Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Yum yum! Pancakes on the Fair Feast menu at Otford Methodist Church on Shrove Tuesday – and don’t forget the quiz

FAIR FEAST 2019 is on Shrove Tuesday, 5 March between 7.30pm – 9.30pm.  The event is held at Otford Methodist Church and consists of pancakes and other refreshments as well as a quiz, with prizes for those on the winning table. Admission is by ticket and the price is £7 (students £3.50). All ticket receipts and any donations are given to All We Can, the Methodist relief fund, that supports work in  areas of great need. This year, All We Can suggests that all receipts be given for the relief of refugees, according to needs at the time the money is received by them. Tickets or tables (8 people) may be reserved by calling Glen Cable on 01732 457842 or send him an email at but payment need not be made until the night. Although everyone will be most welcome, numbers are limited so it is first come first served.  Since this year Shrove Tuesday falls within Free Trade Fortnight, refreshment ingredients and quiz prizes will consist of fairly-traded commodities where possible.

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 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 help sell the stamps and Gerry and Craig who print the stamps and posters.

TIME FOR A SINGALONG: Following the fantastic success of their Greatest Showman event, Otford-based charity Hospices of Hope is delighted to announce that their next Singalong evening is Mamma Mia! Here we go Again. Certificate PG.  Visit the magical Greek island of Kalokairi with them where you can laugh and love all over again.  Get ready to sing along to those Abba favourites, be a super trouper and a fabulous dancing queen. The name of the game is to raise funds for Hospices of Hope.

The screening is on Saturday 2 March at EMF Theatre, Tonbridge School.  The doors open at 6.15pm, the film starts at 7pm, and the performance is due to end at 10pm.  Tickets cost £9, (£7 for concessions -under 16 & over 65 years) and are selling out fast.  Book your tickets by calling the box office 01732 304241.

OTFORD WALKERS are invited to join the Tonbridge & Malling Ramblers (Breakaway) Group for a leisurely seven-mile (11.3km) circular walk from Shoreham to Lullingstone and back on Sunday 27 January. The meeting place and time is 10am in Shoreham PCP, Filston Lane, TN14 7SR, TQ518615,   Dogs on short leads accepted, there will be a nibble break and a pub at the end.  Estimated finish time 2pm.

Two other local walks are on offer at the beginning of March. On Sunday 3 March the group will meet at 10am in Otford High Street car park, opposite The Bull, to walk the 5.5 miles from Otford to Shoreham and back.  This circular walk starts with a steep climb but the views over Otford are well worth it.   Dogs on short leads accepted, there will be a nibble break and a pub at the end.  Estimated finish time 13.00.

For more info on the two meetings above contact: Graham on 07716 170900 or 01732 446101.

On Wednesday 6 March 6 the ramblers are meeting at 10am for a 5.5 mile, moderate, circular walk around Kemsing. The walk sets off at 10.15am from Kemsing village car park for a walk over the downs, through woods and lanes via Tinkerpot Lane with lovely views. One steep climb at the start and a long climb halfway.  Dogs on short leads accepted, there will be a nibble break and a pub at the end.  Estimated finish time 12.45pm.  Contact: Andy on 07850 562527.

OTFORD FOLK AND DANCE CLUB meets on 31 January when Chis Woodward will be calling. The Club have temporarily relocated to Walthamstow Hall Junior School.  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 n 01732 458356.

WEST KENT MEDIATION.  Many people do not realise that mediation is not only used in divorce cases. It is also used in other very different types of disputes and arguments where communication has broken down. Mediation is often used in neighbour disputes, family disputes (parents and teenagers experiencing relationship problems) and mediation is also highly effective when working with young people who are either homeless or at risk of being made homeless.

One of the things that we know for sure is that when disputes escalate it is likely that not only the people at the centre of the dispute/row that will suffer but also other family members, friends and neighbours. The effects on the parties involved can be devastating, causing anxiety, depression and even homelessness. Some disagreements escalate and communication breaks down completely, which is when the use of skilled mediators can help.

West Kent Mediation, which has a base in Sevenoaks, is hoping to distribute a number of articles throughout the year outlining the different types of mediation service they offer free to all residents in the Sevenoaks district.  Do contact either their CEO Amanda Bell ( ) or Gill Brewster, or call 01732 469696 for any further information.  Coming up will be parent teen mediation, peer mediation, mediation for homeless, and hopefully mediation from one of their volunteers perspective.

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 if you would like to help.

LIBRARY CONSULTATION: A reminder that Kent County Council is currently running a Consultation Questionnaire on its Libraries, Registration and Archives Draft Strategy and it will end on 29 January. Paper copies are available in the Library or complete the questionnaire online at kent.gv.k/lrastrategy.  KCC is seeking your views on proposals to introduce a tiering model for their 99 libraries and is also hosting 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 the documentation shows there is a proposal to amend Otford Library’s current hours from 24 to 23, 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 WEBSITE: Visitors to Otford can now plan their time in the 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 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.

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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