Life In Bromley October 2023

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2 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023
17 Chatsworth Parade
Petts Wood BR5 1DF
fees may

Welcome to

It’sexciting times as the judges for The ABBBAs (Above & Beyond Bromley Business Awards) are now deliberating over who has managed to make the short-list for this year’s inaugural event, which culminates in a glittering ceremony on Thursday 9th November at The Warren in Hayes!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has taken part – from those businesses putting themselves forward for an award, to members of the public who voted for their community heroes, best individuals in business and personalities of the year. Without your input and contribution, we would never have been able to organise this event which highlights and celebrates local companies who go ‘above & beyond’ in contributing to the wonderful borough in which we live.

We’ve got some more exciting news; we’re delighted to act as media sponsors for the annual Beckenham Business Day, organised by the Beckenham Business Association (BBA), which takes place on Wednesday 1st November at Beckenham’s Azelia Hall. In this month’s issue, we chat to the chair of the BBA, Jane Rogers, about this annual must-attend event – have a read on page 9.

Until next month, enjoy the issue!

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


Get to know us: What is your favourite movie?

Editorial: Lauretta Wright

The Shawshank Redemption

Design: Nicky Grant

True Romance

Assistant Editor: Steve Tolmie


Thank you to our distributors:

Sales: Michelle Simpson

Love Actually

Accounts: Helen Paul

Notting Hill

Office & Editorial Assistant: Tori Howe

It’s a Wonderful Life

Dawn B, Greg, Dawn W, Rob, Jack, Kelly, Tara, Malin, Megan, Sam, Zeenat, Dylan, Terri, Pamela, Ben, Lorraine, Tom and Lucy

Our Friends: A HUGE thank you to the following volunteers who commit their time to helping contribute to this magazine or help with distribution: Richard London, Elizabeth Adcock, Len Kirby, Mary Cody-Cowdery, Ruth Mansell, Margaret Vos, Sarah Spencer-Adams & Annabel Tyndall. If you would like to volunteer please email:

October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 3
contents Community Write It, Say It, Message It .......... 5 History 6 5 Minutes With 9 Mayor's Voice ........ 10 Lines From Linda 10 What's On ........ 14 Noticeboard 18 Behind The Badge 22 Chapter & Verse 22 A Final Thought 46 PULL-OUT-AND-KEEP Business & Legal Supplement, ........ 23 ideas, advice & inspiration Lifestyle Puzzle 31 Health & Fitness 35 Life Hacks 36 Did You Know ........ 39 Hair & Beauty 40 Home & Garden ........ 43 Life In Bromley is published by Luna Creative Media (Ltd) NEXT BOOKING DEADLINE: 9TH OCTOBER To advertise call 020 3488 9959 or email @lifeinmags 100% Recyclable FSC® Paper WIN! WIN!

Base has 50 fabric options, all sizes and all storage options available, plus 11 headboard designs

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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



Meet Aaron & Arthur!

These two photos were taken at Orpington Priory Gardens. The first photo is our new white goose that has grown so much and has got its dark feathers coming through. We have named him Aaron. The second photo is the Hybrid goose that was also taken at Priory Gardens and we have named him Arthur. Lizzie Davies


Enjoyed lunch with the judges of The ABBBAs (Above & Beyond Bromley Business Awards) who have now started the judging process! From the left are, Gary Valentine-Fuller from Valentine and Turner, Lee Thomas from Fairlight Group, resident judge Aysha BestForbes, Kristel Valaydon from KV Comms and Chandra Sharma from Elmcroft Business Services.

Poetry corner

Joined The Rebellious Coach, Lisa Staker, on her ‘Escape The Rat Race’ podcast. Have a listen on Spotify: or Apple:

Were invited to Bromley FC to watch Bromley play Maidenhead courtesy of London Biggin Hill Airport. Pictured are, from the left: the airport’s Colin Hitchins, Hannah Gray and Matthew Amer. It was a great result – 4-1 to Bromley FC!

Crafting a Poem Thermometer 84 degrees. Sweating droplets of saltiness from my flagging body. Computer resting in silence. Words floating in my brain. Fingers hovering over keys. Drinking in peace and calm and bathed in serenity, in my mind I walk into cool waters, lapping gently at my ankles. Lying motionless at the bottom of this babbling brook, pebbles - their smoothness under my feet, as I walk along this eternal stream of life, embracing the world about me. Eternally grateful for soothing breezes on my face, warmth from the sun flooding through my veins.

Brightly coloured butterflies with wings of dust, hovering on leaf and flower of every hue.

Green and yellow grasses swaying in the gentle wind, whispering words of wisdom, in this place of tranquillity. Words that all too often fall on deaf ears, on this magnificent planet, but enter my being as I receive inspiration.

My fingers come to life on the keys. October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 5
1987 – revised 2023
star response ( One4all digital gift card courtesy of The Bed Post ( Email
WIN WIN WIN WIN £15 One4all digital gift card


The Bowler Hat

In the 19th century, clothes, including the hats worn by the upper classes and aristocracy were very important, so it might surprise you to know that the bowler hat was not originally made for the ‘toffs,’ but for the working classes.

In 1849, a nobleman named Edward Coke (pronounced ‘cook’) of Holkham Hall, Norfolk needed a special hat to protect the heads of his gamekeepers. He was the younger brother of William Coke. At the time Coke’s gamekeeper and other estate groundsmen wore top hats that had square crowns and often got knocked off and damaged when they hit the ground. He needed a new design. It had to be a hard, protective hat, close-fitting with a low, rounded crown. Edward Coke travelled to James Lock & Co (London) with his ideas for the project. The prototype was made by the company’s chief hatter, Thomas Bowler; hence the name Bowler Hat. On 17th December 1849 Coke returned to London. When he saw the new hat he tested it by stamping on it, he was delighted and paid 12 shillings - about £60 today. William Miller Christy, from his Christys’ factory in Bermondsey in London, became one of the largest manufacturers of the ‘Bowler.’

The hat has had several names. At first it was called a ‘Coke’ after Edward while the gamekeepers called it the “Billycoke,” - the name has now gone out of fashion. In 1850 the hat was soon renamed, “the Derby” after the famous horse-race introduced by the 12th Earl of Derby in 1780.

In 1886 J B Stetson crossed the Atlantic to visit Christy’s second factory in Stockport to enquire how Christys’ had such a productive workforce. Stetson used Christy’s design for the Ten Gallon hat – for which Christys’ received an on-going royalty.

The Derby became popular in the American west. They liked it because in addition to its popularity with cowboys it was favoured by railroad workers; it was close fitting and stayed on the head even in a strong wind and so

was very practical. It was popular with criminals, who wore black hats and lawmen (white hats). It was worn by men such as Bat Masterson, Butch Cassidy, Black Bart, and Billy the Kid. However, the brim of the hat did not protect the wearers from the level of sun, so many men transitioned to Stetson’s “Boss of the Plains” style hat which was tall and had a wider brim.

The “Bowler” came into fashion in Britain worn by city gentlemen such as bankers, businessmen and lawyers with their uniform of pin-striped suit and umbrella in the 1920s. The city gentlemen would have filled all the railway stations of Bromley in the rush hours, most wearing their bowlers. It was also considered a hat for the upwardly mobile. By the 1970s its popularity began to decline. In modern times bowlers are rare, although the suited, hatted gentlemen with rolled umbrella remains a representation of Englishmen. For this reason, two bowler-hatted men were used in the logo of the British building society (subsequently bank), Bradford & Bingley.

In the 1890s the bowler hat became more synonymous with the entertainment industry because of its durability and also its working class associations. Charlie Chaplin used it when he created his Little Tramp persona in 1915. Others followed suit throughout the 20s, 30s and 40s: men such as Laurel & Hardy and Lou Costello of Abbott & Costello. In the 1960s on British TV Patrick Macnee played John Steed in the Avengers and often wore a bowler hat.

In 1920, British railway workers introduced bowler hats to Quechua and Aymara women of Bolivia, where they call it called a bombín in Spanish, and it has been worn there ever since. Bowler hats for the Bolivian market were made in a factory in Italy. In the 1900s British colonials introduced the hats into Nigeria, on the Niger.

6 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023
Pam Preedy Pay a visit to Bromley Historic Collections on the 2nd floor of Bromley Central Library to learn more about Bromley Borough’s history.


We are a civil ceremony licenced venue

8 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023

5 Minutes With... community

Jane Rogers

Jane Rogers is a content writer with over 24 years' experience in marketing and PR. She focuses on helping businesses craft compelling written content that attracts the right clients. Jane also heads up Beckenham Business Association (BBA). Through a series of networking events, speakers and training sessions, including the annual Beckenham Business Day, Jane and team provide support and advice to help businesses flourish…

Can you tell us more about Beckenham Business Association?

Yes, it’s a membership association for businesses operating in Beckenham. You don’t have to be based in Beckenham to be a member, you just have to have clients in the area. We want to inspire and connect local businesses to bring in community spirit to help businesses develop and grow. We meet a few times a year, both in person and online, and host Beckenham Business Day each November.

What are the benefits of membership?

Membership costs just £40 a year per business and includes regular online and in-person networking, Beckenham Business Day, training and development, plus speaking opportunities at our events. Members receive discounts or sometimes free admission to our events, along with a website listing and social media promotion.

What’s happening at Beckenham Business Day?

Our one-day conference is on 1st November at Azelia Hall in Beckenham from 10am-5pm. We bring together over 100 local businesses in a conference format. The day offers a variety of speakers, workshops and exhibitors, plus lots of opportunity for networking. We make it really inspirational and encourage people to network, grow and connect. Tickets start from just £15, including a light buffet lunch. We’re also looking for volunteers, exhibitors and sponsors.

