Friday, June 14th, 2024

Poppies now in place around Otford Pond to remember those who died in The Great War

THE ‘RING OF REMEMBRANCE’, a display of 39 poppies around Otford Pond, is now in place and residents and visitors are being encouraged to view both the display and the adjacent commemorative plaques around the flagpole which is part of Otford’s commemoration of the centenary of The Great War Armistice in 1918.

The 39 poppies are in recognition of the 39 Otford residents who lost their lives in the first world war and they will be in place from the end of May until mid-November with each of the 39 poppies bearing the name, rank, the age at which each man died and the badge of the regiment in which they served.

These individual monuments will be joined in symbolic unity by an encircling red rope.  The Union flag will be flown above the tribute for the 158 days that it remains in place around which will be printed profiles of the 39 soldiers with wild poppies being sown and, hopefully, blooming throughout the Summer and into early Autumn.   This commemoration is supported by Otford Parish Council and Fine & Country Estate Agents.

Parish Councillor, Phil Clucas, has developed the concept, designed and constructed the ring and made the individual commemorative poppies from ‘up-cycled plastic bottles.  Detailed research into the histories of the servicemen was undertaken by Parish Councillor, Jackie Howe, who will also be talking to Otford and District Historical Society about the 39 soldiers at their October meeting.

OTFORD AND KEMSING Parish Councils have organised a Family Nature Event this Saturday (2 June) in Oxenhill Woods which are at the end of Tudor Drive off Pilgrims Way.  This is a free event, starting at 2pm open to all, particularly children, with an opportunity to take part in tree, leaf and flower recognition, leaf and bark rubbing, bug hunting, nature crafts, face painting, drawing and painting – maybe take along a picnic.  Entry is at the bottom of Tudor Drive TQ 536589.

KENT DAHLIA SOCIETY is holding a Plant Sale between 9.30 and 11am on Saturday (2 June) in the Memorial Hall in Otford.  On sale will be dahlia plants, annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs.  Admission is free and there will be refreshments available.  Everyone welcome to go along.

OPEN STUDIOS ART takes place in June with 52 Sevenoaks and Edenbridge artists opening their studios/homes to show their work to the public.  Two Otford artists are participating this year and both Barbara Darby and Julian Cheswick will be displaying their work at Hope Church, The Mill Lane Centre, Mill Lane, Sevenoaks TN14 5BX between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays 9, 16 & 23, Thursdays 14 and 21 and between 3 and 6pm on Fridays 15 & 22 and Sundays 10, 17 and 24.  Visit for more information.

OTFORD UNITED Junior Football Club is holding an Awards Event between 2pm and 6pm on Sunday June 10 outside the Eric Dilley Pavilion on the High Street Recreation Ground.  The club is hoping for about 500 guests, and there will have sweet stands, soft drinks on sale in the pavilion, plus an outside caterer selling burgers and pulled pork rolls, alongside some games for the kids.   This is a celebration that should not be missed.

STAN MILES THE BARBER is retiring after 59 years or more cutting hair in Otford.  To show their appreciation of his contribution, villagers are making a collection to give him a retiring gift.  If you would like to make a donation please go along to the Parish Council Office in the High Street.  There will be Open House, with drinks and nibbles, at Stan’s Barbers Shop in the High Street between 10am and 5pm on Saturday June 30 with an invitation to all to go along and wish him well.

OTFORD GARDENERS SOCIETY is meeting at 8pm in Otford Memorial Hall on Tuesday (June 5) when Peter and Gillian Regan will talk about ‘A Plantaholics Garden’.  For details of all events please contact the Society Secretary, Janet Finney 01959 523760, e-mail or visit

ST BARTHOLOMEW’S CHURCH FAIR will be held on the village green from 1pm on Saturday June 16.  Stalls will include books, plants, cakes, cratfs white elephant, raffle, unwanted gifts, bottles, toys, soft drinks, strawberries and cream and ices.  There will be children’s games and a bouncy castle for the children and an art competition with the theme of ‘The World Cup’.  There are two categories 7-11 and under 7 with some good prizes being awarded.  All village children can enter.  For more details contact Christeen Malan 01959 522654.

OTFORD LIBRARY offers a range of activities each week including: Story time, every Tuesday 2.15-2.45pm, term time only. No need to book and this is a free activity.   Baby Bounce and Rhyme time, every Monday 11-11.30am throughout the year. No need to book and this is a free activity. Talk time, every Monday 11.30-12.30am. All welcome to join, sit in the library for  tea/coffee, biscuits and a chat. They would love to see some new faces.  Computer /IT assistance on Mondays and Saturdays 10am-12pm. It is necessary to make an advance booking for this either by phoning 03000 41 31 31 and asking to be put through to Otford library or by going into the library to book an appointment. The library has free public Wi-Fi. When people join the library they can bring their iPad/tablet or laptop, are able to connect to the internet and get help from a volunteer. Alternatively customers are welcome to use one of the public computers. There is no charge for this service.  Please do contact Lorraine if you would like further information.  Lorraine Young, Otford Library, Kent County Council, 03000 41 41 41, email

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