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The first Green Street Green Tweet Up on 12 February 2018 was the 20th event, previously known as Orpington Tweet up, which launched in February 2013.
Generously sponsored by local Green Street Green estate agent, Edmund's, Tweet Ups are FREE community events to encourage responsible use of social media but also to promote local activities and projects - contributors and those interested in learning more about what's happening in the Orpington area are all welcome.
NEXT ONE: Monday 1 July 2019 at 7:45pm at The Greenwood Centre, Green Street Green - focussing on a theme TBC relevant to the local area.
IF YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR THE NEXT THEME, PLEASE EMAIL US SO THEY CAN BE CONSIDERED - if you would like to come along and speak or are interested in promoting local organisations and events, please contact us.
Book your place on Eventbrite Click on links to Download Poster and Agenda (when available)
Any local organisations which would like to participate and promote their activities, please email Margot Rohan
To see previous Tweet Ups, visit the Orpington Community website: Orpington Tweet Up
r8 April 2019 - Animal Rescue and Welfare
Jean Hildrew from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home gave an illuminating history:
She has been a volunteer for 7 years. She brought a rescue dog with her - Dixie, a Labradoodle found abandoned three kilos underweight. Jean is an Intake Socialiser but also cleans kennels, does laundering etc. and helps at fundraising events.
Battersea Dogs Home was founded in Holloway in 1850 by Mary Tealby, who sadly died 5 years later. There is no photograph of her. In 1883 cats started to be taken in. Battersea Old Windsor started up in 1979 and Little Brands Hatch 10 years later. In 2002 the name was changed to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. It was rebranded in 2018, with a cartoon logo.
In 2018 7,000 animals were helped with rehoming and reuniting with families - 3,000 were cats. 9 dogs and 7 cats are taken in every day on average. 250 dogs and 120 cats are regularly in residence. 65% are handed in ('gifted') and 30% are strays but the latter have reduced in numbers. 1,225 animals were reunited with their original owners. Dolly, a dog, was resident for 400 days but is now happily rehomed.
The lost animals line received 3,000 calls plus 3,500 from people who had found animals.
In 2015 a new block with a veterinary hospital was built at Battersea. A lot of the funds came from the Northern Line, which is being built under Battersea.
There is also an Academy to help smaller rescue centres all over the world. Battersea is involved in international campaigns. Its biggest concern is dogs sold online.
Volunteers back up staff to ensure animals get the best care. Battersea is an expert in championing vulnerable dogs and cats. Now it looks outwards much more.
There are 500 staff and about 800 volunteers (not all active at the same time). All dogs have medical assessments. In an emergency they go to a local vet. Every dog has an ICP (individual care plan). Care is taken in matching animals with new owners. 'Forever Loved' provides lifetime support to all owners.
There are different ways in which people can volunteer. Bedding is always needed:
Fashionable breeds also appear, such as chihuahua, greyhounds, lurchers, pugs - the latter often need face operations for breathing difficulties. Mongrels are much rarer now.
There is also a working dogs co-ordinator. Battersea had the first staffie to work in a prison. A lot of spaniels go to working homes.
Jean related stories about a couple of Battersea's rehomed dogs:
Peggy, a collie/staffie/russell cross, did not like doors. She was fostered for a long time but, after a year, a country home was found for her and she has now come to terms with doors.
Dolly, an American bull dog, found her face did not fit. However, a man turned up who had lost his dog. He was on his own and it was a marriage made in heaven.
Lucas Rudge from Reptile Events explained the pros and cons of keeping reptiles as pets:
Lucas is the owner. He started out doing the PR side for another rescue centre but ended up taking it over. It is now run as a rescue centre with PR and education. His passion is myth and legend-busting and he aims to reach people who are not interested in reptiles, in order to save them. He and members of his team visit schools, country shows etc - anywhere where they can educate people. They handle all reptiles apart from terrapins and turtles - up to 18 feet long.