What do you love most about the Bromley borough?

I’ve lived in Beckenham for 15 years and love that it’s leafy and green, yet we’re only 20 minutes from central London. We’ve got some lovely parks, amazing independent businesses and plenty of hospitality and shopping on offer. I think it’s really friendly - I’ve met so many people through business and networking and personal stuff like dancing.

Who’s your inspiration and why?

My dad because he got me involved in business from an early age. He had a greengrocer’s and now runs a catering business with my brother. When I was young I’d work in his shop and learned so much about running a business, from putting orders together and serving at events. He has inspired me to run my own business. Now I like to inspire others with marketing their businesses and making it easier for them to develop and grow, which is what I do through my business and also BBA.

How can small businesses help the community and vice versa?

I think it’s really important that small business owners collaborate and help the community. Collectively, we can do a lot more than we can individually. Since I’ve been running my business I’ve got involved with the BBA and other business events. I’ve also volunteered within schools to inspire kids in their career paths and I wouldn’t have been able to do that as easily in a corporate career. As small business owners it’s easier to be more flexible and get involved, plus most of us offer something you couldn’t get from big chains. We also cherish every sale as it means so much more.

What does


mean to you?

A collective collaboration; coming together and supporting each other for a mutual benefit.

To get your ticket for this year’s Beckenham Business Day on 1st November visit October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 9
Beckenham Business Day

MAYOR’S VOICE community

After all the recent heat it is hard to believe we are now well into autumn, where I find myself rapidly approaching the halfway point of my Mayoral year.

There is still so much I want to achieve as Mayor, from highlighting my Mayoral charities, to raising awareness around our important loneliness campaign, to bringing together support for our armed forces community across the borough - there is simply no time to waste!

Not that we have been sitting idle so far, with so many important community events visited over the last few months, from veterans’ breakfasts at both Bromley FC and Biggin Hill Airport, to the 1st anniversary of MyClub at MyTime Active, to an uplifting to the Heart of Gold Awards at Clairleigh Nursing Home.

While I am honoured to represent Bromley at all these great events, this has not been a one-man operation. As I journey across the borough, I am often accompanied by the Mayoress, Councillor Kim Botting, often represented by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Keith Onslow and the Deputy Mayoress, Sara Onslow, and always well supported by the Mayoral attendants and support staff

Lines from Linda

I know at this point in the year everyone is saying where has the year gone? And yes, I second thatwhere has the year gone? It’s October. How many Christmas shopping days to Christmas. I am sure someone is going to tell me.

But, right now, it’s October. The mystical and magical month of Halloween. I am a sucker for the enjoyment of children having their ‘trick or treats’, fun. I hope we can all open our hearts and allow them to safely come to our doors and receive their sweets.

Halloween is also the month where witches, ghouls and spiders raise their heads. I am not a lover of witches or ghouls, but I would never harm a spider. Strangely enough, I recently had an encounter with one when I was called to the wonderful PRU hospital for a check-up appointment. I had noticed a large spider walking in the grounds and heading toward the hospital entrance. I gave it a wide berth and carried on through the doors, and into the building.

After turning down the corridor towards the place I was going, I came across a porter with a dustpan and brush. I glanced to the ground and saw he was attempting to brush a long-legged spider up. ‘Please don’t hurt him,’ I said, as I stopped to help. ‘I don’t like them one little bit,’ the porter told me, and this fellow might frighten a patient. I can’t be responsible for any more casualties,’ he argued.

who ensure everything runs smoothly.

As I look ahead at all the exciting events that are filling up my calendar, I find myself reflecting on some of the inspiring residents

I have encountered as Mayor so far, all with different experiences, from various walks of life.

I think back to the inspiring celebration at our Ukraine Support Hub on Ukraine Independence Day, where I heard many moving stories from families and staff alike.

I recently spoke to Peter Lemon, a 102-year-old veteran, who has an incredibly emotive story to tell about his life and his time in service to this country. You may have seen my interview with Peter on social media, which is still available on the Mayor’s webpage.

There is plenty happening across the borough in the coming weeks and months, and I look forward to meeting many of you as I continue my time as Mayor.

Find out more about the Mayor and get in touch at

‘The hospital is over-worked as it is.’

‘The spider’s probably a lot more frightened of the patients,’ I argued back as I glanced down and saw the little, no sorry, BIG fellow trying to scuttle away. Again, the porter lifted his broom. ‘Please don’t hurt him, he’s probably terrified of the broom you are holding.’

It was at that moment that a doctor was passing and overheard the conversation. He stopped. ‘It’s not a fella,’ this doctor told me. ‘It’s a female.’ I blinked hard taking that in. ‘How on earth can you tell by looking at it?’ I questioned. ‘All I see is a hairy blob with eight legs.’ The doctor shook his head. ‘It’s the mating season for spiders’, he told me. ‘The females come in, looking for warmth and for somewhere safe to lay their eggs, and give birth.’ ‘I looked up, first at the doctor, and then a little further down the corridor where there was a large arrow, and next to it, the words. ‘Straight ahead for the Maternity Suite.’ ‘So, I’ve learned two things today,’ I told the doctor. ‘First, that spiders have mating times, and secondly, that they can read.’

I then bent down and picked up Mrs Spider, on a tissue, speaking softly to her, I said. ‘It’s a bit overcrowded in there, come, I’ll find you a nice big flower outside. Your new family will be safe there.’.

For more about me and my crime novels see

10 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023
All I see is a hairy blob with eight legs.
the Ukraine

Introducing our headline sponsor

12 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023
Save time and money with our free service FREE MEASURING & PLANNING SERVICE and help shift the heavy stu on fitting day
“At Tapi, we’re passionate about going above and beyond for our customers, so we’re delighted to sponsor this much-needed event that highlights and celebrates local Bromley businesses”


Why was it important you showed your support in sponsoring The ABBBAs?

Tapi was founded in 2015 with the aim of revolutionising the flooring industry in the UK. We’ve grown steadily into a large national company, but we’ve never lost our local touch. Our central office is based in Orpington and we like to show support to local businesses and the community.

As a company, what do you offer and who are you aimed at?

We offer a great choice and fantastic service at a price that’s lower than expected. We’re aimed at customers who value service and appreciate being looked after, from helping them to find the perfect floor, all the way to installation.

How does sponsorship of The ABBBAs align with Tapi’s values and goals?

We think of ourselves as one big Tapi family, and we’re confident our stores are the best local place for customers. That’s the cornerstone of our business. We even have a Tapi Hero award we give out to

colleagues who go above and beyond in their roles.

How has Tapi done over the last year?

We’ve seen pleasing growth in the number of customers we serve and we’ve been given a five-star rating from more than 58,000 happy customers on Trustpilot for our service and aftercare. We’ve been expanding our amazing store network across the UK, as well as helping more customers from the comfort of their own homes with our 150 mobile showroom vans packed with samples.

What are Tapi’s current initiatives you’re particularly proud of?

Since 2016, we’ve raised more than £145,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital. That’s come from donating £1 every time of our customers completes a survey about how we did. We use that information to improve our services, and support a worthwhile charity too.

We’re always trying to find ways to make customers’ lives easier. We’ve improved our

merchandising in store and online so they can make an informed decision on buying a new carpet or smooth flooring. And for our colleagues, we’ve introduced new technology to support the sales process, making operations simpler and slicker. We’re also enhancing our data capabilities so we can see what we’re doing well as a business and where we need to keep improving.

Looking ahead, what are your plans for the next 12 months?

More of the same. We’ll be expanding our stores to find new customers to serve in new geographies, and continuing to invest in new brilliant products that make the lives of customers and colleagues easier.

Finally, what’s your message to the business community in the Bromley borough?

Take good care of your colleagues, have a great culture that’s focused on your customer (like we say at Tapi, treat every customer like your nan) and the rest takes care of itself! October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 13 Same fully fitted carpet, same accessories and service, we’ll match the price TAPI CARPET PRICE PROMISE 0% APR REPRESENTATIVE £500 min spend. Subject to status and a ordability. T&Cs apply. 3 YEARS INTEREST FREE CREDIT NO DEPOSIT UP TO We’ve donated more than £145,000 to Great Ormond Street Hospital since 2016 RATED No.1 BEST PLACE TO WORK IN THE UK PHYSICAL RETAILER June 2021 - June 2022
Tapi in The Nugent Centre and Homebase Orpington, Catford, Penge and Eltham
Tapi has more than 175 showrooms nationwide. Find your local

what's on

community & CHARITY

Nuthatch Retreats

1st Sunday of the month, 10am

Alternates between Spring Park in West Wickham, High Broom Woods in West Wickham and Addington Hills.

Cost: Pay what you can from £5+ booking fee

Contact: Neil

Why not take some time for yourself to slow down, meet new people and connect with nature? Our monthly woodland Walk and Talks with Mindfulness offer a gentle stroll through the woodland, with introductions to mindfulness in nature and the chance to talk to others in the group. If you'd like to stay on for a chat at the end, we'll have some free drinks!

Events can be booked via Eventbrite (Search for Nuthatch Retreats) or visit

Polymyalgia Rheumatica & Giant Cell

Arteritis Support Group

1st Wednesday of every month (except August & December)

2pm for refreshments followed by the meeting.

Finishes at 3.30pm

St Paul's Church, Crofton Road, Orpington, BR6 8JE

Cost: £5

We are the local support group for the Bromley area for

We’re looking to hear about your news, notices and local events!

