What is "Know Your Neighbours"?

"Know Your Neighbours" is a grass-roots community group in Seal, near Sevenoaks in Kent. The group is made up of anyone in the village who wants to get involved - individuals, clubs and societies, businesses, church and schools, parish council,and many others.
We organise local events through the year - fetes, street parties, Christmas events etc. - and we hold social gatherings, just so that people can get to "know their neighbours". There's no "committee" - anyone who turns up for meetings is welcome to help in any way they are able.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE, OR BE ADDED TO THE EMAIL LIST, contact Marion Gilchrist , who coordinates the group, or Anne Le Bas, who maintains this blog.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Carol Singing 12 Dec

Thanks to everyone who came along to the meeting and Table Top sale today. We made some plans for next year (a street party for the Queen's 90th birthday is on the cards...watch this space...)
We also planned a Village Carol Singing event - SATURDAY DEC 12th from 6 - 7.30pm around the village, followed by some mulled wine and a mince pie in the Church hall to warm up. Everyone's welcome. Just turn up at the Church Hall at 6pm. If you know someone in the village who'd like us to sing to them, let us know and we'll try to fit you in our itinerary.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Know Your Neighbours meeting and table top sale

Saturday November 28th between 10am and midday, in Seal Village Hall.

As well as our KYN meeting we will also be holding a mini table top sale , to kick off some fund raising for any KYN activities to be held in 2016. If you wish to book a table, please email Marion as soon as possible, as there won't be a huge amount of space, so it will be first come first served. The cost of a table will be £7.
 The Seal Village Association will be able to consider awarding some funds for local causes, as there is a small surplus of around £600 in their funds. If you represent a local organisation in need of funds, please make your application by emailing barbara.s.martin@btconnect.com
by Monday November 23rd.
We look forward to seeing you on Sat 28th to hear your ideas for events for 2016.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: The scarecrows are back...

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: The scarecrows are back...: Seal Church blog has a few of the scarecrows I have found so far as I have walked around Seal. As you can see there is a huge variety of entries....

Monday, 6 July 2015

Sealfest is nearly here...

Egg boxes & plastic bags ready for Sealfest Messy Church stall. We'll be turning trash to treasure, but what on will we be making? Find out next Saturday Jul 11 at Seal Recreation Ground (off Seal High Street, just before the library if you are coming from Sevenoaks direction.
Free music. Food to buy or bring a picnic. 12noon to 7pm.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Sealfest is nearly here!

Sealfest is less than a month away - July 11. Put the date in your diary and plan to be there! We need help with refreshments and bouncy castles, as well as with general setting up and packing away. If you can help, please let me or Marion Gilchrist​ know. Please share the poster ; if you can print it out and display it that will help. There will be more details of the line up in about a fortnight.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Update on Sealfest, and other news

You will be pleased to hear that the funding for the above event is now in place, and we are ready to roll. Please remember to save the date for this free community musical and fun event, which will take place on Seal Recreation Ground on Sat July 11th from midday.
There will be live music throughout the afternoon and early evening, representing many genres. Messy Church will be available for all children wishing to have fun, get creative (and, of course, messy!). There will be a hog roast, BBQ, Indian delights, beer tent, or if you wish to make it an entirely free fun-time, bring your own picnics.  There will also be teas and cakes for sale in the pavilion between 2pm and 4pm.Remember to bring your own seating, rugs, gazebos or sun shades if wanted.
Please remember to email me if you can spare a bit of time to set up and clear away for this event. Your help will be very much appreciated. The Church is also looking for volunteers to help with the beer tent and tea rooms.

In the meantime, Seal Church will be celebrating their Patronal Festival, by holding a Strawberry Tea in the Vicarage Garden at 4pm, where delicious sandwiches, cakes and cream teas will be served at the cost of £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. Everybody is welcome to this lovely summer event. Just email priest@sealpeterandpaul.com, or tel 01732 763585, or sign on the list at the back of Church, to let us know you will be coming. 

