Life In Bromley February 2024

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Valentine's Day Celebrate



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Thank you, from all of us at Southeast Legacies. 0208 114 7111 Anthony, Peter and the Southeast Legacies team


Orpington Opening

We are pleased to announce the opening of our Orpington office. The Mayor of Bromley officially opened our office on 5th of August. Will Writing We are delighted to be part of the Orpington community. Essential Complete Peace of Mind – 1 Person Our team includes chartered legal executive lawyers, Inheritance Tax Planning accountants, full STEPWill members and partner financial advisers. • Simple Single

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114 7111 Parade Petts Wood BR5 1DF MainCall: office0208 17 Chatsworth

Email: Orpington Office: 256 Highstreet Orpington BR7 0LZ Call: 0208 114 7111

Email: Call: 0208 114 7111February 2024 2 Life in... BROMLEY

Welcome to

contents Community



Write It, Say It, Message It........... 4

ith February being a time to celebrate love, why not start with a healthy dose of self-love in the first instance? If you’ve made a commitment to lead a healthier or more fulfilling life this year, then it all starts with you. What better way than by adopting and keeping up good habits that contribute to your overall wellbeing.

History........... 7 Noticeboard........... 8 5 Minutes With......... 13 What's On......... 14

Speaking of habits, don't forget to flip to our special Health and Fitness supplement nestled within these pages. Our special pull-out-and-keep guide is designed to be your companion on the journey to a healthier you. Consider it your road map to maintaining those resolutions well into the year. And a huge thank you to our supplement sponsor, Mytime Active, who have pulled out all the stops to offer up to 25% off your first three months’ membership. What are you waiting for? Must-read features in this issue include the top 10 pieces of motherly advice (Relationships); How to effortlessly reduce your plastic pollution (A Final Thought); and William Farr’s contribution to a healthier London (History), to name just a few.

Behind The Badge......... 24 Book Bites......... 24 Mayor's Voice......... 27 Lines From Linda......... 27 Ask The Experts......... 31 A Final Thought......... 38


Health & Fitness Supplement......... 19


Remember, it's not about grand gestures but the small, daily victories. So let's make this February not just about hearts and flowers, but about nurturing the habits that make our lives more fulfilling year-round.

Review......... 17

WIN! Puzzles......... 18 Relationships......... 28

Until next month, enjoy the issue!

Hair & Beauty......... 32 Business......... 35 Short Story......... 36 Lauretta Wright, Editor

THE TEAM What film should they never remake?

Editorial: Lauretta Wright La Femme Nikita - because it was pants the first time.

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Accounts: Helen Jordan

Love Actually as it's an absolute classic!

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Design: Nicky Grant The original 3 Star Wars films - the original cast are too iconic.

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Get to know us:

Office & Editorial Assistant: Tori Howe Gladiator can't be improved.

Thank you to our distributors: Dawn B, Greg, Dawn W, Rob, Jack, Kelly, Tara, Malin, Megan, Sam, Penny, Thomas, Dylan, Terri, Pamela, 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, Joy Hodgkinson, Margaret Vos, Sarah Spencer-Adams & Annabel Tyndall. If you would like to volunteer please email:


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Star response: Please be courteous



As a person who is in genuine need of my disabled blue badge, I am repeatedly confronted with pulling up to disabled bays and seeing them being used by BED & MATTRESS SPECIALISTS FOR OVER 30 YEARS! people not displaying a blue badge, meaning I simply have nowhere to safely park, and unable to use the facilities these bays are nearby to. I wish people Let it snow! wouldn't just use these as "I'm only going to be 5 minutes" spaces or a "handy delivery location" space. The disabled bays often have more room, which we EX need to get in and out of a car or, in my case, unload and assemble my mobility 10%TRA OFF scooter. Parking in them, as a non-badge holder, is not only illegal, but really inconsiderate. We go through rigorous assessing to deem our need for one. I would much rather not need it or have it, but I do, and I just wish that this wasn't another challenge that we face when trying to live our lives as normally as we can. Come on people, please be courteous to those with an unfortunate, genuine need for these spaces, and don't park in them "just for 5 minutes."

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Christine S

I took this picture of Oakley House in snow last year. The place is covered in snow, but yet appears cosy. The snow adds a lot of character to the already picturesque house. Ratin Shimpi

Last month we ran a couple of pictures sent in by 13-year-old Sachin Prakash here are a few more. If you would like to submit local pictures (old and new), to share with other readers you can email


Enjoyed a little retail therapy!

4 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

A lovely picture Ratin – thank you for sending it in.

Socialised with members of the Bromley Business Network team for an annual tipple in Bloomfields at Bromley Football Club.

Treated ‘Friends of Life In…Magazines’ to dinner at The British Queen in Locksbottom. These are the incredible people who volunteer their time each month to help distribute the magazines amongst their local communities. If you’d like to volunteer, email us at

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Contact me for a no obligation, initial meeting at no cost to you call 07767 818 665; email or; or visit 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


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6 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024



Pam Preedy

William Farr’s contribution to a healthier London by PAM PREEDY

William Farr, 1807-1883, became one of Britain’s greatest statisticians, born in the hamlet of Kenley in Shropshire, son of John Farr, a farm labourer. His father moved to Dorrington near Shrewsbury soon after he was born. Effectively adopted at the age of two by Joseph Pryce, an elderly bachelor of private means, he went to the local Dame school, but never received a public school education. His classical and mathematical learning was acquired mainly from reading and private study. In 1826, aged 19, he took a job as a dresser (surgeon's assistant) in the Salop Infirmary in Shrewsbury and served a nominal apprenticeship to an apothecary. In November 1828, Pryce died and left Farr £500 (equivalent to £67,000 in 2023). He studied medicine in France and Switzerland where he became interested in hygiene and statistics. In March 1832 he became a doctor; Licentiate of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. Married to a farmer’s daughter, he took up medical practice in Grafton Street, London in 1833. Perhaps to supplement a meagre income, he offered to give lectures on ‘hygiology’ (the science of the preservation of health), but without success perhaps because his ideas were too far ahead of their time. Widowed, he married again (1842) and had eight children. In 1860 they moved to Southlands, Bickley and he travelled daily to Somerset House for work at the General Registry Office. He was to become a key player in the fight for health and hygiene. In 1837 the General Register Office (GRO) took responsibility for the UK Census of 1841. Farr was hired to handle data arising from the census. Then, with a recommendation from Edwin Chadwick, a public health reformer, Farr secured another post in the GRO as the first compiler of scientific abstracts (i.e. a statistician). Chadwick and Farr aimed at improving public health, with the support of the initial Registrar General, Thomas Lister. Lister worked with Farr on the census design, to forward the programme. Farr was responsible for the collection of official medical statistics

in England and Wales. His most important contribution was to set up a system for routinely recording the causes of death. For the first time it allowed the mortality rates of different occupations to be compared. Health in the nineteenth century was precarious. The poor lived in squalor, vulnerable to a variety of deadly diseases including smallpox and cholera, both of which were killers. Dr Jenner demonstrated in 1796, how a vaccination could protect people from the disease. Between 1837 when a smallpox epidemic broke out in London and 1853 it became compulsory for all children under four months old to receive the vaccination. However, there was worse in store; cholera. It was thought that the disease was transmitted on polluted air, ‘miasma’. A major outbreak of cholera in London in 1849 killed around 15,000 people. Early industrialisation had made London the most populous city in the world at the time, and the River Thames was heavily polluted with untreated sewage. Doctor John Snow suspected that polluted water rather than air was the source of the problem. Using data from the GRO he tracked the cholera casualties in the Broad Street area to the pump. He removed the handle and the casualties decreased. The final proof that cholera was water-borne came in the scorching summer of 1858. As the heat increased and centuries of waste in the Thames began to ferment, the stench got worse and nothing could mask it. Finally, politicians had to take action and accepted a new sewage system. Joseph Bazalgette, Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Works, constructed a series of interconnecting sewers taking the sewage out to the sea on the tide. The Embankment was built above these huge sewers in London. Chadwick and Farr, together with Dr Snow and Bazalgette, wanted to improve public health. They believed that improved drainage and provision of sewers, the removal of all refuse, the provision of clean drinking water and the appointment of a medical officer for each town would do this and ultimately it did. Pay a visit to Bromley Historic Collections on the 2nd floor of Bromley Central Library to learn more about Bromley Borough’s history.

