Author Topic: GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.  (Read 638 times)

Offline grandarog

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Re: GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2021, 12:43:04 PM »
A bit more to add my history.

My Grandfather, Thomas William Harris , arrived at Tunstall. Sittingbourne, in 1899,  bringing his family of Martha and 7 surviving children (having lost 2 in infancy) and their belongings on a horse drawn wagon.
He had come from Selling to take up the post of Wagoner /Plough man at Grove End Farm. Their 10th child was born there in 1900 . Grandad Tom worked there on the farm, until he slipped on ice, fell and injured his head. He was 81 and on the way to work at the farm from, 19, Ruins Barn Road. He died 2 years later in 1942 at 83.
  During his time at Grove End Tom achieved fame during the 1920,s and 30,s as a Champion Plough man winning Ploughing Match’s, all over Kent. The winnings helped to provide for his wife Martha, Daughters  Emma and Lucy , who never married and lived with them. Both were of a sickly nature and unable to work. The other children were all grown up and married, or in service. The family were well known and respected in the Village and the Church.
Their 2 sons Frank and George (my Father) both bell ringers, served in WW 1 sustaining severe injuries. Frank died in 1930 and my Dad, George, lived to 90, dying in 1986. Daughter Emily was in service at London until she was forced to return to look after Tom and her 2 sisters in 1941. She remained in the Village, being Housekeeper to a succession of Rectors .
Many older Tunstall residents will remember her brewing the tea at the village functions. Although a Spinster she was a member of the Mothers Union  and Womens Institute and well known for her generous nature and the many Lavender Bags she made each year for the Village sales.
 When Emily died in 1981 the Harris residency at Tunstall ended.

Offline grandarog

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Re: GROVE END FARM,and Kent Farm Institute Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2021, 03:07:14 PM »
In 1919, a scheme of Agricultural Education for the County, which included the provision of a Farm Institute, was approved at a meeting of the Kent Education Committee. The grounds and Victorian buildings of Borden Grammar School were for sale and were earmarked as the perfect site for this new venture. However, it was a condition of the sale that the school be relocated into new buildings on an alternative site before the Farm Institute could be established. Thus, a stop-gap site was required - and the 250-acre Grove End Farm in Tunstall was purchased for this purpose in July 1919 for £14,000. The farm institute would be run from there until the new school buildings were constructed. It was not foreseen that this would take 10 years! 1929 saw the school occupied and its building adapted for Farm Institute purposes. It began providing practical instruction for a variety of agricultural workers, including farmers, bailiffs and fruit growers, under the guidance of Honorary Head, Mr. Elgar. The official opening, attended by some 300 guests, including civic dignitaries and Parliamentarians, took place on the 5th May, 1930.The institute ran a scheme to retrain officers from the First World War, known as the Officers Agricultural Training Scheme and it was also an important training centre for the Women’s Land Army during the Second World War. In order to replace young farm workers drafted for the Second World War, the Kent Education Committee and the War Agricultural Committee drew up an agricultural course for young men and boys leaving school. This constituted eight intensive weeks on the farm learning basic farm husbandry and duties, enabling them to take the place of those drafted into the services.The Institute was closed and the whole operation was moved to Hadlow in 1966. The Building became a School for Adult Education. It has been unoccupied and vacant for some years now and is under consideration for conversion to flats.My paternal Grandfather Tom Harris had lived and worked at Grove end Farm as the Wagoner .He had taken up the job and moved his Family to Grove End from Selling in 1898. My Maternal Grandfather John Waghorn took up the post of Bailiff by invitation when the Institute was set up in 1919 and moved into Grove End with my Mother Cora and rest of the Family from Chilham.  The Waghorn Family lived in the East half and the Harris’s in the West half of the split Farmhouse. My Father George Harris started working on the farm after he returned from WW1. Dad George and Mum Cora were married in June 1922.Dad worked on the Farm until he retired in 1961. A following picture shows Mr McDonald Porter the Institute principal with Farm Staff. Tom and George Harris on his left and John Waghorn on his right. The other Picture is of the Principal and Institute Staff and Students.Also an earlier picture of the Building.
(Some info sourced from Hadlow college.)

Offline grandarog

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Re: GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 03:49:42 PM »
The door was very low .If you compare pics the Bottom of the corbel is level with the top of door jamb in both.


Offline Smiffy

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Re: GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 01:47:07 PM »
Is it my imagination or does the door look a little higher in the first picture?

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 11:33:09 AM »
g. Thank you, Borden must have been at their new home when we played them at rugby. Was Martha very tall or is the doorway very low?

Offline Smiffy

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Re: GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 09:08:01 PM »
grandarog, nice to see these pictures - my great grandfather had a farm near Lamberhurst Quarter, but unfortunately I have no photographs that show it, or any of the family from that time. One of ten children, my grandfather went on to become a master butcher with his own business in Deal. I don't know how the family connection with the farm itself ended but it's still there and survives as a working farm.

Offline grandarog

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Re: GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 07:11:07 PM »
Dave Smith,
Borden Grammar School hasn't gone it moved to the New building in Remembrance Avenue in 1919.
No the farm stopped growing hops when dad retired.. Granny with 11 children also had the 3 Stable lads lodging with the family in the house to look after..I think dad was the only one that stayed in farming The others as you say diversified into all sorts from Solicitors to Carpenters, Shop owners,Warehouse men ,Clerks  and general Labourers . Most of the girls went "into Service" .One Aunt Emily saw through both world wars in London as a cook House Keeper to gentry. Only John died in WW1 the other 4 all survived .My dad was badly wounded but survived to live to 90.The picture below is Tom's Wife Martha who reared all 11 kids.. Standing by the door of the Farmhouse.

Back to topic with next post.

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 06:44:08 PM »
grandarog. So Borden Grammar has gone, like Gillingham County( I know this is off topic but i don't want to start another just for that). I find your family history fascinating & so comprehensive.  I know families were big in those days but 11 children must have been exceptional. Did they all, or most, end up " working the land" or did they spread afar into an urban environment? No doubt many of the boys ended up in the " Great War", many making the supreme sacrifice. Does the farm still grow hops?

Offline grandarog

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GROVE END FARM, Tunstall. Nr Sittingbourne.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 06:14:38 PM »
The small boy on the fence is my Dad with his siblings.