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Otford Pond at Dawn31 March: Winner of Winter Photo Competition

We are delighted to announce that Maria Assia has been chosen as the winner of our Winter Photographic Competition.

Her atmospheric picture of Otford Pond at Dawn
was the clear favourite in our public online vote.
Maria has been awarded a 25 gift voucher which she has chosen to spend at Mille Fleurs in the village.


CONGRATULATIONS MARIA!

Well done to everyone else who entered the competition; the standard was very high so please do enter again!
If you think you've got it in you to be a prizewinning photographer, look up full details and an entry form for our Spring Competition.


24 March: Otford Easter Chick Chase

Mummy duck on the pondMummy Duck is on the pond, but her chicks are hiding: along the High Street, beside the footpath that runs past the Palace, and even in some shop windows. Have you seen any yet?

The Otford Society is encouraging families to count how many they can find and then tell the Dry Cleaners in the Parade or Fine and Country Estate Agents near the Pond…. and if you’re under 10 years of age you’ll win a prize! 

Take care as you hunt for chicks around the village, and please leave them where they are for others to spot. Please DON’T cross over to the pond as there are no chicks hidden there.

And if you’re taking pictures, do share them online with the hashtag #otfordchickchase.



14 March 2021: National Day of Reflection

National Day of ReflectionThe Otford Society is supporting the National Day of Reflection to mark the anniversary of the UK's first Covid lockdown. The Marie Curie charity has spearheaded the plan for Tuesday 23rd March, when those who have died in the pandemic will be remembered.

Marie Curie estimates that over 3 million people have been bereaved since the pandemic began, yet many have been unable to properly say goodbye to loved ones or grieve.

The National Day of Reflection includes a minute's silence at midday to reflect on those who have died and daffodils (fresh, drawn or crafted) placed in windows, as a symbol of hope.

As night falls, the nation will appear on their doorsteps with candles, torches or simply lights from their mobile phones - for a minute of silence in the evening, sharing a beacon of support in these incredibly tough times.

See how you can support the National Day of Reflection by visiting the Marie Curie website https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/get-involved/day-of-reflection


Spring in Otford1 March 2021: Spring Photo Competition: Hidden Gems in Otford

It's now time to think about SPRING, and the green shoots that are beginning to appear on plants and trees around our village. We'll be looking for less photographed corners of Otford, or different angles on familiar landmarks. The closing date  is 31 May, and the winner chosen by residents will win a 25 gift voucher to spend in our village shops, cafes and restaurants once they reopen. 

Full details and entry form.

And a big thank you to everyone who submitted entries to the Winter Photo Competition - there have been some fantastic submissions. You can see the seven shortlisted entries and vote for the winner by visiting the Otford Village Hub Facebook page.



Traffic in Otford3 February 2021:
20 mph at last for Otford?

Road safety has long been a major issue for the Otford community. While the weight of traffic and speeds have increased, the roads themselves are much as they were a hundred years ago. In 2007 the Otford Society carried out a survey of residents in which over 91% of respondents expressed concerns about the speed of traffic through the village, with clear support for a 20 mph speed limit, particularly in the High Street. It has taken a long time, but thanks to the efforts of the Traffic Management Group of the Otford Parish Council and Kent Highways, a design for such a speed limit in parts of the village has now been agreed.  The final version of the Otford Traffic Calming Scheme put forward for approval by Kent County Council was published in November and can be viewed online here: http://www.otfordpc.kentparishes.gov.uk/otford-traffic-scheme-drawings-30-september-2020/. The project divides into three parts. Funding constraints may mean that the work on some of the parts will need to be spread over future years. It is hoped that the High Street and Station Road parts of the scheme, however, may be under way by the spring. As well as the 20mph speed limits, the plans include physical traffic calming measures such as speed tables, road narrowing, a pavement extension for the Pickmoss step and new and clearer crossing area. Where 20mph limits are not possible, measures are included to enforce current speed limits.  This will mean that pedestrians of all ages should feel much safer as a result.  Thank you to all those who contributed to it.



Foot crossing near Otford Station12 January 2021: A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

We all know the level crossing just south of Otford Station that joins the footpath between Well Road and Tudor Drive. It’s a much used thoroughfare to the station and village for many people who live on the eastern side of the railway line.
This foot crossing has served the community since 1862. There has not been a single fatality or serious accident on it in over 158 years. Yet Network Rail is seeking to replace it with a footbridge.
No... not a tidy little footbridge that you might find on a Hornby Double-O train set, but a massive 36ft high bridge constructed to accommodate gantries carrying overhead power cables beneath its walk-way. A slip or trip on the bridge’s 64 steps is all too easy to imagine... especially in bad weather! Incredibly, neither Network Rail, nor anyone else, will take responsibility for keeping the bridge safe and clear of wet leaves, ice and snow.
National statistics for trips and falls from steps suggest the bridge represents a far greater risk of accidents happening than the foot crossing which it seeks to replace. Those who will be particularly vulnerable are parents with young children and older residents. A third of Otford’s population is over 65 and, as we grow older, this formidable structure will become more and more of an ‘uphill’ challenge to cross.
Of course you can avoid the 64 steps by taking the longer route all the way round past the Scout Hut and down Station Road, avoiding speeding traffic as you try to cross. It's a much longer route to the village and we all know how dangerous the main road can be!
The Otford Society stood against the bridge proposal in March 2017. At that hearing adjudicators from Kent County Council supported Otford’s concerns about safety and inconvenience, and threw out Network Rail’s appeal with a unanimous 5-0 verdict... yet now (seemingly to try and wear us down) they have appealed again.

