The deadline for spending your old £1 coins has passed – or has it?

With banks and Post Offices only accepting the old style coins as deposits from their own customers what can you do if you suddenly come across the odd one whilst hoovering down the back of the sofa or at the bottom of an old handbag?

Well there is some good news, why not spend the odd coin in the following ways;

Pop in to Aldi, Iceland or Poundland

Aldi and Iceland will continue to accept the old £1 coins until 30th October and Poundland until the 31st.

Lidl’s trolleys can accept both old and new coins.

Give to charity

As part of the #poppypound campaign, The Royal British Legion poppy sellers will accept donations of the out of date coins up until Remembrance Sunday on the 12th November 2017.

Almost any charity will continue to accept them as donations.

With an estimated £500m coins still in circulation, The Federation of Small Businesses is advising its 170,000 members to continue to accept the coinage for a while longer.

There were 24 different £1 coin designs in circulation so before you get rid of those unloved coins, check that you haven’t got a rare one. Many can be worth more than their face value. Coins from the “Capital Cities of the UK” are selling on eBay for anywhere between £20 and £40 each.

Number Plate Theft

Vehicle number plate theft is a national problem and has more than doubled in the last 5 years. This is due in part to an increase in speed cameras, a rise in petrol costs, toll and congestion zone charges.

Both vehicle registration and proof of identity are required to obtain number plates. Without these, thieves resort to stealing number plates from vehicles.

With CCTV and ANPR cameras in force, offenders use it as a way to engage in criminal activity whilst avoiding detection.

Plates from all makes and models are taken from vehicles in remote or dimly lit locations.

How to protect your plates:

• If you can, park your car in a garage overnight.
• If you have to park on the street, park in busy well-lit area
• Always use safe, well-lit public car parks
• Consider using tamper proof screws. Fitted using a screwdriver but can’t be undone using normal tools.
• Consider using theft-resistant number plates. They may cost a little more but are designed to resist known attack methods. They break apart if someone tries to remove them by force.
• Report stolen number plates straight away. Otherwise you might start receiving parking fines, speeding fines or worse!

If you see a car with a number plate missing or with different plates front and back:
Report it on 101; the police non-emergency number.

London to Paris

Our Very Own Keith Penning is Cycling from London to Paris

We are proud to announce that our very own Keith Penning will be taking part in the London to Paris bike ride on 14th – 18th June 2017. 50 riders, all raising money as part of St Christopher’s 50th anniversary celebrations. (Make a donation)
Keith Penning

 

Although Keith used to ride on a daily basis, he hasn’t done so for a long time. Much to his shame, his bike has been gathering dust and providing a home for various insects and spiders in the garage.

So as you can imagine, it was a bit of a shock when out of the blue our Director Gillian Henderson nominated him.

Having taken part in the inaugural London Surrey 100 in 2013, his first reaction was “of course I will”. Then he remembered the amount of training he had undertaken for the previous shorter ride. This was three times the distance.

Not one to resist a challenge, he focused his mind on the job in hand and put a training plan in place.

With less than 5 weeks to go, Keith is putting time in the saddle, working hard to make this an enjoyable event, not a painful one.

Schedule

Spread over 5 days, the challenge begins early at St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham.

Day one:

And they are off, a journey through 95 miles of beautiful Kent countryside.
As they arrive at the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, it’s a trip across the Channel to Calais and their first night of well-deserved rest.

Day two:

75 miles cycling through stunning countryside and quaint villages of northern France. Their route takes them through the historic town of Abbeville. One fateful night during WW2, this town was all but destroyed. The beautiful gothic church was the only building left standing.

Day three:

A more gentle less hilly terrain to transverse. The route follows the river Somme, most famous for its WW2 battle and the thousands who lost their lives. After 70 miles they finish in Beauvais. An ancient city with a few houses remaining close to cathedral that date from the 12th to the 16th century.

Day four:

It’s the final 60 miles through the wonderful French countryside to the finish line in Paris. The cyclists rendezvous in a park north of the city and complete the last couple of miles together. The last leg of the journey takes them along some of the most famous boulevards in the capital. The end is now in sight, situated high above the Paris skyline. It’s time for the celebrations to begin.

Day five:

It’s all over, time for a bit of sightseeing before catching the Eurostar back to London St Pancreas. Once reunited with their bikes they make their relevant ways home. Weary but very proud of their contribution.