February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 7


This month’s shout out

Coming up on The Little Big Show… Show, brought to you You can tune in to The Little Big rdays at 11am on Satu on from Life In…Magazines, io. Bromley Rad On the show in Februar y: Search is making a • Captain Peter Adams from Air difference from the skies above You need to chat • Star tup business in Bromley? ! rma Sha Mr with Plus plenty more!

For all the details see ww w.b

Way to go Rotary Beckenham!

“A BIG thank you to Julie Doyle who leaves Successful Mums this month to start an exciting new career. It has been a fantastic year working with you and the team will miss you. Keep your crown in place and I know we will keep in touch.” Jane Knight, Successful Mums

Do you have someone you’d like to thank or a special message? Email

New support for Bromley businesses New business support programmes have been launched to provide a further boost to small businesses across Bromley, with free expert one-to-one business advice now available. Rotary Beckenham has been involved with poppy collections since 2004 and, in 2014, took over the organisation of it for the Beckenham area. The organisation estimates that in that time it has collected about half a million for the Royal British Legion (RBL). What had begun as £3,700 in the Elmers End district in 2004, grew in both the area and the amount almost every year (except during Covid) until 2022 when the total was £69,000. This year’s collection is over 30% more and stands at over £91,000. Whilst the appeal itself each year is the two-weeks up to the 11th November, the organisation behind it takes three months and includes ordering merchandise, packing it in trays, delivering to 160 ‘static’ collecting points such as churches, schools and newsagents plus 310 ‘in person’ collecting points, where volunteers (currently 100+) collect in supermarkets or on streets, before counting the money and paying it in to RBL’s bank. Rotary Beckenham is supported by other local Rotary clubs, the Mayor of Bromley and local MP, Bob Stewart.

8 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

‘Bromley Business Growth’ will see various forms of free advice and assistance made available to support Bromley businesses, including two new local support services through partners Goldsmiths, University of London and Newable. The work is being funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), following over £1.6m in grant funding being secured by the council to help make improvements to town centres or high streets and to support local businesses. SMEs are able to access online support from the Bromley Business Hub (, through SOS Creativity. Further one-to-one support is available for entrepreneurs and startups from Start Up Bromley. Local businesses are also able to access a number of pan-London support programmes being delivered through UKSPF funding. See business-support for details.



Karen Goold lives in Bromle y and has worked in senior leadership, consultancy and coaching roles for 30 years across a number of industrie s. She is passionate about helping coaching clients nav igate stressful situations, understand what motivates them and build confidence . This led her to co-write a book with Debbie Lake ent Smaller Knickers For Life itled – a motivational self-help book which aims to empowe readers to connect with the r ir mind and body, to succes sfully lose weight and mai a healthy lifestyle for life. ntain Karen says: “The book was inspired by our own person al journey, friendship and combined knowledge in neu roscience, anatomy and fitn ess. Following two years of extensive research and trialling methods on ourselv es, we ran pilot workshops The best results came whe . n people learnt to listen to their body, understand the mindset and what might be ir sabotaging their success, such as deep-rooted habits and beliefs.”

Karen (left) and Debbie

The book, self-published in May 2021, is available on Amazon at £15. See 3425851

If you’re a local author or kno

w of one, email hello@lifeinma for the chance

to be featured.

Bromley is value for money

According to the Daily Telegraph, Bromley borough has been found to come in second place for overall value for money out of the 127 councils reviewed. The data was based on Council Tax Band D rates for 2023/24, and among the categories cited were 98% top-rated schools, 91% top-rated care homes and an impressive recycling rate which is first in London.

New chicken restaurant from The Sidemen

YouTube ‘Sides’, a fried chicken restaurant backed by ater Bluew at ed sensations The Sidemen, has open a s serve space sq.ft 2,600 The e. shopping centr shakes variety of fried chicken options, as well as g the and a selection of sides. The Sidemen are amon the United most high-profile internet personalities in in 2013, Kingdom and internationally since starting ribers on subsc ined comb 130m than more ing boast s their YouTube and millions more followers acros made group The els. chann a medi l socia us vario ty Match, headlines last year with their Sidemen Chari was and y charit for n millio £2.4 over which raised as watched by a sold out London Stadium as well wide. world le peop of ns millio

February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 9

community NOTICEBOARD Helping the homeless

Outstanding CASPA CASPA has been announced as the winners of ‘The Outstanding Achievement Award’ at Bromley SEND Stars. Bromley SEND Partnership shared and celebrated the achievements of children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The inaugural annual event shined a well-deserved spotlight on the work of families, service providers, carers, school staff and anyone else that makes a difference to the lived experiences of our children and young people with SEND and their families. CASPA was nominated across all categories and the Judges selected CASPA as the overall winner. CASPA provides clubs and activities for Autistic Children and adults and provides support for their families, in and around The Bromley area. Founded in 2002, they have grown to be able to support over 500 members (and growing).

For details see

Birthday celebrations year anniversary Let’s Talk Better is hosting its one. The initiative was event on Thursday 22nd February at Noorani and PR set up by The Clarity Coach Zeen people to converse e urag guru, Darren Weale, to enco s of stigma and topic n dow king brea of ns mea as a tions can be ersa conv how ing taboos, by highlight positive and uplif ting.

etter. For details see https://letstalkb m/ inyu s://t http org and to book see LTBanniversary

At the end of last year the Bromley Befriending team collaborated with local charity, Homeless Bromley, to reach out to their clients and volunteers to ask for help with donations. Bromley Homeless helps homeless people in Bromley with emergency accommodation, confidential advice, support and help with benefits. They are based at the United Reformed Church Bromley, the same location that Bromley Befriending host its Monday HUB. The partnership was welcomed by Bromley Homeless who were low on cupboard items such as tea, coffee, tinned food and toilet roll. The Bromley Befriending team asked for donations in early December and products were thankfully delivered in abundance. The items were then collected, sorted, bagged and delivered before Christmas and the team at Bromley Homeless were very grateful. Bromley Befriending would like to thank their clients and volunteers for their contributions and to let them know that they will make a significant difference to members of the community who need them the most.

SUPPORTING LOCAL AUTHORS… Steve Cotterell, an Orpington man and winner of the British Telecom national ‘BT Online Lockdown Heroes’ competition for running online meetings of the Croft Poetry Club during lockdown, launched his new book, Who Is This Guy, containing poetry, short stories and photographs during a reception at the Croft Tearoom in November last year. Steve said: "This is my first and (at the age of 79) probably only book containing a selection of poetry, short stories and photographs that I have written and taken over the years. The poems, some poignant with one or two amusing, may go some way to answering the question posed in the book's title. The photos are some of my favourites, taken during my travels to various locations around the world. I think that the best poetry is aimed at the reader's emotions. Many of mine certainly are. Whether I've succeeded, I must leave to my readers to judge." The books are priced at £6 each (plus £2P&P) and can be ordered by emailing

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

10 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

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12 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

5 Minutes With...


Andrea Ellis

Andrea lives in Hayes with her husband and two of her three children. Before working for Bromley, she was a civil servant and then retrained to be a primary school teacher. After a decade in the classroom, she left to follow her lifelong passion of working in football…

Andrea, you’re the Development Officer for Women and Girls at Bromley FC. When and how did you become interested in this career path? As a seven-year-old I loved football but unfortunately, I was not allowed to join the school team. As I grew up there were even fewer opportunities to play. I played for a couple of years, but the provision was just not there. In 2018 I was interested in becoming a football coach so I took my coaching badge. At the same time, I heard about ‘women’s recreational football’ which was specifically for women aged over 30. I approached Bromley FC and set up the Bromley Belles, and the rest is history. Nearly six years on we have nearly 100 members and welcome all women aged 18+, regardless of their previous experience. I became the full-time Women and Girls Football Development Officer for Bromley FC Community Sports Trust in February 2022 and have loved every minute of it!

What does your job entail and what are your responsibilities? I work across the community to increase female participation in football by designing and delivering provisions for all females to have access to football. We have all sorts of football – from our Bromley Women’s team to our recreational football sessions for girls, and walking football as well. We engage with around 250 females a week, with our youngest aged two and our oldest is in their late 60s. We deliver sessions both at Bromley FC and across seven schools in Bromley. I have also recently taken over the daily operations for the women’s team. It is an exciting time seeing them develop and grow and be part of their journey as they look to climb the leagues.

