Thursday, December 1st, 2022

Otford’s over 60s offered chance to keep fit at weekly gentle exercise class

EXERCISE CLASS: Serendip is a gentle Exercise Class specifically designed for the over 60’ and if you want to keep active just once a week then why not go along, in comfortable clothes, to the Methodist Church Hall at 9.30am on a Thursday morning and join their Serendip Exercise Class.  This session is designed to provide gentle exercise to keep the ageing body mobile and a warm welcome is guaranteed.  Sessions last an hour and cost £2.50 with an opportunity to stay for a sociable coffee and biscuit afterwards.

WI MEETINGS: Otford Evening WI meets at 7.30pm on Thursday, 10 January, in the Memorial Hall, to hear Helen Kendall-Tobias talk about diamonds.  Otford Oast WI meets at 9.30am on 17 January 17 when there will be a talk about the subject of maintaining garden ponds.   Visitors and new members are very welcome.

OTFORD FOLK DANCE CLUB meets at 8pm on Thursday, 10 January at Walthamstow Hall Junior School hall.  This is a temporary relocation due to the uncertainty of the future of the Otford church hall.  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 01732 458356.

OTFORD PARISH COUNCIL’S next meeting takes place at 7.30pm on 14 January in the Club Room of the village Memorial Hall and residents are welcome to attend. For those interested in all the activities of OPC the Minutes of the meetings are available in the Library and also via the web.

COMMUNITY WARDEN Paul Tapper holds his weekly surgery, to discuss any problems and community issues, at the School House on Tuesdays between 11am and noon. He can also be contacted on 07813 713366.

VOLUNTEER DRIVERS: Dial 2 Drive is still seeking car owners to volunteer to take an increasing number of elderly/disabled passengers to a medical appointment or shopping just once a week. The role is flexible and could even be once a month or daily depending on the time the driver can offer.  Please contact them on 0300 777 1200 or driving@imago.community if you would like to help.

LIBRARY CONSULTATION: Kent County Council is running a Consultation Questionnaire on its Libraries, Registration and Archives Draft Strategy until January 29. Paper copies are available in Otford Library or complete the questionnaire online by CLICKING HERE. KCC is seeking your views on their proposals to introduce a tiering model for their 99 libraries and are also hosting 20 consultation drop-in events across the county where you can speak to members of their 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.

VISITORS to Otford can now plan their time in our Heritage Village using the Visit Otford website (www.visitotford.org) 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 in the Heritage Village 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.

CHRISTMAS Tree recycling.  Sevenoaks District Council can collect and recycle your real Christmas tree for free throughout January.  The Council will collect trees with a trunk of up to 90mm, 3.5 inches, diameter with its Garden Waste Collection Service until the end of the month.  Simply leave your tree by the boundary of your property, where you usually put your refuse and recyling sacks, by 7am on the day the Council’s Garden Waste Collection service visits your road.  Using this service means that your trees will be turned into environmentally friendly compost so you can understand why they only take the tree not any decorations or pot.  If your tree is too big you can take it to a Council Household Waste Recyling site, call KCC 03000 417373 for locations and opening times or visit www.kent.gov.uk.

OTFORD’s Archbishop’s Palace.  Although there is no visible progress the Trustees have been hard at work laying the foundations for the project, talking to the organisations that will need to grant the necessary consents and to potential funders who will help to raise the money need to complete the project.

OTFORD BROWNIES AND GUIDES would like to thank everyone who supported their Christmas Post Service in December. This was the 36th consecutive year of running the post and the fantastic sum of £427.25 was raised from the sale of stamps. This year the money has been divided between Sevenoaks Community First Responders and Embrace Ability. Thanks must also go to Lorraine in Otford library and Sue in the Parish Office who sell the stamps for us and Gerry and Craig who print our stamps and posters.

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