that is packed with peanuts, toffee and digestive biscuits. Prices are from £5.95, available from

Hermes UK, the largest dedicated parcel carrier, has announced it is rebranding as ‘Evri’ with a new logo and brand identity that will be rolled out across all its locations, vehicles and ParcelShops.

Fancy some cheese & onion? Fairfields Farm has given its Cheese & Onion crisps a revamp, converting to a vegan-friendly recipe which co-founder Laura Strathern says “tastes even better than the original recipe.” Responding to the demand for more plant-based savoury snacks, the new crisps offer subtle hints of onion with a creamy cheese flavour and the move means that the brand is now entirely meat and dairy free, as well as being gluten free. The new crisps are available in both 40g (80p) and 150g packs (£1.99) from independent retailers, as well as direct from Fairfields Farm for carbon neutral delivery to your door at

Product of the month Treat yourself to this personalised picnic hamper from Faithfully Yours PLG. Made from steamed willow and with faux tanned leather clasps, it includes porcelain plates, a bottle opener, cooler bag, cutlery (knives, forks and spoons) and acrylic glasses – pretty much everything you need for the ultimate picnic. The hamper costs from £96 and is available in either a two- or fourperson size option and comes engraved with a choice of up to three letters. To order, visit

40 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Foster Denovo is a multi-award-winning firm of financial advisers that provides financial advice to individuals and families. Our local financial advisers based at our office in Bromley, specialise in providing financial advice in the following areas. • • • • • • • •

Financial planning Trust and estate planning Savings and investments Retirement planning Pension options at retirement Mortgages Protection Small business solutions

Working in partnership with your local Foster Denovo financial adviser can help you make the right financial planning choices.

Why Foster Denovo? Our advisers are friendly, knowledgeable, and approachable and our priority is to help our clients achieve their immediate financial planning needs and longer-term financial aspirations. For a fee free, no obligation initial meeting to discuss your immediate or long-term financial planning requirements, please:

call John Winters or Sharon Cain on 01689 868 163 or 07767 818 665 or email or Website:

Devonshire House, 29-31 Elmfield Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1LT.

If you seek advice there may be a fee involved, full details will be provided prior to any work undertaken. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation and trust advice. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested. Accessing pension benefits early may impact on levels of retirement income and your entitlement to certain means tested benefits and is not suitable for everyone. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.

Foster Denovo Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Ruxley House, 2 Hamm Moor Lane, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 2SA. Telephone: 01932 870 720 Email: Website:

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 41









We are a local, small independent family run business. All work is undertaken by myself, ensuring a consistent and high quality outcome for our customers, with a strong emphasis on great customer service. Treatments from £15 (Based on lawn size up to 50m2).


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42 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

Life Hacks



How do you vent the anger caused by any of the many situations that occur in your day or that are simmering away from past insults or abuse? Are you dealing with any of these issues? • • • • • • •

Feeling pain from the way you have been treated in your childhood? Suffering heartache from being abandoned, rejected or abused by someone close to you? Family or friends who anger you with their lack of respect or consideration of your feelings or needs? Frustration caused by customer support personnel locked into a fixed process and showing no flexibility? Thoughtless or selfish acts of your partner or work colleagues? Anger caused by the actions of narcissistic and egodriven world leaders? Anger at injustices and cruelty to people and animals?

My favourite way to express negative feelings is to have a burning ritual. Use this for past injustices or current situations. Just follow these simple but highly effective steps. 1. Write down your thoughts with no holds barred. You can swear and shout into the paper as you write, have no inhibitions.

2. Write until you have nothing left to say. The energy of your emotions passes from you into the paper. 3. Burn the paper in a safe location (or monitor with children if doing this exercise with them). As you see your hurt, anger and frustration going up in smoke and flames say, “I release all that hurts me. My negative feelings are now transformed into light now, right now, right now.” 4. Congratulate yourself for releasing your pent up and suppressed toxic energies and transforming them into light. Well done.

Here is another method, this one is used by Indigenous Americans 1. Take a pebble or stone 2. Speak or shout your feelings into the pebble 3. Find a safe place to hurl the stone as far as you can, preferably into the sea, a river or waste land. Indigenous American children were taught not to pick up a stone from the ground without asking permission from the spirit of the stone first. This was to ensure they were not picking up other people’s discarded misery. Whatever method suits you, just remember that “it’s better out than in” and the worst approach to troubled feelings is to suppress and hold them within.


If you’re a regular cinema goer, some membership schemes let you watch as many films as you like for a fixed price. Cineworld’s Unlimited card is the cheapest, at just £9.99 a month, while Odeon Limitless costs £14.99. These schemes pay for themselves after only two trips per month, and if you go even more times than that, then signing up to a membership scheme can result in considerable savings.

Another great option for devoted film fans is the Showcase Insider loyalty scheme, which offers discounted tickets (from £7.50 a film) and rewards providing discounts on tickets, snacks and drinks as well as access to exclusive advance screenings.