When did the club start encouraging girls and women to play football? The women’s team has been in existence for around ten years and is well-established. Bromley has been at the forefront of promoting female football. Not just through its women’s team, but also the introduction of programmes such as Wildcats which supports girls aged up to 11 to try football. To employ a full-time Women and Girls Development Officer to solely promote female football is unheard of for a club of this size. Women’s football is growing exponentially, but Bromley were one of the first clubs nationally to support recreational football for women aged over 30 and we are proud of how this has grown.

Have you witnessed an increase in more interest in women’s (and girls) football since the World Cup? Women’s football as a whole has been on the increase over the last five years. Winning the Euros and the extended coverage of the World Cup in the summer only helped

cement the prestige that it now holds. Players like the Lionesses have stepped up and females of all ages now have their own role models to look up to and know that football is a career choice and they have a place to play.

What groups are currently available? We have many sessions available for women and girls. We start with our Mini Ravens for girls aged 18 months to four and then they can move to Wildcats (we hold sessions on a Saturday and Tuesday) which is fun football with an emphasis on making friends. SQUAD Girls is a similar project introducing girls aged 11-15 that are new to football. For those who want to develop their skills, we offer a Girls’ Only Development Group for girls aged ten-15 on a Saturday morning and a similar session on Tuesday evening. We also have several girls’ youth sides, and a Girls Academy for those completing their Post 16 education. For adults we have the women’s team who play in Tier 6 and our recreational sessions, Bromley Belles, for women aged 18+, and our Walking Football for women aged 40-plus.

Do you have any plans to continue developing football at Bromley FC? We are always looking to grow the game. Not just on the pitch but also off it. We run many programmes including mentoring for females, support in becoming a coach as well as projects to encourage those less active to play football.

What’s your advice or message to those wanting to find out more information? Just to go for it! There is something out there for everyone, and football is a great team sport and opens so many doors. Women’s football is full of other women who were nervous when they first started out, so you are not alone. As a club we provide a safe and non-judgemental environment for all our players to come along and enjoy football. All our coaches of women’s and girls’ sessions are run by female coaches and have experience in supporting players of all abilities.

What changes would you like to see in women’s football – and do you think we’ll ever get there? I just think to get the recognition it deserves. Women’s football doesn’t need to be like men’s football; it is different and it holds some amazing values. Football is football, so it would be great to remove the prejudices that some females still face. We need to keep investing in the female game, both on and off the pitch, after all we were banned from playing for 50 years so we have some catching up to do! It is happening and it will take time but we are on an upward trajectory and the future is very bright.

For more information visit or follow @bromleyfctrust on social media February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 13

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

what's on

There's something for everyone!

community & CHARITY

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

Access Sport – Inclusive Multi Sports Festival Saturday 17 February, 11am – 1pm

Bromley College Sports Hall, Rookery Lane, BR2 8HE Cost: Free Contact: Each participant must register at BromleyMulti-SportFestival24. For more information call 020 7993 9883 or email disability.inclusion@ Access Sport are hosting a free disability community sports event for disabled young people and their families. Community clubs from Bromley will be delivering free sport sessions including yoga, Zumba, football and tennis so it’s a great way to try different activities as a family. For details see

Mayor of Bromley’s Charity Quiz Evening

In aid of The MumMum Foundation, Sea Cadets and PTSD999

Friday 23rd February, doors open 6.45pm for 7.30pm start

Crofton Halls, York Rise, Orpington, BR6 8PR Cost: £10 Contact: Bring your own snacks on the night – drinks will be available to purchase from the licensed bar. Maximum of six per table and all entries must be received by 16th February.

Let’s Talk Better - Celebrating Positivity Thursday 22nd February, 10am – 1pm

Community House, South Street, Bromley, BR1 1RH Cost: £13 Contact: To book see LTBanniversary Let’s Talk Better is celebrating its one-year anniversary with

a focus on positivity, inspiration and hope, with a view to bringing about positive change to hearts, minds, and behaviour. Stories and examples of success will bring the feel-good factor to Let’s Talk Better more than ever before. For more information see

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

Pledge Kindness in Bromley Community event

Saturday 17th February, 10am – 5pm

High Street, Bromley town centre Cost: Free of charge Contact: Email or see Pledge Kindness in Bromley this half term on Random

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what's on Acts of Kindness Day. Your Bromley will be giving Bromley residents, shoppers and workers the chance to publicly declare the random acts of kindness they pledge to complete on a giant wall on the High Street. So, whether agreeing to cover a colleague’s shift, paying forward for a coffee from one of our cafes, doing a neighbour’s shopping or babysitting to give your friend a break, you will have the chance to add your pledge to our temporary wall on the High Street. This wall will go on to be displayed in the window of the old Top Shop, creating a visual testament to the kindness and goodwill in our town centre.

u3a Talks – The Highs & Lows of a Stuntwoman's Life

Tuesday 20th February, 10.30am – 12pm

4th Floor, Bromley Central Library, High St, Bromley BR1 1EX Cost: Members free, visitors £5 Contact: 020 8777 6345, email membershipsecretary@ or see A talk by Lucy Allen: Lucy has spent 33 years as a stunt woman in films ranging from Titanic to Batman. Thrills guaranteed.

Macular Society Bromley Support Group

1st Tuesday of every month (except Jan & Aug)

10am for tea/coffee and 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!

exhibitions and fairs Bromley Mum2mum Market

Saturday 3rd February, 10am – 12pm

Coopers School, Hawkwood Lane, Chislehurst, BR7 5PS Cost: Admission is £2 for adults and free entry for children Contact: Email: Buy quality second-hand baby and children's clothes, toys and equipment at the biggest baby and children's nearly new sale in the borough! Come along for your chance to shop from thousands of bargains at a fraction of original prices. For details see

FAMILY Bring Your Own Baby Comedy 5th February, 11.30am – 12.15pm

Bromley Picturehouse, 242 High Street, BR1 1PQ Cost: £13 per adult ticket… babies come for free! Contact: Email The award-winning lunchtime comedy club for parents… and you can bring your baby! Enjoy the funniest comedians from TV and the circuit without the need for expensive childcare. While you have a laugh, we have soft flooring, buggy parking and changing facilities to keep baby happy. (Please note we have a 15-month age limit for our little laughers). For details see

Health, MINDSET & Beauty Body Alignment in Movement

Sunday January 21st & Sunday February 11th 2.30pm – 4pm

22 Lordship Lane, Dulwich SE22 8HN Cost: £29 group session Contact: Email or call 07999-991543 This is an interactive, hands on, movement and rhythm group session, focused on exploring the intricate relationship between muscles and bones within the body and their crucial role in maintaining balanced movement. For more information see

Didi Rugby Bromley - Free trial class

Sunday 18th February, 9:30am – 11:30am (3 sessions – 9:30 – 10:10 for 18m - 3yrs, 10:10 – 10:50 for 3-4 years and 10:50 – 11:30 for 4-6years) Darwin Leisure Centre, Sports Hall, Jail Lane, Biggin Hill, TN16 3AU Cost: Trial class is free. If children want to continue the monthly membership is £25. Contact: Call 01689 662279 or email Unleash joy at our NEW Children's Activity Classes for ages 18 months to 6 years! Solve the playtime puzzle with active, confidence-building fun. From creative play to energizing exercises, watch your child bloom. Join our FREE trial class at Darwin Leisure Centre. Limited spaces are available. Reserve your spot for a world of smiles! Contact Maxine on 01689 662279 or email maxine. to book.

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 & Saturdays at Tubbenden School. See for details.

February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 15

what's on MUSIC, entertainment & FOOD The Oak

206 Widmore Road, BR1 2RH Monday – Saturday: Happy Hour (5pm – 7pm). All cocktails £6 Tuesday-Thursday: Midweek social – 3 small plates & a bottle of wine for £35 Every other Thursday: Quiz Night from 7pm Saturday: Happy Night (7pm–10pm). All cocktails £6 Sunday: Live Music from 4pm.

Special offer: Quote ‘LIFE’ to receive 10% off your food bill. T&Cs apply.

Contact: 020 8466 0525 The Oak on Widmore Road is a place where great food meets a great time and your new Bromley social hub! We’ve lots going on throughout the week – see for details.

