STOP complaining – contribute. This is your future. You, your family and your neighbours are all members of the Otford community. Your views and your concerns about our future are what are important. We now have the opportunity, as a community, to create a formal Neighbourhood Plan. This will give us the opportunity to protect ourselves against unwanted outside influences and set out what we do want in the years ahead. It will be a community plan, not a Parish Council or District Council one. It will be your voice that is heard; your views that are expressed; your hopes that will form it. What YOU think is important. At 2.30pm on Saturday December 2, there will be a big community meeting in the Memorial Hall. Put it in your diary. It is important that you be there. You will hear how a Neighbourhood Plan can be formed and what is involved. You can voice your views and there will be opportunities for everyone to contribute ideas. A Neighbourhood Plan is important to our community’s future. Find out why at 2.30pm on Saturday December 2 at Otford Village Memorial Hall. OTFORD Heritage Centre Management Committee needs help at the present time in connection with an Art Archive, which will link the past with the present. They already have copies of several paintings of Otford in much earlier times, but need to know more about the artists and whether there are any more such paintings to be found in galleries or private collections. If this voluntary work could be of interest to you please contact Doug Cracknell, who is chair of the management committee on 01959 522325. THE 8 new Otford Heritage Trail information panels detailing key points on the Green and along the High Street, are well on the way to completion. Each panel tells the stories of the houses they stand opposite and include attractive watercolour impressions of the homes when in their prime. The fact that from an early age our local children will be able to understand the heritage of their own village is of great importance to the future. The purpose of the panels is to enhance understanding and appreciation of our local heritage, not to do it harm, and siting and visibility will therefore be critical. 1940s Society meet at 8pm tomorrow in the Memorial Hall to hear Liz Coward’s talk Blood & Bandages. Liz Coward will be talking about the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) during World War Two and in particular the role of William Earle who was a member of the RAMC mostly through the Italian campaign. A book about William Earle who is now 102 and written by Liz was published earlier this year. Refreshments will be available. You can find out about the Society and see the programme on their web site: http://www.1940.co.uk/ BOOK now for the Community Party which is being organised by the Otford Society on Saturday between 6 and 11pm in the Memorial Hall, High Street and will feature live music from "Cool Groove", a talented trio who will play a range of well-known numbers guaranteed to get toes tapping. There will be an included all-you-can-eat wood-fired pizza buffet from "Odori & Sapori by Romeo" which will cater for all tastes including vegetarians and vegans and gluten-free options are available if ordered in advance. A licensed bar will sell wine, local beer, and a range of soft drinks and don't forget the legendary raffle which will again offer a host of amazing prizes. Advance tickets are available now at discounted rates of £12 per adult and £5 per child (3-16), with under 3s free, and can be purchased from the Parish Council office, Yvonne's in Telston Lane, and The Otford Emporium or through www.otfordsociety.org.uk/party On the night, ticket prices will be £15 per adult and £7.50 per child. All profits will go to the Otford Scouts & Guides and if you can't attend the party but would like to support the cause then do get in touch to buy raffle tickets. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07930 374332. PILATES Classes are available from Sam Lee who runs small group classes for all abilities, using small props to deliver a full body workout that builds core strength, balance and flexibility at 7.30pm, on Wednesdays in Bartholomew's Church Hall, Otford. The price is £70 for a block of 7 classes. If you are interested email email@example.com www.pilateswithsam.com CANCER Research, Sevenoaks Volunteer Branch, present the ‘Sounds of Music Take 2, Rocking with Mockingbird’ at 7.30pm on Saturday December 9 in the Memorial Hall. Tickets cost just £17.50 including a fish and chip supper but take along your own drinks and glasses. There will also be a raffle. To book call 01959 533154. GIRLGUIDING Otford’s Christmas Post 2017. Stamps for Girlguiding Otford’s Christmas Post Service go on sale on November 28 for the 35th year running and will be available until Tuesday December 19. The special charity post service, which is one of the longest running in the country, delivers Christmas cards with the scheme’s special stamps to addresses in Otford village. Stamps cost 25p and are available to purchase in Otford library during normal opening hours or in the Parish Council office every weekday morning. Christmas cards can be posted in the special post boxes located in the same places. Otford’s Brownies and Guides will collect, sort, frank and then deliver the cards over the two weekends before Christmas. This year the money raised from the sale of the stamps will be divided between Dreamflight, a charity taking seriously ill or disabled children on holidays of a lifetime, and Kent Wildlife Trust. Please support them by purchasing the special stamps and posting your cards early. OTFORD Palace is asking for your support. You probably all know Otford Palace. The site and buildings are a listed monument under the protection of Historic England and are currently owned by Sevenoaks District Council (SDC). SDC wishes to find a secure and self-sustaining future for the property and is looking at a range of possibilities - from turning it into residential dwellings to some form of community asset. The Archbishop's Palace Conservation Trust (Charity registration number 1173486) has been set up with the aim of acquiring the Palace site and buildings, and creating a visitor centre that will not only present the history of the Palace and its Tudor history, but also act as an interpretation centre and springboard for the Darent Valley. They believe that this would be the best use of this iconic monument. It will be a major project and the costs will exceed £1.5M over several years. They have submitted their outline proposal to Sevenoaks District Council which will be considered in the next few months and have spoken to Historic England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other potential funding agencies, and have their provisional support. However, the first hurdle is to convince SDC that this is clearly the best future for the Archbishop's Palace. The Trust is asking for your support in persuading SDC that they should transfer the land and buildings to the Archbishop's Palace Conservation Trust, either for a nominal sum or on a long lease, that will enable them to realise their vision for the benefit of the residents of Otford, of the Darent Valley and the many visitors to the area. Please write to either Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council or Michelle Lowe at SDC, Council Offices, Argyle Rd, Sevenoaks TN13 1HG or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. OTFORD Folk Dance Club meet at 7.30pm on Thursday November 30 in the Church Hall, High Street, opposite The Bull Public House with Sue Hastings calling to recorded music. The cost is £1.50 which includes tea or coffee and biscuits. All kinds of mixed folk dances are on offer and everyone is 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 contact May Butson 01732 458356.