Seal Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, are still looking desperately for leaders. If you enjoy working with children, having lots of fun, and have enthusiasm and energy, please contact me and I will point you in the right direction

You will probably be aware by now that today sees the first day of PYO strawberries at Stonepitts! Here's to a long season!

One last request! We are looking for a volunteer to assist the local library with a home delivery service to a couple of people who cannot make it up to the library themselves. We have a lovely lady who has been delivering this service on behalf of Know Your Neighbours for some years, but now finds herself stretched a little thin. If you feel you are able to assist with this project, please don't be shy!! Send me an email and we can have a chat about what is involved.

Looking forward to hearing from MANY of you! All your efforts are always greatly appreciated, and this community would not be able to thrive without them.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Notes from the KYN meeting April 25th

Firstly, many thanks to those of you who came out to either or both of the meetings held this week.
The plans for this year's Seal Fest are well under way, and I will combine notes from both meetings in this 1 email.

Dates for your diaries for events within the village over the next couple of months:-

Saturday May 9th Midday to 3pm - Seal School Wild West Mayfair.

Friday May 15th 7.30pm Music Quiz at Seal School - proceeds to Seal Fest set-up costs. £6 adults £3 under 16s. - Ploughmans' Supper included.

Thursday May 21st - Seal Parish Council Annual Meeting at Seal Pavilion - 7.30pm. AGM, followed by informal meeting with refreshments.

Sunday May 31st - Seal Allotment Society 90th Anniversary - Open Day, Bring and Buy of plants and flowers and refreshments.

Friday June 12th - 7.30pm in Seal Church Hall - Fun Bingo Night - £5 adults £3 under 16s, to include Jacket Potatoes and Chilli.

Wednesday June 25th 2pm - Fun Bingo Afternoon in Church Hall to include cream tea and sandwiches - £5 per head.

Sunday 28th June 4pm - Strawberry Tea in the Vicarage Garden to celebrate Seal Church Patronal Festival.

Saturday July 11th Midday onwards - Seal Fest - A free family day out with live music, festival foods or bring your own picnic, and Refreshment rooms and beer tent. Activities for the children.

Scarecrow Festival - Saturday September 27th - Saturday October 4th.

As you can see, there is quite a lot planned throughout the summer months, but we do still need more people to come forward with offers of help. People are now beginning to say they can help in many ways, but more hands are still needed. Please don't be shy, and come forwards and speak to , or email, either myself, Anne Le Bas, or Jennifer Kent. It doesn't matter how small a contribution you can make - all hands on deck make a much easier ride for everybody!

Last year, the Big Lunch/Seal Fest, was a really popular event, and we want to make this year's as memorable as that event. Relf is already busy putting together the musical acts, we have the insurance being sorted and are looking for funding through local councils, etc. This is offered as a free day out for all the community (apart from food and drink), and feel sure you would agree if you came last year, that it is great to have this when so much else costs vast amounts of money for families to attend and enjoy. There are set up costs, as you may well imagine, and this year we are attempting to ensure all these costs are met before the event takes place. Please do try and come along to one of the fund-raising events to help with this. Another suggestion was put forward at Saturday's meeting. This is to ask anybody living in the village or surrounding areas, to offer to donate a few pounds toward this. This would be particularly helpful for those of you who will not be able to support the fund-raising events. If you would like to offer a donation towards these set-up costs, please contact either Anne Le Bas, or me, and we will ensure that your money is put to good use!

Parking for Seal Fest will take place in Seal School Car Park. Jenni Pascoe will be co-ordinating the parking and the marshals. If you could spare an hour on the day to be a parking marshal, or to make some parking signs beforehand, please let either Jenni or me know.Donation buckets will be taken around the parking area to help raise funds for Seal CE Primary School.

We went on to discuss ideas for activities for the winter months. We would be really keen to hear your ideas for this.
One idea we talked about, was to set up a board game/card game/ crafts 'club', where people can get together  during one afternoon each week, to enjoy other peoples' company. This would be a great way to reduce social isolation for many people within our community. However, the few of us that were present at this meeting, admitted than none of us had the time to commit to facilitating this group. Therefore, if you have a couple of hours to spend each week, to bring this together, we would love to hear from you. It would probably involve setting some tables up, meeting and greeting and maybe making the teas.

