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News Index 2008

Previous Year's News

In detail

 - Heaver Tropics 27/3
 - London Golf Club 10/7
 - North Ash Road 5/6
 - Tithe Map 5/6

Ash Road 21/2
Broomfields 6/3
Buses 3/7
Caxton Close 6/11
 - Cancer Research UK 15/5
 - Children's Trust 15/5
 - Sport Relief 10/4
Cherry Trees 4/9
Church Road 10/7, 9/10, 30/10

 - All Saints' 17/1, 3/4
 - St Francis de Sales RC 26/5
 - St Mary's Fawkham 31/7
 - Rev Richard Worssam 3/4
 - United Reformed Church 26/6
Country Club 9/9
Cricket 9/9
Crime 31/1, 6/3, 28/8, 4/9, 25/9, 9/10, 6/11
Dickens Close 4/12
Electricity 26/5
Fairby Grange 4/9
 - Brands Hatch Road 28/8
 - Speedgate Farm 15/5
 - Speedgate Hill 3/4
Fire Brigade 24/1, 3/4
Flooding 3/1
Golf 21/2
Hampsheir, Shane 21/2, 10/7
Hartley Players 27/11
Hartley Wood 10/4, 9/10
Health 24/2, 28/2, 17/4, 5/6
Hoselands View 31/1
Housing Market 24/1
Jenman, Dr James 10/1
London Golf Club 21/2
 - Crime 31/1, 7/2
 - Festival 3/7
 - Hartley Road 10/4
 - Henry's Bakery 15/5
 - Nationwide 3/1
 - Taste of China 24/7
 - Waitrose 10/1
 - Zara 24/7
Longfield Hill 7/2, 21/2
Manor Drive 24/1, 25/9, 9/10
New Ash Green
 - Bowes Wood 31/1
 - Budgens 3/1
 - Butler's Place 23/10
 - Capelands 17/7
 - Coltstead 17/1
 - Co-op 3/1, 17/1
 - Crime 17/1, 31/1, 14/2, 17/7
 - Farm Holt 17/1
 - Library 19/6
 - Lloyds Bank 14/2
 - Millfield 24/1
 - Olivers Mill 17/1
 - Oxfam 17/7
 - Penenden 5/6, 28/8
 - Redhill Wood 3/1
 - Shopping Centre 6/3
 - Walking/Exercise 20/3, 24/4, 8/5, 16/10
 - Woodlands Group 17/1
Pop in Parlour 26/6
Porchester Close 6/11
Post Office 6/3
Poverty 9/10
Railway 31/1, 21/2, 24/7
Ramsay, Cllr Brian 3/4
Road accidents 3/1, 7/2, 21/2, 10/4
 - Axton Chase 24/1, 1/5, 8/5, 15/5, 22/5, 5/6, 19/6, 30/10
 - Fawkham Primary 19/6
 - Hartley Primary 21/2, 6/3, 10/4, 22/5
 - Langafel 19/6
 - Milestone 3/7
 - NAG Primary 20/3, 27/3, 3/4, 5/6, 3/7, 9/10
 - Steep Hill 14/2, 19/6
Scouts 10/1, 8/2, 24/4, 31/7
Springcroft 3/1
Stack Lane 9/10
Theatre 17/4
Walking 27/11
Wellfield 31/1, 6/11
Woodland Avenue 9/10

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4 December 2008
The Cottage, Hartley, £699,995

(Dartford Times, p22) Picture feature on the house in Hartley Bottom Road and 0.6 acres of land on sale with Hartley Estates.

No half measures
(Dartford Times, p9) Resident of Dickens Close calls for scrapping of Dartford Crossing tolls.

27 November 2008
These boots are made for walking
(Dartford Messenger, p18) Picture feature of the 37 attending the latest Sevenoaks Council walk in Hartley.

