Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Bagpuss runs the London Landmarks Half Marathon to help raise funds for Otford-based charity

BAGPUSS helped raise funds for the Otford-based charity Hospices of Hope by running the first of his London Landmarks Half Marathon recently.

The funds will go towards the Bagpuss Children’s Wing in Brasov, Romania, which was opened in 2002 thanks to the generosity of one of Bagpuss’ creators, Oliver Postgate. It cares for 150 children living with life-limiting or terminal illness.

Luke Sedge, who ran as Bagpuss, completed the course in just over three hours, and was supported by his friend, Lizzie Mouse. Luke, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 42 years old, explained his reason for running for Hospices of Hope.

He said: “My diagnosis shook my family to the core. Last year was a constant round of treatments and appointments. But all these were given to me and I did not have to ask once. Without our NHS and the cancer charities in this country I would be living a very different life. I ran as Bagpuss to give children in countries where services are limited or unavailable the same chance, somewhere to feel loved and supported, somewhere to get help, somewhere that gives them hope.”

A team of eleven runners took part in the London Landmarks half Marathon for Hospices of Hope and raised over £4,000 for hospice care in south east Europe.

OTFORD ALLOTMENT ASSOCIATION is holding a Spring Social Evening at 8pm on Tuesday 23 April in the Village Memorial Hall. There will be a talk by Mike Abel on ‘Biological and other non-chemical means of pest control. As well as the use of biological organisms (predators and parasites), it covers cultural, physical and non-chemical control of pests.  Entry fee £3 and this includes refreshments.

OTFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB meets on Thursday 18 April in Walthamstow Hall Junior School hall when Carol Hewson will be calling. 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.

OTFORD & DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY will be meeting at 8pm on Wednesday 17 April in the Village Memorial Hall to hear Douglas Clucas talk about Lady Jane Grey – The Girl who would be Queen.   Doors open at 7.30pm, visitors are welcome at £3 per meeting, and refreshments will be available.

ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH: This event, usually known as the Annual Parish Meeting, will be held from 7pm in the Club Room of the Memorial Hall on Monday, 15 April.  It is a chance for residents to hear from, and to put questions to, local councillors, the chairs of the standing committees, the working groups on sustainable tourism and on the latest on Traffic Management. Representatives from other village organisations who will also be present. Refreshments will be available at 7pm and the meeting itself will start at 7.30pm.

WI MEETINGS: Both Otford Oast WI and Otford Evening WI meet on Thursday 11 April in the village Memorial Hall.  Otford Oast meets at 9.30am for Easter Crafts and Otford Evening at 7.30pm to celebrate their 60th birthday with a special supper and cake. Visitors are very welcome. For more information on the Oast WI email and Evening WI contact their President on 01959 524831.

OTFORD PETANQUE CLUB, which plays next to the Pavilion on the village Recreation Ground, is looking for new members for the start of its new season in April. It offers a friendly club environment at 2.30pm every Thursday afternoon on the Otford Recreation Ground. You are invited to go along and try it out, you will be made very welcome. For more info contact 01959 52424.

WELCOME to Roxanne and Joseph Baker who have just opened Olympus Bathrooms at Number 8 High Street.

1ST OTFORD RAINBOWS: One of the leaders will be stepping down at the end of the summer term and to ensure this popular, over-subscribed unit can keep running they are looking for new volunteers.  They need at least one person who will be prepared to complete Girlguiding training to become a uniformed leader.

What’s in it for me? You will make new friends, learn new skills, enhance your CV, ‘give something back’ get involved in your local community and have lots of fun! Girlguiding also gives access to a great range of benefits like free training and resources and a members scheme.

If you think this could be you or you know someone that would love to do this please register interest on the Girlguiding UK website and they will be in touch to chat through the options. If you have any questions please email

OTFORD HERITAGE CENTRE is open between 2.30pm and 4.30pm on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday afternoons until mid-December offering visitors to our village the opportunity to see Otford’s continuous habitation over 4,000 years with changing displays of recent history, village life, natural history and models of Otford Palace, and the interior of an Oast House as well as many others.  It is free to enter, although donations are gratefully received.  If you are interested in becoming a steward then extra help is always welcome.

HOSPICES OF HOPE’S Teashop in Otford High Street is now open seven days a week so you have the opportunity of calling in for a coffee, light lunch, or afternoon tea. The Teashop specialises in homemade cakes and what are reputed to be the best scones customers have ever tasted.  In the front shop there is an opportunity to buy clothes, toys, bric-a-brac, books, jewellery, china, glass and furniture so you can browse, and then you can enjoy refreshments whilst all the time supporting the charity which is largely staffed by volunteers.  If you would like to volunteer to work in the Teashop please speak to Julie or Cornel 01959 524322 or to help with administrative tasks in their offices call 01959 525110 or email

RECYCLE your ink cartridges and toners by dropping used ones into Otford Primary School or the Parish Council office, both in the High Street as by doing so you can raise money for the school.

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:

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