Email us at

all who are affected by PMR and/or GCA, two little known and poorly understood conditions. Being diagnosed can be devastating and life changing. Our speakers range from rheumatologists to pharmacists, ophthalmologists to Bromley Lions Clubs. Our meetings are an opportunity to share with others who understand. We are supported by the national charity - PMRGCAuk - which keeps us upto-date with the latest medical advances. Call 0300 999 5090 for more information or visit orpington

Bromley & District Floral Society

Nature’s Palette - A Flower Arrangement Show

Saturday 28th October, 1.30pm – 4.30pm

United Reformed Church, 20 Widmore Road, Bromley BR1 1RY (next to Boots)

Cost: £2

Contact: 020 8462 3285 or email

We are very excited to be holding a show again this year. Come and join us to see a wonderful array of floral exhibits. Teas and cakes from 2pm.

Your Bromley Black History Month Celebration

Sunday 1st October, 11am–4pm

Market Square, Bromley town centre

Cost: Free


To mark Black History Month, Your Bromley is hosting a celebration in Market Square from 11am - 4pm on Sunday 1st October.  The event will see a black creators makers market, food stalls, a stage with live music, children’s African drumming workshops, talks on black history and more. As part of the celebrations we have created a photography exhibition to celebrate some of the most prominent and recognisable members of the BAME community in Bromley town centre, this will be featured in the old Top Shop window. For more information see

BigJalebi Charity Ball Diwali 2023

Sunday 29th October, 6pm-11pm

Oakley House Wedding & Conference Centre, BR2 8HA

Cost: £95

Contact: Sumeet Jalan on 07789503036

The event will provide a memorable evening of entertainment celebrating the joyous annual festival and bringing people of all cultures and religions together. The event will be attended by almost 250 people including special guests from different communities and walks of life. For more information and tickets see

14 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023
Your essential what's on guide for events, activities, clubs and much more in and around Bromley. There's something for everyone!

Macular Society Bromley Support Group

1st Tuesday of every month (except Jan & Aug) 10am for tea/coffee & biscuits

Meeting starts at 10:30am, finishing at 12pm

Bromley Town Church, 2 Ethelbert Road, Bromley, BR1 1JA

Cost: Free

Contact: No need to contact - just turn up and introduce yourself

We are a local support group for people suffering with Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Being diagnosed with AMD can be devastating, so we look to provide social interaction and mutual support to those affected. We have a variety of speakers and a mixed and diverse programme. No need to book - just come along and introduce yourself!

Bromley Friendship Centre

Every 2nd Wednesday of each month

1.30pm for 2pm

4th Floor Hall of Bromley Central Library

Cost: Annual subscription £15 and monthly visits £2 Looking for a way to meet new friends? We normally have a speaker and end with a cup of tea and biscuit. Regular activities include lunches, outings and theatre visits.

Exhibitions & Fairs

Spirit of Christmas Fair

30th October – 5th November, 10am-6pm (late night on 2nd November until 9pm)

Olympia London, Hammersmith Rd, London W14 8UX

Cost: From £22


Discover a diverse collection of carefully curated gifts from over 700 small independent brands and designermakers each one picked for its originality and quality, brought together for this seven-day event. Enjoy a special Tapas menu curated by acclaimed Spanish chef, José Pizarro that showcases his signature dishes alongside exclusive creations designed for the show. For more ticket options and information visit

Health, MINDSET & Beauty

Flin's Online & Live Fitness Classes

See website for class dates & times

Cost: PAYG £6 - £8 or cheaper bulk options.

Contact: Fran on 07976 412027

Online streaming plus live offerings, 40+ classes a week, early mornings, mid mornings and evenings including weekend classes. Box Fit, Body Conditioning, Yoga Flow, Pilates, Zumba, Cross Training, Bounce Fitness, Pump and more: fitness for all! Mornings at Westcombe Park RFC, evenings & Sat at Tubbenden School. I also offer a free monthly ‘Dance Because Nobody’s Watching’ event on the first Sunday of the month, 11am, at Tubbenden Junior School – all are welcome.

See for details.


Did you know that the borough’s libraries run a variety of events throughout the month?

Check their websites via london/bromley or call them for more information.


Contact: 020 8650 7292


Bromley Central Library

Contact: 020 3931 0900


Burnt Ash

Contact: 020 8460 3405



Contact: 020 8467 1318



Contact: 020 8462 2445

Email: October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 15
what's on

what's on libraries


Contact: 020 3915 7066



Contact: 020 8460 9692



Contact: 020 8467 0355


West Wickham

Contact: 020 8777 4139


MUSIC, entertainment & FOOD

Line Dancing - Carolina Country Music Club

Line Dance Classes – beginners and intermediates (Every Wednesday)

6th & 20th October (Live Music With Dancing)

Cost: £6 Wednesday, £10 Friday

Times: 7.30pm-10pm Wednesdays, 7.30pm-11pm Fridays

Location: Pickhurst Infant School, Pickhurst Lane, West Wickham, Bromley BR4 0HL

Contact: 020 8462 5314 or email:

Come along and give us a try, make new friends, keep fit and have fun! We cater for all abilities and all ages. Refreshments available (tea, coffee, biscuits). For more information see CarolinaCountryMusicClub


Beckenham Business Day

Wednesday 1st November, 10am-5pm

Azelia Hall, 258 Croydon Road, Beckenham, BR3 4DA

Cost: £15 early-bird rate for non-members (book by 30th September), £10 for members


Beckenham Business Day is back to inspire, educate and connect local businesses in and around Beckenham.

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.

It’s ideal for small businesses and retailers – from start-ups to well-established businesses. This year’s theme is Fast Forward and we invite you to ignite your creativity, discover emerging technologies and embrace innovations.

To register or for more information see

theatre/ Performances

Churchill Theatre, Bromley


Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Date: Mon 2 - Sat 7 October, Various times

Cost: From £24.50

Following a record-breaking three-year West End residency, the smash-hit and critically acclaimed musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie comes to Bromley. Jamie New is 16 and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. He doesn’t quite fit in and is terrified about the future. Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. This ‘Funny, outrageous, touching’ (Daily Telegraph), musical sensation is to be experienced by all the family and not to be missed!

Matthew Bourne's Romeo And Juliet

Date: Tue 10 - Sat 14 October, Various times

Cost: From £25

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet gives Shakespeare’s timeless story of forbidden love a scintillating injection of raw passion and youthful vitality. Confined against their will by a society that seeks to divide, our two young lovers must follow their hearts as they risk everything to be together. Age Guidance: 14+

The Merchant Of Venice

Date: Tue 24 - Sat 28 October, Various times

Cost: From £26

Tensions in London’s East End are rising and Shylock, a resilient single mother and hard-working businesswoman, is desperate to protect her daughter’s future. When the charismatic merchant Antonio comes to her for a loan, a high-stakes deal is struck. Will Shylock take her revenge, and who will pay the ultimate price? Age Guidance: 12+




To advertise call 020 3488 9959

email Spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis.


16 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023 October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 17 Call Liz for friendly, personal service to create memories that will last a lifetime. Because your holiday means the world to me! Your holiday should be one that you remember for life (and for all the right reasons). From a beautiful barefoot paradise to the sights and sounds of African safaris and everywhere in between. Email: Tel: 020 8663 6717/07812 150832 @LizEngelTravelCounsellor Looking forward to helping you plan your next adventure. w w w . s u c c e s s f u l m u m s . c o . u k 0 2 0 3 6 3 3 9 6 7 2 h e l l o @ s u c c e s s f u l m u m s . c o . u k V i s i t o u r w e b s i t e t o s e e t h e f u l l r a n g o f t r a i n i n g c o u r s e s w e o f f e r p a r e n t s We offer FREE online back to work and business start-up training courses. INCREASE YOUR CONFIDENCE FIND A FLEXIBLE CAREER IMPROVE YOUR DIGITAL SKILLS FULLY FUNDED | FLEXIBLE | ACCREDITED CALLING ALL MUMS LOOKING TO RETURN TO WORK!

Dance Because Nobody’s Watching!

All are welcome to a FREE event held on the first Sunday of the month, 11am, at Tubbenden Junior School by Flin’s Fitness. If you’re looking to dance for the joy of it, the fun, the exercise, the buzz of being with other people who love it too… then disconnect from everything just for a little while! There is no need to wear any fitness gear - come in your comfortable stuff. No need to be able to dance - it’s just for fun. No need to pay anything, it’s completely FREE. Book at

Matthew’s Move

London Biggin Hill Airport has appointed Matthew Amer as its new Head of Public Affairs & Community Engagement. In this newly created position, Matthew will be responsible for engaging with national and local politicians, government departments and other key stakeholders on a wide range of aviation policy issues. He will also spearhead all activities that relate to the airport’s local community outreach, including all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) initiatives.


It’s in the post!

Congratulations to winner Adam Aitkenhead who won a year’s postal subscription to this magazine! A kind reader, Bisi Oladipupo, decided to ‘pass on a kind deed’ by paying for another reader to receive a postal subscription.

Tell us what you’ve done to ‘pay it forward’ for your community.

Jan Hale is 65 years old and retired. She lives in Orpington and has worked for Bromley Library Services, in Press and Public Relations and also at Warren Road School. Her book, The Girl Who Dressed Like A Boy. Maiden, Mother, Crone was published in March this year and is a historical fiction novel, offering a twist on Arthurian legend. Jan said: “I’m an avid bookworm and love all genres. When I retired, I thought I would give writing a go! There are more books in the pipeline - this is the first of a trilogy based on the moon goddess.”

Jan’s book is available from £10.95 (paperback) and can be purchase from Amazon, Waterstones or Foyles. See

If you’re a local author or know of one, email for the chance to be featured.

