Downe Christmas lights
DOWNE village club look to provide support to local causes including the installation of our village Christmas lights.
Like all charities this year we have been restricted on our opportunities to run fundraising events but were very fortunate to have held our annual ball in March 2020 at West Kent golf course.
This event enabled us to donate £3,000 to ‘Living on’ - a bereavement charity for children and their families.
We have also used our fundraising efforts to support the local DOWNE village hall, St Mary’s church and more recently towards families who needed help with food donations in the height of the pandemic.
None of this would be possible without the support of you the DOWNE residents and we feel this is even more poignant now as we embark on our most unusual Christmas yet!
On Monday 23rd & Tuesday 24th November you will see electricians start to install Christmas lights in the centre of the village; as is tradition this time of year. We have met government guidelines and have a Bromley council licence in which to do so.
The only difference this year is that there will be no official switch on!
The lights will be switched on in time for Christmas but no set date will be shared.
If you would like to contribute to the installation of the lights please do so via the ‘virtual bucket’ Just giving page below (click on link):
All donations are welcome, no matter how large or small and can only help us to try and enjoy Christmas and the more simple things in life!
Stay safe and we wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas!
From the DOWNE village club chairman
Natasha Brooks and the committee members Jayne Carroll, Abigail Rutherford, Paula Donovan, David Muir, Paul Gubby & Karen Kroese.
Downe May Queen 2020 - Would you like to join us?
Event postponed until Sat 1st May 2021
What is Downe May Queen?
We are a friendly group who will be meeting in the Village Hall on seven Tuesdays after school during March and April (not during the Easter holidays) to practise dances and songs.
What does the May Queen involve?
The next May Queen is on the afternoon of Saturday 1st May 2021. There is a parade around the village, church service, crowning of the May Queen, dancing, Maypole dancing and a tea party.
Why does May Queen happen?
May Queen is a longstanding tradition in Downe (see 1934 photo above). It is a way to celebrate new life and the start of spring.
Who can join?
Children aged 3 upwards can join the group. Our current group ranges from age 3 to age 9.
How do I join?
For further information on how to join or if you have any questions please email:
Downe orchard - the third (and final) apple harvest on 26th September results in over 2,000 kg of apples !
Downe orchard - apple day (5th September) - attendees and harvest
Welcome in the New Year Village Hall party - 4th January
Welcome in the New Year with live music & dancing from "Barnestormer"
Saturday 4th January 2020 in Downe village hall - 7:30 pm - 11 pm
An event to bring residents together for a fun evening. Bring your own drink & nibbles
£10 per adult - children are free
To book please call Marcia on 01689 852757 (Cash only please)
This is not about fundraising - it is a FUNraising night !!!
Coronavirus - local action in Downe
To meet the challenges of the current Coronavirus epidemic, a group of residents in Downe has formed a Co-ordination Group to work to help the community cope with the challenges ahead. While there is no evidence Downe has been affected yet, we are aware that the effects could be dramatic, and we need to make sure everyone - particularly the vulnerable and older members are looked after.
The Co-ordination Group includes Abigail Rutherford, Zoe Knight, Dave Evans, Sally Wells, Rev John Musson, Pastor Glen Hanna, Alison Sleath, Paul Gubby, Geoff Dolan, Karen Kroese, Tony Dixon, John Isbell, Steve Barnes
Already it is apparent that there are lots of willing helpers in the village and we fully encourage all to look after their neighbours. Anyone needing help can contact the co-ordination team who will be trying to provide help, guidance and regular communication around the village. We have already started with talking to the local businesses in order to ensure food deliveries and supplies continues.
We have identified road representatives (“road rep”) to help across the village:
Who is your road rep? – How can they help?
We have divided Downe into areas – by street, with a “road rep” for each area, who will be the point of contact for you. They will make themselves known to you and provide you with a way of contacting them. They will keep in touch with you by phone, email or personally (taking into account the 2m/6’ social distancing rule) if you require it.
To make sure everyone is comfortable with this arrangement we will need to hold personal contact information, complying with data protection, for the duration of this Coronavirus crisis. This is also an opportunity to provide the “road rep” with contact details of a family or friend you would like contacted if you fall ill.
We aim to have someone very nearby who you can contact, not just to request practical help, but who can arrange pastoral help/telephone support if you are lonely or scared or unable to get out?
All the above does not stop anyone from helping their neighbours – indeed there are many caring people in the village already doing this. Please carry on - it would also be very useful if you could contact your “road rep” so that each person knows what the other is doing
If you want to get in touch with the Co-ordination Group, please e-mail:
How to check if someone is a bona fide “road rep” if you are concerned ?
