The Otford Society
NewsLetter Registered with the Civic Trust Affiliated to the Campaign to Protect Rural England
Our lovely village had wonderful weather for our annual village fete on Bank Holiday Monday 27th of May. The theme was KENT-GARDEN OF ENGLAND and the turnout was terrific—about 6,000! The Recreation ground was filled with interesting stalls, happy people and lively children, plus many cooperative dogs in their various shows.
Patty Chatterjee, Chair of the Fete Committee This is the seventh year Patty has organised the fete with her usual success. Her neighbours told me they had all prayed with her for fine weather and what a wonderful day it was! She has plenty of experience in running things efficiently and effectively so we are very lucky to have her. She has a very good team of 12 on the committee who meet monthly in the Woodman to plan for the next year and she always chooses a theme—this year “The Garden of England”. She splits the duties between the committee so Janine Weatherall runs the website Otford.info/village fete. Tracey Rowe organises the lovely programme with a beautiful cover and Patty has excellent treasurers as well as the rest of the team. She is clever at finding local businesses who organise their stalls and give her a good proportion of their takings for her to distribute to village charities and organisations. She is good at encouraging students to help and put their profits towards their travels or other expenses—wonderful work experience! Help is always needed in managing cars, putting up tables, helping with catering and so on. One young girl cooked over 100 delicious cakes which went down extremely well so she could put some money towards her travels! The Scouts and Brownies happily join in helping with the catering. The result is a lovely village event superbly organised—thank you Patty.
The wheel of fortune The Otford Society Wheel of Fortune stall was a hit at the fete, raising a profit of £287, of which £114.80 goes to the fete committee and £172.20 to the society. Three of the society committee were there at 10:30am to set up the stall and were joined later by a number of other helpers. It was such a lovely day and we used up all our prizes, of bottles of wine or £5 Sainsbury’s gift vouchers, before 4pm. Vince Tilley
June is bustin’ out all over—Carousel The first event to take place after our AGM on April 18th was our now annual, joint celebration of St. George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday. This is always an enjoyable occasion. As usual we meet in the WOODMAN. This year the day was warm and sunny and the pond looked beautiful with trees coming into leaf. Jim, the landlord, allowed us the complete run of the upper back dining room area, which we decorated suitably for the special day. There were twenty seven of us sitting down to roast beef. Ken Gunderson, our president, spoke on his favourite topic—”The English Language” and Shakespeare’s influence on it. Marion Wills read to us and I selected some passages from my favourite book, “England in the Age of Shakespeare”. We concluded by singing Ivor Novello’s “Rose of England”. Flaming June! Well, this is how June used to be described. Whether this June will fit this description will depend on the crazy, unpredictable English weather. The Roman goddess gave her name to June—”JUNO”, possibly Jupiter’s wife! The bringer of light. On the day of the Village fete JUNO did certainly shine on us. We set up the WHEEL OF FORTUNE at about 10.30 on the day; the strong winds at that particular time were a problem—we nearly lost the board with the WHEEL on it! However, from the moment the fete opened we were busy and had lots of happy faces trying their luck. The whole day was superb; one of the best fetes I remember in the last ten or more years. The next event we look forward to will be in July when we have the summer Garden Party. This year we have a new venue; we shall spend the evening in the lovely grounds of RUSSELL HOUSE SCHOOL on Station Road. Our thanks go to Elisabeth Lindsay, the retired head who is now one of the Committee members of the Otford Society. I look forward to seeing as many members as possible on what we hope will be a sunny evening. Should the weather be unfavourable we don’t have to worry because we have the school! JUNO really has shone on us this year! So.........here’s to a happy Summer. We all deserve some decent weather—free from rain, wind, cloud, hail-stones, snow and whatever else you remember over the last few months. Tony Wiltshire CHAIRMAN