Line Dancing - Carolina Country Music Club Line Dance Classes – beginners and intermediates (Every Wednesday) 9th & 23rd February (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

Pre-dinner theatre menu – Ocean Basket Ocean Basket Bromley, 12-13 Market Square, BR1 1NA Three-course meal (choice of starters, main & desserts) at £23pp and two-course meal (choice between starters/ mains/desserts) for £20pp. Kids menu for £10pp.

Contact: Call 020 3370 6065 or email

Offered daily during all theatre show days and at any time. Please quote "Theatre Menu" when booking. Dive into a sumptuous pre-dinner theatre seafood experience at Ocean Basket. Our specially curated twoor three-course Theatre Menu offers guests a variety of delectable seafood dishes to choose from - before or after your theatre event. Bookings are essential.

Visit to view our menu.

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.

16 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

NETWORKING/business Bromley Business Network

Wednesday 14th & 28th February, 7am-9am

On Zoom or in person at Bromley Football Club (Hospitality Suite), Hayes Lane, BR2 9EF Cost: £12.50 on Zoom or £23 in person Contact: or call 07957-819008 Bromley Business Network is a place where everyone feels comfortable building connections with fellow business leaders – whether you’re a first-timer or a serial networker. We meet every other Wednesday from 7am9.30am at Bromley Football Club. Attendance includes unlimited refreshments and a fully cooked breakfast buffet. Attendees can also Zoom into the meeting for £12, making it a hybrid meeting. For details see

theatre/ Performances Churchill Theatre, Bromley Contact:

Clueless The Musical

Monday 12th – Saturday 24th February Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Thu & Sat 2.30pm

Cost: Tickets from £20 Clueless is a new musical comedy based on the Paramount Pictures classic film. The modern spin on Jane Austen’s Emma gets another timeless makeover from the original film’s writer-director alongside a majorly acclaimed creative team. This is your chance to be the first to see this new musical in this exclusive two-week run as it continues to be created and developed in Bromley.

Jesus Christ Superstar

Monday 26th February – Saturday 2nd March Mon- Sat 7.30pm, Thu & Sat 2.30pm

Cost: Tickets from £28 An album that inspired a revolution. A revelation that changed the world. A reinvention for this millennium. Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You, Into the Woods) directs this mesmerising new production of the iconic global phenomenon, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR which comes to the Churchill Theatre for one week only! Starring Ian McIntosh (We Will Rock You) as Jesus, Shem Omari James (Dreamgirls UK Tour) as Judas and Hannah Richardson (Sting’s The Last Ship) as Mary, and also starring Julian Clary as Herod.



To advertise call 020 3488 9959 email

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




Tried & tested: Ocean Basket On a cold winter day, the Life In…Magazines’ team was looking forward to warm food and a warm welcome at Bromley-based Ocean Basket... The background: The brand originated in South Africa by brothers Fats and George Lazarides, who were inspired by their mother and spotted an opportunity to make delicious, quality seafood available to everyone. When queues started to form, they knew they had to take the brand to other towns and cities. Their very first UK launch was in Bromley’s Market Square in 2022. Menu range: With a variety of options – from locally sourced oysters and platters, to salads, small plates and everything in between, we were all catered for. We liked the little nods towards the family’s values on the menu, as well as some interesting, educational snippets.

Décor & service: A warm, inviting atmosphere with a cosy but trendy wood and metal décor to offer an industrial feel. Attentive and friendly service, with staff making us feel welcome. They chatted freely with other customers to ensure they were happy.

A nice touch: Bread rolls were served as a matter of course and came complete with their own spices and dips. We also learned that they are made on site – a nice touch. Helen

Starters: Whitebait (£6). Mains: Garden salad (£8 and new on the menu. Consisted of rocket, watercress, edamame beans, radish, pickled shallots and balsamic glaze, served with homemade dressing and tossed with Origanum) with the addition of grilled Cape Hake (£4). Helen said: “A light and delicious starter, while the dressing on my salad was plentiful and combined throughout. The fish was cooked perfectly – really good value at £12.”


Starters: Padron peppers (£3.50 and new on the menu). Mains: Fish burger (£9.50 and new on the menu) Crispy fried Cape Hake, homemade tartare sauce and pickles, served on a fresh brioche roll. Tori said: “I really enjoyed the padron peppers seasoned

with a squeeze of lemon and chilli flakes. The fish burger was nicely cooked and offered a good balance of salad, gherkins and fish. The only improvement? To see more quick, healthy lunch options for under £10 so I can come more often!”


Starters: Padron peppers (£3.50 and new on the menu). Mains: Bite of the ocean platter (£14.50), which consisted of 3 prince prawns, Cape Hake and tender calamari. Nicky said: “Starters offered a generous portion of tender and flavoursome padron peppers. For mains, it was nice to be offered the option of grilled or fried fish. I went for fried and it was fresh, light and flaky. The calamari and prince prawns were delicious. Great size portions and nicely presented.”


Starters: Prawn cocktail (£9 and new on the menu). Mains: Fish and chips (fried and £10). Michelle said: “The prawn cocktail was tasty enough, but I would have liked to have seen more prawns. For my mains, the fish was Cape Hake and there was plenty there. It was really lovely and great value for £10. I enjoyed the spinach and mixed veggies as side dishes too. Overall, it was a lovely meal, with friendly staff and a really nice place to visit and eat.”


Starters: Halloumi cheese (£4 and comes grilled or fried. Lauretta chose grilled). Mains: Panko & paprika grilled Scottish salmon (£21). Lauretta said: “A decent portion for the starter and just as tasty as I had hoped. My main was recommended by the waiter – and I’m glad I listened. It offered a fusion of flavours, was served with a creamy red pesto sauce which tasted divine – garlicky just the way I like it.”

Lasting impressions: We all agreed that Ocean Basket was a winner. The attention to detail was an added bonus including the paper tablecloths and colouring pens for kids to be entertained – away from any screens! We could see that staff genuinely cared about giving everyone a warm and friendly welcome and making sure everyone was happy. No doubt whatsoever that we’ll be back.

February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 17


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Puzzles WIN

If you haven’t already kick-started a new health or fitness regime this year, we’re here to get you in the mood. This month’s puzzle is a word scramble to complement our pullout-and-keep Health & Fitness supplement. Unscramble the anagrams to reveal eight words connected with health and fitness. When you’ve done this, the first letter of each word, when read in order, will spell out the name of something related to fitness. This is the prize word answer.

WIN The Prize 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

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January prize word: Noel December winner: Stephen Curtis

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18 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024 07403 550068

BY 16TH FEBRUARY for your chance to win!

I am taken from a mine and shut up in a wooden case, from which I am never released, and yet I am used by almost every person. What am I? What belongs to you but is used more by others?



Which animal do these eyes belong to? Wolf


I am taken from a mine and shut up in a wooden case, from which I am never released, and yet I am used by almost every person. What am I? Pencil lead


By participating in our monthly puzzles, you're in for a treat! You'll automatically be added to our database to receive our fantastic monthly newsletter, complete with digital issues straight to your inbox. We love keeping our community engaged and informed. If you ever fancy opting out, just give us a shout. Happy puzzling!

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If you’re planning on hitting the gym and haven’t been for a while or are a total newbie, the experts at have created a guide on do’s and don’ts... 1.

Do: Wipe down equipment after use to avoid spreading germs, viruses and infections. It’s also worth sanitising equipment before you use it as well, in case it hasn’t been cleaned down.

2. Don’t: Invade personal space. Even if it is busy during peak hours, avoid hovering around people when they are using a machine. Not only can this be uncomfortable for the person working out, but it can also lead to accidents. 3.



Do: Put equipment back. It’s important to return the equipment, whether a dumbbell rack or weight plates, to its designated spot after you have finished using it. As well as being disrespectful to other gym goers, leaving weights around is a tripping hazard. Don’t: Record people. Constant photos and videos can be problematic for fellow members, especially if they are in the background or you are holding up their workout. Discussions on etiquette on filming in gyms is a heated topic, but the bottom line is that you should not snap gym goers without their consent. Do: Be mindful of surroundings. Keep an eye on your surroundings, especially during peak hours.

Before starting an exercise make sure you have enough space and that no one around you could get hurt. 6.

Don’t: Hog machines. Be considerate of others wanting to work out and take turns on equipment, especially during high-traffic hours. Respect everyone’s time and avoid leaving a towel or bag on a machine while working out elsewhere.