To check: You can ring any of the following people
The Rev John Musson, St Mary’s Church - mobile: 07504 827929 or 01959 540012
Steve Barnes (Downe Residents’ Association) – mobile 07860 643048 or 01689 854661
Zoe Knight – mobile 07973 696272 or 01689 850569
Downe village ball - report
After last year's success we really did not expect to do it again so easily especially with all the negativity that currently surrounds us. How wrong we were and testament to the fantastic support that our Villagers,their friends and local businesses bestow upon the hardworking and diligent individuals at Downe Village Club. A true community effort that we should all be very proud of.
The event was once again held at West Kent Golf Club whose staff provided a warm welcome together with a sumptuous meal and great hospitality. The Violet Jive entertained us splendidly and the evening was a spectacular success as were the fundraising activities.
This year's chosen Charity is LIVING ON which supports bereaved families in the Bromley area. Alison Sleath, one of our villagers, gave a moving presentation showing how vital fundraising support is to them. They rely entirely on donations to cover their annual costs circa £35,000 and we were able to donate a whopping £3000 to kick start this year's funding.
If you have the desire to make a small regular monthly donation or want to share a recent windfall please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07808 527677 and make a difference to those in need as they slowly come to terms with their sad loss.
Thankyou all on behalf of The Downe Village Club and further thanks to everyone who provided prizes for our Auction and Raffle.
We hope to see you all again next Spring.
Geoff Dolan - Chair
St Christopher's Bluebell Walk - Sunday 3rd May
Event now cancelled
St Christopher’s Hospice’s has announced that its popular and uplifting Bluebell Walk will be held on 3 May 2020 in Cudham, Kent, and registration opens this week. Demand for hospice services across Bromley and St Christopher’s four other South London boroughs is growing year on year, and the public’s generous support of its biggest single fundraising event of 2020 – the Bluebell Walk – is key to help keeping up with demand.
Phillipa Kelham, Head of Fundraising at St Christopher’s explains, “This year, we really need even more of you to join our Bluebell Walk, so that we can hit our £70,000 fundraising target and continue to be there whenever you or your family might need us”.
St Christopher’s supports people who are at the end of life or bereaved, across the boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham, Croydon, Lambeth, and Southwark. Help is given to people in their own homes or from its centres in Sydenham and Orpington.
The fundraising Bluebell Walk rambles through the beautiful Kent countryside, starting and finishing in the picturesque village of Cudham. It offers a choice of routes between three and nine miles long; all with lovely views, carpets of bluebells, and good company along the way.
Walk the walk at www.stchristophers.org.uk/bluebellwalk
When: 3 May 2020, 9am to 2pm
Where: Cudham Recreation Ground, Cudham Lane South, Kent, TN14 7QB
Prices: Early Bird prices Adult (18 or over) £6.99, Young adult (13 to 17) £4.99, Under 13: FREE
Photo caption above (L-R): Nick Reynolds, together with son Regan, sister Natasha, and niece Chelsey, enjoying the Bluebell Walk in 2018
Now open - the refurbished "Dakshin" restaurant
(photo - courtesy Marion Hooson)
"Suspiciously Elvis" appeared at the village hall on Saturday 19th October - click the play button on the picture below to see short video highlights....
Suspiciously Elvis and Jonesy of the Valley, both in Downe Village Hall, Saturday 19 October
The hall was packed, the £10 tickets had gone like hot cakes- it was ‘bring your own’ - we were all in anticipation of a great night - and we weren’t disappointed! In came ‘Tom Jones’, wearing a red shirt, black trousers and sporting a couple of bananas, large enough to make your eyes water - and he didn’t stop bellowing out all the old favourites (and dancing on the tables): Delilah, Green Green Grass of Home; Sex Bomb...
So, he was the warm up for the class act to follow: ‘Suspiciously Elvis’ who we all know and love from the Christmas Lights Switch On! What a voice, what energy- everyone was dancing - and he went on and on and on - we didn’t want it to end
Big thanks go to Paul Gubby who organised the evening, everyone who stayed to help clear up - and especially to Ivor Potter - the man of many talents, who gave us an evening to remember (with his man, Harley on the buttons)
Downe village orchard - "Apple Day" - 12 October
Downe Village Orchard Apple Day
Saturday 12 October 2019
apple harvesting from 1pm,
activities from 3pm
activities in Downe Orchard beside North End Lane gate
access also from Rookery Road
(if wet, in the Village Hall)
The Great Downe Apple Bake-Off
bring your competition entry to the judges’ table at 3pm
The Bake-Off sponsored by The Queen’s Head pub
Prizes will be awarded in three age groups:
11 and under; 18 and under; over 18
Entries to include apples
and can be baked (sweet or savoury), or a preserve
Our panel of judges are culinary experts from Downe, The WI and the London food scene:
Jayne, Caroline and Michele
come, see and join in . . activities from 3pm
live music includes the first public performance of the Downe Orchard song
The Queen’s Head pub BBQ in the orchard – at special prices
local produce stall, with items for sale preserves, honey
local craft stall, with items for sale textile art, floral art, fabric craft
local photography exhibition/sale proceeds to St. Mary’s Church
competitions, apple bobbing
floral foraging + design for kids, by Jodie T
apple juicing – taste the new juice newly bottled and ready for sale
Bromley Countryside Volunteers stand
Downe School stand, with activities
Down House stand – property and volunteering information, competition
Bromley RSPB stand (Royal Society of the Protection of Birds) with family activities and items for sale
For more information email:
Facebook: Downe Village Orchard
Downe Primary school sensory garden - work starts.....