Otford-Neufchatel-Hardelot Twinning Association Think of a long wide sandy beach with a promenade suitable for pedestrians of all ages and others from babies in buggies to children on scooters and bicycles with nearby free parking. Think of sand yachts and sandcastles on the beach with kite surfers and swimmers in the sea. That is Hardelot just across the Channel between Boulogne and Le Touquet (35 minutes by train and 90 minutes by ferry). Our French Twins are looking forward to your spending time with them on a day or weekend trip, or for longer on an individual family basis. Otfordians have already visited Neufchatel-Hardelot for the signing of the Twinning Charter, for painting, walking the sand dunes and exploring the Opal coast near La Batterie Todt as well as Boulogne and Montreuil. We shall be spending the weekend of 22/23 June, visiting La Coupole, near St. Omer, the planned static launch site during the second World War, and enjoying a boat ride on the Audomarois Marshes with dinner at the Golf Club, Le Golf des Dunes, and overnight hospitality. Would you like to have joined us if you had known about it in time? Our Twins have visited Otford to sign the Twinning Charter, hanging in the Parish Council Office, Sevenoaks, Ightham Mote, Coolings and Sissinghurst and we will be visiting Chatham Dockyard on Saturday 14 September before coming to Otford for an evening event to which you will also be invited (full details in the Parish Council Newsletter) and an overnight stay. Would you like to offer hospitality and suggest some ideas for activities on Sunday? We would like more families with children and/or grandchildren to become involved. Do make your suggestions to the Twinning Committee via Jane Lawrey at the Parish Council Office. There is an open invitation to you all to join our next Social Gathering at the Woodman on Monday 2 September and on Saturday 7 September you can take part in the 10 kilometre race in Hardelot and possibly bring home the John Cup for the first Otfordian to finish the race. Children are also invited to run just one or two kilometres. You will be assured of a warm welcome and a fun day. This is your Twinning Association. Do become active members. Jane Lawrey
Ray Gulliver 1927—2013 Ray was a wonderful man in the work he contributed to our lovely village and the friendship he gave to everyone. He was the one who always supported the village fete and how proud he would have been at the success of this year’s fete! He was good at starting other things too, like his business ‘Gulliver Timber treatments’, being chairman of Amhurst Rotary Club and serving on the Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association Committee as well as being Vice Chairman of Otford Parish Council. He loved trains and especially enjoyed his office being next to the station! He arranged to take about 2,000 disadvantaged children down to the coast for the day and was so persuasive that the railways lent him three trains without charge and when they arrived at the coast some restaurants were equally generous. When he wanted to celebrate with family and friends he arranged trips to the coast from Otford station and this was wonderful because the party started as soon as we stepped onto the train! Ray loved music and was chairman of the Kent Youth Bursary Fund. He loved singing and met his wife, Valerie at the Orpington and Bromley choir. He encouraged the opening of the Stag theatre and worked to establish its success. He also loved the village and every Saturday morning he would put on a visibility jacket and collect up the rubbish all round the pond, Station Road and especially in the station approach. (We miss him!) I filled my pockets with handkies before the funeral, but Rev. Richard Worssam and the friends giving tributes, including Ray’s sister and a grandson, made it a truly wonderful occasion in the packed church. Our thoughts and sympathies go to Valerie and the family. E.L. THANK YOU to all of you who have contributed to the Home Entertainment/Children’s Corner in the Heritage Centre—a fantastic response! Next year, 2014 marks the anniversary of the start of World War One. Would you mind having another rummage at home to see if you can find any memorabilia (medals, letters, equipment etc.) connected with World War One. We would be very grateful if you would loan them to us so we can construct an exciting display in the Heritage Centre to mark this event. Please contact Nick Fothergill on 01959 524120.
Saturday 7th September
Hospices of Hope Abba to Ave Maria!