Players on form
(Dartford Messenger, p18) Positive review of the latest Hartley Players' production "Off the Hook"

13 November 2008
Day Nursery planned for Turnagain House
(FHC) Sevenoaks Council have just received a planning application (08/2907) to convert the Ash Road home into a day nursery (7.30 - 6.30 Monday - Friday) for 58 children with 14.5 staff.  According to the statement from the applicants it was a home for 8 children aged 6-16 with severe behavioural problems but has since ceased operating.  They say that the home had an exemplary record, but inevitably there were complaints about disruptive behaviour and noise and the police had been called 140 times in 2007.  They propose 19 parking spaces and an in-out facility to drop children off.

6 November 2008
Cars damaged by vandals

(Dartford Times, p7) Scratches or damage to wing mirrors at Caxton Close, Porchester Close and Wellfield.

30 October 2008
Demolition man told to fill hole

(Dartford Messenger, p2) Sevenoaks Council's order to demolish house in Church Road overturned by planning inspector, but owner is told they would have to conceal basement.

Top award for ugliness
(Dartford Messenger, p6) Longfield Academy wins award for Kent's ugliest pumpkin (picture)

23 October 2008
When we read the book we recognised ourselves

(Dartford Messenger, p3) Locals say "Stig of the Dump" by Clive King is based on memories of Butler's Place, Ash in the 1930s, when the author lived at Oliver's Farm in Butchers Lane.

16 October 2008
Sevenoaks Council has £1 million invested in Landsbanki

Sevenoaks Council was one of the UK councils to have money invested in Icelandic Banks.  According to their list of investments as of 31 March 2008, they have £1 million invested in Landsbanki, who also traded under the name Icesave.  The investment was due to mature on 25 June 2009.  It could have been worse as a further £3 million invested in Icelandic Banks matured earlier this year.  The council has £21 million spread over 17 institutions, mostly UK building societies, but it also included money invested in 2005 in Northern Rock.

Speedy Leigh, 9, is beating adults
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Picture feature on young athlete from New Ash Green.  He is pictured with Dame Kelly Holmes

9 October 2008
Man in court in stab case

(Dartford Messenger, p3) 26 year old man from Reading charged with wounding with intent and other offences at Manor Drive on 21 September 2008.

Children fighting for their survival
(Dartford Messenger, p7) 23% of children in Hartley, 14% in Longfield and 21% in Fawkham live in low income families, according to the Campaign to end Child Poverty.  The figures represent the number of children in families where no-one works for more than 16 hours a week or are on working tax credits.  The average for Dartford Constituency is 32%.

Double yellow lines for Church Road?
(Dartford Times, p45, Sevenoaks website) Sevenoaks Council propose double yellow lines in Church Road between Copperdene and Middle Farm, and for a short distance in the entrance of Stack Lane and in Woodland Avenue from the Church Road entrance to the Croft.  Consultation ends 3 November 2008.

Junior Ministers
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Mayor of Dartford presents badges to New Ash Green Primary School council members (picture feature)

Wait for woodland report
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Brief notice of public enquiry about the village green application for Hartley Wood.

25 September 2008
Child kidnapped and man stabbed in Hartley

(News Shopper website) 21 year old man taken to hospital after being stabbed in Manor Drive at about 8.15pm on Tuesday 23rd.  Child kidnapped but later returned unharmed.

9 September 2008
Rain has final say as Hartley lift crown
(News Shopper website) Hartley Country Club win the 2008 Kent Cricket League Premier Division, after deciding match with Bromley was rained off.

4 September 2008
Magnificent effort at care home

(Dartford Messenger, p6) Picture feature on first fete run by Fairby Grange, raising £800 for residents' activities.

Woman punched in face by stranger
(Dartford Messenger, p3) A woman in her 20s was attacked in the car park behind the shops in Cherry Trees around 9pm on the 26th.  Attacker seen running towards Manor Drive.

28 August 2008
Court for cheats
(Dartford Times, p5)
Woman guilty of fraud (Dartford Messenger, p4)
Penenden resident given community order over receiving benefits while in work.

Recycling centre will be hi-tech
(Dartford Messenger, p4) Pepper Hill recycling centre to reopen on 1 September, expected to receive 300,000 visitors annually.