The Otford Society needs as much support as possible to oppose Network Rail’s plan. Your view will really count, so if you agree with us please sign the online petition at http://chng.it/pqrVd6MCfH .
Better still, email or write expressing your concern to: Yvonne Oddy, The Planning Inspectorate, Rights of Way Section, Room 3/A Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN.  Email: yvonne.oddy@planninginspectorare.gov.uk
Please quote reference number ROW/3201659 on all correspondence (deadline 24th February).
If you would like further information, please contact councillor Philip Clucas on philip.clucas@otford.net



Palace Field in the snow1 January 2021: Photography Competition - Otford in Winter
We are all limited in what we can do at the moment but we do live in a beautiful photogenic village! Today we are announcing the village seasonal photo competition. Our aim is to encourage residents to go out and take photographs that could inspire visitors to come to our Heritage Village. Entries should feature Otford landscapes, landmarks, wildlife or local buildings – with a focus on the theme of “Winter”. Run by the Otford Society, it is open to all residents of the village.

The competition closes at the end of February, so get out your camera or smartphone and get ‘snapping’... you could win a 25 voucher to spend in the village shops!

 
Full details and entry form.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR COMMUNITY



22 December 2020: Otford Heritage Village, a new website about our village history
Heritage websiteA fantastic new website has just been launched as part of the Heritage Otford project (the team that designed and supplied all the heritage information boards throughout the village).

It has been funded by The Heritage Lottery and it’s worth every penny. Anything you didn’t know or all those things you wondered about our village – it’s all in here. Did you know there was a stone-age fort up the Mount? – or that the lead from our palace may have helped Elizabeth 1 to fund her ships to fight the Armada?

The https://otfordheritagevillage.org.uk is an incredibly interesting site to explore. Do visit it for yourself. You’ll never regret it. Many thanks to Rod Shelton and Phil Clucas for the months of work they put in to design it!




21 December 2020: Best Dressed Tree Competition

WinnersWe are delighted to announce that four of the trees donated by the Otford Society particularly caught the judges’ eyes, and in recognition will be awarded a prize. Otford Barbers for exuberance, Denise Thompson Designer Florist for originality, Vitality Home Health Care for topicality, and Otford Dry Cleaners for sheer fun.

Congratulations to all those Otford  businesses who, in this most difficult of Christmas seasons, have helped to cheer our community with their festive decorations. We wish them all a happy Christmas and better times in 2021 – do be sure to support them when they are once again all open.





20 December 2020: The Otford Society and Road Friends invite you to a doorstep Christmas Eve Festive Cheer
Bells

You may have heard calls for a global Christmas Eve Doorstep Jingle, for everyone to stand on their doorstep and ring a bell for two minutes to cheer and help Santa on his way. Otford would like to go further and follow this with a Christmas carol or two to celebrate the strength of our community, to thank our amazing key workers – who have cared so much for us and still do by working this Christmas – and to give our neighbours a virtual big hug.

When? 6pm on Christmas Eve. Where? Your doorstep or front lawn.
After the 2 minutes of bell ringing/ cheer, we will start with ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ and you can lead on from there if you wish.

Bring instruments, hot chocolate or a glass of sherry, but please keep to social distancing guidelines.



4 December 2020: The Otford Society brings Christmas spirit to our village

Christmas trees in Otford High StreetAs we emerge from lockdown into Tier 3 we're delighted to announce that The Otford Society  has donated Christmas trees to every shop in the village to brighten things up and encourage us to support our local shops who have struggled through this year. Our guest judges will be walking around the villlage over the coming fortnight, and on December 21st the winners of our 'Best Dressed Tree' competition will be announced.

Snow DomeThere's also a SNOW DOME TRAIL for children to follow - we hope all the children in the village will join in the fun!
There are twenty festive snow dome posters  in Otford shops (the High Street and the near by Otford Parade) and each  one features a different animal silhouette.... come and see if you can  find them and discover the nick-names of them all...!
The Trail will run from Saturday 5th. December until after Christmas.
Entry is  FREE, and Trail Forms can be picked up from the table outside Sally's Cake Emporium in the centre of the village.

Alternatively, you can print off your own Trail Form here.

It's fun for all he family.... especially for children aged between three and eighty-three...!


New Otford Society logo24 August 2020: The Otford Society is relaunched!

The Otford Society has been relaunched with a new team of trustees and we are working on a number of projects to make life better in the village.  Watch out very soon for the Christmas trees outside the High St Shops with a fun trail for children to encourage everyone to support our local shops at this challenging time.

Officers of the Society
The following were unanimously elected at a meeting of the trustees:
Chairman – Rod Shelton
Vice Chairman – Jeff Lee
Acting Treasurer – Simon Featherstone







Otford Society Home Page






The Otford Society 2021
Registered with the Civic Trust, Affiliated to the Council for the Protection of Rural England & the Kent Federation of Amenity Societies
Registered Charity no. 272974