“a marvellous party”!

A warm summer’s evening, stunning surroundings, fabulous canapes and delicious wine: the eighty Otford residents who came to our third annual Garden Party at Troutbeck all had a wonderful time. Exploring the lovely gardens or just sitting and chatting to old friends, it was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours. And thanks to their generosity and some great prizes, the raffle raised £200 for Phab, a charity devoted to inspiring and supporting disabled and non-disabled children, young people and adults to make more of life together.  The money raised was used to buy jigsaws, and you can see their lovely thank you note below.

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Craft Guild popup returns!

We’re back at Otford Station from 10 to 12 on Saturday, July 8th. Two local craft businesses will be displaying and selling their wares. Rhi Love It produces stylish, hand-painted upcycled furniture, unique pieces to adorn any home. And there will be a range of wonderful handmade crafts for children from Kellys Cre8tions. Whether you’re taking the train or not, do be sure to ‘pop’ down and support these wonderful local crafters.

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Otford Superstar!

Last night at our Annual General Meeting we were delighted to present our latest community superstar award to Mr Shafi, our local pharmacist. The first person to nominate him summed up his invaluable contribution to our village: “The Otford pharmacy stayed open all through Covid, and Mr Shafi was aways happy and available to give advice. This is now still the case as people sometimes find it difficult to get a quick appointment with their GP surgery. As a village we are very lucky to have a local chemist with a truly caring man.” He was presented with a certificate by our chairman, Rod Shelton, ‘in recognition of the considerate and unselfish work you do for our whole community’, and a lovely plant.

The well-attended AGM heard full reports on the year’s activities from the Chairman, Vice-Chairman Simon Featherstone and Treasurer Chris Sutton, as well as a look ahead to events planned for the rest of 2023. The evening concluded with a fascinating talk from Dr Chris Gardner, Head of Science and Partnerships at the South East Rivers Trust. He outlined the challenges facing the Darent River, one of only 250 chalk streams worldwide; and the encouraging long-term plans to protect it and restore biodiversity in the river catchment of the Darent Valley.

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Annual Summer Garden Party, June 25th

Tickets are now available for this wonderful event, the highlight of our summer calendar. We are delighted to be holding it from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Sunday June 25th in the stunning garden of one of Otford’s hidden gems, Troutbeck, and are immensely grateful to the owners for making it available to Otford residents. It’s bound to be another hugely successful midsummer occasion. Tickets cost £20 and include a welcome drink and delicious canapes. Purchase tickets online here.

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Great Village Coronation BBQ

A big thank you to all the organisations and volunteers who helped make this another hugely successful and enjoyable community event on Monday. The weather defied all the forecasts and around 800 people of all ages came together to enjoy the food and listen to some great live entertainment. Our village churches turned on teas and provided activities for the children, the scouts cooked up a storm, and The Bull ran a busy beer tent. It was a day to remember for us all.

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We’re back at the Fete!

Yes, once more we’re going to be at the Otford Village Fete between 11 and 4 on Bank Holiday Monday, 29th May. Do come by and get to know our Trustees and committee members, find out what we’ve been up to over the past year, and sign up to join or to help. The ever-popular Wheel of Fortune will be spinning as usual with a chance to win a bottle or sweets. Our stand will be right opposite the entrance, so you can’t miss us!

The Fete Committee is delighted to announce that there will be several new attractions this year including a Giant Jenga, an arcade of games. They’ve also booked Captain Fantastic, voted the UK’s Number One Children’s Entertainment Company, who will be performing three separate shows during the afternoon. On the food front the range on offer has been extended to include a Brooklyn Deli van inspired by the cuisine of the USA and a cocktail van; so why not try their Alabama Slammer for a truly American experience!

Elands Veterinary Clinic will be running the very popular and always oversubscribed dog show, with some amazing prizes for the winning entry in each class. Be sure to register early to avoid disappointment.

Entry fee is £3 for adults and children under the age of 11 get in free. Lots more information can be found at www.otfordvillagefete.org

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Annual General Meeting, 24 May

Notice is given that our AGM will be held in the Otford Memorial Hall Club Room at 7:30 pm on Wednesday 24th May. Do put the date in your diary now and plan to come along and have your say on issues that are important to our village. Doors open at 7pm when refreshments will be served. Dr Chris Gardner from the South East Rivers Trust will be giving a talk on “The River with a Bright Future”. Reports from officers and an agenda are available here ahead of the meeting. And our popular Otford Superstar award will be presented! Who will it be this time…..?

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Coronation BBQ on the Green, May 8th

Another big event at the Green this year! Otford Parish Council and the Otford Society are joining forces again to lay on a celebration of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.  The village barbecue will be on The Green from 12 noon to 4pm and everyone is welcome.

Enjoy juicy burgers and succulent sausages straight from our sizzling barbecue. There will also be a beer tent, a wine stall and stands selling soft drinks, cakes and ice cream.  Miss Vintage and Flashback will be providing live entertainment and there will once again be craft activities for children. 

There are no restrictions on the number of people who can attend this free event. However in order to plan the catering and ensure that nobody is disappointed on the day we are selling advance meal vouchers to guarantee lunch. These are available from the following: Ibbett Mosely and Otford Dry Cleaners in the Parade; Pond View Cafe, Mille Fleurs, Fine & Country, the Bull and the Parish Office, all in the High Street; and Yvonne’s shop in Telston Lane.  The vouchers cost £1 and  entitle the bearer to £2 off the cost of any BBQ meal. Note that these vouchers cannot be used on other food or drinks stands.

Bring rugs and chairs and settle down to enjoy what will be another memorable day for the whole community.

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Craft Guild April popup

The next one will be in Otford Station from 10 to 12 on the morning of Saturday, April 8th. The lovely craft kits from Kellys Cre8tions could be just the thing to keep the children busy and entertained in the Easter holidays. And for more seasonal treats they’ll be joined by KS Arts and Cards, with handmade eco-friendly designs which take inspiration from nature. Do make sure to call in and browse – and buy! Two different craft stalls will be at the station every month from now on – keep an eye out on our social media for days and times.

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Otford EGGxtravaganza

In 2021 it was chicks, last year it was rabbits… this year it’s an egg-animal hunt! From April 1st until Easter Monday they’ll be hidden all around the village in our EGGciting annual Easter Trail. They’ll be in shop windows in the High Street and the Parade, and hidden along the footpaths linking the two. Children under 11 will be able to report how many they’ve counted to the lovely people in Ibbett Mosely (on the Parade), Fine & Country (near the pond) or Yvonne’s Shop in Telston Lane – and claim a prize. By the time you read this they may already be out, so get counting! And remember to leave them where you spot them for others to find. 

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