A tribute to Alan Dimbleby

by Sue Short

Today, just before I left on my journey to Aylesford Priory, I heard that our good friend Alan had died. [It seems Alan died after an accident at work.]

He was a family man – loved by his wife and children. I first met Alan at a Residents’ Committee meeting. He greeted me with his wonderful broad grin – I immediately felt at ease.

He was kind and generous with his time. He took me on a tour of Charmwood Farm where he worked. He showed me the bat caves; the best place to view Norsted Manor and the banks and ditches – perhaps the work of a farmer-a farmer just like Alan.

Alan gave guided tours around Charmwood Farm – Pratts Bottom villagers could admire the fields and woods close to their village. He cheerfully showed us wild flowers; long lost footpaths; the new orchard he had planted – he smiled his lovely smile – he was proud – and so were we.

Alan always helped at village fairs, quizes and functions – stacking chairs and tables – he could be relied upon to get things done.

What happens now? Alan would know.

He was simply a lovely man – famous for cracking a corny joke; relied upon to help when help was needed. Within him was something special. Without him we are bereft.

Alan Dimbleby leading a walk on Charmwood Farm in 2008

Alan Dimbleby leading a walk on Charmwood Farm in 2008


That broad grin
Those corny jokes
That made us chuckle and smile
Always a gentle manner
Never abrasive or cruel
He was part of our village
That’s all – that’s all.

Chairs and tables stacked
Spaces cleared
Traffic directed
Tents erected
Part of our village community
That’s all – that’s all.

Bat caves revealed
Banks and ditches shown
Photographs taken
That broad grin again
Part of the fields
Part of the woods
Part of the countryside
That’s all – that’s all.

A family man
A good friend
A loyal worker
Not forgotten that broad grin
Those corny old jokes
Who will make us laugh now?
That’s all – that’s all.

Sue Short, 24 July 2015

Have your say on May 7

The Council is reminding residents who are not currently on the electoral register or have moved recently they have until Monday 20 April to register to have their say in the General Election on May 7.

Residents who haven’t registered yet should also be aware registering to vote has changed.  Individual Electoral Registration (IER) requires you to register and update your details individually.  No one can register for you.  The new system means you can register on-line at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote  Once on the page you need to fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details including your National Insurance number.  If you don’t have access to the internet or can’t use it a form can be posted to you.  Once registered you can vote at a polling station, by post or by proxy.

And remember it’s a legal requirement to register and you can face a fine if you fail to do so. If you want further information email electoral@bromley.gov.uk

Residents’ AGM 26 September

The Pratts Bottom Residents Association invites you to attend the Annual General Meeting on 26 September at the Village Hall. Kicking off at 7.30pm with tea and biscuits before the guest speaker, Mr Frank Levett from Orpington First, enlightens us on the regeneration of Orpington.

Seismic Goings On at Pratts Bottom: fracking hell?

Tesla Exploration International Ltd

Photo Tesla Exploration International Ltd

Unlikely as it may seem, the major seismological survey being carried out around Pratts Bottom, Knockholt and Farnborough by Tesla Exploration Ltd is to explore for “oil” (more likely, shale gas) for Northdown Energy Ltd, a partner of the Texas-based Alamo Energy Corporation.

The Sevenoaks planning application is available here but it doesn’t state the purpose: http://www.sevenoakstown.gov.uk/updates/20130204PlanAg.pdf

Note reference to an “oil discovery” at Knockholt: http://www.oilvoice.com/n/Alamo_Energy_Announces_Partnership_With_Northdown_Energy_to_Develop_UK_Weald_Basin_Acreage/8977c5fa7b74.aspx

Apparently we are considered to be in part of the “Weald Basin” and if you drill down far enough there are oil deposits: http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Yes-s-true-hunt-oil-planned-Sevenoaks/story-18076098-detail/story.html#axzz2U1JIv3ov

When will the nodding donkeys arrive? I think we should be told.

nodding donkey

Pratts Bottom Village Fete 11 May

A chance to get out your bunting again and win a prize for the Best Dressed House in the Village! With a little imagination, you can create a wonderful scarecrow for the competition: just bring it along to the URC before 11 on the morning of the 11th or display it in your front garden, letting us know that it is there so that it can be included in the judging.

There will be prizes for children who dress up as characters from children’s story books and join the May Queen Procession which begins at 11 in Broke Farm Drive Recreation ground. Once the May Queen opens the fete at 12 noon the fun will begin.

The “Fun Dog Show” will be judging the dog which looks most like its owner, the one with the waggiest tail and best entertainer, so bring along your “best friend” and enter it for one or all of the “classes”. The popular Horsey Hopper Races are being run again. Competition is fierce, so get  in some practice. As well as the entertainment there will be many exciting games to play, great prizes  to win and lots of stalls to browse, with interesting things to buy. The Railway Society are running a splendid steam train on a 50 foot track across the Green and in the Village Hall, together with other stalls and super refreshments, children will have a chance to drive Thomas the Tank Engine!

If you buy a Lucky Programme you will know what is happening and when it is going to happen and you could also win £50. An exciting end to the day is the raffle draw – don’t forget to buy your tickets as there are some great prizes to be won!

Lesley Jones – Chair of the Fete Committee

Fort Halstead development

If you were at the recent Residents’ Association AGM you will know about the big redevelopment plans afoot on the old MOD/Qinetiq base at the top of the hill where Britain’s atomic bomb was developed by William Penney. Unfortunately as the site is in Sevenoaks we are not being considered and consulted as fully as our councillors think we should be, especially as regards transport and parking at OUR local station – Knockholt station is in Bromley but the parking places outside are controlled by Sevenoaks council.

Views on this project have been circulated among a select group by email, so I’m hoping these and other people will post their comments here for us all to share.