Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

A feast of festive activities get underway in Otford this weekend

OTFORD PRIMARY SCHOOL’S Christmas Bazaar is on Saturday (7 December) from noon until – 3 pm. This fun family event will include a Winter Wonderland, Santa’s Grotto, Christmas Market, Tombola, Face Painting, Games, Raffle, Refreshments and much more. Entry: Adult £1, Children free. Everyone Welcome. If anyone would like to book a stall or request more information please email: ptfa@otford.kent.sch.uk

CHRISTMAS QUIZ -MEDICS V PATIENTS: The second Patient Group Christmas Quiz in Otford is on Friday, (6 December) from 7.30pm. This is just a fun evening with a Christmas twist. Up to eight per team or just come as an individual – £7 per person. Bring your own refreshments and join in the fun. Contact: margaret.robarts@talktalk.net or phone Margaret on 01959 522853.

CAROL SINGING: Join Otford-based charity Hospice of Hope for some Caroling between 5 and 7pm on Tuesday 10 December at Sevenoaks Station. The charity is in need of Christmas Carol Singers to help raise money for their work. Song books will be provided. To register your interest please email: events@hospicesofhope.co.uk

OTFORD’S CHRISTMAS POST: Stamps for the Girlguiding Otford’s Christmas Post Service are now on sale for the 37th year running and will be available until Friday 20 December. The special charity post service, which is one of the longest running in the country, delivers Christmas cards with the scheme’s special stamps to addresses in Otford village.

Stamps cost 30p and are available to purchase in Otford library during normal opening hours or in the Parish Council office every weekday morning. Christmas cards can be posted in the special post boxes located in the same places. Otford’s Brownies and Guides will collect, sort, frank and then deliver the cards over the two weekends before Christmas. This year the money raised from the sale of the stamps will be donated to SERV Kent Bloodrunners, a charity that provides emergency courier services transporting blood products, samples and other essential items for major hospitals and hospices in Kent out of normal working hours.

Please support this service by purchasing the special stamps and posting your cards early. Library opening hours are Monday 9am – 1pm, Tuesday 9am – 1pm, 2pm- 5pm, Wednesday Closed, Thursday 9am – 1pm, Friday 1pm – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 2pm. Parish Council opening hours Monday to Friday 8am – 12:30pm.

OTFORD METHODIST CHURCH has several special Christmas events this month. There is a Nativity play at 10.30am on Sunday 8 December; Croydon SDA Gospel Choir is performing at 7.30pm on Saturday 14 December; there is a Carol Service at 6.30pm on Sunday 22 December; Christingle at 5pm on Tuesday 25 December; and the Christmas Morning Service at 10am. The church looks forward to welcoming visitors to all these events and exploring the real reason for celebrating the Christmas story in 2019.

ST BARTHLOLEMEW’S CHURCH is holding its Christingle Service this year at 4pm on Sunday 8 December and at 7pm on Friday 13 December there will be the Tree of Light Service followed by the switching on of the lights on the tree on The Green. All are welcome and labels to remember those who have died may be obtained from the Parish Office in the High Street or from the Hospice in the Weald. Donations will support the work of the Hospice. The Church Choir Christmas Concert is at 7pm on Sunday 15 December in the church, £7 on the door, entry for children is free and at 2.30pm on Saturday 14 December you are invited to join them in the Church Centre to sing your favourite carols and enjoy some refreshments.

VE DAY 75: As part of the nationwide celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War in Europe, on Friday Bank Holiday, 8 May 2020, Otford is planning a series of events to mark the role that the village and her people played during the conflict.

The 1940s Society and the Otford and District Historical Society would like to hear your Otford memories and family connections to the Second World War.

Rather like the ‘Poppies around the Pond’ in 2018 that sought to honour the Fallen from the First World War, they are trying to find out as much information as possible about those from the village who fought during the Second World War. Eight Otford men sacrificed their lives, and they would like to know more about each man’s story.

However, they also seek to highlight all those from the village who entered the Forces and ‘did their bit’ – where all too frequently that ‘bit’ involved incredible tenacity and bravery. Their individual stories deserve to be told on ‘VE Day 75’ and preserved for future generations. If you know of, or are related to, a service man with local connections they would love you to get in touch with them.

Similarly, the Otford organisers would like to hear about the whole ‘sweep’ of the conflict as it impacted locally – not just those in the forces, but also the hard-working men and women who kept the war-factories open, the hospitals operational and our local farms running throughout the years of turmoil. Was your dad or uncle an ARP warden, a police officers, a fireman, or in the Home Guard?

Perhaps your mum or aunt was a ‘Land Girl’, or you remember the war through the eyes of a child, or as an evacuee… all such reminiscences tell a story, and Otford wants to hear them!

If you think you have a story to tell, please leave your name and contact details at the Parish Office (in the Heritage Centre next to the village school) and they will get in touch.

The Otford village news is compiled by Kay Drake. If you have any news or events you would like her to consider for the My Sevenoaks Community village column you can email her at: drake_kay@hotmail.com

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