Motorbike accident
(Dartford Times, p 7) 40 year old man taken to Darent Valley hospital after crash on Brands Hatch Road, Fawkham on 21st August.

31 July 2008
Cream team

(Dartford Messenger, p10) Picture feature on walk and cream tea organised by Friends of Fawkham Church.

Badge of honour for scout leader
(Dartford Messenger, p13) Hartley Scout leader awarded Chief Scout's Long Service Decoration.  Another leader of the group given silver acorn award (picture).

Scout and about
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Picture feature of event at Hopehill featuring scouts from Longfield and New Ash Green.

24 July 2008
Death on rail leaves passengers stranded

(Dartford Messenger, p5) 40 year old man from Orpington died after walking onto the line at Longfield at 5.30pm on 19th July.  100 passengers on train led to safety, local restaurants Taste of China and Zara thanked for the help they gave.

17 July 2008
Intruders leave charity shop flooded out

(Dartford Messenger, p9) Stock at Oxfam shop in New Ash Green damaged after thieves broke in and damaged sprinkler system.  Manageress saddened at the loss to the charity saying "there are so many disasters happening in the world, there are a lot of people who could really use the money".

Double figures
(Dartford Messenger, p9) New Ash Green Primary School celebrates its 10th anniversary (picture).

A big thanks to education chiefs
(Dartford Times, p9) Capelands mum writes to thank Greenwich University and Kent Awards Scheme for enabling her to obtain a "life changing" first class degree in Sports Science.

10 July 2008
Swings can only get better

(Dartford Times, p61) Feature on the European Open Golf tournament at the London Golf Club, South Ash, attended by 57,000 over 4 days.

Nightmare for demolition man
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Church Road homeowner still waiting for result of appeal against Sevenoaks Council's plans to demolish his house.  In the meantime he has made a complaint against the council alleging maladministration (picture).

Shane does it his way
(Dartford Messenger, p13) Local performer Shane Hampsheir to star the Woodville Halls, Gravesend.

3 July 2008
Festival fun hits right note
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Photo feature on Longfield Festival.

Just desserts: teachers learn students are not to be trifled with
(Dartford Messenger, p8) Photo feature on Milestone School summer fair.

Bus pass reverts to 9am start for holders
(Dartford Messenger, p12) Thanks to KCC funding local bus pass holders can now use the bus for free earlier.

Cycle rally
(Dartford Messenger, p12) Picture feature of New Ash Green Primary School's cycling event.

26 June 2008
Sugar anyone? Popping in for tea

(Dartford Messenger, p13) Picture feature of Thursday's Pop In Parlour at All Saints' Church Centre, which has been running since 1995.

Development on the cards for Church
(Dartford Messenger, p7) Plans have been submitted for 8 flats on the former United Reformed Church site in Ash Road.

19 June 2008
'Exhausted' parents accept assurances - and an apology

(Dartford Messenger, p5) Further developments in the academy proposals at Axton Chase, the parents the paper interviewed claim to have changed their minds from opposition.  In another development, the head Kevin Stokes has resigned and in his letter he said he was in favour of the academy.

Mystery shutdown of village classes
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Fawkham CofE and Steep Hill Schools get enquiries from parents after Fawkham House Independent School in West Kingsdown announces its closure.

School fair
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Picture feature of Langafel School fair which raised over £4,000.

Peace and quiet for a good read
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Opening of reading garden at New Ash Green library.

5 June 2008
Parents step up fight against academy plan (Dartford Times, p7)
Parents cling to hopes of Future for children
(Dartford Messenger, p7)
Interview with parent from Penenden, New Ash Green who sets out the case against an academy for Axton Chase School - class sizes, ending comprehensive education and lack of accountability if things go wrong.

Solving the case of TV policeman's home
(Dartford Messenger, p8) County Councillor David Brazier, who is selling his home in North Ash Road, asks for any information concerning the actor Jack Warner, who is said to have lived there.

Map offers insight into past hardship
(Dartford Messenger, p12) The Friends of Ash Church have agreed to pay for the preservation of the 1839 Tithe map of Ash (picture and feature)

How Heidi became Queen of the Green
(Dartford Messenger, p25) Picture feature on New Ash Green May Queen event, which raised £1,800 for the Primary School.

