Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Otford responds to coronavirus by setting up a friends network

In response to Coronavirus getting into the village community in the coming weeks, Otford is setting up a network of ‘Road Fiends’. The initiative is being supported by the Parish Council and resident Rod Shelton is co-ordinating the process.

Every road in Otford will have at least two Road Friends available to help their neighbours. Every house in the parish will be notified of their local contact telephone number. In the event of self-isolation, the Road Friend is prepared to carry out necessary shopping and collect prescriptions.

If a neighbour falls ill, they should notify their Road Friend so that an extra watch can then be kept on their home. Being isolated need not mean being alone.

The network is already building and on Sunday all four village churches asked for more volunteers to help. If you live in Otford and would like to join your own road’s Road Friends just call Rod Shelton on 01959 523371 or email at

Many village events that involve people gathering together could be postposed or cancelled because of the threat of coronavirus. Please check with organisers before attending.

SURGERY NEWS: The Otford Medical Practice has decided not to see patients face to face at the Surgeries in Otford and Kemsing but to rely on telephone consultations and possibly video link. Patients should phone Otford Surgery in the usual way to arrange an appointment.  This situation could change from day to day so they will try to keep everyone posted..

OTFORD OAST WI meets at 9.30 on Thursday, 19 March, in the village Memorial Hall for a Spring Cookery Demonstration by Julia Davies. New members are welcome and your first visit is free. For further information please email: 

TONBRIDGE & MALLING RAMBLERS meet at 10am on Sunday, 22 March, for a 5.5 mile moderate walk from Otford to Shoreham and back. Meet in the High Street car park to start the walk which includes one steep climb at the start with a few stiles, but the views over Otford which are well worth it. This is a circular walk, estimated to finish at 1pm, with a pub at the end, and dogs on short leads accepted. Contact: Graham on 07716 170900 or 01732 446101

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. A Celebration Picnic will be held at 1.30pm on Otford Recreation Ground with picnic blankets and chairs arranged around the open French doors and patio area of the hall in a ‘V’-for-Victory formation to reflect the common arrangement for ‘Victory Day’ street parties in 1945. You can come along dressed in wartime costumes or wearing patriotic red, white and blue. Bring your own food and drink and 1940’s themed Live Entertainment will be provided. At 3pm there will be a moment for reflection as a bugler sounds the Last Post and Reveille. This is being repeated at the same time throughout the country and culminates with adults and children raising a glass of refreshment to repeat the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War Two.

As an added incentive to go along you will be able to sample such wartime delights as banana-parsnips, Woolton pie, potato pastry, lettuce sandwiches and other gastronomic delights from the war years. If the weather is bad then the picnic will be held inside the hall.  

THE STORY OF LOVE in The Harbour will play at The Stag, Sevenoaks, on 10 April. This is an exciting and unique musical-drama production based on the real life exploits of WW1 heroes of the RAF, featuring all original music, acting and narration created and performed by local talent.  If you would like to see a showreel about the show visit

Sevenoaks has deliberately been selected as part of their tour because of the strong local connections with the history and events depicted in the show. Tickets are on sale via The Stag Booking Office 01732 450175  Group bookings of 12 or more get a 20% discount on ticket prices quoting promo code:  LITHGroup. If you like further information contact John Merrigan, Fatdan Productions, 07944 852865.

OTFORD SHORT MAT BOWLS CLUB meets every Sunday in the Memorial Hall at 1.45pm to play between 2 and 5pm. This small, friendly, club, is looking for more players and invite you to go along and give it a try. They can supply you with bowls to try out for the first three sessions, which are free of charge, thereafter £3 per session, with tea and biscuits included. For more information ring Marion 01474 852351 or Hugh 01474 708050.

SEVENOAKS RSPB group’s next expert led field trips, which are free and an ideal way to learn about birds, are on Sunday 22 March to Oare Marsh, led by John Waterman 07935 206618 and Wednesday 25 March to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, led by Anne McGregor 01732 454304. Details of these and all local group activities can be found on their web site and other news on their Facebook page

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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