Author Topic: My Kent - A personal viewpoint.  (Read 336 times)

Offline castle261

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Re: My Kent - A personal viewpoint.
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2020, 09:55:51 PM »
Like Dave Smith - our paths may have crossed (& our parents too. Living at the top of Castle Road until I was 11 (evacuation ) My brother & I used to walk to the Strand too, via Castle Road, Stoney
alley, cross Chatham Hill into Windmill road, down Gillingham Road to Gillingham Green, then down
the Hill to the Strand. Our parents took us to Margate for our WEEKS holiday.  We stayed in the
flat about the fish & chip shop next to Dreamland. We were there in 1935, when the outdoor swim
pools were open. We travelled by train. Evacuation by train to ------ Newington, seven miles away.
in 1939.


Offline MartinR

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Re: My Kent - A personal viewpoint.
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2020, 08:38:49 PM »
Some things don't change.  On a nice summer's day you still see small kids wading out and spashing about on Commodore's Hard (which can make landing there a little tricky).  You also see some of them trying to take a short-cut across the mud, but that's a little dangerous these days.  One effect of Gillingham Marina has been an increase in the mud just downstream of it and wading across deep mud on a rising tide is not a good idea.  I've warned kids a couple of time but whether they pay any attention I've no idea.

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: My Kent - A personal viewpoint.
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2020, 06:17:34 PM »
Alec. You asked for it- & mentioned holidays. Before WW2, during the Summer holidays we always walked down to the Strand for the day when the weather was fine. I lived near Gillingham Cemetery, so down Woodlands Road, across at the bottom, sometimes stopping to buy fruit- apples, pears, cherries-Napolians or plums from one of the bungalows there. Then along a footpath by the side of the Medway, through the Cement Works apron & on to the Strand, where we had our sandwiches on the beach & paddled when the tide was in. There were always lads who walked out through the Dark grey mud, what a mess! In those days, The Dockyard, where my Dad worked, closed for August Week & that was their annual holiday! We went each day on the train to the seaside, different each day- Margate( our favourite because of Dreamland- but we always walked to Clfftonville as it had nice sand), Herne Bay, Ramsgate, maybe on the paddle steamer (Medway Queen or?) across to Southend( for the Kersal- similar to Dreamland), Broadstairs, Birchington or Sheerness. You could get a "cheap day return" if you left after 10 o'clock, I think. We always walked to the station, about a mile, for the 19 bus was 1d & we were not that rich! I well remember often walking to Canadian Avenue to collect our bread from the baker's cart, so that Mum could make the sandwiches.  Always, in my memory, the sun was shining or there was a hazey sun with the portent of a fine day. Some people( e.g.my friend next door who's father worked in the "Factory"- where they made all the fitments- but was on "nights", so richer than us) went to Margate in a boarding house for the week. I don't know whether they enjoyed it more than us but I liked the train or boat ride. We always got back home quite late & I- tired Tim- was often carried piggy back from the station to home by my Dad.  Will this small article persuade anyone else to "Have a Go", I hope so.     

Offline Invicta Alec

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My Kent - A personal viewpoint.
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2020, 02:58:07 PM »
I'm indebted to Grandarog for his recent thread entitled "Member participation". He points out the lack of it from a large proportion of site members. He goes on to say ......
Lets all make a new year resolution to submit topics. There is so much relevant to Kent it should not be that difficult.

As someone who loves history, I couldn't agree more. Whichever way you turn your head in our fair county you simply cannot escape history. I love the fact that the old St.Barts hospital which stood near the Rochester/Chatham boundary served the sick for over nine hundred years! Every time I walk along the main shopping street in Canterbury I will always take a moment to read the sign on the side of the Weavers House telling us it has stood there since exactly AD1500! The cliffs that Dame Vera Lynn sung about are our cliffs at Dover. The Romans named it Dubris and paved the road to London we know as Watling Street. The house I live in is but a couple of hundred yards from the airstrip of former RAF Hawkinge which in its heyday was the nearest of all to occupied Europe in WWII. I'm convinced that some days I can smell history in the air! What is the nearest bit of history to your house dear reader?

In reply MartinR suggests that members may not contribute because they are .....
Afraid that their research/reminiscences are not "good enough" for public consumption


He may well have a point but I'd like to tell you about a photo I saw not too long ago.
I forget where I saw it exactly, probably on some social media site, but it was a black and white picture from around 1910. In the photo there is but one person, a woman who looked to be about late twenties to me. As she walked along the street (which had no cars, lorries or buses) she carried on her shoulder the tools of her trade namely some chimney sweeps brushes! Fascinated that this was her job, I spent an age looking at the photo, studying her hairstyle, her clothing. I noticed at the same time this very ordinary street was immaculately tidy. I'm no great orator and certainly no historian, I'm just pointing out what I saw. I bet almost all of you have an old photo of an old house or relative or whatever that holds many little social history gems. How about sharing some please?


stuartwaters also replied to Grandarog .....


I particularly welcome people's personal recollections of life in the County. It is that kind of 'Living History' which I find the most fascinating, the minute details which get overlooked when academics write their history books.


Yes Stuart, me too! As a further example I saw a four minute video someone had put on the "Herne Bay remembered" pages of Facebook recently. Essentially it was simply old uncle Fred  and his missus parking the car next to their caravan at the Reculver park for their summer holidays. She sat in a deckchair while he messed about with a ball. Late 1950s I'd say. Cheap holiday probably but only a dream for a family such as mine. A day trip to the Strand next to Gillingham gasworks was the best we could hope for. Never had a car either! Minute details as you say, but all part of our history. Where did you take your summer holidays folks?


AlanTH wrote .....


Most of the posts I do contribute to are obviously pre 1972 which is when I left the UK for Australia and still live there.

On the old forum I touched on this point in one of my topics. I had a gap of 15 years living outside the county (12 in Hertfordshire follow by 3 years in the south of France) so I remembered things how they were. Someone who has never left Kent would have seen things only change slowly and oddly might be a bit vague as to when such and such happened. AlanTH you can at least say "Well it must have been before 1972 because..... :) ".
I can clearly remember driving down Railway Street in Chatham intending to make my way to Brompton only to be rudely made to turn right half way down. I remember grinning and saying to my partner "We used to go straight on here"!!


Let's have your little anecdotes folks.


Alec.