Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

Popular Otford fete opens at 11am on Bank Holiday Monday and promises to be out of this world

OTFORD VILLAGE FETE opens to the public at 11am on Bank Holiday Monday, 27 May, on the High Street Recreation Ground. The event has been running for 75 years, and this year the organisers hope to raise over £2,500 to help train a Guide Dog puppy and give it an ‘Otford related’ name, with ‘Becket’ being among the front runners.  However suggestions for the puppy’s name would still be welcome see the Fete website at: otfordvillagefete.org.

One of the main reasons for wishing to support the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has been witnessing the difference having a Guide Dog has made to our popular Local Parish Councillor, Dr Howard Leicester, who was matched last year with ‘Rosie’ a beautiful honey-coloured retriever.

The Fete’s theme this year is celebrating one of mankind’s greatest achievements. 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, when man first set foot upon another world. The theme also relates to a unique millennium project which saw Otford install the World’s Largest Scale Model of the Solar System. It is designed to show the exact position of the planets orbiting the sun as they were configured at the dawn of the new millennium. It is made from the most durable materials in the hope that it will last for the next 1,000 years when astronomers will be able to work out to within half-an-hour the exact date the model celebrates.

OTFORD AND DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY: 2019 is the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War and marks the 75th anniversary of the ‘D Day’ invasion of June 6 1944. Otford and District Historical Society is proposing a series of articles over the next few editions of their Newsletter about the ‘home front’ and the war, particularly related to Otford. Members also hope there will be a number of associated exhibitions in the Otford Heritage Centre. But they need your help.  Do you have any documents, photos, artifacts etc. (other material would be welcome too) about either your own, or perhaps more likely your family experiences, during the war? These do not have to be related to Otford but if they are, even better.

Do you perhaps have (or did you once have) an Anderson air-raid shelter in your garden? They would love to hear from you. Do you have any reminiscences or family stories about the war; about evacuation, rationing, food, Christmas at war, the ‘blitz’, ‘doodlebugs’, Air Raid Precautions, the blackout, the Home Guard etc you would be willing to share?

You can write as much or as little as you wish. It might even help you write that family history you’ve been meaning to put together.  They can copy any documents you might wish to share with them.  Contact them at alanwilliams725@btinternet.com or leave your contact details in the Heritage Centre or Parish Office.

OTFORD NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: Your views are important. If you live in Otford, a copy of the Neighbourhood Plan Community Survey will be arriving through your letterbox. Please remember to complete the form and post it in the collection box in the Parish Office, Otford Library, Yvonne’s, Otford Pharmacy, or the Post Office.  Alternatively, you can complete survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T7J7QJN

1940’s SOCIETY meet at 8pm on Friday 31 May in the Otford Memorial Hall for a talk by Peter Nixon about The Bethnal Green Tube Shelter Incident. Admission £3.  Local writer Peter will explore one of the most tragic domestic disasters of the war which occurred on 3 March 1943 and was hushed up at the time. For further details contact 07927 748773 or go to the website: www.1940.co.uk

ART EXHIBITION: As part of Art in June, Angela Bishop and daughter, Suzie Galloway are exhibiting their sculptures, paintings, and glasswork in the garden and studios at 5, Broughton Road, Otford, from 8-23 June. For more details of when the exhibition is open, or to book an appointment, call 01959 523203. Angela is also exhibiting with The East Surrey Sculpture Society at Ightham Mote from 2-30 June.

Other Otford artists participating in Art in June are Ann Bridges at 58 High Street, Otford – open 10am to 5pm Saturdays and Sundays 8/9 15/16 and 22/23 – and Barbara Darby (bdvideos.co.uk) and Julian Cheswick, Hope Artists, 3 Spring Head Road, Kemsing T15 6QL, 2pm to 7pm Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays 7/8/9, 14/15/16 and 21/22/23 June.

OTFORD LIBRARY: Following his last sell-out talk at Otford Library, Giles Milton will be returning to the library at 7pm on 12 June to talk about his latest book D-Day, the Soldiers’ Story. Copies of the book will be available to buy at the event. Tickets cost £6 and must be booked in advance either by emailing otfordlibrary@kent.gov.uk or telephoning 03000 41 31 31. Or pop into the library to reserve your place and take a look at the history of Otford School exhibition. Don’t delay tickets are selling fast.

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: drake_kay@hotmail.com

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