They are the only reptile rescue service in the south east and no equipment is available for handling snakes over 12 feet. Lucas recounted an incident where he collected an 18ft python. He had been told it was only 12 feet so was not equipped to manage it. Two people struggled to get it into the box to transport it and eventually succeeded after some time.
The law has been changed so that children under 16 years cannot own a reptile. Many people buy snakes for children, not understanding the issues. Snakes are active at night. They are good pets but have a 50 year lifespan and are well-known for going off their food. They can go for 3-6 months without eating. They do not need to be fed live food - appropriate food can be purchased online and kept frozen. It needs to be defrosted and warmed up before offering it to snakes, as they have heat vision, so will not see it is food if it is not warm.
They mainly do house rescues. The oldest pet rescued was only 18 months old. Fashion snakes have been bred in different colours but the governing body has now banned different coloured non-natural snakes. Wild rescues are mainly grass snakes. People abandon snakes thinking they can survive in the wild – but depends on origin – some snakes need higher temperatures.Snakes get dumped as people think they will cope in the wild, without realising they may not survive in a cold climate.
Project work involves going to events where people have not seen wild animals.
In over 10 years of handling 2,000 snakes per year Lucas has only been bitten 4 times.
Anyone can contact the centre for help and advice.
Kylie Simons from Ashmore Veterinary Centre talked about her work:
The Ashmore Centre was started in 2013 by Hilary La Thrope and daughter Sarah. Hilary is a very experienced surgeon. She tries to be more affordable for people. In 2014 Kylie joined with a nurse. There are three full time vets and one part-time, plus 4 nurses.
Ashmore also covers low cost referrals and rescue work. They advise people how to care better for their animals. They work with Pro-Dogs Direct based in Aldershot, which takes on puppy farm dogs without making any judgments. Sometimes they are in an awful state, scared, never having been outside.
Kylie related the case of Fudge, a young girl lurcher dog with a broken leg.– The owner did not have money to pay for the dog's treament. Ashmore fixed the broken leg and looked after Fudge for several months, before finding a new owner.
Another case involved a Border Terrier. Ashmore received a phone call from Companion Care in Orpington. They had found the dog abandoned, collapsed and unable to stand., weighing just three kilos instead of eight to nine. Blood results revealed the dog was severely malnourished and anaemic. Ashmore had a greyhound blood donor and gave the terrier a blood transfusion. Within 2-3 weeks it recovered and they found new owners.
A young Russian blue cat was brought into the Centre with an awful skin condition and no hair. It is now fully recovered and living in Green Street Green.
Bull dogs and pugs often need surgery for breathing problems. A lot get rehomed. Sometimes they have to sedate dogs if they will not allow vaccinations, nail clipping etc.
Kylie explained that they are always looking for dogs to be blood donors. Good donors are 1-8yrs old, over 25 kilos and up to date with vaccinations and worming.
Sharon Baldwin, Executive Director of Orpington 1st, gave an update on the latest activities in the High Street:
The Orpington BID (Business Improvement District) consists of 350 businesses, which contribute by paying an extra 1.5% on their business rates. The Council passes on the money to Orpington 1st.
There is a ballot every five years voting on continuing the BID. It is now in its 6th year. A majority of 90% of businesses voted in favour - a very high rate. There are 320 BIDs across UK. Retail is struggling. Large national companies were propping it up but now most of the big names are in serious financial trouble.
In Orpington there are 225 ground floor units, shops and restaurants. There are another 100 units above the shops and these are becoming more important in holding the town centre together. Employees in offices come out and boost the lunchtime trade, with more customers at weekends. New service sectors are being encouraged into the High Street. There are branches of all five main national banks, which is very rare. They bring in smaller businesses.