26 May 2008
12 hour power failure hits much of Hartley

(FHC) A problem with a high voltage cable led to a power cut for 2,300 homes in the Hartley area from 5.15am.  It was partially restored at 6am to part of Hartley (believed to be the south of the village), but power to the remainder was not restored until 5.10pm.  Added to this was the fact that it was the wettest day of the year with 1.6 inches of rain falling on Hartley - exceptional even for a Bank Holiday!

In spite of rain and power cuts the Roman Catholic fete went ahead in the school hall and was well attended.  Those in all electric households welcomed the chance of a hot drink.

22 May 2008
You can call for delay, angry parents are told
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Leader of KCC, Paul Carter, said he was in favour of the proposals, but would ask the secretary of state for a delay if consultation showed that is what parents wanted.  Many concerns raised at well attended public meeting.  CEO of the Leigh Academy apologised to Longfield parents for some comments he had earlier made, but felt "we are stronger together than alone".

Youngsters show off their singing talents
(Dartford Messenger, p14) Picture feature on Stars in their Eyes event at Hartley Primary School, raising £1,200.

15 May 2008
Academy anxt
(Dartford Times, p3) Interview with protestors against academy status for Axton Chase School.  Parents from Bazes Shaw, Coltstead and Caling Croft interviewed, one said "if I wanted my children to go to an academy witn no involvement in the way it is run, then I'd send them to Leigh City.  But I don't, I want my children to go to a school we all have an involvement with and are educated the way we want them to be".

Thousands sign against polyclinics
(Dartford Messenger, p7 & FHC) Concerns that the opening of a "supersurgery" in North Kent will lead to local closures, led thousands to sign a petition against, including many at the Kent House Surgery, Longfield.

Baker raises cash
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Henry's Bakery joins national doughnut week to support The Children's Trust.

Horse race needs more pink riders
(Dartford Messenger, p17) 150 riders already signed up to the 10 mile ride for life for Cancer Research UK at Speedgate Farm on 7 June, but they are looking for 200.

8 May 2008
Academy scheme upset

(Dartford Messenger, p4) Parents and pupils protest at Academy plans for Axton Chase School.  They object to the possible loss of the respected headmaster Kevin Stokes and class sizes of up to 60, which the Leigh Academy use.  The Chief Executive of the Leigh claims Axton would still be a separate school, although there may be one governing body.  KCC councillor David Brazier thought no-one objected to the academy just "some forms of its baggage" and the way they had been told.

Celebrating a year of walking back to health
(Dartford Messenger, p24) Picture feature on New Ash Green Wednesday walk.

1 May 2008
Parents to see £25m school rebuild plans

(Dartford Messenger, p4) Plans for Axton Chase school in Longfield are to rebuild it as an academy spealising in science and the arts in 2010/11.  Sponsors would be KCC, University of Kent and Leigh Technology Academy.

24 April 2008
Scouts pay for their own running costs by flogging some bargains

(Dartford Messenger, p2) Picture feature of Longfield and Hartley Scout Jumble sale, which raised £1,000.

Sporting fun for children with fitness theme
(Dartford Messenger, p10) Picture feature of activity programme which visited New Ash Green in the half term

Scouts' collections raise money for group
(Dartford Messenger, p13) Picture feature of Scout paper collection at Hemesley's Yard, Ash Road on the first Saturday of the month.

17 April 2008
Drugs 'ban' will hit quality of life

(Dartford Times, p5) Hartley resident speaks out about ban on prescribing Aricept in early stages of Alzheimers Disease.  He said his wife has visibly improved since taking the drug (picture)

Dog steals the limelight
(Dartford Messenger, p27) Hartley resident stars in Dartford Amateur Dramatic Society's production of Anything Goes.

10 April 2008
Diesel spill as car and lorry collide

(Dartford Messenger, p5) Accident on Hartley Road, Longfield at 6.45pm on the 5th.  Fifty litres of diesel leak from lorry.