Don’t: Judge people on their phone. Don't judge those using phones at the gym as it can be part of a strategic rest between sets. For example, a squatter might rest 2.5 minutes between sets to maintain the appropriate rate of perceived exertion (RPE) for their workout, using their phone to track progress or for a quick recovery moment.

Quick start guide to daily vitamin & nutrients Vitamin A: Around 700 micrograms for men and 600 Calcium: About 700mg a day for adults. Dairy micrograms for women. Good sources include carrots, products, leafy greens and nuts are good sources. sweet potatoes and spinach.

Vitamin C: Roughly 40mg a day. Citrus fruits, berries

Iron: Men need around 8.7mg, while women need

and peppers are great sources.

14.8mg daily. Red meat, beans and fortified cereals are iron-rich.

Vitamin D: 10 micrograms (400 IU) is recommended.

Folate (Vitamin B9): Adults should aim for 200

You can get it from sunlight, oily fish and fortified foods.

micrograms daily. It's found in green leafy veg, beans and fortified cereals. Remember, these are general guidelines, and individual needs may vary depending on factors such as age, sex and overall health. It’s always good to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice. Source: NHS UK

February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 19


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GET UP TO 25% OFF YOUR FIRST THREE MONTHS’ MEMBERSHIP WITH Join the Mytime Active community by 29th February and you can get moving for less! If you want to make a change for the better as we enter a new year, why not make a commitment to moving more? Mytime Active is offering new members up to 25% off their first three months' membership, to help make putting your wellbeing first better value for money than ever. Mytime Active offers more than 100 activities at its Spa at Beckenham, West Wickham and Walnuts leisure centres and the Pavilion, as well as other community venues. For golfers it has courses in Orpington, Bromley and Downe. Membership includes access to gyms, swimming pools and more than 400 exercise classes at all its venues. PLUS members are entitled to a free Health Assessment and a free personal programme, as well as discounts on food and drink, golf, bowling and parties.

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6 ways to get back to sleep when you wake at 3am Struggling with those 3am wake-up calls? Don't worry, back to release any tension that may have crept in you're not alone. Here are six tried-and-tested ways to drift back into dreamland and make the most of those precious hours of shut-eye…

1. Mindful breathing: Embrace the power of deep,

mindful breaths. Inhale slowly for a count of four, hold for four, and exhale for four. This technique (known as box breathing) helps calm the nervous system, easing you back into a relaxed state.

2. Avoid the glare: Steer clear of the glaring lights

from phones and screens. The blue light emitted can mess with your body's melatonin production, making it harder to return to sleep. Opt for a soft night light or keep your bedroom as dark as possible.

3. Gentle stretching: A few gentle stretches can

work wonders. Focus on your neck, shoulders and

20 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

during the night. Yoga or simple stretches can signal to your body that it's time for rest.

4. Keep it cool: Ensure your bedroom is cool and

comfortable. Your body temperature naturally drops when you're about to sleep, so a cool environment can mimic this and make it easier to nod off again.

5. Mindful distraction: If your mind is racing

with thoughts, try a bit of mindful distraction. Picture a calming scene or recount a favourite story in your mind. This can divert your thoughts away from stressors and guide you back to sleep.

6. Sip on something soothing: A warm, non-

caffeinated beverage like herbal tea or warm milk can have a comforting effect. Chamomile tea, in particular, is known for its sleep-inducing properties.


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February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 21


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TIPS TO HELP YOU COPE WITH SAD According to the NHS, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), more commonly known as the ‘winter blues’, affects an estimated two million people in the UK. It is a seasonal depression that usually occurs during daylight savings and has been linked to symptoms including consistent low mood, irritability, anxiety and weight gain to name a few. Courtesy of the wellbeing experts at, here are seven tips that can help you manage SAD symptoms:

Incorporate aromatherapy into your routine The best way to start aromatherapy at home is by using a diffuser that disperses scented vapour into the atmosphere. Lemon or peppermint essential oils are great for the morning and can create an uplifting atmosphere. Lavender essential oils are great if you are having trouble sleeping, as this can help increase melatonin production. Other essential oils such as ylangylang, orange and clary sage also help decrease anxiety and can be used at any time of day.

Keep a diary or journal

doubt, consult your GP. Other natural ways to increase vitamin D are by incorporating mushrooms, egg yolks and yoghurt into your meals, as these are naturally high in the vitamin. Those with SAD frequently use light therapy through the use of a ‘Light Box’, which works by simulating sunlight.

Include tryptophan & protein-rich foods When experiencing SAD, it can be beneficial to consume foods high in the amino acid tryptophan. Studies have suggested that there is a direct link between this amino acid and the production of serotonin, the hormone related to happiness, memory, sexual desire and sleep. Tryptophan-rich foods include salmon, chicken and turkey. Vegetarian and vegan sources include pumpkin seeds, tofu (and other soya-based foods) and spinach. Your gut biome is also directly linked to the production of serotonin, and poor gut health is linked to depression and hormone imbalances. It is important to ensure you include enough water, fruits, vegetables and fibre in your diet to maintain gut health. Challenge yourself to have at least five to seven fruits and vegetables a day.

Up the exercise

Keeping a diary is a great tool that can highlight any patterns and SAD symptoms you are experiencing. Using a notepad or even your notes app on your phone, note down key moments of your day that you think are affecting you. This can help you understand what makes you feel better or worse and creates a sense of mindfulness.

Physical exercise is essential for all adults and should be done every week. This does not mean high-intensity workouts; it can be moderate to light activity that can help get your blood pumping. This can even significantly reduce the chance of a stroke or heart disease. According to the NHS, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate to light physical activity a week; this equates to 21 minutes of exercise daily.

Increase your Vitamin D

Introduce more houseplants

Less sunlight exposure and time spent outdoors in the winter months can result in a lack of vitamin D, a primary cause of SAD, as vitamin deficiency is associated with depressive symptoms. Vitamin D supplements are great to take during the winter months, though if in

Plants can help alleviate anxiety. Some species of plants can help purify the air around you such as chrysanthemums, monstera plants and spider plants. This clean, fresh air helps raise oxygen levels in your brain and can impact your serotonin levels.

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February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 23

Behind the Badge



Work is now fully getting back into the swing of things as we move into February. At the time of writing, I am just about to host over 20 delegates from across the borough, and the wider retail sector to look at how we can work together to improve our response to shoplifting, and the unacceptable rise in assaults and intimidation of retail workers. We need our shops to be safe and secure places we can all go to buy essentials, and the staff working there need to feel they will be protected from criminality and abuse. I am optimistic we can make a meaningful impact on this. We have joined a partnership problem-solving group focussing on vehicle related anti-social behaviour. This could include off-road motorbikes, road-racing, e-scooters and any other criminal activity or the inconsiderate use of vehicles that disrupts local communities. Sergeants Mike Goodman and Alex Farmer will be working on this from

Book Bites

Literary delights read & reviewed by Bromley borough residents


Title: Author: Publisher: Reviewed by:

None Of This Is True Lisa Jewell Century Zoe Hill

None Of This Is True is a psychological thriller that will have you racing through its pages. Josie Fair and podcaster Alix Summers are both at the same restaurant celebrating their 45th birthdays. When they realise the coincidence they joke about being ‘birthday twins.’ They then bump into each other again after their birthdays, and Josie, having listened to Alix’s podcast, suggests she could be a very interesting subject matter for her next series… This book will have you cancelling all your social engagements so you can keep reading. It is dark, shocking and totally and utterly gripping. Like the title suggests; you won’t know what is truth and what is lies! 4.5 stars from me!

24 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

the police side, and will be joined by representatives from the Local Authority, London Fire Brigade and other key stakeholders. Once again, this shows the strength of the partnerships we are building and an ability to pool and share our resources, so that we can be greater than the sum of our parts. As previously mentioned, this will be followed up by a broader focus on Anti-Social Behaviour at the Bromley Conference on 11th March, where local communities will be supported by police, partners and academic experts to come up with solutions to the issues we face. All of the above projects should make inroads into the three things you tell us you are most concerned about as a community – Road Safety, AntiSocial Behaviour and Retail Crime, and I will keep you all informed how we are getting on with these as the year progresses. Superintendent Luke Baldock Bromley Borough Neighbourhood Policing


Title: Author:

No Ordinary Day Matt Johnson with John Murray Publisher: Ad Lib Publishers Reviewed by: Stella Eames In 1984, WPC Yvonne Fletcher was fatally shot outside the People’s Bureau of Libya in London. On 17th April there was a demonstration against the Gaddafi regime, and a police presence to prevent breaches of the peace and minimise disruption.

