More than 3,000 knitted poppies around Riverhead village provide stunning backdrop for WW1 Centenary commemorations

WW1 CENTENARY COMMEMORATIONS: On Sunday 11 November (Armistice Day) all residents are invited to gather outside the front door of St Mary’s Church at around 10.40am in readiness for a short service and the Two Minutes Silence at 11am  which will mark exactly 100 years since the end of World War 1. This venue has been chosen as there is more space there than around the war memorial in the grounds of Riverhead Village Hall (where this annual event usually takes place) as many more people than usual are expected to attend this Centenary occasion.

Representatives of  St Mary’s Church and Riverhead Parish Council will then carry wreaths down to lay them at the War Memorial in the Village Hall grounds and everyone is invited to follow them down and then join in a Vintage Tea Party in the Village Hall.

VINTAGE TEA PARTY: Following the Remembrance Sunday services, residents are invited to a 1918 Vintage Tea Party at the Village Hall. It is being hosted jointly by St Mary’s Church and Riverhead Parish Council. It will feature cakes which were favourites at the time of WW1. There will also be vintage music and archive film footage will be on display. All residents are welcome to drop in to the tea party from 11.15am onwards.

RIVERHEAD  WAR MEMORIAL: Anyone interested in  learning more about the WW1 soldiers whose names appear on the Riverhead War Memorial should visit: www.riverheadmemorial.com

WORLD WAR 1 POPPIES: Anyone driving or walking through Riverhead lately can’t have failed to see the wonderful cascade of poppies at the base of the Riverhead Village sign outside the church surrounding the white crosses, one for each Riverhead soldier who died during WW1, which ended 100 years ago on November 11 2018.  But you might not have realised that these poppies were all hand-knitted? They are also now up the church steps, around the trees under The Heights, along the fence and now extending along the railings in the village. Riverhead Parish Councillor Shirley Stewart, who organised this endeavour,  says that more than 3,000 hand-knitted poppies have been contributed. More than 1,000 were contributed by the Dunton Green Knitting Club alone and some were sent in from as far afield as  Peterborough. Many different patterns and designs and every one much appreciated. Shirley is sure that many were knitted with maybe a grandparent, great-grandparent or other relative in mind and no doubt prompted much discussion and reminiscing during this historic milestone year. Our thanks go to Shirley and to all the knitters – a brilliant example of community spirit.

PARKLAND WORKING PARTY: The next Riverhead Parkland Working Party will be held on Wednesday 14 November from 9.30am  to 11.30am when the volunteer group of Riverhead Parish Councillors and local residents would once again welcome you to join them. The footpaths through the Parkland are well-used routes to Riverhead Infants’ and Amherst Junior schools and during the wonderful weather up until half-term it was lovely to see parents and children lingering there after school to play on the lions and the dragon and admire Old Mr Oakley and his Owls. For anyone who is able to come to the working party, tools and refreshments are provided but do come appropriately clad, including  sturdy footwear  and gardening gloves. Meet at the entrance to the Parkland off St Mary’s Drive at 9.30am. More information on the Parish Council web-site at www.riverheadpc.kentparishes.gov.uk or phone 01732 461278. Or why not take a walk through the Parkland next Wednesday morning to see what goes on?

FORAGING WALK: James Grant of Foraged School will be leading a walk in the Riverhead Parkland exploring the many wild species of plants, trees and fungi to be found there on Sunday 18 November from 10.30am to 1.30pm. He will provide details of their edible, poisonous or medicinal properties along with identification features, similar species and harvesting techniques. There will also be a chance to enjoy some hot ‘something foraged’ soup. The cost will be £40 per person (reduction for groups). Prior registration (before 16 November) is essential. To find out more and to book go to www.foraged.school/sevenoaks

CHIPSTEAD WI: The next meeting of Chipstead WI, which always welcomes Riverhead residents, will be on  Tuesday 13 November, which has been designated ‘Stir Up Tuesday’. The meeting starts at 8pm and the venue, as always, is Chevening Parish Hall, Homedean Rd, Chipstead (TN13 2RU). For more information about Chipstead WI call Janet Sharp on 01732 452715 or email barjansharp@tiscali.co.uk.

RIVERHEAD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: The switch-on takes place at 6pm on Thursday 29 November. Make a note in your diary now to make sure that you are there  for the countdown.  Mulled wine, soft drinks and mince pies will be available from 5.30pm in the area under The Heights in the  centre of the village.

PRE-SCHOOL BAZAAR: St. Mary’s Pre-School, which has been attended by hundreds of local pre-school children over many years, will be holding  its Christmas Bazaar at Riverhead Village Hall on Saturday 24 November from 2.30pm – 4.30pm. Everyone welcome.  All the usual stalls will be there – raffle, tombola, silent auction, toys, children’s crafts, face painting and refreshments. Plus of course, Father Christmas will be receiving visitors in his grotto from 2.30pm. This is St. Mary’s Pre-School’s biggest fundraiser of the year, so  do support your local pre-school.

AMHERST BAZAAR: The legendary Amherst School Christmas  Bazaar will be held on Saturday 1 December 1 from noon until 4pm. There will be craft activities, toys, festive gifts, cakes and biscuits, games, a Grand Draw, Christmas hampers, refreshments and lots more … plus, of course,  Santa’s grotto.

CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL: St Mary’s Church will once again be holding  its wonderful Festival of Christmas Trees for all to visit  over the weekend of 8 & 9 December. Everyone – societies, groups, charities, residents’ associations, businesses, schools, nurseries, families – is invited to display a decorated tree (to be retrieved afterwards for your own use) and to place promotional literature beneath it if they wish. Lights can be arranged. There is no charge to visit but any voluntary donations will be divided between  the church and their chosen charities. For more information and to obtain an application form to join in and display a tree see christmas-tree-fest@stmaryriverhead.co.uk or email christmas-tree-fest@stmaryriverhead.co.uk.

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