Saturday, April 13th, 2024

New Otford website guides visitors around the village

VISIT OTFORD WEBSITE. Visitors can now plan their time in Otford, which is a Heritage Village using the Visit Otford website – – which was launched in mid-November.

The website, which was developed with the support of the Otford Sustainable Tourism Working Group, provides detailed information on the many interesting buildings and places including the 16th century Archbishop’s Palace, the Grade II listed pond, St Bartholomew’s Church and the Otford Solar System – the largest scale model in the world. It also includes information on places to eat and drink and lists 13 walks around the village.

QR tags around the Village enable visitors to access the website with smartphones to get information on the buildings in front of them and directions for their chosen walk.

The project to develop the website was undertaken by the Archbishop’s Palace Conservation Trust, on behalf of the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A PAST TO TREASURE is the latest book to be published by local authors Phil Clucas and Ed Thompson.  It is available at ODHS and 1940s Society meetings, or from Sevenoaks Bookshop.  Price £10.  If you would like further details see the story on the My Sevenoaks Community website by CLICKING HERE, or email

Also available are other books in the ‘The Past in Pictures’ series (published by Hopgarden Press), ‘A Guide to the Otford Mosaic’, ‘a Guided Walk Around Otford Palace’ (both published by ODHS) and several other books of local interest.  Available from Otford Heritage Centre, Sevenoaks Bookshop or enquire at a Society meeting or by email from the above address.

SEVENOAKS EMBROIDER’S GUILD is holding its last meeting of the year in the Memorial Hall from 10am on Saturday 22 December.  For further information contact Sylvia Grafton 01732 452117.

FIZZLEBERT STUMP. Otford Village Memorial Hall will be the venue for a performance of Fizzlebert Stump – the boy who ran away from the Circus to join the Library, at 4pm on Saturday December 29.  This is a professional performance sponsored by The Arts Council and Applause Rural Touring Company. It is especially suitable for families with children between the ages of five and 12 years old and has received rave reviews wherever it has been performed. Doors open at 3.30pm for 4pm, refreshments available.  Tickets on sale at: or from Denise (Florists), Otford Parish Council, High Street, Yvonne’s (Shop), Telston Lane, prices: adult £10, 5 to 16 years old £5, under 5’s free.

GIRLGUIDING Otford’s Christmas post 2018.  Stamps are now on sale until Friday December 21.  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.

LIBRARY CONSULTATION. Kent County Council is holding a Consultation Questionnaire on its Libraries, Registration and Archives (LRA) draft strategy until 29 January.  Paper copies are available in Otford Library or complete the questionnaire online by CLICKING HERE.  KCC is seeking your views on proposals to introduce a tiering model for their 99 libraries and is also hosting 20 consultation drop-in events across the county where you can speak to members of the LRA team. Visit their website or libraries for more information.  A brief snapshot from their documentation shows their proposal to amend the current hours from 24 to 23 for Otford but for Sevenoaks from 55 to 42, and Riverhead 25 to 15. As you can see from these figures it is necessary for every resident to have their say as its once again a question of use it of lose it. Adult reader numbers in Otford are declining so unless it can be demonstrated that the Library is well used by both adult and child readers there will be every opportunity to cut opening hours yet again.

OTFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB meets regularly in Otford Church Hall opposite ‘The Bull’ at 8pm with club callers. The cost is £1.50 which includes tea or coffee and biscuits.  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.

SEVENOAKS Embroiderer’s Guild hold their last meeting of the year in the Memorial Hall from 10am on Saturday December 22.  For further information contact Sylvia Grafton 01732 452117.

* Kay Drake, who compiles this weekly column, would like to thank all those of you who contributed items of interest throughout 2018 and wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. 

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