But Gaddafi had instructed those inside the Bureau to shoot to kill demonstrators and, as Yvonne stood with her back to the building, she was fatally shot when gunmen opened fire. PC John Murray cradled Yvonne as she lay dying. This book is about his pursuit of her killer – and the sometimes dispiriting fight for justice. This compelling book isn’t an easy read, but it is a shocking exposé of political decisions in the UK and Libya. 5 eye-opening stars

If you’ve read a book you’d like to review, please email with the details 4.8/5

Over 60,000 reviews October 2023



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February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 25



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MAYOR’S VOICE Greetings! I hope you are all hitting the ground running as we strive into the new year! While there is much I have been proud of from my time as Mayor so far, there are also many exciting plans coming up to look forward to in 2024. Of course, we are always keen to do more, so please do get in touch if you would like the Mayor to attend any special events and we will endeavour to get to as many of these as possible. Some of my personal highlights from the last few months have included visits to some of the fantastic charities that operate in Bromley, including Living Well, St Christopher’s Hospice and Bromley Mencap. Seeing the generosity with which our community serves one another never fails to inspire me – and gives me great hope for the future. It has been a real pleasure to kick-off a new series of interviews with inspiring Bromley residents, titled ‘Stories from Bromley’, starting with my interview with 102-year-old veteran, Peter Lemon. I look forward to continuing this series in this year, so keep your eyes peeled on my social media pages – which can be accessed at

I have continued to fundraise for my three chosen Mayoral charities - The MumMum Foundation, PTSD999 and Orpington Sea Cadets. These are all causes close to my heart and I hope that as well as raising money, I can also raise awareness of the excellent work each of them do. I can’t wait to see many of you at events across Bromley in the coming months – see this month’s What’s On pages for details of this month’s Quiz Evening for example. Cllr Mike Botting Mayor of Bromley (2023-24) Find out more and stay connected at

Lines from Linda

hit my reddening face as I realised although my friend had taught me how to put a song on a message, Who remembers those little packets of Love she hadn’t told me how to stop it Heart sweeties with little love messages playing. Furious, bewildered and on them? We used to find one that had an I am relieved to say, some amused appropriate message on it, then leave it, secretly, faces, all now had pinned their eyes in my direction. ‘I’m really sorry I cried, near the person we wanted to go out with. Or we half hysterically,’ I didn’t mean to press it. sent an unsigned Valentine card declaring our (This received a few raised eyebrows and eyes love. heading toward the sky). Then someone stood up and I grew up in the seventies. How times have came to my aid. He pressed a couple of buttons, and changed! With social media, nothing, it seems, my phone became silent. I didn’t ask his age, I just can stay a mystery. So, if you can’t beat them, him repeatedly. He didn’t look more than Panic then thanked join them, that’s my motto. I am on Instagram, nine-years-old. and one evening, after a supper out, my dear hit my So, lessons learned. I am now going back to friend taught me how to use Instagram and reddening sending my hubby a Valentine card and my friend how to add music to my messages. I was a thank you note. Call me old fashioned. I am also face thrilled. When I was on my train home I started thrilled to see we have an extra day this month as playing around with Instagram. I decided to send it is a leap year. Having been married for 30 years, I my friend a message of thanks on her page, adding won’t be proposing to anyone on 29th of this month, nor a song she liked in the background of the message, and will I be sending song messages on Instagram. I am going also to send a love song and a loving message as an early to make the most of the leap year day and book a spa. I Valentine’s present to my hubby. hope you all enjoy your extra day. The train was full, but I got a seat. I started scrolling down I also hope that the 14th brings you all the love you rightly the list of tunes that I had on Instagram to choose from, deserve – whether in message, song, on a card, or that and I stopped as the Wally Song appeared in the list. I’d old fashioned packet of Love Heart sweeties. never heard of the Wally Song. Then I pressed it, before I


realised I had pressed it and the words ‘You are a Wally’ burst into play. And, this was a crowded train, and the Wally song was now ringing out very loudly. Panic then

For more about me and my crime novels see

February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 27




It’s the month of love! So, whether you’re single, married or dating – here are four ideas on how to mark the big day… Singletons Self-love spa day: Treat yourself to a relaxing spa day at home. Run a bubble bath, use your favourite skincare product and unwind with a good book or music. Friendship celebration: Gather your single friends for a fun evening together. You can have a movie night, cook a meal together or simply enjoy each other's company. Volunteer for a cause: Spread the love by volunteering for a local charity or community project. Helping others can be a fulfilling way to spend the day. Pamper yourself: Treat yourself to something you've been wanting, whether it's a new book, an item of clothing or a hobby-related item. Celebrate your independence and achievements.

Dating couples Dinner at home: Cook a special meal together. Choose a recipe you both like, set the table with candles, and enjoy a cosy dinner at home.

Outdoor adventure: Plan an outdoor activity like hiking, biking or a stroll in a local park. Fresh air and shared experiences can strengthen your connection. Art or cooking class: Take a class together, whether it's painting, pottery or a cooking workshop. It's a fun way to learn something new and create memories. Memory lane: Visit the place where you first met or had your first date. Reminisce about your journey together and celebrate the growth of your relationship.

Married couples Home movie night: Create a cosy movie night at home with your favourite films from over the years. It's a great way to relive shared memories. Weekend getaway: Plan a weekend getaway to a place you both love or have always wanted to visit. Enjoy some quality time away from the routine. Renew your vows: Consider renewing your wedding vows. It's a wonderful way to reaffirm your commitment and celebrate the years you've spent together. Family celebration: If you have children, involve them in the celebration. Have a family dinner, play games and share stories. It reinforces the bond you've built as a family.

Mums know best!

The survey was commissioned by expert spa skincare brand, fenjal, and revealed that almost a quarter of Brits (24%) would rather go to their mum for advice than their other half. An impressive 77% of mums and motherly figures polled admitted that their children frequently come to them for advice, with Brits three times more likely to go to their mum for guidance than their friend, proving just how strong a mother’s bond really is.

More than eight out of ten Brits (82%) revealed they’ve learnt their best piece of advice from their mother, according to new research. A quarter of the UK claimed that “being kind to yourself and others” is the number one piece of advice they’ve received from their mothers and what they’d pass down to their children, with “have confidence” (22%) coming closely behind and “always ask for help if you need it” (21%) rounding off the top three.

28 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

The UK’s Top 10 pieces of motherly advice 1. Be kind to others and yourself (25%) 2. Have confidence (22%) 3. Always ask for help if you need it (21%) 4. Appreciate everything you have (21%) 5. Education is important (20%) 6. Stay true to who you are/beliefs (20%) 7. Never lose your sense of humour (17%) 8. Strive to do good in the world (16%) 9. Be resilient (15%) 10. Be empathetic (14%)

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February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 29




07753 611769

30 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024

Ask The Experts



You asked – and they answered! Send your need-to-know questions to our local experts by emailing with the subject line ‘Ask The Experts’ Q: Statistically 31 million adults in the UK don’t have a will in place. Why do you think this number is so high and what advice or top tips would you pass on to help people deal with such an important but sensitive subject? Anthony: Firstly, I think we need to be more open about death. I think this is changing, but slowly. I think the misconception a will is for an old person is still prevalent. We aim to change this, and are proud to help younger clients at various stages of their life including buying their first house and starting a family. It’s amazing to meet a client who then introduces us to their children, and sometimes even grandchildren! Top tips if you don’t have a will: • Don’t leave it to chance • Think about who you’d like to protect • Make an appointment with a qualified professional • Be open and honest with your family about what you want • Once you have a will, review it regularly to ensure it’s up to date.

Anthony Rockliffe, Southeast Legacies

Q: I’m suffering from lower back and hip pain. I’ve had my mattress for about 10 years – could an outdated mattress be the cause of this? I’m healthy otherwise.

David: Mattresses nowadays have an expected lifespan of around 7 years, depending on the quality and usage. This means your mattress should have clocked up over 14,000 hours of use. This also means your mattress will have absorbed an entire bath full of body moisture. It is estimated that every night half a pint of moisture is soaked up into our mattresses, that's a massive 80 gallons worth! About 450 grams of dead skin falls onto your mattress each year, which is half a stone over the course of seven years for dust mites to thrive in. If you find that you wake up with regular aches and pains or have regular tightness and stiffness that is persistent throughout the course of your day, it may be an instant sign that your mattress is no longer fit for purpose. Using a worn down and uncomfortable mattress long term can lead to poor spinal alignment and pressure points, which result in discomfort not just during your sleeping hours.