There is a new policy to convert retail to residential, with the need for more housing. There has been mixed response to this as now too many small units are being converted, which is detrimental in smaller town centres. A lot of work is needed to maintain what exists. A new structure is needed to build town centres of the future. How will they look, how big should they be, how many coffee shops can exist? What about markets? New activities are required as people want to do different, exciting things. New challenges must be anticipated to ensure Orpington town centre delivers them. Orpington 1st has spoken to the Council about doing a development plan for the area. 6 years later the process has started. The first consultation meeting was three weeks ago. Jo Johnson, senior local politicians, Knoll RA ad others all met to think about what is needed. It is important to ensure the right project is wanted by everyone. Orpington 1st has put in a bid for £200,000 to prepare a proper consultation document with architects etc. If successful, there will be nine months for a public consultation. The Council has been asked to be as open and transparent as possible and to involve local people. If the bid is unsuccessful, LBB has agreed that Orpington is the most important area in the borough. The Walnuts will be key to what happens in that area, as two main areas are no longer fit for purpose.
There is not enough in the shopping centre but what is needed? What does Orpington want to be known for? In the market what should we have? Far more housing will be brought into the centre. What balance of housing is needed to support the commercial business? The voice of local residents must be strong to express what they want, particularly in terms of the leisure offer - swimming pool etc.?
Orpington has great transport links but still wants to be better connected. Connectivity between the High Street and Nugent centre is being considered. Another focal point is Biggin Hill, where an Aviation College is being built , which will offer new opportunities. There will also be a new hotel for aircraft staff.
The cost of running physical shops is increasing as more people are buying online. However, in Orpington the vacancy rate is 7% which is lower than the average 11%.
Current developments include:
Orpington 1st will continue putting on events in the square, which the businesses in the High Street finance.
Crockenhill Second Chance Animal Rescue was unable to attend due to being called out to an incident of horses in the road.
(For further information on any of the organisations, click on the underlined green links)
Trustee and Secretary, Green Street Green Association
By 7:30pm on Saturday 24 March, the Quiz was in full swing.
A good time was had by all on our second quiz evening. We had 60 “quizzers” which were split into 9 teams and we also had 9 rounds including an interesting “sweet” round where teams had to identify various types of sweets – either by eating them or smelling them – most teams took the first option !
At the end of the quiz there were just 2 points between “Wizard of “0”s and “Cantium” with the former taking first place. The “Wooden Spoon” award was given to the “Games of Phones” who only had 4 members in their team and still managed a healthy score despite coming last.
For a change the raffle prizes were wrapped in brown paper concealing the item so the winners had a surprise gift to open.
Our Quiz Master and author was Neil who, despite our sound system producing rather loud noises on odd occasions, managed to preside over the proceeding with just the right amount of joviality needed.
Profits from this event go towards maintaining the hall and perhaps to even providing a new sound system for our next quiz evening and future events!
Janet Stacey - Membership Secretary & Events Committee
The Christmas Fair was popular again with Sound Alliance & Father Christmas!
The raffle raised over £1800 - all proceeds in aid of the Greenwood Community Centre charity.
List of prizes, sponsor and winners here
A slide show of photos of the event can be viewed here
Our Christmas tree was kindly donated by Chelsfield Turf (see below)
Her funeral took place at St Mary's Church, World's End Lane on Tuesday 28 November 2017 and was packed out with family and friends. Family members gave fond reminiscences of her full and varied life from childhood in the countryside to her six decades in Green Street Green.
Margot Rohan - Village Society Secretary
7 No Trumps, Wizard of O’s and Jean’s Jesters were among some of the teams who recently vied to be local champions at the GSG Village Society Quiz. Held on the 23 September 2017 at the Greenwood Community Centre, the quiz consisted of nine rounds of general knowledge questions that challenged even the most hardened “quiz wiz”.
During the half time break teams munched on some tasty fish and chips, supplied by Seabream in the Crescent, whilst trying to decipher a pictograph featuring 70 rock and roll bands, and competing in a round of heads and tails. With one round of the quiz to go two teams were neck and neck, and in a nail-biting finish, Gaye Bikers on Acid were crowned the winners, with one point separating them from second place, Famous Five.