Active participation
(Dartford Messenger, p10) Hartley Primary School raises £300 for sport relief (picture).

Poor would pay for benefit of the rich
(Dartford Messenger, p14) Two letters from Hartley residents pointing out problems with the parish Council's village green application: (1) Village Green status would mean unlimited access threatening the ancient woodland and nature conservation importance; (2) Is it fair for a poor borough like Southwark to subsidise a rich area like Hartley?

3 April 2008
Midnight call to blazing barn

(Dartford Messenger, p7) Fire crews from Dartford, Thameside, Swanley and Swanscombe battle blaze in barn at Speedgate Hill, Fawkham.

Vicar says a fond farewell
(Dartford Messenger, p12) The rector of Hartley and Fawkham, Rev Richard Worssam is moving to Otford.  He said Hartley "is a really happy parish with a good feel to it".

Can do: Green shoots are sprouting
(Dartford Messenger, p12) Picture of "Gary the Gardener"'s visit to New Ash Green Primary School, as part of their drive to get eco-status.

Business brains
(Dartford Messenger, p24) Sevenoaks Council's finance team wins Local Government Chronicle finance award for increased efficiency.  Picture of finance team and Hartley councillor Ramsay.

27 March 2008
Class Act

(Dartford Times, p12) Feature on New Ash Green Primary School, including picture. Description of school and its clubs.

Competition Win puts shop among the big fish
(Dartford Messenger, p23) Heaver Tropics in Ash Road, Ash wins £12,500 refit in competition.  Business started 27 years ago.  Picture of owner.

20 March 2008
Profit from reading

(Dartford Messenger, p8) Picture feature of charity readathon by New Ash Green Primary School.

Ramblers take a stroll
(Dartford Messenger, p12) Picture feature of regular Wednesday walk from New Ash Green, attended by about 40.

6 March 2008
Armed robbery ordeal

(Dartford Messenger, p2) Armed robbery at Hartley Post Office on 3rd March, where robbers threatened staff and ran off with contents of till.  They fled to car parked in Broomfields.

A pound investment
(Dartford Messenger, p7) Picture feature on "Seed Project" at Hartley Primary School.  Pupils are given £1 each by PTA to learn how to become entrepreneurs.

Villagers vent fury over shop concerns
(Dartford Messenger, p8) 300 attend meeing in New Ash Green to discuss the state of the shopping centre, most of which is owned by foreign registered companies.  Sevenoaks District Council criticised by several people at the meeting.

28 February 2008
Saving lives when those early minutes matter

(Dartford Messenger, p5) Feature on the South East Coast Ambulance service "Community Responders".  They are local volunteers trained to get to emergency cases quickly and treat them before the ambulance arrives.  Interview with volunteer from New Ash Green.

Link to press release.

24 February 2008
Childhood obesity report

(NHS Information Centre) Results for weight checks of reception class children in the West Kent PCT area (which includes our Dartford area) found that 12.7% were overweight and 9.1% were obese.  For year 6 pupils the figures were 14.5% overweight and 16.1% obese.  Most of these are a little below the average for England and Wales.

21 February 2008
Fence safety call after rail death (Dartford Messenger, p4)
Woman killed by train after fall (Dartford Times, p2)
Calls for improved fencing after 85 year old Longfield Hill woman falls to her death in cutting.  Network Rail says it is in hand.

Singer goes from shoe boy to sole sensation
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Singer Shane Hampsheir from Ash Road, Hartley appears on compilation CD "You raise me up", which also has contributions from Elton John and Katie Melua.  He sings the song "Home" originally by Michael Buble.

Shane Hampsheir website; Myspace Music (including concert dates)

Man injured
(Dartford Messenger, p9) 22 year old man taken to hospital after accident at Church Road/Ash Road junction, Hartley.

Golf legends set to tee-off
(Dartford Times, p11) European Open to be staged at London Golf Club, Ash in July.

Class Act
(Dartford Times, p12) Picture of Year Two Sycamore Class of Hartley Primary School.