18 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023


Creator of the ‘Marc Dane’ action thriller series, James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon #1 bestselling author. James is originally from North London but now lives in Kent. His latest book, Dark Horizon is a fast-paced thriller about a disgraced ex-RAF flyer trying to escape her past mistakes. James said: “Writing Dark Horizon was an intensive experience, and I was very lucky to have a group of people I could call on to make sure the background was as authentic as I could possibly make it. The action comes from me as an author, but for the details I went to fighter pilots, executive jet crews, police officers, members of the security services and more.”

Dark Horizon is out now from Welbeck Publishing in hardback, eBook and audiobook from Amazon and all good bookstores. For details see https://

If you’re a local author or know of one, email for the chance to be featured.

Beckenham defibrillator

Going for gold!

A lifesaving defibrillator has been bought by Beckenham Hearing inside the company’s Eden Park practice at 531 Upper Elmers End Road, where it can be used if needed in an emergency by the public. Staff at the practice have been trained to use the defibrillator if their help is ever required. Defibrillators give a high-energy electric shock to the heart of someone in cardiac arrest. This is an essential part in trying to save the life of a person in cardiac arrest.

October is breast cancer awareness month

Bromley’s boys’ hockey team claimed gold at the London Youth Games’ Finals Festival recently, beating 32 other London Boroughs. They also secured fourth place on the Jubilee Trophy score board. The weekend saw more than 10,000 participants and spectators flock to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to watch the finals and Bromley entered 25 teams across 15 sports, representing 15 different schools and sports clubs in the area. In all, an impressive 60% of all Bromley’s teams achieved medalwinning status, with all the ParaGames teams also achieving medal finishes.

October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 19
Image: ©Kate Darkins


Are you an amateur photographer? Do you enjoy taking pictures? We’re inviting Bromley borough residents to submit their local pictures to us at Life In… Magazines! We want to put your pictures in the spotlight and pick a selection to feature them on our front covers. Pictures should be taken in portrait mode, be taken within the Bromley borough and the top 1/3 of the picture should remain clear (to allow for the magazine’s title).

Images submitted must not be copyright and should be sent at high-res (300 dip) along with your name and a caption for the picture – where it was taken and any story behind the picture to hello@

Bromley Radio!

Listen live at, download from the App Store or listen via Alexa.

Follow them on social media@bromleyradio1 on Twitter, @bromleyradio on Facebook or on Instagram.

ICARE Day Centre Trust Limited is an independent charity supporting adults who have experienced a stroke and their families.


Due to the pandemic and limited external grants available to charities, ICARE needs to raise £30,000 by December 2023 to enable them to remain open and continue supporting vulnerable adults. Alongside fundraising events, partnership working and identifying new clients , ICARE needs to raise these funds to preserve the future of the charity. Without this financial support they will be forced to close their doors after 38 years in Bromley

ICARE Day Centre Trust Limited is an independent charity supporting adults who have experienced a stroke and their families.

Due to the pandemic and limited external grants available to charities, ICARE needs to raise £30,000 by December 2023 to enable them to remain open and continue supporting vulnerable adults.

If you would like to learn more about the charity or have ideas to help the charity over the coming months, please contact

Alongside fundraising events, partnership working and identifying new clients, ICARE needs to raise these funds to preserve the future of the charity. Without this financial support will be forced to close their doors after 38 years in Bromley

or Mike

If you would like to learn more about the charity or have ideas to help the charity over the coming months, please contact Tracey Parry, Centre Manager or Mike Talbot, Chair of the Board of Trustees



Summer soiree

We’ve teamed up with Bromley Radio to make regular announcements about our topical features.

Mytime Active’s Summer Soiree was held for its Primetime and MyClub members at Orpington Golf Club in August. The event was attended by Bromley’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Keith Onslow, and the Deputy Mayoress, Sara Onslow. Mytime Active welcomed more than 100 people to enjoy an afternoon of fun, friendship, music and afternoon tea. The Primetime activities are designed to help the over 60s move more every day, socialise and make new friends, whilst MyClub offers fun, sociable and supportive activities for adults with special educational needs or disabilities. For more information see health-wellbeing-services

20 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023
TRUST LIMITED Old School House, High Street, Green Street Green, Orpington, BR6 6BJ Telephone: 01689 862883 Email:
No: 1012681 Company No: 2722796
Day Centre Trust Limited
families. Due to the pandemic
charities ICARE
continue supporting vulnerable adults. Alongside fundraising events, partnership working and identifying new clients, ICARE needs to raise these funds to preserve the future of the charity. Without this financial support they will be forced to close their doors after 38 years in Bromley If you would like to learn more about the charity or have ideas to help the charity over the coming months, please contact Tracey Parry, Centre Manager or Mike Talbot, Chair of the Board of Trustees ICARE DAY CENTRE TRUST LIMITED Old School House, High Street, Green Street Green, Orpington, BR6 6BJ Telephone: 01689 862883 Email: No: 1012681 Company No 2722796 SAVE YOUR LOCAL CHARITY community NOTICEBOARD
is an independent
supporting adults who have experienced a stroke and their
and limited external grants available to
needs to raise £30,000 by December 2023 to enable them to remain open and
ICARE DAY CENTRE TRUST LIMITED Old School House, High Street, Green Street Green, Orpington, BR6 6BJ Telephone: 01689 862883
1012681 Company No: 2722796

Lone Ranger

Bromley resident Siobhan Burne is currently on a mission in Kenya to take part in the ‘For Rangers’ marathon to help raise money for the amazing rangers who risk their lives to protect the animals that live there. Siobhan says: “The race involves running 250km over five days across the hilly reserves of Africa whilst carrying all the things I will need to survive for the duration of the race. I'm an amateur runner and started the sport about three years ago. Whilst I'm extremely terrified and fully aware it will be a huge mentally and physical challenge, I cannot wait to get out there and meet some of the amazing rangers who risk their lives daily to protect the endangered animals who live there. All funds we are raising supports them and their aim to support the highly poached areas of Africa. Around 100 rangers are killed in action every year protecting these animals.”

We wish Siobhan all the luck while she carries out her mission and if you would like to help her achieve her goal to raise £1000 to raise money for the charity, you can visit her Just Giving Page at

Fast Forward your business

Beckenham Business Day takes place on Wednesday 1st November from 10am-5pm at Azelia Hall (258 Croydon Rd, Beckenham, BR3 4DA).

It’s a day of inspiration, education and networking for businesses across the whole Bromley borough and this year’s theme is Fast Forward. Brought to you by the Beckenham Business Association, businesses large and small are invited to attend for expert advice, networking opportunities and a great insight into hot topics, including emerging technologies and new innovations. The early-bird rate is just £15 for non-members (book by 30th September) and £10 for members.

For more information see www. and to reserve your place visit https://beckenham-business-day-2023.

Read this month’s ‘5 Minutes With…’ feature (page 9) to discover more about Jane Rogers, chair of the Beckenham Business Association.

Grab a magical carpet ride

Readers are invited to book their ‘magical carpet’ ride for an Aladdin Christmas Panto this December. However, this isn’t your everyday panto; the twist being that it will be performed by local business owners across the borough.

The concept is the brainchild of mindset and wellbeing coach, Zeenat Noorani, from Vida de la Mariposa Coaching, who has teamed up with Quest Soul Theatre’s Mercedes Yearley.

Zeenat said: “I wear many hats but this time I've decided to wear my theatre production hat in directing. I thought it would be a fun and exciting idea - and who doesn’t like a good panto at Christmas? Only this time it’s with Bromley networkers!”

What is sure to be an entertaining night for all ages, the Aladdin Christmas Panto takes place at Theatre 62, West Wickham on Saturday 16th December. Doors open at 6.30pm, with the performance kicking off at 7pm. The final curtain will come down at 8pm and attendees will be offered drinks, mince pies and snacks – and the opportunity to swap notes about the performances!

If you’re looking to be entertained this December, book early to avoid disappointment at bromleyaladdinpanto

Boost in affordable housing

Bromley Council and property management firm Pinnacle Group have secured a £58m long-term financing package to support the acquisition of more than 200 affordable homes. The acquired properties have been earmarked to house those currently homeless or in temporary accommodation. Yvonne Bear, executive councillor for renewal, recreation and housing at Bromley Council, said: “We are increasing local affordable housing supply, including by building houses as part of our Bromley Homes for Bromley People initiative and by working with partners on acquisitions.” October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 21

Behind the Badge


In early August, we held the Bromley ‘New Met for London’ event at the Civic Centre. The Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, attended to set out his plans as to how to deliver the police service that London expects and requires. The event was really well received and gave members of the public a direct chance to meet with their local teams in an informal setting, ask questions directly of the Commissioner and raise concerns about their local areas. I was also able to set out my plan as to how I intend to deliver the Commissioner’s plan locally. As I have stated before, I aim to achieve this by listening to communities and setting ourselves up to tackle community crime and anti-social behaviour by focussing on problems. This will include working with partners and communities to fight crime together, putting the public first.

As mentioned in the previous edition, I have commissioned two officers to conduct a deep dive into the information and data around crime and anti-social behaviour, and I am expecting them to report back very soon so we can start to really get stuck in. One of my commitments is focussing

on local priorities; I have seen a fantastic example of this lately where a neighbourhood ward officer had tenaciously pursued those shoplifting in Chelsfield and charged various suspects with tens of thousands of pounds worth of thefts, several of whom are now behind bars. This has been raised as a problem by the public and by businesses in many areas and it’s an approach I am looking to roll out more widely. I have also seen the Orpington team come up with detailed plans to combat wildlife crime in Priory Gardens which is causing significant community concern, plans which I am personally supporting. It is this approach that I want to bring about to all of our local policing, identifying problems and tackling them with tenacity, curiosity and innovation, guided always by the mantra of “Public First”.

