Here at Olley Design we have been thinking about the problems posed by vehicular traffic in Otford for a long time. We live in a neighbouring village but visit Otford a lot – as drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Otford traffic seems to have increased hugely in recent years (months even), the continual expansion of shopping and businesses in the Vestry Estate/Bat & Ball area seems to be fuelling this, with heavy traffic seeming to come especially from the north-west  via Otford High Street – a situation likely to get much worse with the number of new homes being built around Halstead and beyond.

Most recently, I experienced the problem of crossing the roads at busy times when accompanying my daughter to Otford Primary School when she was working as a teacher. Attempting to cross the Sevenoaks Road proved challenging; just as soon as the road appeared to be coming clear another (surprisingly fast-moving) vehicle would zoom around the corner. Older people particularly find it difficult to get across the village roads.

There are sensible proposals for a 20mph speed limit in the village, combined with traffic-calming and other installations. Because of very narrow footways (and roads), we believe a more radical solution is needed in the longer term. This is where the idea of a link road between Pilgrims’ Way West and Sevenoaks Road (and a additional new village car park) offers huge long-term benefits to the village.

The two drawings below show how an Otford link road could work (click on the drawings to view at enlarged size).

Benefits of an Otford Link Road

• Allow for a new village car park on the link road’s north side, behind Otford Primary School playing fields

• The High Street would become access-only to vehicles

• From OBM to the Pond would be pedestrian-priority, creating a wide pedestrian-friendly boulevard

• The north and west sides of Otford Pond (two thirds of the pond’s circumference) would be pedestrianised, enabling residents and visitors alike to stroll from High Street to pond traffic-free (access to shops such as pharmacy could still be allowed, for example by disabled drivers)

• The Pond’s south-east carriageway would become two-way traffic

OBM traffic would no longer be passing the Primary School (indeed with the new link road they might be persuaded to travel via the Bat & Ball junction for those deliveries that might currently involve Pilgrims’ Way East)

• The existing Otford Village Car Park would still be available, especially for disabled vehicle access to the halls, playing fields, shops and pubs etc

• Existing zebra crossing by Otford Primary School would be removed along with its associated clutter, railings etc

• Main village section of A225 limited to 20mph with the most central section south of Otford Pond possibly ramped and with a pedestrian crossing (with island) on Sevenoaks Road

• Serpentine nature of Otford Pond road layout would have calming effect on traffic speed.

The two drawings below show how an Otford link road could work (click on the drawings to view at enlarged size).

Proposal for new link road from Pilgrims Way West to Sevenoaks Road

Proposal for new link road from Pilgrims Way West to Sevenoaks Road to reduce traffic in High Street



Otford close up of Pond area roads

Proposal for Otford – close up of Pond area


Heritage Centre Website

We’ve recently completed design and build of the Kemsing Heritage Centre Association mobile-friendly website.  The new heritage centre website holds a database of historic inhabitants of the village of Kemsing in Kent, including patients in the wartime V.A.D. Hospital.  A fascinating collection of early photographs was used to create gallery pages, while original photography by Olley Design helped bring the homepage to life.  We love doing website projects like this, it gives us the chance to learn about another aspect of Kent life.  If you are planning a website design (or redesign) get in touch and find out how we can help you meet all of your objectives (including budget!).

View the Kemsing Heritage Centre website

Kemsing Heritage Centre Association website by Olley Design

Pottery dog jugs

Pottery dog jugs continue to evolve, this is a recent Labrador jug, ready for final glazing and firing. It’s modelled by Uly, our retriever who is very good at sitting still for hours on end!

Simon Olley champion gun dog jug unglazed black background 3 (1)

Rochester Cathedral heritage lottery designs

We’ve worked closely with the team at Rochester Cathedral to produce designs to launch the opening of the newly-restored crypt. The designs have included posters, banners, leaflets, web pages, e-mailshots and invites. We also photographed the crypt which has been restored over three years with heritage lottery funding of more than £3m.



Bespoke wedding stationery

Original, bespoke wedding stationery using a ‘Paisley Butterfly’ theme created and illustrated by Olley Design. Working closely with the bride, we created this stunning stationery – save-the-date cards, invitations, orders of service and table plans, all printed on a unique pearlised paper stock.


Embroidery gallery website by Olley Design

One of Olley Design’s recent websites… this was designed and built to showcase the embroidery collection of Diana Springall as a gallery website. We have set up a search facility so visitors can find embroiderers by technique (hand dyed, low relief, quilting, etc.) and medium (cotton, felt, linen, etc.) as well as artist name, date and so on. Lots of lovely colourful embroidery work to look at – the result of 50 years of collecting by one of Britain’s foremost embroiderers.

The website is fully responsive for browsing on mobiles and tablets, whilst a content-managed system allows the website curator to upload and make changes quickly and easily.


Metropolitan Wharf by Olley Design

Anyone who’s seen the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee should have noticed the signage for Metropolitan Wharf in the intro. Here is a sketch of the Thames-side building that I did in the 1980’s when working there. It was used on stationery for the then landlords, Dee & Mike of Space Inter Space. This sketch went missing for years and I found it recently amongst a lot of other old illustrations and designs so framed it – it now lives pride of place, next to the downstairs loo!

Olley Design illustration of Metropolitan Wharf 1 (1)


Kemsing Church Hall was burned down and a replacement is much-needed.

The planning of a new one has become bogged down by the diocese’s plans for a super-large hall plus a new vicarage on this sensitive site. I’ve sketched out a design to show that a more modest sized hall (in this case reflecting the architecture of the lych gate) could be created.

Sketch for a new church hall in Kemsing

Sketch for a new church hall in Kemsing

Amarena Cherry ice cream shoot

We all love ice cream and photographing it for client Criterion Ices turns out to be the best way of enjoying an extended taste-experience. Seriously creamy, it is the perfect accompaniment to my daughter’s apple, plum and pear pie – Mmmm, tasty! 

Cherry ice cream photography by OlleyDesign 01732 763700

Church architecture & embroidery photography

Church architecture & embroidery photography taken by us of the new altar frontal designed and made by Diana Springall for St Mary Kippington, Sevenoaks, Kent, England. Diana’s design is silk machine and hand appliqué embroidery.  The finished images were used for greetings cards and as reference for the artist.

Diana Springall is one of the country’s foremost embroiderers and lectures internationally. She has designed and made countless works, many are displayed in important buildings including places of worship, universities and corporations. She has been very widely published and has written a number of books on embroidery and making.

Photography © Simon Olley

Classic 1970’s typography & graphic design

Here is a great example of classic 1970’s typography and graphic design. It was designed by my first boss, Barrie Banks, who sadly died recently (aged 85). It shows his home address in Kent, but the studio was at 25 Beak Street, London W1 (Beak Street runs along the bottom of Carnaby Steet) and was right in the thick of the London advertising scene. I was only there for one year, but I enjoyed my first job enormously and learned a lot from Barrie and his ‘boys’ – Adrian, Marco, and Matt.

Work started to come through from an earlier employee, Paul Clarke, as he moved to Conran. I met him there and started an exciting time of assisting with many new clients. This led to spells working at Carlton Studios and Benchmark, with eventually Redbird being started where I worked for a number of years. But, it all started thanks to Barrie Banks, for all of us.

B. G. Banks business card