Monday, May 20th, 2024

The Last Post to be played at an evening of reflection to mark end of the Otford Ring of Remembrance

REFLECTIONS: On the Saturday before Armistice Day on Sunday 11 November, there will be an evening of prose and poetry and recollections to mark the end of the ‘Otford Ring of Remembrance’ (the 39 names, citations and poppies around the pond).  You are invited to an hour of reflection in which we remember the men of Otford who gave their lives in The Great War.  It will be held between 6.30pm and 7.30pm at St. Bartholomew’s Parish Church on Saturday 10 November.  The evening will be both poignant and uplifting remembering the lives of the Otford Fallen and the village they would have known and loved. At the end a bugler will sound ‘The Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’.  Admission is free but there will be an opportunity to donate to the following charities: The British Legion, SSAFA and ABF (The Soldiers’ Charity).

You may be wondering why (for a period of 13 days) the Australian flag will be flying from the Otford flagpole above the citations to the village Fallen. Of the 168 days that the Ring of Remembrance will be in place, the flag represents the sacrifice of the three Otford men who, having emigrated ‘down under’, returned with the Australian Imperial Force to fight for their mother country in the Great War.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY SERVICE: All are welcome to attend the Armistice Day service which begins at 10am on 11 November at St Bartholomew’s Church. It will conclude with an act of remembrance at the village war memorial at 10.50am.  Coffee will be served afterwards in the Church Centre. If you are passing through the village at this time please be aware that traffic will be delayed so avoid the pond or be patient and remember why you are being held up.

OTFORD YARN CRAFTERS: Lovers of yarn crafting are invited to meet in Otford to inspire one another twice a month. So if you knit, crochet, spin, weave or otherwise use yarn, why not join them to share your projects, skills and knowledge and to find help and support when your project just isn’t going right.  And if you would like to learn any of the yarn crafts they would love to help you, you only have to ask.   The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month in the morning between 10am and 11am at the Hospice of Hope Tea Rooms in the High Street The next meeting is Tuesday 13 November. This will be followed on the fourth Tuesday of the month (27 November) by an evening meeting in The Woodman, between 6pm and 8pm. You are welcome to go along to either one or both meetings. You don’t need to book and there are no joining fees but visitors are asked to purchase a hot or cold drink at the venue.

SEVENOAKS FLOWER CLUB invites you to their new venue at Otford Village Memorial Hall at 1.45pm on Tuesday 13 November to see Sachiko Pearcep present ‘Arabian Nights’.  Apart from flower arranging demonstrations, Sachiko is also Creative Director of ‘Kimono & Flowers’, demonstrating Japanese costumes at colleges, for weddings, films and graduations.  There will be a raffle of flower arrangements, a sales table and refreshments.  Visitors £5 but why not join the club for a membership of £37 for a year.  Just go along or visit for more information.

OTFORD OAST WI meets at 9.30am on Thursday 15 November in the Memorial Hall for a talk by Sarah Rogers on Nursing Through the Years: Care and Compassion at the Royal London Hospital.  New members welcome, first meeting is free.  For further information email

FLU VACCINATIONS are still available until 17 November at Otford and Kemsing Doctors Surgeries. Appointments can be booked for the sessions from 9am – noon on the following dates:  Otford Surgery Saturday 10 November, Kemsing Surgery Saturday 17 November.  Call Otford Surgery 01959 523929 to book your appointment.

Stan and his wife Usch outside his barber’s shop in Otford.

STAN’S BENCH: Make a diary note that the picnic bench that was bought by the village for Stan Miles will be unveiled on the High Street Recreation Ground at noon on Sunday 25 November and all his old customers and contributors are invited to the ceremony. Please do come along on the day to once again thank Stan for his contribution to village life.  The bench is situated just behind the children’s play area, adjacent to the allotments.

MEET THE MAKER DAY in Otford on Saturday 1 December offers visitors and residents the chance to discover and celebrate the unique variety Otford is lucky enough to have within its village shops. Come and meet Bill Skinner the man behind the name and see how his wonderful jewelry is created from initial design to finished piece.

Pop in to see our amazing florist Denise Thompson to get a better understanding of the art of floristry.

Others involved are Otford Interiors, Denise Thompson – 11am Wreath making, 2pm Christmas arrangement – Sally’s Cake Emporium, Howlers, The Studio, Hall & Co, Bill Skinner, and Mille Fleurs who are offering pre-booked 45-minute millinery tasters throughout the day. To book, email or call into the shop. There will be signs in the windows of participating shops. Ann Bridges will be the event’s Artist in Residence, recording the day’s activities in a series of sketchbook drawings.

ENROL AT THE LIBRARY if you have not already done so, and start taking books out to read as Lorraine, the Otford Librarian, says that her readership numbers need to increase. This is clearly a case of ‘use it or lose it’ and this wonderful facility is at the heart of the Otford community so please rally round and support it.

HOSPICE OF HOPE:  Volunteers are needed a few hours once a week, a fortnight, or a month,to help Otford-based charity Hospice of Hope in the High Street. They are recruiting for their friendly team in both the charity and tea shop.  This is an opportunity to donate some time to a charity in a caring environment.   If you can help in any way please call Julie 01959 524322 for a chat about the various opportunities available.

TONBRIDGE & MALLING RAMBLERS GROUP is meeting in the High Street Recreation Ground car park at 10am on Sunday 18 November for a 5.5 miles/8.8 km leisurely walk from Otford to Shoreham and back. The walk will finish at approximately 1pm.  There is one steep climb at the start and a few stiles but views over Otford are well worth it.  Dogs can also do the walk on leads. There will be a nibble break and a pub meet at end.  If you are interested contact Graham on 07716 170900 or 01732 446101.

NEWSLETTER: If you live in, or near, The Old Walk, Otford  and would be prepared to deliver the Parish Council Newsletter 10 times a year then please contact the organisers on 01959 524808.

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