More casual cinemagoers should look at offers that provide two for one tickets, like Meerkat Movies. Anyone who has used to switch providers, get an insurance policy or take out a loan, credit card, car finance or mobile phone contract, is eligible. For a full year after using the site, customers will receive a weekly code, allowing them to buy two for one cinema tickets at Odeon, Cineworld and Vue on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

A similarly competitive deal is given to Vodafone customers, who can get two adult tickets for £7 at most Vue cinemas. You just need to log into the My Vodafone app, access the ‘VeryMe’ section and select the Vue deal. You will then be emailed two e-codes to use online or at the cinema.

Savvy shoppers can use their Tesco Clubcard vouchers to cash in at Cineworld and Picturehouse. Your points can be redeemed for three times their value instore at Tesco. That means that every £1 in Clubcard vouchers is worth £3 at the movies.

It’s worth checking what the cinema in question’s policy is. A surprising number let you bring your own food and drink in with you - especially if it’s cold and non-alcoholic, so sweets and popcorn should be fine so you can pick up snacks at a supermarket or similar on the way, rather than pay the prices at the box office.

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 43

CLASSIFIED LISTINGS BUSINESS & NETWORKING PEOPLE IN BUSINESS (PIB) We are a fun, friendly and affordable small business network group, holding monthly meetings for members who have exclusivity in their field. Our groups include Bromley, Bexley and Southwark. Email or see for more information.

PRODUCTIVITY POD If you’re a small business or sole trader and work alone – or just want some incentive to get your admin, accounts or social media done, join one of the Productivity Pod’s free sessions on Zoom! You continue to work with sound off but cameras ON & after the session you tell the others what you managed to get done in 2hrs! Email with your mobile number and name to register or for more details.


Aqua kids – swimming lessons that last a lifetime. Summer intensive course (25th-29th July) - places going quickly. Check our social media and the website for the latest updates. Facebook@aquakidsuk Twitter @Aquakidsuk Instagram


We provide sustainable party boxes that contain everything needed for children's parties. Our aim is to provide stress-free planning while helping you to create magical memories! Tel: 0333 444 2017 Email:

JKA ORPINGTON SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB Based at Darrick Wood Senior School, the club was established by its current chief Instructor Graham Richardson in 1975. Class times are 7pm-8.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10am-11.30pm on Saturdays. See the website at or email


I specialise in making your business look its best with creative graphic design - offering a personalised, professional and cost-effective service. T 07855 585690 E

VINTAGE SCRIBE Beautiful handcrafted invitations and cards for any special event. For that stylish, individual touch. Call Vintage Scribe on 07716-837874 To submit a classified listing please call 020 3488 9958 or email Prices start from just £10 per month.

44 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022


We make bespoke cakes and cupcakes for all occasions. We cater for most dietary requirements including vegan, diary free and gluten free. Contact Wimbai on 07925496547 or email Instagram: @weecupcakes Facebook: Wee Cupcakes


Professionally Licensed Makeup Artist based in Bromley trained in London & Paris with over 20 years’ experience in artistry and skincare. Together we will create your signature glam look for Special occasions, Bridal + Wedding guest, Zoom or social media makeup, Prom & Celebration Party nights, Business headshots. Makeup Master Classes. All ages, all skin tones Book your FREE 30-minute consultation. Call 07947 821 991, email or see


Qualified Physiotherapist and Sports Massage Therapist, providing sports and pregnancy massage in the local area. Whether it is a specific injury or to alleviate general aches and pains, sports massage can benefit you. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact via Facebook: Geo Sports Massage, Instagram: geosportsmassage or Whatsapp: 07771299123.


Affordable Integrated Coaching and Therapy for Teens and Parents. Creating a deeper connection through better communication. We also offer Purpose & Progression sessions for 14-16 year olds, as well as a ‘Needs Audit’ for both parents and Teens. For more information For more information email faye@fayecoxcoaching. or send a message to 07968 381793.


Providing award winning inspiring and imaginative arts and crafts sessions for all ages, parties, events, activities and after school clubs. For more information and booking visit or call Alix on 07906 078840 @TCSBeckenham on social media


We make safe toys for dogs using traditional Royal Navy knotting methods and, where appropriate, the dying trade of ‘whipping & splicing’ is used. We also offer a range of accessories, household essentials & gifts including dog leads, Monkey-Fist knot toys and doorstops. See @top_knot_toys on Instagram or email

Short Story


HOMECOMING by DIANA ELVIN Nearing home I sighed. Amy would beg me to take her out. For goodness sake, she had all day to go out once the children were at school. There must be lots of places you can take a small baby – parks and such like. Very nice too, this weather, while I’m cooped up in the office. No, I’m the one who needs to get out in the evening after working so hard. I go home for my meal first of course. Amy says I might just as well eat at the pub since I go there anyway. Just think of the expense! She says I could afford it if I didn’t drink but, I ask you, what’s the point of going to a pub if you can’t have a few pints?

Yet, as I stood in that neat, desolate house what I felt most was a wholly unexpected emptiness and grief. It didn’t stop me feeling hungry though. I’d be able to think more clearly when I’d eaten. Miserable and confused I plodded back towards the pub. My legs felt leaden. Every step was a tremendous effort. There was a man sitting on the ground near by looking dazed. Another poor begger fallen over that paving stone I supposed. “I shall complain to the council,” I told him.

