Monday, November 28th, 2022

A circle of special poppies to be placed around Otford Pond to remember the villagers who lost their lives in the first world war

RING OF REMEMBRANCE: Otford will be commemorating the centenary of the Great War Armistice in 1918 by creating a ‘Ring of Remembrance’. This is a display of 39 poppies which will encircle the pond to mark the 39 Otford residents who lost their lives in the first world war.

The poppies will be in place from the end of May until mid-November with each of the 39 poppies bearing the name, rank, the age at which each man died and the badge of the regiment in which they served. These individual monuments will be joined in symbolic unity by an encircling red rope.

The Union flag will be flown above the tribute for the 158 days that it remains in place and there will be printed profiles of the 39 soldiers with wild poppies being sown which will hopefully bloom throughout the Summer and into early Autumn. This commemoration is supported by Otford Parish Council and Fine & Country Estate Agents.

Parish councillor, Phil Clucas, has developed the concept, designed and constructed the ring and made the individual commemorative poppies from ‘up-cycled plastic bottles.

Detailed research into the histories of the servicemen was undertaken by Parish councillor, Jackie Howe, who will also be talking to Otford and District Historical Society about the 39 soldiers at the group’s October meeting.

Residents are encouraged to view both the poppies and the adjacent commemorative plaques around the flagpole and it is hoped that they and visitors to the village will appreciate the sacrifice these men made for their country.

FOLK DANCE the night away from 7.30pm tonight (Thursday 24 May) in Otford church hall, High Street, opposite The Bull pub with Sean Goddard and John Portlock calling to recorded music. The cost is £1.50. which includes tea or coffee. All kinds of mixed folk dances are on offer and all are welcome. Whether you have little or no knowledge, the caller will give help and your fellow dancers will also assist you. The emphasis is on friendly enjoyment rather than perfection If you would like more information ring Mary Butson on 01732 458356.

MARY ELLIS – Spitfire Girl is the topic a talk on Friday (25 May) at the 1940’s Society meeting, 8pm in the Memorial Hall. Author Melody Foreman will tell Mary Ellis’s remarkable story of the second world war when, as a young woman serving with the Air Transport  Auxiliary, she flew more than 400 Spitfires and piloted 76 different types of aircraft including fast fighters to huge four engine bombers. She landed at over 200 airfields and flew solo for 1,100 hours. Everyone is welcome to go along, admission is £3 and refreshments will be served during the interval. More details are available from 07927 748773.

PATCHWORK/QUILTING BAGS with Alison Smart is the subject of Sevenoaks Embroiderers Guild workshop starting at 10am on Saturday (26 May). The afternoon session starts at 2pm and ends with tea and cakes at about 4pm. Further information is available from Sylvia Grafton 01732 452117.

THE BRITISH IRIS SOCIETY (Kent Group) with Christian Aid are holding a combined Iris Show and sale of plants, bric-a-brac and cakes from 12 noon until 3pm on Saturday in the Methodist church hall. Entrance to the show is free and lunches will be available from 11.30am. This is your opportunity to see some outstanding blooms while supporting this worthy cause.

OTFORD VILLAGE FETE: Bank Holiday Monday, 28 May, is a date for your diary as the Village Fete starts on the High Street Recreation Ground at 11am. The theme this year is commemorating the end of World War One when our troops finally came home after four years of conflict. During the day Otford Guides, Brownies and Rainbows will be offering afternoon tea and cakes in the Memorial Hall and, weather permitting, on the terrace and, whatever the weather Otford Gardeners’ Society will be manning a stall selling ornamental and edible plants all raised by their own members. Money raised is distributed to local causes. Please support this event by going along or purchasing prize draw tickets. www.otfordvillagefete.org.uk.

OXENHILL WOODS, at the end of Tudor Drive, is the venue for a Family Nature Event starting at 2pm on Saturday 2 June. This is a free event open to all, particularly children, with an opportunity to take part in tree, leaf and flower recognition, leaf and bark rubbing, bug hunting, nature crafts, face painting, drawing and painting – why not take along a picnic. Entry is at the bottom of Tudor Drive TQ 536589. This event is jointly organised by Otford and Kemsing Parish Councils and it is the 21st consecutive year it has been held.

KENT DAHLIA SOCIETY is holding a Plant Sale between 9.30 and 11am on Saturday 2 June in Otford Memorial Hall. On sale will be dahlia plants, annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs. Admission is free and there will be refreshments available. Everyone welcome to go along.

OPEN STUDIOS: 52 artists based in Sevenoaks and Edenbridge are opening their studios/homes to show their work to the public for two weeks in June as part of Open Studios Art. Two Otford artists are participating this year and both Barbara Darby and Julian Cheswick will be displaying their work at Hope Church, The Mill Lane Centre, Mill Lane, Sevenoaks TN14 5BX between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays 9, 16 & 23 June, Thursdays 14 and 21 June and between 3 and 6pm on Fridays 15 & 22 June and Sundays 10, 17 and 24 June. Visit www.artinjune.org. for more information.

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