Northfleet in old picture postcards

Northfleet in old picture postcards

:   C.R. Bull
:   Kent
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3490-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2 - 3 working days ((subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.


Fragments from the book 'Northfleet in old picture postcards'

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High Street, Northffeet.

18. This view, opposite to the previous picture and looking west, showed the uninterrupted Victorian development which has now totally disappeared except for the Factory Club. Here numerous shops, with accommodation above, made this the thriving shopping area of Northfleet in yesteryear. Along on the left hand side was Northfleet Police Station. The local force was under the Kent County Constabulary as Northfleet did not have its own police force like Gravesend. Numerous Northfleet councillors had their trades along this thoroughfare such as W.J. Davis, Thomas Church (grocers), J .W. Boucher, also Captain of the Volunteer Fire Brigade (butcher), and A.J. Rayner (oil and colour merchant). The High Street also had Newby's, one of Northfleet's three shoeing forges.

19. Lawn Road School was built in 1886 by the newly constituted Northfleet School Board. The previous Church schools in Northt1eet were being overcrowded and so Lawn Road, or the Council School as it was known, was a welcomed relief. Lawn Road School began life in the Mission Room in Station Road (12). The temporary nature of this first home caused a move to Lawn Road and the present High Street site. The headmaster of Lawn Road from 1885 to 1926 was W.E. Steadman, who was also Secretary of the Factory Club 1909-1926, began at the Mission Hall with only eight pupils but when he retired in 1926, some 3,000 school children had passed through bis teaching. The doek was the first pubIic time-piece in Northfleet and was erected in 1893.

20. Northfleet House was built in 1841 as a private residence by Thomas Sturge the cement manufacturer. In 1920 it became the Northfleet Urban District Council's Offices. Here was the centre of Northfleet's independent civic life and in the Council Chamber were taken the decisions which shaped the town's history . Northfleet Council was frequently on bad terms with neighbouring Gravesend over a host of matters. The bad feeling rose to a pitch in 1935 after Gravesend had expanded its boundaries taking in Ifield - a parish which Northfleet looked upon as a close elient as well as parts of Northfleet itself. A cartoon of the bitter fending appeared in the Gravesend Reporter. The above view is dated around 1900.

21. The three buildings are the Coach and Horses public house (left), two dereliet and now demolished properties, and the former Council Offices (right), around 1903. The Coach and Horses has the curious eustom of nailing hot cross buns on the ceiling of a bar every Easter. The Council Offices were oecupied by Northfleet Urban District Council from 1894 until1920. The consent to seIl this property to the Co-operative Society was given by the council in 1925 and a new frontage was construeted by the latter , bringing the building in line with the pavement. These buildings mark the boundary between the High Street and The HilI.


22. This view begins on the left with Jennings butcher shop, which like the other ten butchers in Northfleet at this time, slaughtered his own meat. The brick buildings that follow represent 18th century Northfleet, while those that follow are even older (21). Just to the left ofthe boys by the lamp-post cao be seen the well which was an important souree of water. This well was susceptible to pollution and was covered over in a general improvement scheme around 1905. The lamp-posts are those probably run by the gas produced by the Northfleet and Greenhithe Gas Works. Note also the horse tram tracks in the foreground and the different appearance ofthe Queen's Head pub.


23. This view, dated around 1895, is lookingwest alongTheHill. At the end ofthe viewcan be seena chimney dimly in the distance. The view today is dominated by two huge chimneys of the new Northfleet Cement Works. The buildings on the right cover a variety of ages from the 17th to 19th centuries. An idea of what Northfleet was like before the rash of Victorian development ean be gained from this view. On the right hand side, partially hidden by the neighbouring shop verandah, was Northfleet's oldest and last blacksmith. The blaeksmith served the same purpose as the garage does today in society and this one existed until1946.

24. By 1908, when this postcard was probably printed, The Hill had begun to take on the appearance it has today. The buildings on the right had replaced those shown in picture 23 and new electric trams had pushed out the old horse-drawn vehicles. The gas lamp-posts were still with us but note the new pavement and neater appearance of the area on the left where the weIl was. The derelict greengrocers shop of Amos Davey (21) had been demolished, the whole area had generally 'improved'. The ubiquitous cement factory chimneys appear in the background as they do today.

War Memorial, orthfieet.

25. The war memorial, situated here in the middle ofThe Hill area, has since been moved to its present position near the lychgate. Unveiled in April 1923, it commemorated the 259 Northfleet servicemen who died during the First World War. As a comparision, the two industrial neighbours of Northfleet (Gravesend and Swanscombe) lost 481 and 106 respectively while rural Southfleet and Chalk had losses of 12 and 11. The monument, built of Portland stone, was dedicated by the Archdeacon of Rochester , with Northfleet Fire Brigade forming a guard of honour.

26. This view of The HiIl was taken around 1900. This area originally served as Northfleet's village green and is still the centre of the town. The Dove public house, used by funeral bearers for refreshment, was demolished in 1907. The right hand 18th century buildings were demolished in the late 1950's. The Iychgate was erected in memory of the Reverend F. Southgate, Vicar of Northfleet from 1858 to 1885. In 1887, for Queen Victoria's Jubilee, it was suggested that The HiIl should be paved, drained, the old weil removed and a clock tower or lamp erected: none of these ideas was adopted at the time.

27. St. Botelph's is the ancient parish church of Northfleet. The fact that Northileet was a wealthy parish in medieval times can be attested to by the size ofthis largely 14th century church. The tower, which collapsed in 1628 and was rebuilt in 1717/18, shows traces ofSaxon and Norman work. The chief treasures ofthe church are inside and are the three brassesdated 1375,1391 and 1433 and the 14thcentury rood screen which is the oldest in Kent. This church was theologically controversial under Vicar Frederic Southgate (1858-1885), who was noted for his High Church and Catholic sympathies which brought him into sharp conflict with both the Diocese and his congregation. The portion of roof collapsed on Easter Day 1905.

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