Suddenly, I tripped over a broken bit of paving and banged my head. I felt very dizzy. I’ve been meaning to complain to the council about our pavement for ages. I struggled back to my feet and set off again.

“He’s coming to at last,” said one onlooker.

The house was eerily quiet. Usually, when they hear my key in the door the boys hurl themselves at me and jabber on about their day. I try to look interested but it’s all very tiring.

There was me on the ground, blinking at the crowd, being helped to my feet, assuring them I was OK, and swept by a tidal wave of hope, of quite desperate longing to be given another chance.

That night there wasn’t a sound. Nice to have peace, of course, quite a relief but – silly really – I sort of missed them. No smell of dinner either. Amy is a really good cook and there was always a mouth-watering aroma to greet me. The house looked odd. Sort of dull and bare. All trace of Amy and the children had vanished. I looked everywhere - no clothing, no toys, nothing.

I told them I was fine. I just wanted to get home. To have my boys run down the hall and tell me about their day, and to take my wife for the first of many evenings out. It seemed a long, long way, the few yards to our house. I couldn’t be sure, until I opened the front door but it was alright. The noise, the colour, the scattered toys, and Amy’s welcoming smile.

Just supposing Amy had actually left me – and I couldn’t think why on earth she would but just supposing – where could they have gone? Who would offer shelter and support to a runaway wife with three children, two moulting rabbits and lots of smelly nappies?

You think I imagined it all? Concussion can do funny things but this one gave me a providential glimpse into the future. I know because my wife told me, months later, when we were getting on really well again, about the very efficient arrangements she had once made to leave me!

Another man? Who’d take her on with that lot? It’s not as though she’s a beauty. Though she was once, come to think of it, when we were young. Lots of men fancied her. Now I never notice what she looks like. Well you don’t, do you? Not after ten years of marriage. Anyway, the point is that she belongs to me and there isn’t any reason that I know of why anybody else should get the benefit.

I never did complain to the council about that broken paving stone – it would have seemed ungrateful somehow.

I could now see who it was, as if I hadn’t had enough shocks for one evening!

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May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 45

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46 Life in... BROMLEY May 2022

A Final Thought…


Freemasonry: What is it really about? by RAY HUDSON

There is much misinformation and speculation regarding what Freemasonry is actually about. There is also much written about it by those who are not actual members and do not really understand its purpose, ethos or raison d’etre. Although many join it, both men and women, very few leave it. Why is that? It must hold something for many people otherwise it would never have survived for the centuries that it has, especially within our much more enlightened world. I have been an active Freemason for 36 years, am a Masonic Mentor, lecturer and author of five books covering various aspects of Freemasonry. I feel it is about time some adjustment is made to address the malignment and mythical speculation that has come to be attached to this innocent excellent fraternity. The whole system of Freemasonry, which has evolved, developed and been perfected over many centuries is simply a sophisticated method of improving oneself, hopefully making you a much better person within your family, profession and society in general. This is effected by a series of dramatic ceremonies based on a gradation system. The first step, known as ‘The Craft’, is managed by The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) whose headquarters is a wonderful building in Great Queen Street, London, where Masons and non-Masons can simply walk in and look around, so, many things are not so secret as believed. The UGLE administers not only English Lodges but many other Grand Lodges around the world who are affiliated to them. Freemasonry is spread over the four quarters of our world. The second step is also managed by UGLE in a similar manner as ‘The Craft’ and is called The Holy Royal Arch or ‘Chapter’. Thereafter many other Masonic Orders are governed by Mark Masons Hall which is situated at St. James’s Street London. These Orders range from Historic, Chivalric, Christian, Esoteric and ancient Mystical belief systems. Although these Orders are not

directly connected to UGLE, they are managed and follow a very similar path with a healthy respect between the two governing bodies. Outside of these two much larger institutions there are many more individual self governing groups that work and operate under very similar lines. All these gradually become made known to aspiring new Freemasons should they so desire to follow a particular path. The teachings, lessons and moral values that each Order promotes are designed to improve the candidates’ understanding of themselves, their family and their important part in society so that a better standard of life can be reached for everything they may be involved with outside of their activity within Freemasonry. A very important part of Freemasonry, in fact it is an actual cornerstone of the Fraternity, is Charity. The charitable work effected overall within the whole of Freemasonry is second in the UK only to the National Lottery. As well as supporting Masonic Charities, Freemasonry supports Non-Masonic Charities like Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Great Ormond Street, R.N.L.I. and the Air Ambulance plus disasters abroad, in fact anywhere our help is needed. If a little old lady cannot afford to pay her energy bill we will assist her, or if a local Scouts or Guides group needs help, or a local youth football team needs assistance, we do what we can - and so on. Collectively so much more can be done, and is done, through the generosity of Freemasonry.

If invited to explain more about this wonderful Fraternity I am happy to do so.

May 2022 Life in... BROMLEY 47