"Elvis" entertains at the Christmas lights switch-on (1st December)
Biggin Hill Festival of Flight 2019 (17th/18th August) - special deal for residents
Downe Residents' Association has once again negotiated residents' special rate tickets for the Biggin Hill 2019 Festival of Flight on Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August.
The tickets are now available for sale from the Queen's Head and George & Dragon pubs in the village. Please pay by cash where possible - the pubs make no profit on the sales.
The details of the residents only offer are:
A discounted price of £16 per ticket (current standard price is £23.50)
You can purchase a ticket for either day (Saturday or Sunday)
No limit to the number of tickets purchased as long as it’s restricted to village members and family
If driving, you can drive in via the West Hill/Green Hill “back gate” and park (normally only used for "VIP" ticket holders). A car park permit can be issued with the event tickets (to be displayed in the car)
There is minibus transport from the car park to the event
Walking into the venue is fine
Two children of 15 years and under are allowed in free with every adult ticket holder
The entrance will be open from 10am
A year in the life of Business In Downe (BID)
We started our journey in October of 2017 when a few brave souls ventures into the George and Dragon at 8 am – not at all knowing what to expect.
That meeting was well supported by all the local great and good and it became very clear from that moment on what a lot of talent there was in the room.
We have an incredible bunch of entrepreneurial business people in the village and surrounding areas – amazing businesses who can fit carpets, windows, and sort out cars, your accounts, your pets, your yoga body, your curtains, blinds, chairs, your face, local newspapers and magazines, local bands, a pizza business and much, much more. All of the people who have attended so far have benefited in new business, new connections, and new ideas for running their business.
We have had weddings and births within the group as well as some great business initiatives launched…
In December we entered the pub later than usual for some well-deserved celebratory beers at the end of the year, and enjoyed the company of all the new friends we had met.
So what is happening in 2019 – well a lot of more of the same – tips, support, encouragement, networking, learning and fun.
We would love to welcome more people – if you are a local business person or you know of someone in Downe and the surrounding area who could benefit – please be in contact.
Thanks to everyone who has attending – and especially to Jamie at the G and D for the great breakfast!
Remembrance in Downe - commemorating 100th anniversary of the end of WW1
Downe village commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 on Sunday 11th November.
Downe May Queen ceremony 5 May 2018 - a fantastic turnout and great weather for the event this year to see Abbie Sleath crowned. Here are a couple of general scenes (thanks Sarah for the second):
....and the May Queen herself - Abbie Sleath (courtesy of Alison Sleath)
Luxted Road - ash tree down (luckily not obstructing the road)
Downe Christmas lights 2017
Events at High Elms Golf Course
A major refurbishment which has given the golf centre a brand new licensed café/bar on the ground floor which is open to the general public and dogs are welcome. There is now a disabled access and a lift to the first floor.
A room for hire is available - if there are any events that the local community might like to have, contact Anne Gaff on 01689 858175.
For more details click here to go to their website...
Willow tree takes a battering
The willow tree in the village pond has now been completely removed
Heavy plant lorries in Downe High St - last week waiting to carry out resurfacing work in Mill Lane
Pictures from "Dancing in Downe" - 7th October (see Village Club page also)
Filming in Downe (5 October)
Actors trooping into Trowmers on Thursday for filming a wedding scene for a new 6 part BBC drama - "Informer"
Downe duck race - picture of the start of the annual race organised by the Village Club on 15 July to raise funds for the Downe Christmas lights. Over £2,400 profit was made - well done top the team involved. Go to Village Club page for more pictures
Downe May Queen procession starts in Standard Road on 29 April
Downe says goodbye to Brenda Powell - a tea party was held in the village hall on Saturday (22 April) for long-serving resident Brenda Powell who has moved away. A good crowd turned out to honour her and her contributions to Downe village (thanks Dave Witherspoon for the photos)...