Category Archives: Past Events

Reports on Village Hall events

IRISH CEILIDH 31 DECEMBER 2017 reported by James Staniland

Big thanks go to Hannah Barker and her team for organising such a memorable night on New Year’s Eve 2017.
The Irish Ceilidh was a little different from 2015’s event in that it was staged in Eynsford Village Hall as a fund-raising event for the hall renewal.
Just over 100 people attended. The hall was adorned with drapes, bunting and tablecloths giving a warm welcome to the arrivals at 8 pm on Sunday 31st December. This time it was decided to amplify our home grown band of musicians in order that a larger crowd of dancers would be able to hear from all over the hall.  
Tickets included an excellent main course of Irish Stew which had taken 36 hours to prepare, and wonderful puddings made over a period of several weeks. A hard core few had tirelessly made this food and, in many cases, had generously given the ingredients free of charge, or hugely discounted. 
Michael Barker made us all laugh as MC for the evening and, after a warm welcome, he introduced a set of songs whilst people went to the bar and warmed up. Words to classics such as “Whiskey In The Jar” and “Fields Of Athenry” were projected onto the screen whilst the audience sang, led by the band and their troupe of singers.
After a delicious plate of stew with dumplings had been served to each table, whiskey tea bread, chocolate fudge cake and Bakewell tarts could be collected from the Darenth Room.
Then Eynsford’s very own Irish Dance teacher, Kathleen Knight along with pupil Erica Marshall, took to the floor to give a demonstration of tap dancing to reels and jigs. 
Kathleen then took to the stage as caller, organised everyone into groups and explained all the moves. This was well responded-to and the floor was almost overloaded with people wanting to have a go! 
All music was provided by the band playing tin whistle, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, accordion, bass guitar and bodhran. 
Songs, reels and gigs continued into the night interspersed with jokes by our MC. Suddenly the midnight hour arrived and glasses were charged with sparkling wine (included within the £20 ticket).
At the end of the count-down everyone took to the floor, crossed arms and belted out a raucous “Auld Lang Syne”.
It was time to go home but the good cheer held up as revellers remained and helped to clear the hall.
Altogether the surplus from the tickets and bar was £1,930 which is all being donated to the new village hall being planned for the Harrow Meadow site. It was therefore a truly worthwhile fundraiser. 
If you would like to join the Irish Dance classes at Eynsford Village Hall please contact Kathleen on 01322 864276, mobile 07981 021276, or email her on


Sixty-five people joined the cruise which stopped off at many interesting places to sample the local wines which were varied and included a white from Croatia and reds from Lebanon and Morocco.

The evening was led by Captain Paul Boyle to whom thanks go for his hard work in researching and sampling and to those setting out food, to the pourers and the raffle ticket sellers.

All highly enjoyable and nearly £1,000 raised for EVH funds.



ART STUDY DAY 13 May 2017 reported by James Staniland

  • The final art study day led by Dr. Graham Whitham covered British Art 1940-2015.There were four talks:
    1. War, Optimism and Anxiety c. 1940-1960
    2. Between Europe and USA c. 1950-1970
    3. The Changing Status Quo c. 1968-1990
    4. The Young British Artists)and Beyond 1988-2015.
    A great and informative day was had by all. Unfortunately Graham has decided to retire and take his wife off travelling around Europe so there were farewells and Sally Coston presented gifts to Graham and the three “kitchen fairies”: Jan Stanyon, Paul Boyle and Sarah Boyle who have produced refreshments for the art days over the last three years.
    Sally has raised £16,000 through staging these events. James Staniland thanked her and presented some bottles of wine to her on behalf of the trustees and said a few words about new hall plans.

Dr Graham Whitham


reported by Malcolm Richardson.

Some 65 people enjoyed a leisurely meander through France at a French Wine Tasting evening in the village hall on 28th October.  Some old favourites were on the menu, although wine guru Paul Boyle also introduced us to some different varieties such as Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc region.

The wines were accompanied by a variety of ‘nibbles’, such as prawns, cheeses, olives and saucisson, to demonstrate how wine varies with food.

Paul was an interesting and knowledgeable speaker, never lapsing into ‘wine speak’ so those of us who just like wine, rather than worship it, were never lost.