David Cheeseman, The Bed Post

Q: What are your top tips for ensuring safe electrics at home?

Scott: Testing – electrical circuits within your home should be tested on a regular basis. It is recommended they are tested every 5 years. This test is known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). The testing and inspection will help identify any issues and give you piece of mind your electrics are safe. Fuseboard – it is quite surprising how many homeowners still have the old fuseboards, also known as consumer units. The new consumer units have devices inside that disconnect the supply in the event of a fault, these devices are known as Residual Current Device (RCD) or Residual Current Circuit Breaker with Overcurrent Protection Devices (RCBO). Extension leads – many households have a lack of sockets and use multi gang extension leads to overcome this problem. Sometimes extension leads are plugged into other extension leads. Overloading these leads can cause them to overheat which may in turn start a fire. Scott Cloud, S Cloud Electrical

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Hair & Beauty

HOW TO…PROTECT YOUR SKIN IN COLD WEATHER During winter it can be harder to stay consistent with your beauty sleep. The colder weather can make it more tempting to lie in bed and forgo your skincare routine. But there are easy ways to keep on top of your appearance without a lot of effort. The beauty experts at women’s lifestyle magazine Soul Factors take you through some top tips to help keep your night routine in check after a chilly day…

Change your pillowcases

Changing your pillowcases every two weeks can do wonders for your skin. Bacteria easily gets transferred from your skin to your pillows and can result in acne, so it’s important to refresh them regularly. Dust mites and allergens also easily accumulate on the surface, which may cause irritation. If possible, you should also wash the interior of your pillow at least yearly. You may want to level up your game with silk and satin pillowcases too, as these reduce friction between your skin and the sheets, minimising breakouts, hair damage and wrinkles.

Use a chamomile infused eye mask

Chamomile is excellent to include in your evening routine as it contains antioxidants that are great for reducing redness and hyperpigmentation. Soak some eye pads in chamomile tea, pop them in the fridge and then use them in the evening as you unwind before bed and see the magic slowly take effect. It can also help alleviate eye strain, keeping your eyes refreshed.

Make a moisture-boosting lip scrub

During the colder months, our lips become chapped and chaffed due to a lack of moisture caused by the weather,

so including a lip scrub in your routine is essential in preventing this. Mix a teaspoon of granulated sugar with a drizzle of honey to create a natural exfoliate full of antioxidants. Gently swirling the sugar into your lips will remove the miniscule dead skin particles while the honey ensures moisture gets through.

Prioritise foot care

Remembering your feet in your evening routine can be a great choice, and doing a foot mask will leave you with silky smooth feet in the morning. Mashing half of a banana, adding in half a teaspoon of honey and mixing the two will give you a natural moisturising foot mask which you can pop on for 15 minutes. Leave your mask on with an old pair of socks, or even plastic wrap, and when you take the mask off, you’ll be left with smooth skin.

Invest in a hair oil treatment

Hair oils are fast becoming popular in the beauty industry, and for good reason, with rosemary oil becoming one of the biggest beauty trends on TikTok over the last year. Using hair oils overnight locks in moisture, prevents further breakage and can even increase the shine and softness of your locks.

Reduce blue light levels before bed

Blue light is one of the worst things you can expose yourself to before settling down for the night, as it blocks the brain’s ability to recognise it is night. Not only does it place a strain on your eyes to be using a screen so late, but some studies have found that blue light may result in worsened retinal damage. Getting yourself blue light glasses, designed specifically to avoid this, can prove a great addition to your beauty night routine.

New on the shelves… Colgate has revealed its latest lineup of products, including an all-new LED Whitening Kit, developed with advanced whitening technology for a brighter, whiter smile. The new kit is lightweight, portable and comes with Colgate’s Max White Overnight teeth whitening pen and a smartphone powered LED whitening light with a ComfortFit applicator. Plus the great news is that the new technology takes the overnight eight hour application time of the Colgate Max White Overnight Whitening Pen and shortens it to just 10 minutes.

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ARDELL has launched new Seamless Underlash Extensions, (£24.99, Superdrug). Underlashing is a lash technique where false lashes are applied under natural lashes instead of the traditional method of applying them on top, giving a natural lift to the eyes.​The new seamless Wispies kit, provides medium volume with criss-cross layering​and includes 36 Underlash Extensions in 4 lengths – 10, 12, 14, 16mm​, Black Bond, Clear Seal, Remover and Applicator – everything you need for lashes that will make hearts flutter!

Mobile Nail Care

(Seniors * Housebound * Disabled) • Manicure • Pedicure • Thick toenail cutting • Chair massage therapy

Call Lena to book your appointment on

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Call: 020 3488 9959

MATT THE TREE MAN Mobile/Office: 07715 470892 Based in Langton Green Experienced team of arborists

Hedge Trimming Tree Surgery Forest Management Stump Grinding

Boiler issues or just need a service? We’re happy to help! 100’s of reviews Fully insured Gas safe registered Members of Trust A Trader Call now for a free quote on

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or 07960-700422 or email Take a look at our social pages for examples of our previous work

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34 Life in... BROMLEY February 2024




Is it time to give your business a kick-start? Business networking can be a great idea to connect with other local businesses, tap into people’s contacts and boost your brand awareness. Here are just some of the Bromley-based networking groups you need to know about…

Startup Bromley: Runs a free networking session for Startup members on Tuesdays

in the workshop room in Bromley Central Library. This new event takes place on the third Tuesday of each month between 10am-11am and includes a guest speaker. See

PIB (People In Business): A monthly meeting for members at Chelsfield Golf Club in Orpington, usually on a Friday from 9am-10.30am. The group offers exclusivity to members, and they also promote members across social media. Fees are £20 per calendar month and there is a one-off joining fee of £100. See Bromley Business Network: Meets every other Wednesday at 7am-9.30am at Bromley Football Club. To attend in person it’s £23 (no membership fees), which includes unlimited tea/coffee, fresh fruit, pastries and a fully cooked breakfast buffet. Attendees can also Zoom into the meeting for £12, making it a hybrid meeting. For details see Beckenham Business Association: The BBA runs regular workshops and networking events, as well as the annual Beckenham Business Day in the autumn. Membership costs £40 for the year. For details or to join the mailing list see Ladies Who Latte: A free monthly networking group that meets on the last Wednesday of the month (from 10am12pm) at Community House in Bromley’s South Street. Once you have attended in person you can join the Facebook Group. For details see

Pure B2B Mastermind: Business owners join forces twice-monthly (in Bromley and Chislehurst) to share their business knowledge and expertise. At the meetings, attendees can ask for advice on issues and challenges they are facing. The meetings are run on a membership basis by Anna Young and Joanne Bell from Bells Accountants. Membership is £50 a month plus the cost of the meal. For details see

New law over working hours Workers across the country are being given more say over their working patterns thanks to new laws supported by the Department for Business and Trade. Zero hours contracts – and other forms of atypical work – are an important part of the UK’s flexible labour market; however, the Government is determined to tackle unfair working practices. The Predictable Working Act introduces a right for workers to request a more predictable working pattern, intending to redress the imbalance of power between some employers and workers in atypical work, encouraging workers to begin conversations with their employers about their working patterns. Business and Trade Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Although zero hours contracts can often suit workers who want to work flexibly and employers whose needs vary, it is unfair for anyone to have to put their lives on hold to make themselves available for shifts that may never actually come – this Act helps to end the guessing game. A happier

workforce means increased productivity, helping in turn to grow the economy, which is why we’ve backed these measures to give people across the UK more say over their working pattern. “If a worker’s existing working pattern lacks certainty in terms of the hours they work, the times they work or if it is a fixed-term contract for less than 12 months, they will be able to make a formal application to change their working pattern to make it more predictable. Once a worker has made their request, their employer will be required to notify them of their decision within one month. “As well as clear benefits to workers, the measures are also good for British business. In cases where requests are accepted, workers will have more predictable terms and conditions that better suit their individual circumstances, leading to higher job satisfaction. This can lead to a range of benefits for businesses, including better staff retention as a worker will not need to look for a new role to secure a working pattern to meet their needs.”

