The Village Club
The aim of Downe Village Club is to foster the spirit of friendship and community, and wherever possible, to promote and organise special activities in Downe village. Formed to ensure the traditional Christmas lights in the village centre would continue (plus associated switch-on ceremony), the club holds various fund raising events in Downe.
The organisation is a properly constituted club, with it's own bank account. The committee decides how the money is to be spent - currently expenditure is on Christmas lights only – however this does not preclude other worthy causes applying for funds.
Club meetings are held in the Queen's Head (8pm start). Next meeting - AGM - tba
The committee are:
Geoff Dolan (chair)
Jayne Carroll (secretary)
Paul Gubby (events)
Abigail Rutherford (treasurer)
Downe Duck Race - Sunday 14 July 2019
Despite the considerable competing attractions of the men's Wimbledon final, England playing in the men's one day cricket final, and the British Grand Prix, a large crowd turned out on 14th July for the most important event - the 2019 Downe Duck Race. Click on the video below to see highlights.......
Village Club ball - 9 March 2019 - the dining room at West Kent Golf Club ready to go !
Downe Christmas lights were switched on by Elvis and the May Queen on Sunday 2nd December 2018
Another Christmas in Downe Village and once again we began the celebrations with our fellow Villagers, their relatives and friends at the annual "Switch On ". Our May Queen, Santa & Elvis, all played their part in a very entertaining event but it could not have happened without the support of the community who contribute regularly to our fundraising events and our dedicated Village Club members who plan and organize the event.
Downe Village Christmas lights was started in the early 90s by John Dawson following the loss of his father and with the help of Toby Harlow, a local electrician they managed for several years to provide an annual display relying solely on donations and often finishing up out of pocket.
Latterly, Downe Village Club took over the reins and organized fundraising events specifically to provide adequate finance in advance. Our aim as a club has always been to assist worthwhile local causes with any surplus funds.
This year we were blessed by the generosity of Mark from KC Services who provided the electricians and Chris from North End Farm who provided the Cherry Picker to access the trees. They all worked tirelessly for 2 days in terrible weather, without charge, to provide a fantastic lighting display. Mark did suggest that a donation might be made to a local charity that is close to his heart and naturally, with greatly reduced costs this year, we were able to assist.
The Freddie Farmer Foundation in Bromley provides much needed support to Cerebal Palsy sufferers and provides physical and emotional help to families throughout the South East, relying solely on fundraising activities.
It was with great pride and admiration for their endeavours that, on behalf of our Downe Village Club, I was recently able to present a cheque for £1036 to further their great work.
I know John Dawson and his family too will be proud to have instigated what is now a fine village tradition.
Thank you all once again for your support and I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Geoff Dolan - Chair, Downe Village Club (below, with Freddie)
Some photos from the great Downe Duck Race on Sunday (9th Sept 2018)
Race night 2017 - Saturday 17 March 2018 saw the race night in the village hall, run by the Village Club, and hosted by MC Paul Gubby. Much fun was had, and in the process, raised funds for the Downe Christmas lights
Past events (2017)
Christmas lights switch on event - hosted by Elvis, Rev John Musson Hebe (May Queen), Father Christmas, and some snow !
Dancing in Downe
A local 7-piece band was the main attraction in our village hall on Saturday 7th October for another splendid night of food (sumptuous curry and local homemade desserts). Following dinner, the usual movers and shakers got down to the serious business of gyrating with their partners to the live music.
With ticket sales, raffle receipts and generous auction bids, the Village Club are pleased to say that a profit of £1,912 was achieved. This will greatly assist the planned improvements to this year's village Christmas lights event (the cost of which is anticipated to exceed £3,000).
A very big "thank you" to everyone who participated in helping us reach such a fantastic profit, and my team (led on this occasiuon by Paula Donovan), who , along with the girls, worked their socks off to give us such an enjoyable night.
Downe duck race
Fast becoming the "must visit" attraction, the Downe Duck Race saw over 200 visitors to our village on Sunday 16 July. As the 146 bus departed, the signal was given to Christmas Tree Farm to start the race and soon there was a fast flowing stream of water carrying a mass of tiny yellow ducks on their annual voyage towards the finishing line just past the George & Dragon
The event raised just over £2,400, which is a 40% increase on last year. On behalf of the Village Club, I would like to say a huge "thank you" to everyone who purchased tickets, to my team who worked tirelessly to make the day such a success, and a big "thank you" to Christmas Tree Farm for their welcome support. We appreciate it immensely.
Downe duck race (July 2017)
Dancing in Downe - May 2015