Superintendent  Luke Baldock

Bromley Borough Neighbourhood Policing

Chapter & Verse


Title: The Haunting Season

Author: Eight award-winning authors

Published: 29/09/22

Publisher: Little Brown Book Group

No of pages: 304

RRP: £8.99

The Haunting Season is an anthology of eight ghostly tales, so with spooky season now upon us, what better way to while away the cold winter nights with a book of good old-fashioned ghost stories?

All the stories have a supernatural, gothic type vibe, and if you’ve read and enjoyed Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, which is a classic ghost story, then you’ll really enjoy this too as the writing very much reminded me of her style of writing.mSometimes in a book of short stories some are better than others, but all these stories are brilliantly written and none left me feeling disappointed.

A spooky 4 stars.

Local resident and bookworm, Zoe Hill, gives us the lowdown on what she’s reading –and more importantly, if it’s worth picking up!

Title: Quite

Author: Claudia Winkleman

Published: 08/07/21

Publisher: Harper Collins

No of pages: 256

RRP: £9.99

This book is a love letter to life – the real, sometimes messy kind. Quite celebrates friendship, the power of art, the highs and lows of parenting and, of course, how a good eyeliner can really save your life.

I actually listened to the audio book, which is narrated by Claudia, so you get her dry wit coming across and it’s so fast paced, funny and relatable. Because I listened to it instead of reading it, it really felt like you were sitting down with her for a gossip! If you’re a fan of hers too, I’d highly recommend this book, and would really recommend the audio book for the full experience!

A fast paced 4 stars.

22 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023

Business & Legalpull-out-and-keep

Ideas, advice & inspiration

In this special pull-out-and-keep Business & Legal supplement we cover everything from how to apply for a business grant to the rights of cohabiting couples and what to do if your business has been hacked – enjoy!


1. On social media, first impressions matter, so choosing the right picture for your LinkedIn profile goes a long way. Make sure you are dressed appropriately, that your face is clearly visible and you smile to appear approachable and confident.

2. Your headline does not have to just be your job title. Use it to say a bit more about how you see your role, why you do what you do and what makes you tick. A good headline not only provides an overview of what you do, but it will also encourage other LinkedIn users to click on your profile.

3. Buzzwords on LinkedIn mean nothing unless you back them up. Just because you use terms like ‘specialised’, ‘leadership’, ‘focused’, ‘strategic’ or ‘experienced’ to describe yourself does not prove you have those qualities. Try and demonstrate your abilities throughout your profile and in your posts as well as just listing them.

4. Many people overlook the summary when creating their LinkedIn profile. Don’t make this mistake. Your summary is the perfect opportunity for you to bring your page to life, so explain why your skills matter and the difference you can make to people’s lives.

5. Aim to expand your network. Having 500 connections establishes you as a networker and influencer on LinkedIn, and the more connections you have, the more likely you are to be seen by businesses. However, it is no good connecting with just anybody. It is best only to make quality connections that are relevant to you. Connect with present and past colleagues and prospective employers for the best results.

6. Adding your skills should be the easiest thing to do on LinkedIn – simply scroll through the list of skills and identify those relevant to you.

7. A skills assessment is a voluntary online test that demonstrates your skills and displays a Verified Skills Badge on your profile. These badges can increase your employability factor when recruiters review your profile.

8. In the same way that testimonials benefit a business, recommendations can benefit you. Ask your past employers, teachers or colleagues for recommendations to illustrate their experience of working with you.

9. The people you follow on LinkedIn will dictate what you see on your feed, so follow other people who have the same job as you or the role you’d like to apply for to see a range of interesting and relevant content. You can then share this content to your page and add your opinion to demonstrate your expertise in this field.

10. Positioning yourself as a pro at your job is probably the single most valuable thing you can do when looking for employment on LinkedIn. You can establish your expertise by commenting on posts, sharing content and creating your own original content. October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 23
Pitman Training


What to do if your business has been hacked


apply for a business grant


• Determine your eligibility: Review the eligibility criteria for the grant programme you are interested in. Grants may be available to specific types of businesses, industries or locations. Make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements before proceeding.

• Research opportunities: Look for opportunities that are relevant to your business. You can search for grants on government websites, non-profit organisations and private foundations. Make sure to read the grant guidelines and requirements carefully.

• Prepare your business plan: Most applications require a detailed business plan that outlines your company's objectives, products or services, target market, and financial projections. You may also need to provide information about your management team, marketing strategies and competitive analysis.

• Gather documents: Be prepared to provide documentation such as tax returns, financial statements, business licenses and incorporation papers. Read the grant guidelines and requirements carefully to know exactly what documents are required.

• Complete and submit the application: Once you have gathered all the required information, fill out the application form and submit it before the deadline. Be sure to confirm that your application has been received and follow up with any requests for additional information.

• Follow up: Wait for a response from the grant provider. If you are awarded the grant, make sure to follow the grant terms and conditions carefully. If your application is denied, ask for feedback on how you can improve your application for future grant opportunities.

Did you know…?

Data reveals that there has been a steady increase in new businesses since the pandemic. New research from CMC Markets analysed the latest ONS data which showed that from Saturday 4th June to Friday 10th June 2022, 18,386 new businesses were created at Companies House. This was the fifth highest number of new business incorporations since records of weekly data began at the start of 2019.

A UK Government survey found that a shocking 39% of businesses came under attack in 2022 and that cyber-attacks are on the rise. Not only can they cause severe financial loss, they can also affect a company’s reputation. Actions such as promptly installing system updates and conducting staff cybersecurity training to promote best practice all help, but if the worst happens, Anthony Green, CTO and cyber crime expert at FoxTech, shares his tips on what to do about it…

1. Don’t shut down your system. This is a typical panic response, and it might be tempting to shut everything down. Unfortunately, if an attack is underway, you should assume that the hacker has already gathered much of the information they were looking for. By unplugging your system or deleting malicious files, you could be destroying evidence that will be key to discovering what has been taken, and how your system was breached. It’s far better to leave your system be and call an expert straight away.

2. The most important step to take in the event of a hack is to call an expert. If you have never used a cybersecurity consultancy firm before, and don’t employ in-house cybersecurity experts, then you need to conduct a search for a security expert as a matter of urgency.  To avoid this scenario, it is highly advisable for any organisation to find a trusted cybersecurity partner before a breach occurs.

3. As soon as you realise your system has been  attacked, keep a record of every subsequent action taken –such as who has touched the system, and when. This log will help you keep track of your system, become a valuable resource for post-breach analysis, and will also help your organisation’s case in the event of any legal action.

4. Be honest with your customers. Most organisations will worry about the reputational damage of disclosing a breach of sensitive data, but if your users’ data is out there, they not only deserve to be notified, but you could face legal action if you fail to do so. If it is likely that the breach contained personal information then, by law, this must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours.

5. After an attack, it’s essential to submit your entire system to an extended security assessment. This can identify and fix any other vulnerabilities in your system to help protect your business from a repeat incident.

24 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023

FREE Seminar

Protecting your family assets

Jeremy Wilson, Head of Wills and Estate Administration at CWJ will be presenting our regular seminar on how to "protect your family assets." There will be an opportunity to join us afterwards for refreshments and to ask our team questions relating to your individual circumstances.

This seminar is ideal for people who are interested in:

Making a Will

Learning how to protect their assets against inheritance tax

Finding out about Lasting Powers of Attorney

Long-term care rules

Scan to book your place or call/email 01689 887 827

Dates: Thursday 12th October 2023

Thursday 9th November 2023

Time: 4 00-5 00pm

Location: Valiant House, 12 Knoll Rise, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0PG. October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 25
Clarkson Wright and Jakes, Valiant House, 12 Knoll Rise, Orpington BR6 0PG | t: 01689 887 887 |


Although there is a widely held myth that couples who live together for long enough have a ‘common law’ marriage, the reality is that the law does not recognise cohabiting couples in the same way as it does their married counterparts. This is despite the fact that cohabiting couples are the fastest growing type of family in England, with one in every five families cohabiting.

Why does it matter if you are married or not?

If a couple is married there are legal protections in place to ensure that both parties are provided for as far as is possible if they divorce. However, if a couple live or buy together without getting married, it is property law that will apply upon their separation to govern who gets what. Property law is much stricter than divorce law, which can lead to unfair outcomes for unmarried couples when separating.

What will happen to your property if you are not married?

If a cohabiting couple separate, who retains the property that they live in will be governed by what is recorded on the title deeds and in any accompanying declaration of

trust. The property may be held in a sole name or in joint names, in which case it will either be owned as joint tenants or tenants in common. If a couple who owned a property as joint tenants were selling it, any proceeds of sale would be split equally between them. If they owned the property as tenants in common, the sale proceeds would be divided according to their respective shares. If the property was in one person’s sole name, then unless the other party can establish that they have beneficial interest in it, the named owner would be entitled to 100% of the sale proceeds, with the other person walking away with nothing. It is important to note that property law will generally not take into account the contributions made by the parties during their relationship – financial or otherwise. Most importantly, their income and whether the amount they receive from the sale or transfer of the property (if any) will leave them with enough money to re-house is not considered at all. This could have a big impact on the financially weaker party to a cohabiting relationship.

What if they were married?

The starting point for the division of property on divorce is 50:50, but this may be departed from in order to meet the needs of one of the parties. This is most common where a couple has children, in which case their property will be divided in a way that ensures that the children’s needs are met first and foremost. That means that if one spouse needed more in order to buy a property for them to live in with the children, they can argue that they should have a greater share of the property. The point is not that marriage is a better option than cohabiting, rather that if you are cohabiting you need to be aware that you will not have the same protection as your married counterparts.

