Saturday, April 13th, 2024

Member for Darent Valley named as new Leader of Kent County Council

NEW LEADER: Roger Gough, the Conservative County Council Member for Darent Valley since 2005, is the new Leader of Kent County Council. He won a four-way battle for the leadership against Councillors Peter Oakfield (Deputy), Mike Whiting and Nick Chard.

The post is regarded as one of the top political roles in local government, heading the largest county council in the country. Mr Gough, who is Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform, officially took up his new post as Leader on 17 October.

TABLE TOP SALE: Otford WI is holding a table top sale in the village Memorial Hall on Saturday 19 October between 9am to 12 noon. Tables cost £12 and are available by calling: 01959 522485. There will be something for everyone so go along and tell friends and family not to miss out on loads of bargains.

HISTORIC BROMANCE: St Bartholomew’s Church and Otford Methodist are hosting the musical ‘A Turbulent Priest’ to come to St Bartholomew’s on Saturday,19 October. The show sees Thomas Becket returning to Otford with King Henry II, 850 years after Beckett was murdered in Canterbury. Becket is reported as saying he particularly enjoyed staying in Otford while he was Archbishop (1162-1170). This musical by James Cary and James Sherwood retells the medieval bromance in sketch and song between Henry and Becket. The two-man show is both funny and thought provoking. It illustrates what can happen when the worlds of political power and Christian faith collide. Messrs Cary & Sherwood are both sitcom writers for BBC TV & Radio and have collaborated previously with A Monk’s Tale and The God Particle.

Following performances at the Edinburgh Fringe, ‘A Turbulent Priest’ is touring the UK. The show lasts one hour 45 min with a short interval and will be followed by wine and canapés. Tickets are £12 (main aisle) £8 (side aisle – restricted view but also projected on big screen). They can be purchased either from the Box Office by calling 01959 524304 or online from:

AUTUMN WORKSHOP: Florist Denise Thompson is holding an Autumn Workshop at 7pm on Wednesday 23 October in the Otford Memorial Hall when you will be able to create your own beautiful autumn display. The cost is £40 and everything will be provided, except scissors/secateurs. Places are always limited so call 01959 525009 to book your place.

BIRD TALK: Members of Sevenoaks RSPB gathered in Otford Memorial Hall recently for a captivating presentation by Keith Betton on how peregrine falcons and red kites had been brought back from the brink of extinction in the UK. In November they will jump continents when top Kent ornithologist John Buckingham will be presenting ‘The Birds of South West India’. This will again be in the Memorial Hall from 7.45pm on Thursday, 7 November. The charge for non-local group members is £3.50 and £2.50 for group members.

A field trip to Shellness on the Isle of Sheppey has been organised for Sunday 27 October when seabirds, waders and passage migrants may be seen. For further details contact John Waterman on 07935 206618.

Details of all local group activities can be found on their web site at other news can be found on Facebook

NEW FLU VACCINATION DATES: The latest dates for Flu vaccinations, which supersede those originally printed are as follows: Otford Medical Practice flu vaccination campaign for winter will be available on Saturday, 19 October from 9am to noon at Otford Surgery for all ages and Saturday 26 October, 9am to noon at Otford Surgery for patients over 65.

OTFORD TENNIS CLUB located in a beautiful setting on the High Street Recreation Ground, is looking for new members and welcomes players of all standards. There is a clubhouse and three tennis courts, two of which are floodlit. Rennis is played all year round. The club also has adult and junior coaching sessions provided by LTA accredited coaches. If you would like more information please contact their membership secretary, Alison Sykes on 01959 522050 or email:

OTFORD LUNCH CLUB for older residents, which takes place from 11.45am every Thursday in the village Memorial Hall on the High Street, is looking for volunteers to join their five friendly teams. If you are interested in joining them either as an individual or with a friend, your commitment will be for about a four hour period once every five weeks helping to serve local residents an initial cup of tea or coffee followed by a hot nutritious two course meal. The Club is a welcoming place for local residents to go along and socialise with friends, old and news. To find out more please contact Margaret Nicholson 01959 524147.

ONE STOP SHOP: Vitality Home Health, located in The Crown by the pond, offers a one stop shop for all things mobility wise, along with support and advice for those in the community who wish to stay living at home for as long as possible. They can also provide advice on financial assistance for those paying care support and there is a memory café. Vitality Home Health is also offering Pilates Classes at 11am on a Tuesday and Thursday morning at £10 per session. Each class is 45 minutes long and there are complimentary refreshments at the end. Call: 01732 755582.

PARKING PETITION: ‘Stop unsafe parking on Station Road’ is the name of the petition residents are being asked to sign by clicking on  Vehicles regularly park on Station Road on both the road and on the pavement causing an obstruction to pedestrians, motorists and cyclists. This petition is asking for your support to implement controls to present this.  You are being asked to support this petition to reduce delays and improve safety for the whole community.

DIAL 2 DRIVE is seeking volunteer drivers to take elderly/disabled people to a medical appointment or shopping just one a week. If you own a car and would like to help please contact them on 0300 777 1200 or email:

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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