Ottovoci & Friends will be performing an evening of light-hearted entertainment in St. Bart’s Church Hall in Otford High Street at 7.30 pm. Tickets £12, are available from Wendy in the Hospices of Hope Office (above the tea room) 01959 525110 or wendy@hospicesof hope.co.uk and include light refreshments in the interval. Ottovoci is a group of four married couples, Bill and Linda Lattimer, Douglas and Vicki Howie, David and Liz Rowe and Trevor and Serena Griffiths who like to sing together. They have a varied programme of four part harmony which includes anything from Abba to Ave Maria! They will be joined by some of their children; Chris Roe (Their musical director) on the piano and his girlfriend Eleanor Janes (soprano), and Olivia Howie (mezzo soprano), who will add to the variety of music with some well-known opera arias/songs from the musicals, and a novel rendition of the famous Flower Duet!
Friday, 19th July the Otford Historical Society has arranged a musical evening in St. Barts of John Suchet on Beethoven. He has written a book which will be available to buy if you desire. It begins at 6.00 for 6.30 start and tickets are available from the Parish office, Otford and Seal libraries or the Sevenoaks Bookshop for £8.00 each
Dates for your Diary 20th July
Otford Society Garden Party
6.pm Russell House School
Next Social gathering in the Woodman for Twinning Association
10 Kilometer race in Hardelot, lovely to have an Otford win!
Otford Society Autumn Meeting
8 pm Memorial Hall
After listening to a radio programme about how many town centres and Main streets are degenerating and the empty buildings are filling with betting shops I felt again how lucky we are in Otford. There are no shops vacant in our main street and just one small empty estate agent by the post office. We have a doctors’ surgery, pharmacist and dentist in the centre. We have three thriving churches with lovely halls which can be let out for meetings and entertainment along with our Memorial Halls and the lovely recreation ground with tennis courts and children’s play area along with football and cricket pitches. We have a library, parish office and a lovely little museum—the Heritage Centre. We have a school with lovely playing fields. There are four pubs and several restaurants and tea shops. We have a post office and a general store, dry cleaners, dress shops and a sports shop, you can buy paintings and books as well as cards and presents for people. The antique shops have very attractive contents. We have wonderful walks and of course our excellent station taking just over half an hour to London. The village is made even more attractive with the pond, attractive buildings, halls and houses to say nothing of the remains of the Archbishop’s Palace and the Saxon tower of St. Bartholomew’s. The list of meetings and entertainments provided by and for the community is enormous and strengthens the community atmosphere with being able to share interests with friends and knowing one’s neighbours and helping them when they need it. Many people enjoy the Thursday luncheons and the church breakfast meetings to say nothing of the many societies, lectures, concerts, dramas and gardeners’ meetings. It’s no wonder houses on the market get snapped up so quickly!
The Summer Garden Party for the Members of the Otford Society will take place in the grounds of Russell House school (inside if the weather is like last year!), on Saturday 20th July from 6.00—8.00 pm. (Parking available for cars.)
This year the cost of the ticket is only £6.00 per adult and £2.50 each for children. This includes a glass of wine, canapés and crisps for refreshment, soft drinks etc. There will be a Raffle and further drinks at £1.50 for a glass of wine and 50p for soft drinks. The tickets will be on sale in the village . As you can see the grounds are lovely with plenty of play equipment and beautiful views over the countryside. It would be great to have some younger families to enjoy it. Tickets must be purchased in advance so that we know how many are to be catered for. It would be lovely to have some families with children to enjoy the grounds.
Tickets can be purchased at Yvonne’s Newsagents in Telston Lane, or The Mad Hatter’s Emporium at 8, High Street or at the Otford Parish Office, High Street between 9—12. Subscription Rates Adult (Single) Adult (Couple)
Retired Single £2 Retired Couple £3
Next Otford Society Newsletter—September 2013 Chairman: Tony Wiltshire 524887, 111 Evelyn Road, TN 14 5PU Newsletter Distribution and Editor: Elisabeth Lindsay 524604 Membership Secretary: Vincent Tilley 522491 Web:www.otford.info/otfordsociety E-mail: email@example.com
Otford Society Newsletter June 2013