14 February 2008
Gunman threatens bank staff in raid

(Dartford Messenger, p14) A £25,000 reward for information is offered, after Lloyds Bank in New Ash Green was held up for the 3rd time since 2002 (picture).

Robot fun
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Picture feature of Steep Hill School's day with robots.

8 February 2008
Three thousand trees for all at Jeskyns

(Forestry Commission Press Release) Longfield and Hartley Beaver Scouts among 600+ children involved in tree planting at the new community park at Jeskyns Farm near Cobham.

7 February 2008
Chicane danger claim, as children injured in crash

(Dartford Messenger, p6) Some local residents complain that chicanes in Longfield Hill cause accidents, after three children suffered minor injuries when two cars collided at one.  They were introduced in 2002, and KCC say they have reduced accidents.

Manager takes gun attack in his stride(Dartford Messenger, p8)
Gunman hunted (Dartford Times, p13)
Coral betting shop in Longfield held up by man with gun and knife.  He fled empty handed.

31 January 2008
Family terrified as thieves steal lead from porch

(Dartford Messenger, p11) Lead from from porch in Hoselands View stolen leaving family traumatise family.  Other attempted thefts in Hoselands View and Wellfield (picture).

Rail crime crackdown looks to be paying off
(Dartford Messenger, p10) Number of offences at Longfield station has fallen from 33 in year ending April 2007, to 14 in the first 8 months of this year (equivalent to 21 annually).

Six years for teen who raped girl in woods
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Man of no fixed abode given 6 years at Maidstone Crown Court for rape in Bowes Wood, New Ash Green.  He was arrested at the scene after a neighbour called the police.

24 January 2008
Academy 'may affect morale'

(Gravesend Reporter, p7) NUT union claim the proposed Axton Chase Academy in Longfield would have to operate selection and teachers would have worse pay and conditions.  All of which was denied by Kent County Council.

Heating system sparks fire fears
(Dartford Messenger, p6) Dartford Fire Brigade attend overheating system at Millfield, New Ash Green.

Edwardian feel to this family home
(Dartford Messenger, property p1 and 8) Feature on new house in Manor Drive called Larch Green, on the market with Remax for £695,000.

17 January 2008
Yobs caged for savage stabbing

(Dartford Times, p5) 20 year old man from Farm Holt, New Ash Green jailed for 4 years for stabbing man from Coltstead with bottle in September 2006.  Court also shown video of fight in New Ash Green Shopping Centre on 1 January 2007 where accused was seen on video.  However a 22 year old man and a 20 year old man from Olivers Mill were acquitted of the September attack.

Villagers celebrate new supermarket
(Dartford Messenger, p4) Picture of opening of Co-op store in New Ash Green.  All 37 Budgens staff were taken on by the new store.

The Rev Worssam
(Dartford Messenger, p22) Hartley's rector is moving to become vicar of Otford.

An evening of dance and laughter
(Dartford Messenger, p22) Picture of West Hill Morris Dancers at New Ash Green Woodlands Group Wassail.

10 January 2008
Bollard and pod for safer cash machine
(Dartford Messenger, p10) Waitrose supermarket has applied for planning permission for a cash machine.

In sympathy
(Dartford Messenger, p13) Much loved former local GP Dr James Lowther Jenman died just before Christmas.

Scout paper success
(Scouts' Press Release) The monthly paper collection at Hemesley's Yard has raised £3,000 for the Scouts in 2007.

3 January 2008
Only supermarket is saved from axe

(Dartford Messenger, p11) Budgens store to be reopened as a Co-op (picture)

Branch will reopen after ram-raid
(Dartford Messenger, p7) New look Nationwide Building Society in Longfield to reopen in March after being damaged in ram-raid.  

Drier future in store for flood-risk villagers
(Dartford Messenger, p6) KCC have allocated money to try and deal with the flooding problem, that has plagued Springcroft since 1968.  The county council has done works already, but residents say it hasn't helped (pictures).

Teenage driver in horror crash
(Dartford Messenger, p2) 17 year old driver had to be cut free by Dartford Fire Brigade and taken to hospital, after his car overturned in Redhill Wood and demolished a wall.