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The Prize

This month’s competition has gone to the dogs! Answer all the clues and then rearrange the letters in the shaded squares to spell out a breed of dog – this is the winning word.

Send the answer to or text

07403 550068 with your name, number and address.


Bromley Picturehouse is giving away a Regional Membership card for the winner.

Benefits are numerous and include… 5 free tickets £3 off film tickets

No booking fees 10% off all food and drink Priority booking on many popular films and events Great discounts at a range of National partners


4. What type of dog can come in varieties like 'Yorkshire' and 'Fox'? (7)

6. What breed of dog shares its name with a place in Canada? (8)

8. What breed of dog was famous for taking part in races at tracks in places like Wimbledon, Wembley and Walthamstow? (9)

11. What was the name of the family associated with a terrifying hound in a famous Sherlock Holmes story? (11)

12. What breed of dog is often used for rounding up sheep? (6, 6)


1. What word is used to describe a dog's ancestry or family history? (8)

2. What very large breed of dog might have come from Copenhagen, perhaps? (5, 4)

3. In the cartoon, Peanuts, what was the name of Charlie Brown's dog? (6)

5. Which 'Saintly' dog is associated with rescuing people who are stuck up mountains or in snow? (7)

7. What was the name of the dog that had to 'Come Home' in a 1943 film? (6)

9. Cats are 'feline'; what are dogs? (6)

What type of dog can me in varieties like rkshire' and 'Fox'? (7)

What breed of dog shares name with a place in nada? (8)

What breed of dog was mous for taking part at races tracks in places like mbledon, Wembley and lthamstow? (9)

11. What was the name of the family associated with a terrifying hound in a famous Sherlock Holmes story? (11)

12. What breed of dog is often used for rounding up sheep? (6, 6)


September prize word: Distinction

August Winner: Mervyn Harper

1. What word is used to describe a dog's ancestry or family history? (8)

2. What very large breed of dog might have come from Copenhagen, perhaps? (5, 4)

3. In the cartoon, Peanuts, what was the name of Charlie Brown's dog? (6)

10. What was the name of Mickey Mouse's dog? (5)

5. Which 'Saintly' dog is associated with rescuing people who are stuck up mountains or in snow? (7)

7. What was the name of the dog that had to 'Come Home' in a 1943 film? (6)

9. Cats are 'feline'; what are dogs? (6)

Strictly one entry per person. All competition winners are listed on our website. Competitions are open to Bromley Borough residents only. For competition terms and conditions see

10. What was the name of Mickey Mouse's dog (5) October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 31
sponsored by
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ross
OCTOBER_DOGS_PUZZLE.pdf 1 07/09/2023 14:19
text or email your answer, along with your full name, telephone number and postal address to 07403 550068 BY 16TH OCTOBER for your chance to win! lifestyle
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Health & Fitness


Get 25% off your first three months membership with Mytime Active and get more out of life.

Make a change for the better this autumn with Mytime Active. We have more than one hundred activities on offer at our West Wickham and Walnuts leisure centres, in the Spa at Beckenham, the Pavilion and not forgetting our golf courses, to help you get more out of life.

Your daily self-care plan

Daily self-care is essential for maintaining good mental and physical health, but it needn’t be a chore. Here are some easy things you can do to create a self-care plan:

• Get enough sleep by aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Establish a consistent sleep routine and create a relaxing environment in your bedroom.

• Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Avoid excessive consumption of junk food, sugary drinks and processed foods.

• Regular exercise can boost your mood, reduce stress and improve your physical health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.

• Take time to practice mindfulness, which can help you stay calm and centred. Exercises such as meditation or yoga can help.

• Social connections are essential for good mental health. Make time to connect regularly with friends, family or other people who are important to you regularly*.

• Take regular breaks throughout the day to rest, recharge and refocus. You’ll find that this can help you be more productive and less stressed.

• Make time to engage in activities that you enjoy, such as reading or listening to music.

*For details to Bromley borough support services for loneliness, see

In September and October, we’re offering all new leisure members up to 25% off their first three months membership (15% off concessionary rates), making putting your wellbeing first better value for money than ever. Whether it’s badminton or BodypumpTM, dance fit or the driving range, line dancing or laps in the pool, Mytime Active offers an activity for everyone. We’re passionate about wellbeing and about helping people in our local communities to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Whatever you choose to do for your wellbeing, it’s Mytime well spent.

To find out more visit

Move more, get more:

Already a Mytime Active member? This autumn, we’re rewarding you with treats for being active more often. Leisure members at Mytime Active will be rewarded for exercising more during October.

Did you know…?

NHS guidance tells us that getting enough fluids and staying hydrated throughout the day is important for energy, concentration, mood, and even exercise performance. Try using an app to help track your fluid intake throughout the day. October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 35 Sponsored by

Life Hacks


Going on a first date can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. If you want to impress your date and make a good first impression, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Dress to impress: Your appearance is the first thing your date will notice, so make sure you dress appropriately. Dressing nicely can also make you feel more confident.

Be punctual: Being punctual shows that you respect your date's time and that you are responsible. It can also reduce stress and anxiety for both you and your date.

Show genuine interest: Engage in conversation with your date and show genuine interest in what they have to say. Ask questions and actively listen to their responses. This will help you get to know them better and show that you care.

Be confident: Confidence is attractive and can make


1. What is the staff-to-child ratio? It's important to know how many staff members will be responsible for your child and how many children they will be looking after. In the UK, the law states that the staff-to-child ratio for preschools is 1:8 for children aged 3-5 years old and 1:13 if there is a qualified teacher.

2. What is the curriculum and teaching approach? Different pre-schools may have different curriculums and teaching approaches, but all pre-schools have to abide by the EYFS for their curriculum. It's important to find a preschool that aligns with your child's needs and learning style. Some pre-schools may focus on playbased learning, while others may have a more structured approach.

3. What is the daily schedule and routine? Knowing what your child's daily schedule will look like can help you understand how they will spend their time at pre-school. You may want to ask about things like nap times, meal times, and outdoor play time. It's also helpful to know if there are any extracurricular activities offered, such as music or sports.

a big impression on your date. Speak clearly, maintain eye contact and be yourself. Don't be afraid to share your interests and passions.

Offer compliments: Offering sincere compliments can make your date feel appreciated and valued. However, be genuine and specific in your compliments, rather than giving generic or insincere ones.

Be present: Put away your phone and focus on your date. Being present and engaged shows that you are interested in getting to know them better and can help build a connection.

Be respectful: Respect your date's boundaries and preferences. If they are not comfortable with a particular topic of conversation or activity, don't push it. Show that you respect their needs and boundaries.

The right way to complain (and get results)

• Know your rights: Before making a complaint, it's important to know your legal rights and what you are entitled to. This can help you make a more effective complaint. A good website for consumer rights is

• Gather evidence: If possible, gather evidence to support your complaint, such as photographs, receipts, emails and other relevant documents.

• Contact the company: If you're unhappy with a product or service, the first step is to contact the company directly. This can be done through their customer service channels such as email, phone or webchat. Explain your complaint clearly and calmly and state what you want as a resolution.

• Escalate your complaint: If you're not satisfied with the response from the company, you can escalate your complaint to the manager or the complaints department.

• Seek external help: If you're still not satisfied with the company's response, seek help from external sources. This could be a consumer group or an ombudsman service.

• Take legal action: As a last resort, you may need to take legal action such as taking the company to court or using an alternative dispute resolution service.

36 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023


You should be of reasonable fitness, be able to drive and have access to a smart phone for GPS tracking while delivering.
to get fit,
people and earn some extra money?
We’re seeking distributors across the Bromley borough!
OUR DISTRIBUTION TEAM & EARN SOME EXTRA MONEY To apply, email with your name, address, number and preferred delivery area.
38 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023

Did You Know...


Whether you’re 18 or 80, there are a number of handy safety tips to offer peace of mind for those living alone. Here are just a few of what you shared with us...

• Don’t let a first date pick you up from home. Arrange to meet them in a public place instead and after the date, don’t bring them back to yours until you’ve known them for a while.

• Don’t be predictable in your day-to-day routine. For example, if you walk the dog, take a jog or go for a stroll, vary both the route and the time you go every day.

• Always have a plan at the back of your mind of an escape route should you ever be at home alone when you are burgled. You should keep a phone in your bedroom and you could even keep your car key fob with you to set off your car alarm and alert your neighbours.

• Hang some little bells on the inside of your front door. If someone tries your handle, you’ll hear it straightaway.

• When using a taxi or Uber, put the address of your

Emerging UK trends

In our rapidly evolving world, new trends are emerging faster than ever before. Here are some interesting facts sourced from reputable sites of the World Wide Web…

• There has been a rapid increase in religion. Censuses reveal that teenagers and young adults are almost as religious as those aged 60+, and hugely more than those aged 25-39. This is not just Christianity, but also a smaller contingent of Islam, too. The stats reveal that 41% of UK Gen Z are atheist, in comparison to 50% of 25–39-year-olds, and 32% of 60+. Source:

• More of us are intent on focusing on health; 61.4% of adults are classed as ‘physically active’ and 68.6% of 16-24 year olds are. However, this is also the largest

neighbour and when being dropped off, wait until the car has left before turning on your lights at home.

• Use solar powered motion sensor lights in your garden and inside your home. You can get ones that make a noise when someone passes on the path.

• Get to know your neighbours – you never know when you will need their help.

• Buy yourself a Google Home or Alexa device – it can call 999 on hands-free which is useful if you have an accident and can’t get to your phone.

• Leave a light on and the TV when you go out to give the impression that you are at home.

• Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and make sure to test them frequently.

• Camera doorbells can be a godsend as you can answer the door even when you are not at home and monitor who is calling at your house.

• You can buy devices that bark to give the impression that you are a dog owner – the bigger and deeper the bark, the better!

vaping category, which looks set to increase. Source: (July 2022)

• Some 14.2% of 16-24 year olds are unemployed in London, a huge decrease from 18.5% just two years ago. This could make the younger generation more wealthy, yet issues such as the cost of living should be taken into account. Source:

• Britain is experiencing more mental health issues. As many as a quarter of young people aged 17-19 are now experiencing a mental health problem, up from one in six in 2021 and one in ten in 2017. Source:

• There is a stronger sense of community. Roughly 70% of 16-24 year olds are satisfied with their community, which is predicted to grow. This is quite a high number, despite things such as technology and a large age divide between younger and older people.

Source: October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 39
The Earth is not a perfect sphere, it is an oblate spheroid. It is like a sphere squashed from the top so the circumference around the poles is less than the circumference around the equator. Wikipedia

Hair & Beauty


We all know how important brows are for framing the face. With all the brow trends that have come and gone, we've seen how achieving these looks can sometimes leave us with serious brow woes. We've called on brow expert, and CEO of Rubis Tweezers, Fides Baldesberger, to give us tips on how to conquer classic eyebrow issues like sparse brows, unruly hairs, and over-plucking.


"When you have no arch on your brows, your face can look expressionless. Plucking - not over-plucking! - a natural arch into your brows can benefit your face structure. First find the ideal arch location for your brow; this is where your brow is naturally at its highest. Brush your brow hairs up towards your arch and this will lightly define your arch. If you have hairs to spare you can pluck away a few hairs in the lowest, centre area of your brows, which will definitely give you an arch. Pluck one hair at a time and step back to look at your brow shape with your full face. Do this between every pluck so as not to overpluck. Use Pointer Tweezers (from £25.50 on Amazon) to target one hair at a time."


"Having sparse/patchy/uneven eyebrows is one of the most common issues, sometimes caused by overplucking and other times just due to your natural eyebrow hair growth. If 90s skinny brows are your look, go for it! But if you're wanting bushier brows try the tricks below:

New on the shelves

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• Take an angled brush and a brow powder that matches the colour of your brow hair. Using the wide part of the brush, apply quick strokes to fill the uneven areas of the brows. Also, define the tails of the brows with the angled tip of the brush.

• If you are using an eyebrow pencil, make sure that it is a light formula built up slowly and blended easily for a natural look. Apply small strokes with a soft hand instead of drawing a straight line and build it up slowly. Do not press the pencil too hard against the skin.

• Use a brow serum to help strengthen the hairs.


"When the eyebrows have long tails, the entire face can look droopy. Therefore, it is important to figure out the right ending point of the brows to shape them accordingly. Hold a pencil along your nose and move it diagonally at your nostril. As you line it up with your eyebrow, it reaches your temple. Consider this as the ideal ending point of your brow."


"Though thicker eyebrows are a blessing, they can turn out to be bushy and extremely unruly due to flyaway hair and cowlicks. Use a spoolie to brush your brow hairs straight up, then trim the tips of the elongated hairs along your natural brow line with eyebrow scissors (Rubis Colibri Scissors £25.40 Amazon). To style your brows, opt for a brow gel that will hold your brow hairs in place. You can also use a brow gel that's a shade lighter than your brow hairs to add in definition, and dimension to your brow shape."


"If your hair is naturally blonde, the chances are that your eyebrows are also a little light in colour. If you want to try bringing your brows to the darker side, using an eyebrow tint will make them look natural and defined (Colorsport Brow Tint, £9 Boots). Make sure you do a patch test before applying for the first time!"

Did you know…

New research out has revealed that while we’re a nation dedicated to protecting our skin from the sun, just 18% of us bother to protect our hair, despite the long-term effects it can have. While 65% said they use SPF on their skin, a huge 82% said they don’t use any products to protect their hair, despite the damage that UVA and UVB rays can have on the cuticles in the hair, leading to thinning, broken or split ends, dryness, discolouration and frizziness. Nearly half (42%) of people said they didn’t even know that the sun could be damaging to hair. When asked if they knew if their hair can burn like their skin can, two thirds (65%) said no.

Research provided by Philip Kingsley

40 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023

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Home & Garden

How to keep on top of the clutter at home

• Develop a cleaning routine: Create a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routine to keep your home tidy and organised. This can include tasks like doing laundry, vacuuming and dusting.

• Declutter regularly: Get into the habit of decluttering regularly. This can include clothes, toys and other items that are taking up space.

• Invest in storage solutions: Things like shelves, baskets and bins will help keep your belongings organised and out of sight.

• Get tidying: Get into the habit of putting things away immediately after you use them – clearing as you go along will help prevent clutter from building up.

• Avoid impulse purchases: Only buy things you really need or want.

• One in, one out: Get into the habit of following the "one in, one out" rule. Whenever you bring something new into your home, get rid of something old.

How to clean a TV without damaging it

Before cleaning begins always remember to unplug your TV from the wall to ensure a safe cleaning environment. It’s also easier to see dust and to remove streaks on a switched-off screen. Start with the TV frame and base. Wipe these surfaces with a dry microfibre cloth to remove dust and fabric fibres, working from top to bottom, before getting stuck into cleaning the screen. Then, using a different clean, dry, and lint-free cloth, gently wipe the TV screen to remove grease, dirt, and dust. Microfibre cloths are soft and delicate and it’s best to avoid using anything rough on the TV like paper towels that could cause permanently visible scratches. To tackle sticky fingerprints or other stubborn marks, don’t use a microfibre cloth for tablet screens as they tend to have glass screens and can handle harsher chemicals as opposed to more delicate plastic TV screens. Be mindful of TV ports such as HDMI and USB inputs, which can harbour dust; use your vacuum cleaner on a low setting with a soft brush attachment to banish any debris. Finally, remote controls can be lightly wiped with antibacterial disinfectant wipes to get rid of germs.

• Create designated spaces: Items like shoes, coats and bags should have a designated space.

Forbes Advisor has unveiled five impactful changes that Brits can make to their gardens, amid the urgent concern of declining insect populations such as bees, hover-flies, butterflies, moths and beetles, and the preservation of biodiversity...

1. Give up the chemical pesticides - It might kill unwanted bugs, but widespread pesticide use can be harmful – or fatal – to essential wildlife, such as bees and butterflies. Use other deterrents, such as plant oils, egg shells (which are natural) or plastic bottles to deter slugs and other unwelcome pests and bugs.

2. Go easy with the lawnmower - Perfectlymanicured lawns offer limited food sources and habitats for wildlife. Whatever the size of your lawn, reserve some sections that you give over entirely to nature. Introduce native wildflowers and grasses that will provide welcome habitats – and food sources – for bees, butterflies and other wildlife.

3. Introduce water sources - Gardens lacking any water sources deny essential hydration and bathing opportunities for birds, bees and other wildlife. Install small ponds, bird baths or even just shallow dishes to your garden. Place rocks or floating objects in the water for insects and other small creatures to access safely – and ensure the water is regularly replaced.

4. Keep plants native - Non-native plants, such as Yellow Azalea and Rhododendron Ponticum, can push out native plant species leading to a lack of habitat for native wildlife, while the planting and/or growing of some plants is illegal. Encourage the growth of native flowering plants in your garden instead, such as foxgloves, red campion, cornflowers and meadow cranesbill. Plants and flowers like these attract a diverse range of pollinators and insects.

5. Offer nesting sites - Incorporate nesting boxes, birdhouses and ‘insect hotels’ into your garden. These artificial structures provide shelter for various species, helping them thrive and contribute to the ecosystem. Position them strategically, considering the specific requirements of different wildlife. October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 43
5 ways your garden can help to protect wildlife

Classified Listings



Consultancy and planning services across sales, marketing and digital. Help with sales planning, website planning and marketing strategies. Plus sales and marketing training. High level experience and expertise at affordable prices. Great for local businesses who want to gain new clients. Contact Brand Planning - or visit




Fun and inspirational arts & crafts sessions for babies, children, teens and adults, as well as provision at events and award-winning arty parties. Call Alix on 07906 078840 or email; social media @TCSSevenoaks



I’m Nadja, a Year 11 student studying maths for GCSE. I have been predicted a level 8 (A*) and I am offering one-to-one tutoring for children in years 6, 7 and 8 – for SATs, confidence boosting and staying on track. I can do sessions in person or online for £20 an hour. Please call or text 07734-667797 for more information



Want to get fit, meet new people and earn some extra money? We’re seeking distributors across the Bromley borough! You should be of reasonable fitness, be able to drive and have access to a smart phone for GPS tracking while delivering. For details or to apply email hello@lifeinmagazines. with your name, location and phone number.



We offer bespoke support and development programmes to local schools, to help raise standards of teaching and learning and improve pupil outcomes in maths. For details, call 07487738226, email Chantellebarrett@, or visit



Mobile service for semi-permanent eyebrows, lips, eyeliner and collagen induction therapy. I am VTCT Level 4 Qualified - the highest accreditation in Semi-Permanent make-up (Micropigmentation). Gift vouchers also available. Email or see

To submit a classified listing please call 020 3488 9959 or email Prices start from just £10 per month.

Are smart devices making us less smart? Quick fix home ideas (that you can do in a day)

Squeeze more exercise into your daily life

Cost of living crisis: Great value products revealed!

Plus so much more!