The Events Committee would like to congratulate all those who took part, the winners, and Margaret Lawrence, who was a fabulous Madame Quizmaster and kept energy and excitement levels high throughout. Please look out for further events in 2018 and, as always, we welcome any suggestions or ideas for future activities.
Eleanor McIntosh, Entertainment Committee
10 June 2017
St Christopher's Wild West Summer Fair
Another beautiful sunny event with a breeze to keep things cool...
The Village Society did roaring business throughout the day with Splat the Rat, Buzzwire and the Treasure Map:
4 June 2016
Photos taken by local resident Barrie Newman (member of Greenwood Camera Club)
6 June 2015
St Christopher's Wild West Fair and Food Festival saw over 3,000 people this year! The Green Street Green Village Society stall was one of very few stalls with games - a Treasure Map and Splat the Rat, both of which proved very popular. It was altogether a successful day for all concerned.
There were several dance exhibitions, including line dancing. The music was a little overpowering but added atmosphere.
Although the majority of those attending the fair appeared to come from further afield, there were at least two Green Street Green residents who were unaware of the Village Society, so we still need to increase awareness, as villagers need to know the Society is there to raise local issues and ensure Green Street Green retains its unique close community environment.
It is a pity there was not more promotion of the fair. Perhaps some bunting along the road edge and posters advertising the event in advance would increase awareness.
Winner of the Treasure Hunt was Mrs Tina Bradshaw, a Green Street Green resident - unfortunately the photographs taken on presentation to her were corrupted on download, so they cannot be uploaded here - many apologies.
Dot Ryder’s party on Saturday, celebrating 6 decades of commitment to the community of Green Street Green, was well attended by nearly 50 members of the Village Society, as well as Dot’s family and close friends. As she is now in the second half of her 9th decade, she felt she might be slowing down a little, so she has decided to hand over the reins of her role as hall bookings secretary.
Local ward Councillor, Keith Onslow, congratulated Dot on her many years of service to the community. He stressed that Bromley Council is keen to encourage volunteering in the borough and realises the valuable contribution people like Dot make.
Dot Ryder has been a stalwart member of the Green Street Green Association, more often referred to as the Village Society, since its inception.
She belonged to the flower club and the wine club. She was a great wine maker - under her stairs she had a minor brewery and would always offer visitors a drink.
She was hall bookings officer for the Greenwood Community Centre and performed this role very proficiently for many years. She also organised a magnificent Christmas hamper for the Christmas raffles.
Dot always carried out all her duties in a very quiet way. During WWII she served in the Wrens, where she met her husband, Arthur (who died in recent years) who was in the Royal Navy as a submariner.
She is still a member of the Royal British Legion and a staunch member of St Mary’s Church.
She remains a very interested and loyal member of our local community; a friend to many who now visit her at home. She always welcomes visitors with a smile and, in spite of her own health problems, never complains and enjoys a good conversation. She still visits the Pop In every month for a friendly chat.
Her family is very supportive, with both of her daughters, Pat and Audrey, living locally .
Tony Bradley, Honorary President of Green Street Green Village Society, added his own personal memories, including annual visits to Dot’s summer garden parties at her home. Dot was then presented with two large, heart-shaped, terracotta pots containing ‘Dorothy’ rose plants, together with a card signed by everyone.
Margot Rohan - Village Society Secretary
Greenwood Talks are organised by Green Street Green Village Society - the first one was on 17 April 2014 and the plan is to have 3-4 events each year. The admission cost is £2, including refreshments after each talk. Telephone: 01689 850 668 for tickets.
NEXT ONE: TBA
26 February 2015 - 'The Darwin Family'
We welcomed Barbara Stevens, our guest speaker at the Greenwood Community Centre. Barbara is a very well-known and respected speaker in our area. She has been a resident of Downe for 48 years and this time she spoke about Charles Darwin and other Downe dwellers. She gave us a potted history about Charles Darwin, his wife Emma (nee Wedgwood) and ten children, which is well documented, and suggested a visit to Down House was always worthwhile.