Brownhills is committed to supporting our intrepid cyclist in raising the £2,017 sponsorship money.

St Christopher’s Hospice is a charity close to our hearts

Our former Managing Director; Kevin Andrews was supported towards the end of his cancer battle by the incredible team at St. Christopher’s. The palliative care given by the Hospice provided Kevin and his family with great relief in his final days. Kevin unfortunately passed away in April 2013 and since then Kevin’s family and colleagues at Brownhill have continued to support and fundraise for the Hospice, to ensure others are able to have access to the love and care that Kevin received in their own hours of need.
We are absolutely delighted that Keith has taken up the challenge. We appreciate all his hard work and want to wish him all the very best.

We have held events within the office such as a Quiz Night, Cake Sale, Raffle and contributions on Dress Down Friday. Other ideas are in the pipeline.

If you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause, please see our fundraising page

And finally a word from the man himself

“My efforts will hopefully be rewarded with an unforgettable trip
through Southern England and Northern France; taking in some
sights along the way. The end result; apart from the experience
of riding to the Eiffel Tower with a group of 50 other cyclists, all
there for the same purpose, is to raise money for the hospice to
help maintain the fantastic work they do. I am looking forward to
the challenge and hope to make the effort worthwhile with a
decent contribution to the hospice coffers”

For more information on St Christopher’s visit: www.stchristophers.org.uk

GOOD LUCK KEITH

The Mansion at Beckenham Place Park

The Grand Opening of The Mansion at Beckenham Place Park

The Official Public Opening of The Mansion at Beckenham Place Park is happening tomorrow, Saturday 29th April 2017.

For the first time in decades, this little known historic building will be open daily to the public.

Lying on the border of Beckenham and Lewisham, Beckenham Place Park is one of the borough’s finest nature reserves.

The former mansion, associated buildings and surrounding parkland has had a long and interesting history. It has been a boy’s school, sanatorium, prisoner of war camp and a golf course for 109 years. It has even been visited by Royalty.

For the next 22 months, RJK Properties will manage the estate. Providing a variety of art & craft and wellbeing classes, exhibitions and concerts. Their plan is to turn the Mansion into a dynamic and creative centre of the community.

So come along and join in the fun and help celebrate this momentous occasion.

Schedule:

9am-2pm: Weekly Food Market

9am-2pm: Vintage Market

11:15am-3:30 pm: Free taster sessions in yoga and Pilates for adults, kids and families

9am-5pm: Artist Open Studios

9am-5pm: Friends of Beckenham Place Park -Visitors Centre open

10am-4pm: Free arts, crafts and sewing workshops for the kids

10am-2pm: Children’s Woodland Walks

9pm onwards: ‘Togetherness’
Soul DJ evening and supper club
(visit www.peckhamsoul.co.uk to purchase tickets)

For further information:
http://www.beckenhamplace.org/about/
http://www.beckenhamplaceparkfriends.org.uk/about.htm
https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/inmyarea/openspaces/parks/beckenham-place-park/Pages/default.aspx

Illustration of Bromley Legend David Bowie.

Bromley Legend David Bowie

This Sunday, January 8th will mark David Bowie’s 70th Birthday. Friends and collaborators of the star are coming together to celebrate as part of a worldwide series of concerts.

Bowie’s birthplace of Brixton will be hosting an evening of wonderful music to celebrate the icon. Taking place at the O2 academy Brixton, fans travelling far and wide will be attending the now sold out concert. Those who are lucky enough to have a ticket will be surrounded by music inspired by and in the style of Bowie. A huge list of musicians will play in tribute to him including Gary Oldman – a good friend of David. Joining Oldman will be former band members of Bowie including Mike Garson, Earl Slick and Adrian Belew to name a few. More special guests are yet to be announced to join them in the celebrations of Bowie’s life.

The show will be presented by Academy Arts and proceeds from the show will benefit Children & The Arts Charity.

Bowie and Bromley

Brixton-born legend, David Bowie moved to Bromley in 1953 where he attended local school Ravenswood in the late 50’s. Having grown up in Bromley the borough holds him close to their hearts.

Children & The Arts

Children & the arts is a charity providing support, resources and access to an inclusive and accessible Arts sector for Children. Working with arts venues across the country providing creative and cultural experiences for children in disadvantaged communities and hospices.

For more information visit their website: http://www.childrenandarts.org.uk/