Print run: 7,000 copies every month

Estimated readership: 17,800 including digital

Life In Bromley is available to pick up from the following locations: Bromley Central Library | Bromley Churchill Theatre | Bromley Picturehouse | Bromley North Railway Station | Bromley South Railway Station | Bromley United Reformed Church | Community House, South Street | Contingent Works, Elmfield Road | Newman Flexible Workspace (Devonshire House Elmfield Road & Newman Road) | The Warren. For a postal copy (£24 a year) email

Copyright: All text, images and design in Life In...Bromley are subject to copyright, 2023. Competitions: In the event of any dispute regarding the Rules and all other matters relating to a Competition, the decision of the judge(s) shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into. For full terms & conditions see

Disclaimer: Luna Creative Media Ltd assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organisation has been provided by such individual, event organisers or organisation without verification by us. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editors of Luna Creative Media Ltd. Therefore, Luna Creative Media Ltd carries no responsibility for the opinion expressed thereon. Any form of reproduction of any content in this magazine without the written permission of the editors is strictly prohibited. © 2023 Luna Creative Media Ltd. All rights reserved.

44 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023
INSPIRING THE COMMUNITY ONE PAGE AT A TIME FREE #BecauseCommunityMatters ISSUE 21 NOVEMBER 2023 PLUS SO MUCH MORE… COMPETITIONS * WHAT’S ON POSITIVE NEWS * LOCAL PEOPLE ARE SMART DEVICES MAKING US LESS SMART? Squeeze more into your daily life Exercise QUICK FIX HOME IDEAS (THAT YOU CAN DO IN A DAY) COST OF LIVING CRISIS: GREAT VALUE PRODUCTS REVEALED! NEXT BOOKING DEADLINE: 9TH OCTOBER To advertise call 020 3488 9959 or email Ad spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis. In next month’s issue….
support shop boost Local October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 45 Leaflets will be inserted into the magazines to help build brand trust and there is no minimum order. We are also offering professional leaflet design and printing services, which means no need to handle the delivery of your flyers. You can also bypass the need to drop them with us – ask us about our ‘all in one’ service! Email or call 020 3488 9959. WE’RE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE’RE NOW PROVIDING A FULLY GPS-TRACKED DISTRIBUTION SERVICE FOR LEAFLETS AND FLYERS! Prices from £50 per 1,000 households Delivered up to 10,000 households every month throughout the Bromley borough. The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation and trust advice. 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: Foster Denovo Limited, Ruxley House, 2 Hamm Moor Lane, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 2SA. t.01932 870 720 w.foster JWA0323 Contact me for a no obligation, initial meeting at no cost to you call 07767 818 665; email or; or visit Part of a multi award winning firm of advisers, I can help you with: Are you wondering how to make your money work for you? Do you have questions around your retirement planning or investments? If so, I’m here to help. • trust and estate planning; • savings and investments; • inheritance tax planning; • planning for retirement; • pension options at retirement; and • small business advice.

A Final Thought… community

Policing; public perception vs. reality

As a young girl I dreamed of becoming a police officer. However, being vertically challenged prevented me from applying – a law that was dropped in 1990 - but by then I had given up on my dream.

Fast forward a few decades and I love my job as a publisher and editor; it fulfils my need to contribute to the community. When I recently met ERPT (Emergency Response Policing Team) Superintendent Angie Gentry to interview her for an article, I told her about my childhood aspirations. She told me about the ‘walk and talk’ and ‘ride and talk’ schemes, and I knew I had to give them a go. The schemes allow the general public (aged 16 and over) to join officers to experience ‘a day in the life of’.

One sunny day in June I took a ‘walk and talk’ with PC Ed Fuller and found myself on the receiving end of varying responses; from stares and friendly smiles, to scowls and lonely people wanting to talk. We were called to an altercation between a busker, reportedly playing the same song for hours on end, and a high street market trader fed up with listening to it. I observed from a distance as Ed calmly and politely sorted it out.

As we know, the police receive a lot of bad press (largely influenced by the media), but one (or two) bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch. Yet many of us tar everyone with the same brush meaning the ‘good apples’ not only have to do their job but also have to repeatedly prove their worth. Two weeks later, on my first assignment with the ERPT I witnessed this first-hand.

As I stepped into Bromley South Police Station, a call came in about three youths who had been driving dangerously and failed to stop when chased. I jumped in the van, and as the blues and twos went on I was mesmerised at how oncoming traffic magically parted. The adrenaline rush was instant; jumping red lights, speeding along and feeling like I was on a mission to ‘save the day’. When we arrived, the youths were already in cuffs and sitting on the pavement next to their crashed vehicle.. One had been chased by a police dog whilst trying to flee and sustained superficial damage to his arm. It looked nothing more than a graze, but it’s all about following protocol when you’re a police officer, and an

ambulance had been called. It wasn’t long before a woman stopped her car in the middle of the road and began yelling at one of the officers. “That man is bleeding! What are you doing about it?” She was told that the situation was in hand and was politely asked to move along as she was causing an even longer tailback. “I want to know what you are doing about it!” she demanded. “What’s your badge number?” And off she went on a rant, shouting accusations.

I watched dumbfounded. It took everything I had not to give her a piece of my mind. In my head I was screaming: “Do you think the 10-plus police officers here hadn’t noticed that the man was injured? Do you think you’re helping the situation by holding up the traffic (and the ambulance) and distracting the police from doing their job? And more to the point, would you be so rude and insulting to the police if the guy had nicked your car?” And yet, the officer calmly gave his badge number, assured her the ambulance was on its way and kindly requested she move on. She loitered to hurl more abuse before eventually pulling away. It left me feeling very angry and very sad.

I was driven back to the station to join another unit as my initial team had to escort the aforementioned injured person to the hospital and wait for him to be seen. And no, the police don’t get fast-tracked at the hospital in case you’re wondering.

From the little time that I had with the first team I discovered they receive a lot of mental health calls, which one team member admitted were hard to deal with. Another described his shift as “Respond to call. Do lots of paperwork. Repeat”. Throughout the eight-hour shift I spent with various officers, many echoed the same frustrations…

“There’s not enough of us…”

“We often get assigned to events in London leaving behind a skeletal workforce here in the borough…”

“We need more help…more people…”

“Public perception is heavily influenced by the media and the majority of us are decent, honest people just doing our best to help…”

I really was seeing life from the other side. It reminded me of my husband who, as a teacher, often faces backlash

46 Life in... BROMLEY October 2023
With the response team at Bromley South

from pupils and sometimes parents too. Only with the police it’s magnified ten-fold. What was once a highly regarded career now seems so little respected.

I spent the rest of my time with two amazing officers – Elsa and Georgia. The next call was from an *IC2 male who had complained of an *IC3 female neighbour spitting in his face and calling him a “Turkish (expletive)”. The lights and sirens went back on as we hurtled towards Bromley Common. On arrival, the man who’d reported the crime flagged us down. It turned out his neighbour had kicked off about him parking across her ‘drive’. We found the accused – Maria (not her real name) – further down the road. Georgia explained to her that the parking situation was a civil matter not a criminal one, but that she was being arrested because of spitting in the man’s face and for racial abuse. Maria pleaded her innocence and seemed shocked that she was being arrested. “I’m a retired ladyhow could I have done this?” she exclaimed, bewildered. Another officer, Alice, turned up in a separate van to escort Maria back to the station, whilst Georgia stayed behind to get a statement from the complainant. On the way back with Alice, I learned that she had just returned to work after a three-week break following an assault on her. It wasn’t just the physical scars she carried, but also the emotional ones.

Back at the station I was allowed into custody to see Maria being processed. She was first searched, with her clothes checked with ultraviolet light for ‘smart water’*, before being asked a million and one questions; everything from whether she had recently sustained a head injury, to what she does for a living. Every ‘i’ was dotted and every ‘t’ crossed. New rules meant that custody was a long and laborious process – two hours in total, but fascinating to watch, nonetheless.

Elsa and Georgia had to then attend to the paperwork, which took another two hours – and long past their 10pm shift finish. Each crime report had to be actioned through various separate systems. The team were hopeful that a new system, due to be installed next year, would dramatically improve processing times.

Whilst typing up the incident, video evidence had been sent through. The man who’d reported Maria had rigged

out his house with cameras galore and we watched the footage which revealed her spitting, aggressively banging on his door and acting entirely inappropriately. The rest of my shift was spent watching the team submitting the evidence, carefully labelling the photos. One small technicality could see the whole thing thrown out in court, and the five-plus hours on this case wasted, apart from (hopefully) a lesson learnt for Maria.

As I clocked out of my ride-along, my lasting impression was how dedicated the officers are to their jobs and the great camaraderie that they had with one another. One sergeant told me: "I think if more people saw what pressure we are under and how hard we try to help everyone, public perception would be a lot kinder." I couldn’t agree more. I have nothing but the utmost admiration and respect for what our police officers go through. If you witnessed their dedication, sense of pride and commitment to an often thankless job, I think you’d have nothing but praise for them too. But don’t take my word for it – see for yourself. A ‘ride and talk’ can be booked online at

Thank you to all involved in making me feel welcome and allowing me to experience the ‘thrill of the chase’ – it was an experience I certainly won’t forget.

*IC2 White - South European. IC3 Black.

*Property that has been ‘SmartWatered’ glows yellow under ultraviolet light, with only a tiny speck needed to identify a person’s unique code. This means that property can instantly be identified as stolen.

Would you like to put your thoughts on paper and contribute to ‘A Final Thought’? Perhaps you’re passionate about a local cause or want to raise awareness of an important issue. Or maybe you’d like to educate others about your unusual hobby. Write to us at with your idea! October 2023 Life in... BROMLEY 47
Pictured from the left are: PCs Bingham, Wallman and Fuller.
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