The event raised over £850 for the Village Hall.


reported by Michael Barker.  A great night was had by all at the Village Hall when a full house of enthusiastic music lovers was treated to an exciting and entertaining programme of big band jazz courtesy of The Jazz Project Big Band.

The band, led from the drum kit by Adrian Bashford, and MC’d by the urbane Mike Hatchard at the keyboard, ran through a varied repertoire of old and new numbers with great panache and musicality. Their ensemble work and solos were of the very highest calibre and were greatly appreciated by all in the hall.

The bar also did lively business and I’m sure all present, audience and band, are hoping that The Jazz Project will be back at the Village Hall in the near future. 












EYNSFORD GARDENERS’ CLUB Annual Show September 2016

reported by Malcolm Richardson.  Eynsford Gardeners’ Club staged a record breaking Annual Show on Sunday 11th September in the Village Hall with over 100 entrants for the first time, displaying entries which included flowers, vegetables, cookery, art and crafts, and photography.  There were also some dazzling exhibits from children showing off their skill in making cakes, photographs and even decorated vegetable animals!  Once again the show was supported by residents who enjoyed the displays and a chance to catch up with friends over a cup of tea and a few homemade cakes.  At the end, many of the items were auctioned off so nothing went to waste! 

Cup winner Karen Langridge with Jason








Cup winner Margaret Newbold with Jason





















with many thanks to organiser Carole and her helpers and to photographer James.


ART STUDY DAY March 2016

reported by James Staniland.  Once again, on Saturday 19th March 2016 we had another sell out Art Study Day given by Dr. Graham Whitham and chaired by Sally Coston.

Dr. Whitham kept us enthralled with four talks on “Tradition and Modernism: British Art 1880-1939”. 

He started with the modernist rebellions: Camden Town to Vorticism which was really the beginnings of modern art and how artists rebelled against the hierarchy of the Royal Academy and started to paint and display scenes of workers and people experiencing hardship – pictures the middle classes would have felt uncomfortable hanging in their living rooms.

Things changed rapidly with the first world war. Although there was black and white film, artists were commissioned to paint scenes giving colour to the battle scenes and showing the glory of the war for propaganda purposes. We were shown pictures such as John Singer Sargent’s “Gassed” and “dazzle ships” in which Edward Wadsworth played a major part. Paintings during the war were not allowed to depict dead Empire soldiers.

We were shown works from Henry Tonks who painted many mutilated faces of the battle-wounded to assist Harold Gillies in his fine work in the early days of plastic surgery. 

After the war the rebelliousness of the pre-war artists had dwindled and there was a return to realism as artists returned to painting the English countryside and other nationalist scenes as our country recovered to regain its identity. However by 1930 abstraction and surrealism were in vogue and many British artists returned from France to further develop the styles of their counterparts in Europe.  

Other artists covered by Dr. Whitham included the sculptors Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Jacob Epstein and painters:  Augustus John and his sister Gwen.

Jan Stanyon, Sarah Boyle and Paul Boyle produced the usual delicious lunch and kept us plied with hot drinks in the intervals. Many thanks to all of them for their tireless help.

It was a thoroughly interesting day and, as usual, everyone left completely satisfied.  There are a few tickets available for the next Art Study Day which is on 19th November.

Winter Words and Music – Booer Family Concert 28 November 2015 reported by John Cairns

Five in a Bar girls quintet

On Saturday 28th November a full house at Eynsford village hall was entertained by Eynsford’s own Von Trapp family – the Booer family.

From Tim and Eileen at front of house, through Paul and Helena singing to Sandra both singing and conducting, three generations of the family were involved.

Supported by the “Vocalise” choir, “Five in a Bar” girls quintet, soloist Andrew Sparling and pianist Laetitia Federici, we were treated to an evening of seasonal songs and poems. The audience listened to a range of songs, traditional and modern, ranging from Handel’s halleluiah chorus through to ‘the song that goes like this’ from Spamalot interspersed with seasonal poems.

The finale was a rather more sophisticated than usual carol concert with the audience singing the carols and the choir singing the descant.

This very successful evening raised over £1000 for the Village Hall’s funds.



A selection of Spanish wine was enjoyed under the direction of wine master Paul Boyle. A cava starter and tapas all helped the evening to go with a great flow. Paul, Sarah and Malcolm have thanks from all in a full hall.