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Short Story


Hallo and thank you all so much for coming. I count myself so lucky in having the best friends and family in the world and I am so glad that many of you have made it here today. You, who all know me so well, know that I organise everything way in advance – so you may not be surprised to hear me talking to you today. Maybe that is something to do with my past – most of you know that I was found abandoned as a baby in Bath – and perhaps that confusing entrance to the world contributed to me wanting to micromanage my other major life events. I’ve been a bit of a rebel too; growing up in Jane Austen themed Bath I instead focussed on Sarah Bernhardt as my idol. She was born on 22 October 1844 in Paris, and I was born about 22 October 1944, probably in Bath – at least, that is where I was found. That similarity struck me when I was reading a biography of Sarah – and when I read that she was born illegitimate plain Henriette-Rosine Bernard, I realised that we had something else in common; I too could change my name, and eventually did, from the plain made-up Joan Bath I was registered at birth to the name I prefer and you all know me as – Joanna Somerset. Just a little tweak but much nicer I think. Would Daphne Busson have sold as many books as the aristocratic sounding Daphne du Maurier? Perhaps she would have – a rose is still a rose etc. Despite my beginnings, I’ve had a good life; I read recently that if you have enough to eat winter and summer, a roof over your head and access to education and medical care you are amongst the luckiest 5% of people who have ever lived. That fact always helped me put my own problems into perspective.

My own problems – hm, yes, I can’t deny I’ve tended to overspend. Using another literary reference; annual income £20, annual expenditure £20 and 6d – result misery. Well, not quite misery in the present days of credit cards. But, still, the balance sheet needs to balance at some point. And I have enjoyed my manicures and massages – and as for hair colouring – you know me so well. When I was planning this afternoon’s event, I had trouble deciding what to call it. Today’s fashion (and I have always been a follower of fashion) is to say Celebration of Life. But that sounds rather conceited when one is referring to oneself. After all I have never been a brain surgeon or rocket scientist or changed the world in any great respect. So, when I was crafting this speech, I thought of today as my final Leaving Do. So, like all good leaving do speeches I must remember everyone I want to mention. Thank you individually for what you’ve meant to me. Recall little nuggets, those simple things that meant so much. But not to go on too long. I won’t ramble. And so I will stop now and ask that this recording be switched off shortly and you listen to a song whose words are appropriate for the occasion. My occasion. Normally the coffin descends into the furnace at this point, but that isn’t happening as I left my body to medical science. And also – no singing. I promised no so-called singing at my leaving do. I’ve been to many dreary funerals where almost no one sings the dirges that pass for hymns. So, instead, just listen to a song by Katrina and the Waves. The lyrics reflect the fact that I was lucky enough to enjoy my earthly life until the last minute and perhaps beyond, who knows where I will be now, certainly not me at the time of writing. But I hope I’m Walking on Sunshine and Don’t It Feel Good!

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Feeling creative? We’re looking for your short stories. Send a brief synopsis to with your idea and contact details.

Classified Listings BUSINESS & NETWORKING

support shop boost Local



Bromley Business Network is a place where everyone feels comfortable building connections with fellow business leaders – whether you’re a first-timer or a serial networker. Meetings are held every two weeks at Bromley Football Club in Hayes Lane, Bromley, BR2 9EF. To book visit


The summer GCSE and SATs exams might seem like a long way away, but in reality it’s only a matter of weeks… Is your child prepared? For support with private tuition, call 07487738226, email or visit


CLUBS, ACTIVITIES & HOBBIES THE CREATION STATION SEVENOAKS, BIGGIN HILL, HAYES AND ORPINGTON 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


We love all things travel…cruises, beaches and adventure. In partnership with The Holiday Village who are ABTA P6710 and ATOL bonded, providing 100% consumer protection, we have access to 1000’s of fantastic deals for any type of holiday. Tell us where you want to go and we’ll do the rest, your own personal travel agent. Follow us on Facebook @VashTheHolidayVillage or Insta @vashholidayvillage for inspiration, email or call 0330 8807812.

I’m a Year 11 student studying maths (predicted level 8 - A*) and offering one-to-one tuition for children in years 3-8 to help with your child’s confidence and ability. Sessions either in person or online are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Sundays. £20 an hour. 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. To submit a classified listing please call 020 3488 9959 or email Prices start from just £10 per month.

In next month’s issue…. FR ISSUE 25 | MARCH 2024





Mother’s Day


gift ideas

(using local businesses)






Celebrating International Women’s Day – great advice on a local level History: The Old Court House in Bromley (before the 20th Century) We meet Daisy Snell – the upand-coming local athletics star Plus so much more!




Great Mother’s Day gift ideas (using local businesses)




#BecauseCo mmunityMa tters

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




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

Copyright: All text, images and design in Life In...Bromley are subject to copyright, 2024. 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. © 2024 Luna Creative Media Ltd. All rights reserved.

February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 37


A Final Thought…

Effortlessly reduce your plastic pollution


Have you ever wondered what those weirdly named substances are under the ingredients list at the back of cosmetic products? I have. Names that I cannot even pronounce or understand. Polydimethylsiloxane. Polyacrylic acid. Polyacrylamide. It's about time we know what those big brands are putting inside our products. Those face scrubs that leave your face super soft or those toothpastes that can burn your mouth with mint can be satisfying to use, although mother nature finds no satisfaction in seeing us use them. The truth is, that most of those tiny particles in your cosmetic products are, in fact, plastic. Or microplastics. The real term is 'microbeads' – tiny plastic particles that are intentionally added to cosmetics with specific functions such as exfoliating. You may be thinking: 'What's the harm? I touch plastic every day. What difference will it make if I scrub my face with it and wash it off?' Keep reading and you will find out... That is the issue. We wash them down the sink. Most rinse-off products (shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, face scrubs etc) contain microbeads (nine out of ten) and we send those microbeads down the sink, but they are too small to be filtered out, so they enter the vast oceans. Microbeads are tiny, mostly spherical, particles so marine life mistakes them for fish eggs and eagerly rush over to consume them. I'm sure you know the danger of consuming plastic, but it does not just affect wild animals. Not only does swallowed plastic fill the stomach and reduce hunger, even though no nutrients are in it, it is toxic, therefore acting as an endocrine (hormone) disruptor. This impacts growth and development. It has even been shown to reduce fertility in fish.

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Although we may not be directly consuming plastic, we might be doing so indirectly. The plastics that fish consume can travel up the food chain to us, ending up on a sumptuous plate of salmon. This can disrupt our hormones, distorting our growth, development and fertility. Furthermore, these tiny plastic particles act as sponges, absorbing toxic chemicals, which significantly exacerbates the above effects. Wait! There is hope! Fortunately for us, there is an app that can identify if your cosmetics contain microbeads. It is super quick and easy to use and it is called 'Beat the Microbead'. Download it, scan the ingredients of your cosmetic product, and hey presto, the app tells you whether or not the product contains microbeads and therefore, if it is harmful to us and the environment. A great way to reduce your 'hidden' plastic pollution is by scanning all of your cosmetics and knowing which ones you should avoid using. Additionally, you can have the app open and ready to go next time you go shopping to select environmentally-friendly cosmetics. The app also has a list of brands with a 'Zero Plastic Inside' logo that do not use harmful microplastic ingredients in any of their products. This makes it easy for us to support environmentally-safe brands. You may be aware of a ban in 2018 that prohibited the manufacture of products containing microbeads in the UK. However, the app is still identifying microbeads in cosmetics today. After some research, I found that the most commonly identified microbeads are 'carbomer' and 'dimethicone' – look out for them. Although some companies argue that they are not 'technically' microplastics, at the end of the day, they are synthetic polymers and we must avoid them if we want to do good for our planet. And for all those beauty gurus reluctant to give up their cosmetics, please consider stopping using cosmetics with microbeads. Nature needs every individual to contribute now more than ever. Plus, I am sure you can find alternative, cleaner cosmetics that give similar effects. You will most probably look and feel healthier when not using toxic plastic on your skin. Together, we will beat the microbead! Sources: to%20Bisphenol%20A,children%20could%20be%20affected%20 in%20the%20same%20way.

JOIN OUR DISTRIBUTION TEAM & EARN SOME EXTRA MONEY 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.

To apply, email with your name, address, number and preferred delivery area.

February 2024 Life in... BROMLEY 39

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