Her talk was very informative, interspersed with her infectious laughter and her knowledge about various locations in Downe Village and who lived in the various properties was of particular interest.
This was the third in a series of talks which I have recently arranged for the Village Society. It was a successful evening with nearly 60 people attending. I’m hoping to arrange more talks in the future – so watch this space……………
Alan Garelick - Events Manager, Greenwood Community Centre
22 March 2014
The Village Society now has a Social Calendar sub-committee, to organise a range of presentations to be held at The Greenwood Centre every 2-3 months. The first of these talks, 'Discovering Roman Bromley', will take place on Thursday 17 April at 8pm - you can indicate your intention to attend on Facebook.
Dr Brian Philp is Director of ‘The Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit’ (KARU) and has been excavating Roman sites in Bromley and Kent for over five decades. He has lived in the Bromley area since childhood and moved to Green Street Green in 2012. He will be imparting his vast knowledge on Roman Bromley.
Refreshments will be provided and tickets are £2, available from Alan Garelick - telephone: 01689 850 668.
If you have ideas for future events, or have contacts who would be able to give an interesting presentation, please post information below or email us.
17 April 2014 - 'Discovering Roman Bromley'
By 8pm there was standing room only at the Greenwood Community Centre, for the first 'Greenwood Talks' event, 'Discovering Roman Bromley'. Dr Brian Philp MBE spoke authoratively to a rapt audience about his historical excavations over the last five decades.
He began with an explanation of the development of the Kent area since the ice age. There was a focus on Roman Britain, followed by the deterioration of our civilisation when the Anglo-Saxons settled here. Medieval Britain lost the advantages of Roman engineering and education which were not really matched until industrialisation in the 19th and 20th century.
There have been many interesting archaeological discoveries in our local area over the last fifty years and Dr Philp was able to tell the stories of many of them, from his first-hand experience. He was instrumental in saving the Crofton Roman Villa from obliteration by the building of a car park. A commercial option would have cost £200,000 but Dr Philp and his team excavated the site and covered it under a metal-framed building for a mere £79,999!
Another local area of great interest is in Keston, where the discovery of a Roman mausoleum in the grounds of a house owned by Bromley Council led to further discoveries of a Roman villa, a large timber building for storage, a smaller barn and an Anglo-Saxon dwelling. The discovery of a Roman bathhouse in Poverest Road led to excavations revealing an Anglo-Saxon burial ground close by.
Dr Philp passed round an impressive flint tool over 100,000 years old, palm-sized but quite heavy and clearly manufactured by an ancient tribesman, despite years buried and smoothed by water. He also showed his first find, a large piece of Roman pottery which he discovered on a dig whilst still a schoolboy at Bromley Grammar School for Boys (in Hayes Lane and now a comprehensive). Finishing his talk, a series of slides showed the various sites during the excavations and the hour seemed over in the blink of an eye.
Links to further information about local discoveries and places of interest to visit are listed below:
Crofton Roman Villa
Keston Roman Tombs
Keston Roman Villa
Poverest Roman Bathhouse
LBB - Poverest Bathhouse
Kent Guided Tours by Dr Philp
Council for Kent Archaeology
Orpington & District Archaeological Society
2 May 2015
Abigail Sewell, only 9 years old, was crowned Green Street Green May Queen 2015 just after 3:30pm today on The Green. There was the traditional procession along the high street, led by a marching band - not the same one as last year. The retinue marched round the green before the Queen sat on her throne and last year's May Queen, Bethany Hose, placed the crown on Abigail's head. The Mayor, Councillor Julian Benington, congratulated all concerned, despite some technical hitches with the microphones. Unfortunately my camera memory was unable to capture the entire proceedings but the initial procession is available to view online here.
Margot Rohan - Orpington Community
Click here to view a video of the whole proceedings.
Posts are made by members of the Association to stimulate interest and raise local concerns
See Orpington Community for discussion of issues across a wider area
Click on map to see the Green Street Green area:
Green Street Green Association (CIO) is a registered charity no.1172661