We also talked about the fact that there had been no Christmas carol singing for a couple of years, and several people had said that they missed this. So...... watch this space!

Moving on even further ahead - we have already booked Seal School Hall for Saturday April 23rd 2016. This is to put on a celebration of St George's Day. We hope to have a hog roast, real British ales, and traditional British activities! Please keep this date too!

The next Know Your Neighbours meeting will be held on Saturday June 13th from 10.30 to midday. Venue to be confirmed, but the Village Hall if it is available.
Meanwhile, please join us for as many of the above dates as you can, and remember, any donations to myself or Anne Le Bas. Cheques can be made payable to Seal Village Association.

Look forward to seeing many of you at some or all of these events,

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Seal History Group Programme

Mon 13th April – Schools In Seal with Edward Oatley
Mon May 4th – Popular Unrest in C19th Sevenoaks with David Killingray
Mon June 1st – The Theobald Family with Michael Oxtoby.
Mon July 6th – The Lyles, Sugar, Kemsing and Seal with Colin Lyle.
Mon August 3rd – No Meeting
Mon Sept 7th – Architects who Built Seal with Peter Mountfield.
Mon Oct 5th – A.G.M.

Mon Nov 2nd – To be Arranged.

Notes From The Know Your Neighbours Meeting Seal Village Hall Saturday March 7th 2015.

The purpose of this meeting was to bring as many people together to catch up on current activities within our existing village organisations, and to get ideas for events for 2015. We had a few e mails from representatives of organisations who couldn’t make the meeting, so their issues were talked about along with those of the representatives present.

Peter Mountfield was representing Seal Village History Group.  Anna Lindley who has been leading the group, has now had to stand down due to other commitments. He explained that membership is fairly low, and much more help was needed to keep the group sustainable. Currently, the History Group meets in Seal Library at 7.15 for 7.30pm every first Monday of the month. This costs £25 per session, so if anybody has ideas as to another, more affordable venue, please pass them on to Peter Mountfield.   (If you would like to contact  anyone mentioned in this post, please let Anne or Marion know and we will pass on the message to the relevant person).Also, if you have ideas for promoting the group to reach more, potential members, please contact either Peter or myself. Help is needed to sort the archives – a really interesting project for anybody with a little time on their hands.  
Meanwhile, anybody wishing to join the group, please just come along to Seal Library any first Monday of the month. I am attaching the programme for the next few months.

Anne Le Bas reported that the Belly Dancing classes are back! Seal Church Hall every Monday from 7.15 8.45pm. There is a new teacher, but the classes are still popular and cost £9 each session. Anne is happy for you to contact her for further details.  Email addresses at bottom of page.
Debbie expressed concern for the safety of anybody in the village, using the back roads behind the A25. She lives in a house on The Green, where you have to step out of your front door and onto the roadway. Quite rightly, she is saying that traffic uses this route, often to avoid sitting in queues of traffic in Church Street, and cars drive through the back of the village far too fast. She is putting a petition together and is hoping to get as many signatures as possible from people in the village. Debbie will make sure that as many local businesses have a copy of this for us all to sign and present to the Highways Committee at Kent County Council.

Frances Fish had e mailed me to say that there are vacant plots on the allotments at the moment. The cost for these is £15 annually for half a plot and £25 for a full plot. There were several members of the Allotment Society present, and all were making very positive comments about the benefits of being involved.

Luci Napleton also e mailed to remind us of the 50+ Dance For Fun Classes, which are held in Seal Village Hall, every Tuesday from 10.30 – 11.30am. The cost is £4 a session and you can contact Luci for more information on 07748008431, or e mail on the address at the bottom of the page.
Nicky Harvey was representing the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, as always! The news here is that there is a very desperate need for Scout leaders. Anybody interested, would need to have the statuary DBS check, and commit to about 2 ½ hours each week during term time. This is a thriving scout group, with a waiting list, but without more leaders, the group will have to disband or at the very best, merge with Kemsing. Nicky has run this group for 8 years, and now, due to many other commitments, she has to give this up. PLEASE, if you can commit, or know anybody else, that can, and would be a great scout leader, please contact Nicky. E. Mai address is at the bottom of the page.

Jenni Pascoe was representing Seal Primary School. The school May Fair will certainly be taking place this year, along with many other events. We will be putting out the details through this newsletter and advertisements in The Local Advertiser.

There is a free First Aid and Defibrillator Training, being organised by Sevenoaks District Council on Saturday 18th April. There will be two sessions – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This will be particularly useful, as we will be having our very own defibrillator in Seal, outside the Village Hall, very soon. If you would like to take up this offer, the joining details are at the bottom of the page.

Following last year’s success, Seal Church will be having another Scarecrow Festival this year, leading up to harvest time. Due to the comments about an accident, last year, we may take some safety precautions to warn people to keep their eyes on the road. There will be many other events throughout the year, and we will put details out of these throughout the year.

We went on to discuss the success of The 2014 Big Lunch and Seal Fest, and how we might follow this with a similar event this year. It was agreed we should try and link this in with the national event – The Big Gig.  Jennifer and Ralf Kent will co-ordinate this event, which we decided should be held on Saturday July 11th.      on the availability of the recreation ground and pavilion.. To ensure the safety of the musicians and the equipment this year, we will make efforts to ensure a better stage and waterproof cover. Ralf has already started to investigate the costs of this, and we would need to find around £1000. There will also be the usual set up costs, insurance, licenses, etc, so it was agreed to have a working party to organise this event. From the meeting, we have Jennifer, Ralf, Jenni, Marion, Debbie and Eva, If anybody else out there would like to take part in this, please contact me. There will be various tasks, from arranging the insurance, advertising, booking the food stands, etc. Anne will run the Messy Church at the event, which was very popular last year, and it was agreed to have free activities for the children wherever possible, but may book the inflatable assault course again. We will also hold a couple of small fund-raising events to help to finance the event. Eva suggested we approach West Kent Extra for application to the Linda Hogan Community Fund, and Roddy Hogarth said that Hayley Brooks at Sevenoaks District Council may also be able to help us to locate some community funds. Seal Parish Council may also be able to help with a small financial contribution. We can also approach Seal Village Association, but there is probably not a lot sitting in this fund at present.

It was suggested that we hold a musical quiz night and maybe a St George’s Night event as fund-raisers. Watch out for further details.

We discussed the questionnaire that was put around by Seal Parish Council, regarding the improvement of play equipment in Seal Recreation Ground. Not all of the results have been returned, so there will be more information once this has all been collated.

Seal Parish Council will be held on May 21st at 7.30pm in the Pavilion, and it is hoped that many Seal residents will attend this year. After the formal meeting, a more relaxed discussion will be had, over a glass of wine.

Eva reminded everybody that if anybody has furniture that they no longer need, Abacus House will collect this free of charge, for re-cycling back into the community. For more information, Eva’s e mail will also be at the bottom of the page.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who attended today, and contributed to very lively discussions and put great ideas forward for building an even stronger community for the future.


Monday, 9 March 2015

Belly Dance is back...

Belly Dance is back in Seal church hall on Monday nights at 7.15pm, after a break of a few months, and now with a new teacher, Lenka Mackova. We are having a great time, just dancing for fun. If you'd like to come and join us, contact me so that I can let you know dates of classes (we may take a couple of weeks off over Easter. All shapes and sizes are welcome, (and you don't even have to show your belly!)

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Seal Cubs and Beavers

 At our Know Your Neighbours meeting yesterday  we heard about various needs for help in the village. In particular, Seal Cubs and Beavers is desperately in need of new helpers. If some don’t come forward soon the groups may have to close and if that happens the land where the Scout hut stands in Jubilee Rise may end up being sold. Please help us to keep open these very well-attended groups for our young people! All it takes is people who can reliably commit a couple of hours a week to planning and leading activities. If you can help, please contact me, Anne Le Bas, and I will pass you on to Nicky Harvey, who can give you more details.